Shaphir

SHAPHIR (shā'fẽr, Heb. shāphîr, glittering). One of a group of towns mentioned in Mic.1.10-Mic.1.15. Because of its association with Gath, Aczib (of Judah), and Mareshah it seems likely that it was located in SW Palestine.


SHAPHIR shā’ fər (שָׁפִ֖יר, beautiful, pleasant; LXX Καλω̂ς; KJV SAPHIR). A geographic area, prob. a town, against which Micah prophesied (Mic 1:11). Past attempts at identification have been limited to looking for a site in Philistine territory perhaps because of the association with Gath (v. 10). Tell es-Sawāfir frequently has been suggested for several reasons: etymological similarity between the two names; suitable location in Philistine territory some four m. SE of Ashdod; and compatibility with the location of Saphir of Jerome. More recently some have felt that the context demands a Judean site and have suggested Khirbet el-Kōm W of Hebron. This site is on Wadi es-Saffar which, it is suggested, preserves the Biblical name.

Bibliography

“Shaphir,” IDB (1962).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

One of a group of towns mentioned in Mic 1:10-15. From the association with Gath, Achzib (of Judah) and Mareshah, it would seem that the places mentioned were in Southwestern Palestine. According to Eusebius, in Onomasticon, there was a Sapheir, "in the hill country" (from a confusion with Shamir (Jos 15:48), where Septuagint A has Sapheir) between Eleutheropolis and Ascalon. The name probably survives in that of three villages called es-Suafir, in the plain, some 3 1/2 miles Southeast of Ashdod (PEF, II, 413, Sh XV). Cheyne (EB, col. 4282) suggests the white "glittering" hill Tell ec-Cafi, at the entrance to the Wady ec-Sunt, which was known to the Crusaders as Blanchegarde, but this site seems a more probable one for GATH (which see).