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ZEBOIM zĭ bō’ əm (צְבֹעִ֖ים, LXX Σεβωείμ, Neh 11:34; גֵּ֥י הַצְּבֹעִ֖ים; Γαὶ τὴν Σαμείμ, 1 Sam 13:18; meaning hyenas, valley of hyenas). 1. A Benjaminite town occupied after the Exile (Neh 11:34). The exact site is not known but possibly Khirbet Sabieh N of Lydda. The name occurs in Amarna Letter 274 as Sabuma.

2. A valley in Benjaminite territory SE of Michmash. Philistine raiders from Michmash traveled the hill road overlooking the Zeboim (Hyena) Valley with the Jordan Valley beyond. Wadis in the region still preserve the ancient name, e.g. Wadi Abu Daba’ (Valley of the Father of Hyenas) which runs into the Wadi Kelt.


F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine (1938), 452.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

((1) tsebho`im; Seboeim (Ne 11:34); (2) ge ha-tsebho`im; Gai ten Samein (1Sa 13:18)):

(1) A Benjamite town mentioned as between HADID (which see) and NEBALLAT (which see), and therefore in the maritime plain near Lydda; the site is lost (Ne 11:34).

(2) The Valley of Zeboim, "the valley of hyenas," one of three companies of the Philistines left their camp at Michmash and "turned the way of the border that looketh down upon the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness" (1Sa 13:18). There are several valleys with names derived from the hyena, so common in these parts. There is a small branch valley called Shakked dab`a, "ravine of the hyenas," North of the Wady kelt (Grove), a, Wady abu dab`a, "valley of the father of hyenas, which joins the Wady kelt from the South (Marti), and a large and well-known Wady dab`a, "valley of hyenas," which runs parallel with the Wady kelt, some 3 miles farther South, and ends at the Dead Sea. The first of these, which apparently leads to Mukhmas itself, seems the most probable. See Conder’s Handbook, 241.

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