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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

King of Eglon (a town in the lowland of Judah), one of the five hanged by Joshua ( Joshua 10:3;  Joshua 10:23).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [2]

dē´bẽr ( דּביר , debhı̄r  ; Δαβείρ , Dabeı́r ): "And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir, and fought against it: and he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword ... he left none remaining" ( Joshua 10:38 ,  Joshua 10:39 ). In  Joshua 15:15-17 and   Judges 1:11-13 is an account of how Othniel captured Debir, which "beforetime was Kiriath - sepher ," and won thereby the hand of Achsah, Caleb's daughter. In  Joshua 15:49 Debir is called Kiriath - sannah . It had once been inhabited by the Anakim ( Joshua 11:21 ). It was a Levitical city ( Joshua 21:15;  1 Chronicles 6:58 ).

1. The Meaning of the Name

(1) Debir is usually accepted as meaning "back," but this is doubtful; the word debhı̄r is used to denote the "holy of holies" ( 1 Kings 6:5 ). According to Sayce ( HDB ), "the city must have been a sacred one with a well-known temple." Kiriath - sepher is translated "town of books," and Sayce and others consider that in all probability there was a great storehouse of clay tablets here; perhaps the name may have been ḳiryath ṣōphēr , "town of scribes." Kiriath - sannah ( Joshua 15:49 ) is probably a corruption of Kiriath - sepher  ; the Septuagint has here as in references to the latter πόλις γραμμάτων , pólis grammátōn , "town of books."

2. The Site

Unfortunately this site, important even if the speculations about the books are doubtful, is still a matter of uncertainty. Edh - Dháherı̄yeh , some 11 miles Southwest of Hebron, has a good deal of support. It was unquestionably a site of importance in ancient times as the meeting-place of several roads; it is in the Negeb (compare  Judges 1:15 ), in the neighborhood of the probable site of Anab ( Joshua 11:21;  Joshua 15:50 ); it is a dry site, but there are "upper" and "lower" springs about 6 1/2 miles to the North. A more thorough examination of the site than has as yet been undertaken might produce added proofs in favor of this identification. No other suggestion has any great probability. See PEF , III, 402; PEFS , 1875.

(2) Debir , on the border between Judah and Benjamin ( Joshua 15:7 ), must have been somewhere East of Jerusalem not far from the modern Jericho road. Thoghgret ed Debr , "the pass of the rear," half a mile Southwest of the Tal‛at ed Dumm (see Adummim ), close to the so-called, "Inn of the Good Samaritan," may be an echo of the name which has lingered in the neighborhood. Many authorities consider that there is no place-name in this reference at all, the text being corrupt.

(3) Debir the Revised Version, margin, Lidebir ( Joshua 13:26 ), a town on the border of Gad, near Mahanaim; Ibdar, South of the Yarmūk has been suggested. May be identical with Lo-debar ( 2 Samuel 9:4 ).

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [3]

in the mountains of Judah. Lieut. Conder gives an extended argument (Quar. Statement of the "Pal. Explor. Fund," January 1875, page 49 sq.) in favor of logating this place at the modern ed-Dhoheriyeh, which may be summed up thus:

(1) Both names signify The Back, i.e., ridge, of the mountains, on which this place is conspicuous;

(2) it has ancient remains, consisting of cave dwellings, wells, and cisterns; five old roads lead from it, and large stones, at the distance of about three thousand cubits around it, seem to mark the limits of a Levitical city;

(3) there are fine springs in the neighborhood, namely, those of Seil Dilbeh, six miles west of Juttah, which feed a brook that runs several miles. To this identification Tristram (Bible Places, page 61) and Trelawney Saunders (Map Of The O.T.) accede.

The argument, however, is rather specious than strong:

(1) The names do not agree in etymology, and the resemblance in meaning is very doubtful;

(2) 'the ruins show, indeed, an ancient site, but not necessarily the one in question, and the Levitical bounds are particularly dubious;-

(3) the springs are too distant to indicate any special connection with this locality, which, moreover, is farther from Hebron than we should expect.