From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Smith's Bible Dictionary [1]

Mo'din. A place not mentioned, in either the Old or the New Testament, though rendered immortal, by its connection with the history of the Jews, in the interval between the two. It was the native city of the Maccabaean family,  1 Maccabees 13:25, and as a necessary consequence contained their ancestral sepulchre.  1 Maccabees 2:70;  1 Maccabees 9:19;  1 Maccabees 13:25-30.

At Modin, the Maccabean armies encamped on the eves of two of their most memorable victories - that of Judas over Antiochus Eupator,  2 Maccabees 13:14, and that of Simon over Cendebeus.  1 Maccabees 16:4.

The only indication of the position of the place to be gathered from the above notices is contained in the last, from which we may infer that it was near "the plain," that is, the great Shefelah , or maritime lowland of Philistia.  1 Maccabees 16:5.

The description of the monuments seems to imply that the spot was so lofty as to be visible from the sea, and so near that even the details of the sculpture were discernible therefrom. All these conditions, excepting the last, are tolerably fulfilled in either of the two sides called Latran and Kubub .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

MODIN. A village in the Shephçlah, never mentioned in the OT, but of great importance as the home of the Maccabees. Here Mattathias, by slaying a Jew who conformed to the paganizing commands of Antiochus, struck the first blow for Jewish religious freedom ( 1Ma 2:1-28 ). He was buried at Modin ( 1Ma 2:70 ), as were his illustrious sons Judas ( 1Ma 9:19 ) and Jonathan ( 1Ma 13:25 ). Simon here built an elaborate monument with seven pyramids, commemorative of his father, mother, and four brethren, with great pillars around, and bas-reliefs of military and naval triumphs. This splendid monument could be seen at sea. It stood for about 500 years, after which it seems to have disappeared; and with it was lost all recollection of the site of Modin. This has been recovered in recent years in the little village of el-Medyeh , near Lydd. There are numerous rock-tombs about, some of them traditionally known as Qabûr el-Yehûd , or ‘the Jews’ tombs,’ but nothing is to be seen in any way suggestive of the Maccabæan mausoleum.

R. A. S. Macalister.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [3]

( Μωδεϊ v Ν v.r. Μωδεείμ , Μωδιείμ , Μωδαείμ , and in chapter 2 Μωδεείν ; Josephus, Μωδιείμ , and once Μωδεείν ; Vulg. Modin: the Jewish form is, in the Mishna, המודיעים in Joseph ben-Gorion, chapter 20 המודעית ; the Syriac version of Maccabees agrees with the Mishna, except in the absence of the article, and is the usual substitution of R for D, Mora'Im), a place not mentioned in either the Old or New Testament, though rendered immortal by its connection with the history of the Jews in the interval between the two. It was the native city of the Maccabnean family ( 1 Maccabees 13:25), and as a necessary consequence contained their ancestral sepulchre ( Τάφος ) (2:70; 9:19). Hither Mattathias removed from Jerusalem, where up to that time he seems to have been residing, at the commencement of the Antiochian persecution (2:1). It was here that he struck the first blow of resistance, by slaying on the heathen altar which had been erected in the place both the commissioner of Antiochus and a recreant Jew whom he had induced to sacrifice, and then demolishing the altar. Mattathias himself, and subsequently his sons Judas and Jonathan, were buried in the family tomb, and over them Simon erected a structure which is minutely described in the book of Maccabees (13:25-30), and, with less detail, by Josephus (Ant. 13:6, 6), but the restoration of which has hitherto proved as difficult a puzzle as that of the mausoleum of Artemisia.

At Modin the Maccabsean armies encamped on the eves of two of their most memorable victories that of Judas over Antiochus Eupator ( 2 Maccabees 13:14), and that of Simon over Cendebaus ( 1 Maccabees 14:4) the last battle of the venerable chief before his assassination. The only indication of the position of the place to be gathered from the above notices is contained in the last, from which we may infer that it was near "the plain" ( Τὸ Πεδίον ), i.e., the great maritime lowland of Philistia ( 1 Maccabees 14:5). By Eusebius and Jerome.(Onomast, Μηδεείμ , Modim) it is specified as near Diospolis, i.e., Lydda; while the notice in the Mishna (Pesachim, 9:2), and the comments of Bartenora and Maimonides, state that it was fifteen (Roman) miles from Jerusalem. At the same time the description of the monument seems to imply (though for this see below) that the spot was so lofty as to be visible from the sea, and so near that even the details of the sculpture were discernible therefrom. All these conditions, except the last, are tolerably fulfilled in either of the two sites called Latrin and Kubbab. The former of these is, by the shortest road that through Wady All- exactly fifteen Roman miles from Jerusalem; it is about eight English miles from Lydd, fifteen from the Mediterranean, and nine or ten from the River Rubin, on which it is probable that Cedron the position of Cendebbeus in Simon's battle-stood. Kubab is a couple of miles farther from Jerusalem, and therefore nearer to Lydd and to the sea, on the most westerly spur of the hills of Benjamin. Both are lofty, and both apparently Latrun certainly command a view of the Mediterranean. In favor of Latrun are the extensive ancient remains with which the top of the hill is said to be covered (Robinson, Bib. Res. 3:151; Tobler, Dritte Wand. page 186), though of their date and particulars we have at present no accurate information. The foundations of the fortress appear to be of the Roman age, or perhaps earlier, though the upper parts exhibit pointed arches and light architecture of a much later date. The view from the summit is commanding, and embraces the whole plain to Joppa and the Mediterranean beyond. The name Latron appears to have arisen in the 16th century, from the legend which made this the birthplace of the penitent thief "Castrum boni Latronis" (Quaresmius, 2:12; Porter, Hand-book, page 285; Reland, page 901; Thomson, Land and Book, 2:308).

Kubab appears to possess no ruins, but, on the other hand, its name may retain a trace of the monument. Ewald (Gesch. 4:350, note) suggests that the name Modin may be still surviving in Deir Ma'in. But this is questionable on philological grounds; and the position of Deir Ma'in is less in accordance with the facts than that of the two named in the text. The mediaeval and modern tradition (see Robinson, 2:7) places Modin at Soba, and eminence south of Kuriet el-Enab; but this being not more than seven miles from Jerusalem, while it is as much as twenty-five from Lydda and thirty from the sea, and also far removed from the plain of Philistia, is at variance with every one of the conditions implied in the records. It has found advocates in our own day in M. de Saulcy (L'Art Judaique, etc., page 377 sq.) and M. Salzmann (Jerusalem, Etude, etc., pages 37, 38; where the lively account would be more satisfactory if it were less encumbered with mistakes), the latter of whom explored chambers there which may have been tombs, though he admits that there was nothing to prove it. A suggestive fact, which Dr. Robinson first pointed out, is the want of unanimity in the accounts of the mediaeval travellers, some of whom, as William of Tyre (8:1), place Modin in a position near Emmaus Nicopolis, Nob, and Lydda. M. Mislin also usually so vehement in favor of the traditional sites has recommended further investigation. If it should turn out that the expression of the book of Maccabees as to the monument being visible from the sea has been misinterpreted, then one impediment to the reception of Soba will be removed; but it is difficult to account for the origin of the tradition in the teeth of those which remain.

The descriptions of the tomb by the author of the book of Maccabees and Josephus, who had both apparently seen it, will be most conveniently compared by being printed together:

1 Macc. 23:27-30.

"And Simon made a building over the sepulchre of his father and his brethren, and raised it aloft to view with polished" stone behind and before. And he set up upon it seven pyramids, one against another, for his father and his mother and his four brethren. And on these he made engines of war, and set great pillars round about, and on the pillars he made suits of armour for a perpetual memory; and by the suits of armour ships carved, so that they might be seen by all that sail on the sea.

This sepulchre he made at Modin, and it stands unto this day."

Josephus, Ant. 13:6, 6.

"And Simon built a very large monument to his father and his brethren of white and polished stone. And he raised it up to a great and conspicuous height, and threw cloisters around, and set up pillars of a single stone, the work wonderful to behold : and near to these he built seven pyramids to his parents and his brothers, one for each, terrible to behold both for size and beauty.

And these things are preserved even to this day"

The monuments are said by Eusebius (ut sup.) to have been still shown when he wrote A.D. cir. 320. Any restoration of the structure from so imperfect an account as the above can never be anything more than conjecture. Something has been already attempted under (See Maccabees) (q.v.). But in its absence one or two questions present themselves.

(1.) The "ships" ( Πλοῖα , naves). The sea and its pursuits were so alien to the ancient Jews, and the life of the Maccabaean heroes who preceded Simon was if we except their casual relations with Joppa and Jamnia and the battle-field of the maritime plain so unconnected therewith, that it is difficult not to suppose that the word is corrupted from what it originally was. This was the view of J.D. Michaelis, but he does not propose any satisfactory word in substitution for Πλοῖα (see his suggestion in Grimm, ad loc.). True, Simon appears to, have been to a certain extent alive to the importance of commerce to his country, and he is especially commemorated for having acquired the harbor of Joppa, and thus opened an inlet for the isles of the sea ( 1 Maccabees 14:5). But it is difficult to see the connection between this and the placing of ships on a monument to his father and brothers, whose memorable deeds had been of a different description. It is perhaps more feasible to suppose that the sculptures were intended to be symbolical of the departed heroes. In this case it seems not. improbable that during Simon's intercourse with the Romans he had seen and been struck with their war-galleys, no inapt symbols of the fierce and rapid career of Judas. How far such symbolical representation was likely to occur: to. a Jew of that period is another question..

(2.) The distance at which the "ships" were to be seen.. Here again, when the necessary distance of Modin from the sea Latr'in, fifteen miles; Kubab, thirteen; Lydda itself, ten and the limited size of the sculptures are considered, the doubt inevitably arises whether the Greek text of the book of Maccabees accurately represents the original. De Saulcy (L'Art Judaique, page 377) ingeniously suggests that the true meaning is, not that the sculptures could be discerned from the vessels in the Mediterranean. but that they were worthy to be inspected by those who were sailors by profession. Hitzig (Gesch. des Volkes. Israels, page 449) insists upon it (1869) that Modin is recognised in the modern little village el-Burjh (comp. Robinson, 3:272), but the exact location is by recent excavations determined to be in el-Mediyeh, two and a quarter hours. east of Lydda (Quar. Statement of "Palestine Exploration Fund," 1870, page 245 sq.; 1874, page 58 sq.).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4]

mō´din ( Μωδέειν , Mōdéein , Μωδείν , Mōdeı́n , Μωδεείμ , Mōdeeı́m , and other forms; in the Talmud it is called מודעים , mōdhı̄‛ı̄m , and מודיעית , mōdhı̄‛ı̄th (Neubauer, Geographie du Talmud , 99)): This place owes its interest to the part it played in the history of the Maccabees. It was the ancestral home of their family (  1 Maccabees 2:17,70 ). Hither Mattathias, a priest of the sons of Joarib, retired when he had seen with a burning heart "the blasphemies that were committed in Judah and in Jerus" under the orders of Antiochus Epiphanes. But the king's officer followed him, and by offers of the king's friendship and great rewards sought to seduce the people into idolatry. This only fed the indignation of Mattathias, and when a Jew went forward to sacrifice, Mattathias slew him on the altar together with the king's officer. From such a step there could be no going back. Thus began the patriotic enterprise which, led by the old priest's heroic sons, was destined to make illustrious the closing days of the nation's life ( 1 Maccabees 2:1 ff; Ant. , VI, i, 2; Bj , I, i, 3). Mattathias, his wife and sons were all buried in Modin ( 1 Maccabees 2:70;  9:19;  13:25-30; Ant. , Xii , xi, 2; Xiii , vi, 6). Near Modin Judas pitched his camp, whence issuing by night with the watchword "Victory is God's," he and a chosen band of warriors overwhelmed the army of Antiochus Eupator ( 2 Maccabees 13:14 ). In Modin Judas and John, the sons of Simon, slept before the battle in which they defeated Cendebaeus ( 1 Maccabees 16:4 ).

Of the impressive monument erected by Simon over the tombs of his parents and brethren Stanley ( History of the Jewish Church , III, 318) gives the following account: "It was a square structure surrounded by colonnades of monolith pillars, of which the front and back were of white polished stone. Seven pyramids were erected by Simon on the summit, for the father and mother and four brothers who now lay there, with the seventh for himself when his time should come. On the faces of the monuments were bas-reliefs, representing the accouterments of sword and spear and shield 'for an eternal memorial' of their many battles. There were also sculptures of ships - no doubt to record their interest in that long seaboard of the Philistine coast, which they were the first to use for their country's good. A monument at once so Jewish in idea and so Gentilein execution was worthy of the combination of patriotic fervor and high philosophic enlargement of soul which raised the Maccabean heroes so high above their age." Guerin ( La Samarie , II, 401; Galilee , I, 47) thought he had discovered the remains of this monument at Khirbet el - Gharbāwi near Medyeh , in 1870. In this, however, he was mistaken, the remains being of Christian origin.

Various identifications have been proposed. Ṣōbā , about 6 miles West of Jerusalem, was for a time generally accepted. Robinson ( Br , III, 151 f) suggested Lāṭrūn . There is now a consensus of opinion in favor of el - Medyeh , a village to the East of Wâdy Mulaki , 13 miles West of Bethel. It occupies a strong position in the hills 6 miles East of Lydda, thus meeting the condition of Eusebius, Onomasticon , which places it near Lydda. The identification was suggested by Dr. Sandreczki of Jerusalem in 1869. From el - Medyeh itself the sea is not visible; but to the South rises a rocky height, er - Rās , which commands a wide view, including the plain and the sea. The latter   Isaiah 16 miles distant. If the monument of Simon stood on er - Rās , which from the rock cuttings seems not improbable, it would be seen very clearly by overlooking from the sea, especially toward sunset (  1 Maccabees 13:29 ). About 1/4 mile West of el - Medyeh are tombs known as Ḳubūr el - Yehūd , one bearing the name of Sheikh el - Gharbāwi , whose name attaches to the ruins. This is the tomb referred to above.