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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

MOREH , the Hiphil participle from yârâh , means ‘teacher’ or ‘one who gives direction’ (  2 Kings 17:28 ,   Isaiah 30:20 etc.), and so is applied to a prophet (  Isaiah 9:15 ). Sitting in the shelter of a sacred tree, the priest or seer delivered his direction or’ oracles.’ 1. The terebinth (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] , wrongly, ‘plain’) of Moreh Genesis 12:6 ) may have been so named from the theophany vouchsafed to Abraham there. The same spot may be indicated by the terebinths of Moreh (  Deuteronomy 11:30 ), mentioned as indicating the position of Ebal and Gerizim. From their conjunction with Gilgal it has been suggested that the gilgal (‘stone circle’) and the terebinths were parts of the same sanctuary. There may be a reference to this place in   Genesis 35:4 , in   Joshua 24:26 , possibly also in   Judges 9:6 . Gilgal (  Deuteronomy 11:30 ) may be Khirbet Juleijel , fully 1 1 / 2 mile E. of Jacob’s Well. But this would not fix with certainty the position of the sanctuary of the terebinth.

2. The hill of Moreh (  Judges 7:1 ) seems to have lain to the N. of the position occupied by Gideon, in the direction of the camp of the Midianites. Taking the narrative as it stands, the Midianites ‘pitched in the valley of Jezreel’ (  Judges 6:33 ), while Gideon held the lower spurs of Gilboa towards Jezreel. ‘The spring of Harod’ is with some probability identified with ‘Ain Jalûd . The conspicuous hill on the other side of the vale, Jebel ed-Duhy , popularly now called Little Hermon, round the W. flanks of which, and northward in the plain, the Midianites would spread, may be almost certainly identified with the Hill of Moreh. The article with Moreh suggests the presence of a sanctuary on the hill. This may be represented by the modern shrine of Neby Duhy . Questions have been raised by the condition of the Heb. text, but no more probable identification has been suggested. Cf. Moreh.

W. Ewing.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Mo'reh. (Teacher).

1. The plain or plains, (or, as it should rather be rendered, the oak or oaks), of Moreh. The oak of Moreh was the first recorded halting-place of Abram, after his entrance into the land of Canaan.  Genesis 12:6. It was at the "place of Shechem,"  Genesis 12:6, close to the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim.  Deuteronomy 11:30.

2. The hill of Moreh, at the foot of which the Midianites and Amalekites were encamped, before Gideon's attack upon them.  Judges 7:1. It lay in the valley of Jezreel, rather on the north side of the valley, and north also of the eminence on which Gideon's little band of heroes was clustered.

These conditions are most accurately fulfilled, if we assume Jebel Ed-Duhy , the "Little Hermon" of the modern travellers, 1815 feet above the Mediterranean, to be Moreh, the Ain-Jalood to be the spring of Harod, and Gideon's position to have been on the northeast slope of Jebel Fukua , (Mount Gilboa), between the village of Nuris , and the last-mentioned spring.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

1. "The plains," rather "the oaks" or "terebinths" of Moreh. Abram's first halting place in Canaan, near Shechem and Ebal and Gerizim mountains ( Genesis 12:6); here he erected his first altar. "Morthia," on ancient coins, a title of Shechem, preserves the name Moreh. Under the same "oak" Jacob hid his household's idols ( Genesis 35:4). Here Joshua set up a great stone by the sanctuary of Jehovah ( Joshua 24:26, compare  Deuteronomy 11:30).

2. THE Hill Of Moreh At its foot Midian and Amalek encamped before Gideon's attack ( Judges 6:33;  Judges 7:1). On the northern side of the valley of Jezreel, and of the height where Gideon's 300 were; jebel ed Duhy, "little Hermon," answers to Moreh. Two or three miles intervene (enough for Midian's and Amalek's hosts) between Moreh and ain Jalood, the spring of "Harod" at the foot of Gideon's hill, jebel Fukua (Gilboa).

Easton's Bible Dictionary [4]

  • A Canaanite probably who inhabited the district south of Shechem, between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, and gave his name to the "plain" there ( Genesis 12:6 ). Here at this "plain," or rather (RSV) "oak," of Moreh, Abraham built his first altar in the land of Palestine; and here the Lord appeared unto him. He afterwards left this plain and moved southward, and pitched his tent between Bethel on the west and Hai on the east ( Genesis 12:7,8 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Moreh'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

     Genesis 12:6-7 Genesis 35:4

    At Moreh God pronounced the blessing and curse on Israel regarding their keeping the commandments ( Deuteronomy 11:26-30 ). Joshua set up a memorial stone under the oak as a reminder of the covenant made between God and the people ( Joshua 24:26 ).

    2. Hill in tribal territory of Issachar where Gideon reduced his troops by testing the way they drank water ( Judges 7:1 ). Modern Nebi Dachi opposite Mount Gilboa.

    People's Dictionary of the Bible [6]

    Moreh ( Mô'Reh ). 1. The halting place of Abram after his entrance into the land of Canaan.  Genesis 12:6. It was near Shechem,  Genesis 12:1-20;  Genesis 6:1-22, and the mountains Ebal and Gerizim.  Deuteronomy 11:30. 2. The hill of Moreh, where the Midianites and Amalekites were encamped before Gideon's attack upon them.  Judges 7:1. It lay in the valley of Jezreel, on the north side.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

    (Heb. Moreh', מוֹרֶה , an Archer, as in  1 Samuel 31:3, etc., or Teaching, as in  Isaiah 9:14), an old title that appears in the designation of two localities of central Palestine.

    1. Apparently a Canaanite (perhaps a chief, like Mamre), B.C. 2088, owning or inhabiting the region south of Shechem, from whom the grove ( אֵלוֹן , Oak [also in the plur.], Auth.Vers. "plain") of Moreh derived its name as early as the time of Abraham, who made this his first tarrying- place in the land ( Genesis 12:6, where the Sept. has '''''Ἡ''''' '''''Δ''''' '''''Ρ''''' '''''Ὺ''''' '''''Σ''''' '''''Ἡ''''' '''''Ὑ''''' '''''Ψ''''' Ληλή ,Vulg. convallis illustris), a designation that continued till the exode ( Deuteronomy 11:30, Sept. '''''Ἡ''''' '''''Δ''''' '''''Ρ''''' '''''Ὺ''''' '''''Σ''''' '''''Ἡ''''' '''''Ὑ''''' '''''Ψ''''' Ηλή ,Vulg. Vallis Tendens Et Intrans Procul) "the first of that long succession of sacred and venerable trees which dignified the chief places of Palestine, and formed not the least interesting link in the chain which so indissolubly united the land to the history of the nation. See OAK. Here Jehovah 'appeared' to Abraham, who here built the first of the series of altars (it may be roughly said that Abraham built altars, Isaac dug wells, Jacob erected stones) which marked the various spots of his residence in the Promised Land, and dedicated it 'to Jehovah, who appeared נַרְאֶה , again, as if a play upon the name of the place) unto him' ( Genesis 12:7). It was at the 'place of Shechem' ( Genesis 12:6), close to ( אֵצֶל ) the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim ( Deuteronomy 11:30), where the Samar.

    Cod. adds 'over against Shechem.'  Sirach 1:26 perhaps contains a play on the name Moreh that foolish people ( Λαὸς Μωρός ) who dwell in Sichem.' If the pun existed in the Hebrew text, it may have been between Sichem and Sichor (drunken). A trace of this ancient name, curiously reappearing after many centuries, is probably to be found in Morthia, which is given on some ancient coins as one of the titles of Neapolis, i.e., Shechem, and by Pliny and Josephus as Mamortha or Mabortha (Reland, Diss. 3: § 8). The latter states (War, 4:8, 1) that it was the name by which the place was called by the country people' ( Ἐπιχώριοι ), who thus kept alive the ancient appellation, just as the peasants of Hebron did that of Kirjath-arba down to the date of Sir John Mande-ille's visit." From the notices given, the grove of Moreh appears to have been a forest occupying the ridge afterwards known as the mountains of Ephraim. (The treatise of Chr. J. Grabener, De Allon Moreh, Lips. 1737, is valueless.)

    2. An eminence (hill of Moreh, גַּבַעִת הִמּוֹרֵה , i.e., Teacher'S Hill; Sept. Βουνὸς Τοῦ Ἀμορέ v.r. Γαβαωθαμοραί ,Vulg. Collis Excelsus) in the valley of Jezreel, on the north side of the well of Harod, near which the Midianitish host was encamped when attacked by Gideon ( Judges 7:1); probably identical with that known as Little Hermon, the modern Jebel Ed- Duhy (see Bertheau, Comment. ad loc.), or, rather, one of the lower southern spurs of this mountain (where ruins are still extant), since it is itself too lofty (1839 feet, Van de Velde, Memoir, page 178) for a military encampment. It is a bare gray ridge parallel to Mount Gilboa on the north, and between them lay the battle-field. No doubt although the fact is not mentioned the enemy kept near the foot of Mount Moreh, for the sake of some spring or springs which issued from its base, as the AinCharod did from that on which Gideon was planted. (See Harod).

    The hostile camp probably extended from the village of Shunem on the west down to the strong city of Bethshan on the east, for we are told that "the Midianites and the Amalekites, and all the children of the east, lay along the valley like grasshoppers for multitude" ( Judges 7:12). The mountain is the site not only of Shunem, but also of Endor and Nain (see Porter, Handbook, page 357 sq.). Whether this place has any connection with the preceding is doubtful; and it is still more unlikely that either is related to Moriah, as thought by Stanley (Sin. and Pal. pages 141, 232). Van de Velde locates the battle too far south (Syr. and Pal. 2:341). (See Gideon).