From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

EMMAUS ( Ἐμμαούς).—The question of Emmaus would seem at first sight to be simple, and the identification of this place easy. Indeed, Emmaus not being mentioned more than once in the Gospels, there are no different texts to be harmonized. We read in  Luke 24:13 that Emmaus was a village 60 furlongs from Jerusalem, and that after having arrived there at the close of the day, and having sat with Jesus at a meal, the two disciples were able to return the same evening to Jerusalem and there find the Apostles still assembled together. The only parallel passage in Mk. ( Mark 16:12), part of the unauthentic close of the Second Gospel, does not mention the name of the locality, and speaks only of an appearance to two disciples ‘as they walked on their way into the country’ (δυσὶν … περιπατοῦσιν … πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν). On the other hand, Josephus says ( BJ vii. vi. 6) that Vespasian established a colony of 800 Roman veterans on the lands which he gave them at a distance of 60 ( v.l. 30) furlongs from Jerusalem, at a place called Emmaus. Now, there still actually exists to the west of Jerusalem, on the road which leads to Jaffa, a place named Kolonieh . It is true that the distance is less than 60 furlongs: authors estimate it sometimes at 45, but more frequently at only 35, furlongs. It might be held, however, that the territory of the colony extended over an area of several miles, and that it might, according to circumstances, be thus considered as being distant either 30 or 60 furlongs from the capital. Under these conditions nothing would seem to oppose our placing, on the grounds indicated above, the Emmaus of St. Luke, identified with that of Josephus, at Kolonieh .

It must, however, be remarked that the different reading noted in the passage from Josephus (60 or 30) creates some uncertainty. It must also be noted that, according to some authors, the name Kolonieh is not to be explained by the Latin colonia at all, but by the name Kulon (Κουλόν), mentioned in  Joshua 15:59 (LXX Septuagint) as that of a town of Judah situated in the hill country. These difficulties, however, would not be altogether insurmountable if they were the only ones; a further and graver complication arises from the following facts.

In 1 Mac. an Emmaus is spoken of more than once as the scene of various occurrences: Judas Maccabaeus vanquished Gorgias there in b.c. 166–167 ( 1 Maccabees 3:40;  1 Maccabees 3:57;  1 Maccabees 4:3-25; cf. Josephus Ant. xii. vii. 4); and in b.c. 160 Bacchides fortified it and placed a garrison in it ( 1 Maccabees 9:50 f.; cf. Josephus Ant. xiii. i. 3). The position of this place is easy to determine; it must have been situated between Jerusalem and Jaffa, nearer the latter, at the spot where the slopes of the mountainous region descend towards the great maritime plain. In this quarter, indeed, is found a site which has left important ruins, and which is mentioned several times in the course of the first centuries of the Christian era under the name Emmaus. From the 3rd cent. onwards it was called Nicopolis, without the remembrance of the ancient Semitic name being lost; and, as is the case with most of those places with two names, under the Arab domination it resumed its earlier name and was called ‘ Amwâs , the appellation it still bears. Now, from the earliest times of ecclesiastical history, the opinion gained ground that this Emmaus-Nicopolis was the Emmaus of St. Luke. Eusebius, no doubt reflecting the views of Origen, and after him Jerome, maintained this identity ( OS 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] 257. 21, 121. 6); and after them this view of the case held sway for a long time in the Church. If it is asked how this conclusion could be formed, seeing that Emmaus-Nicopolis is situated at a distance from Jerusalem which is estimated (according to the particular route adopted) at 180, 175, 170, or 166 furlongs, almost thrice the 60 furlongs mentioned above, the reply is promptly given: א and some other MSS [Note: SS Manuscripts.] read ‘160’ instead of ‘60.’ The tendency to identify Emmaus-Nicopolis and the Emmaus of St. Luke became so strong, so irresistible, that it led to a curious result: in the Middle Ages, at the time of the Crusaders and afterwards, the memory of Emmaus-Nicopolis having been lost, the Emmaus of St. Luke was looked for nearer Jerusalem, and when it was believed that it had been found, not only the name of Emmaus, but also that of Nicopolis, was given to it.

From the 13th cent. (1280) or perhaps from the last years of the 11th (1099, see ZDP V [Note: DPV Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins.] xvi. p. 300), a tradition arose which for more clearness may be called the Franciscan tradition, and which places the Emmaus of St. Luke at el-Kubeibeh , to the N.W. of Kolonieh , at some distance to the north of the road from Jerusalem to Jaffa, and about 60 (more exactly 62–64) furlongs from the capital. Still, indeed, all the efforts of the champions of the Franciscan theory are directed towards establishing that the Emmaus of the Evangelist is el-Kubeibeh . Interesting ruins have been discovered there: those of a church dating from the time of the Crusades, and in the interior of its eneeinte the remains of a more ancient structure, which might be those of a Byzantine church, but which the defenders of the Franciscan tradition consider to be the very house of Cleopas, around which the sanctuary had been built.

The first question to clear up is that of the text. Now several authors, and in particular P. Lagrange ( Rev. Bibl . 1896, pp. 87–92), have, in the opinion of the present writer, shown irrefutably that the original reading must have been ‘60 furlongs,’ and that ‘160’ is a correction meant to enable the Emmaus of St. Luke to be identified with that of 1 Maccabees. ‘The 160 furlongs,’ Lagrange concludes admirably (p. 89), ‘represent neither the ancient tradition, nor the universal tradition, nor the unconscious tradition. This reading is a critical one, imposed by the authority of a master, very probably Origen, and collides almost everywhere with the firmly assured tradition of the Churches. To judge from the manuscripts, the question is settled: we must read “60 furlongs.” ’

We must remark, further, that Emmaus-Nicopolis was a town before the Christian era and long beyond (πόλις, Josephus BJ ii. xx. 4), whereas the Evangelist speaks of a village (κώμη). Even after Emmaus-Nicopolis had been destroyed by the Roman soldiers of Varus (a.d. 4), it was not on that account a village; a ruined town is not a village. It was even the chief town of a toparchy (Josephus BJ iii. iii. 5; Plin. HN v. 14). The remains of a church have been found there, which date not merely from the Crusades, but very probably from the Byzantine epoch; it is in vain that a recent author (Barnabé), who favours el-Kubeibeh , has tried to prove that this church was really nothing but a hot-baths establishment. But it is also vain to seek to infer from the presence of a church, even an ancient one, that we have to do with the Emmaus of St. Luke.

Another very strong argument against Emmaus-Nicopolis is its excessive distance. It is worth noting what efforts its partisans make to show that the two disciples could have returned the same evening to Jerusalem, walking for this purpose five or six hours. One of the most convinced defenders of this theory, Schiffers, does not hesitate to affirm that they could have set out again from Emmaus as early as 3 o’clock in the afternoon and arrived at Jerusalem at 9 o’clock ( Rev. Bibl . 1894, pp. 26–40; see also his book Amwâs, das Emmaus des heil. Lukas , 1890). In that case it must be held that the words ‘it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent’ ( Luke 24:29), may have been spoken immediately after noon.

The failure of the identification of Emmaus-Nicopolis with the Emmaus of St. Luke proves nothing in favour of el-Kubeibeh , which can produce only a late tradition in its favour. The argument which it has been sought to draw from the name el-Kubeibeh as an alleged corruption of Nicopolis (!) refutes itself. But the probabilities indicated at the opening of this article in favour of Kolonieh are greatly weakened by the undisputed fact that the ecclesiastical tradition of the first centuries pronounces in favour of ‘Amwâs-Nicopolis; this fact proves that all recollection of an Emmaus situated nearer to Jerusalem had become effaced in the 3rd century. Under these circumstances the most elementary duty is to declare the problem unsolved, and incapable of solution under the present conditions and with the data which we possess.

Nor does the etymology of the name furnish any precise indication. We do not know to what Hebrew or Aramaic term Emmaus [we find also the forms Ammaus, Ammaum, Emmaum  ; Ἀμμαούς, Ἀμμαούμ, Ἐμμαούμ] corresponds. A vain attempt has been made to connect it with the root hamam , and to prove thereby that baths existed at this spot. An argument in favour of this has been based on the fact that the baths situated near Tiberias were called by the same name (cf.  Joshua 19:35 Hammath ), but it is now known that the correct reading is Ammathus (Ἀμμαθούς; cf. ZDP V [Note: DPV Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins.] xiii. pp. 194–198). It is on the frail basis of this hypothetical derivation that Mrs. Finn grounds her theory that Emmaus = Urtas , to the south of Bethlehem, near Solomon’s Pools, 60 furlongs from Jerusalem (see PEFS t [Note: EFSt Quarterly Statement of the same.] , 1883, pp. 53–64). It is by an equally dubious etymological process that Colonel Conder has been led to seek for Emmaus in Khamasa , to the S.W. of Jerusalem, at a distance, moreover, not of 60, but of 80–90 furlongs. We may also note the attempt to place the Emmaus of St. Luke at Abu-Ghosh (Kiriet-el-’Enâb). From the point of view of distance this would be sufficiently exact, but there is nothing to lead us to conclude in favour of this particular spot rather than any other within the same circuit.

Lastly, we recall the fact that the Talmud speaks of Kolonieh as being also called Mosa or ham-Mosa, a name which we may connect with the הַמצָה of  Joshua 18:26 (LXX Septuagint: ἈΜΩΣά, but also ἈΜΩΚή). Near Kolonieh there exists to-day a place called Beit-Mizzeh , which recalls Mosa.

Literature.— PEFS t [Note: EFSt Quarterly Statement of the same.] , 1874, pp. 149, 160, 162–164, 1876, pp. 172–175, 1879, pp. 105–107, 1881, pp. 46, 237 f., 274, 1882, pp. 24–37, 1883, pp. 53–64, 1884, pp. 83–85, 1885, pp. 116–121, 1886, p. 17, 1901, pp. 165–167, 210; PE F [Note: EF Palestine Exploration Fund.] Memoirs , iii. 36–42, 130 f.; ZDP V [Note: DPV Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins.] xiii. 194–198. xvi. 298–300, xix. 222, xxv. 195–203; MNDP V [Note: NDPV Mittheilungen n. Nachrichten d. deutschen Pal. Vereins.] , 1901, 14 f.; Rev. Bibl . 1892, pp. 80–99, 101–105, 645–649, 1893, pp. 26–40, 223–227, 1894, p. 137, 1896, pp. 87–92, 1903, pp. 457–467, 571–599; Reland, Pal . 427, 758; Robinson, BR P [Note: RP Biblical Researches in Palestine.] iii. 146–151, 158; Tobler, Top. von Jerusalem , ii. 538–545, 752 f.; Schwarz, Das heil. Land , 98; Guérin, Judée , i. 257–262, 293–308, 348–361; Thomson, The Land and the Book , i. 116, 123 ff., 132, ii. 59; Sepp, Jerusalem und das heil. Land 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] , i. 54 ff., Neue Entdeekungen , ii. 228–253, 260–263; G. A. Smith, HGH L [Note: GHL Historical Geog. of Holy Land.] , 214; Buhl, GA P [Note: AP Geographic des alten Palästina.] 186; Conder, Tent Work , 8, 13, 140; Furrer, Wanderungen 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] , 161–169; Le Camus, Pays Bibliques , i. 185–194, 204–207; Sanday, Sacred Sites , 29–31, 92; Zschokke, Das neutest. Emmaus , 1865; Guillemot, Emmaus-Nieopolis , 1886; Buselli, L’Emmaus evangelico , 1885–1886; Domenichelli, L’Emmaus della Palestina , 1889, Ultime discussioni , 1898; Schiffers, Amwas, das Emmaus des heil. Lukas , 1890; Rückert, ‘Amwas, was es ist und was es nicht ist’ in Theol. Qschrift , 1892; Barnabé, Deux questions d’archéologie palestinienne , 1892; A. Duc, Die Emmaus-Frage , 1905; Merx, Die Evv. des Markus und Lukas , 1905, p. 523 f.; see also the Bible Dictionaries, s.v.  ; the Comm. on St. Luke, ad loc. , and the Lives of Christ.

Lucien Gautier.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Emmaus ( Em-Mâ'Us or Ĕm'Ma-Ŭs ), Hot Springs. A village near Jerusalem, where two disciples entertained Jesus after his resurrection.  Luke 24:13. Its site has been disputed; among the places suggested are: 1. ʾAmwâs, on the plain of Philistia, 22 miles from Jerusalem and 10 miles from Lydda. 2. Kuryet El ʾEnab, by Robinson, 3 hours from Jerusalem, on the road to Jaffa. 3. Kŭlônieh, 2 leagues or 4½ miles west of Jerusalem. 4 Urtâs, a poor village about 2 miles southwest of Bethlehem. 5. In the fourteenth century Emmaus was placed at Kubeibeh, a little over 7 miles northwest of Jerusalem.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

EMMAUS . 1. A village sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, where the risen Christ made Himself known to two disciples (  Luke 24:13 ). There is no clue to the position of this place, and it has been sought in Kubeibeh , N.W. of the city; in Kuloniyeh , W. of it; in Khamasah to the S.W.; and in ‘Urtas to the S. The traditional site is Emmaus Nicopolis ( ‘Amwas ), W. of Jerusalem, which, however, is much too far 20 miles from the city.

2. Emmaus Nicopolis, now ‘Amwas , on the main Jerusalem-Jaffa road, the scene of the defeat of Gorgias by Judas ( 1Ma 3:40; 1Ma 3:57; 1Ma 4:3-27 ), held and fortified by Bacchides ( 1Ma 9:50 ).

R. A. S. Macalister.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]

The village (60 stadia or furlongs, i.e. seven and a half miles, from Jerusalem) to which two disciples were walking on the day of Jesus' resurrection when He joined them unrecognized. The Greek Church place it at Kuriet el Enab (Abu Ghosh). The old name now reappears in Ainwas. But Conder (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, October, 1876, p. 173) identifies it with Khamasa (a form of the Hebrew Hammath), a ruin close to the modern village wady Fukin, about eight miles from Jerusalem, near the Roman road from Jerusalem, passing Solomon's pools, to Beit Jibrin.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [5]

Em'ma-us or Emma'us. (Warm Baths). The village to which the two disciples were going when our Lord appeared to them on the way, on the day of his resurrection.  Luke 24:13. Luke makes its distance from Jerusalem, Sixty Stadia , (Authorized Version, "threescore furlongs"), or about 7 1/2 miles; and Josephus mentions, "a village called Emmaus," at the same distance. The site of Emmaus remains yet to be identified.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

The village where our Lord revealed himself to two of his disciples, on the afternoon of his resurrection-day. It lay about seven and a half miles, sixty furlongs, northwest from Jerusalem,  Luke 24:13 -  33 . Some manuscripts, however, read one hundred and sixty furlongs, instead of sixty; and Eusebius and Jerome locate Emmaus at the ancient Nicopolis, twenty miles west-north-west of Jerusalem, where a village called Amwas still exists. Dr. Robinson inclines to this location.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

A village about threescore furlongs from Jerusalem, that is, about 7 miles, whither the two disciples were 'travelling on the day of the resurrection, to whom the Lord made Himself known.  Luke 24:13 . Some identify it with ruins at Khamaseh, about 8 miles S.W. of Jerusalem; others with el Kubeibeh, about 7½ miles N.W. of Jerusalem: but there are no data for its identification.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [8]

A village sixty furlongs (that is seven miles and a half,) north of Jerusalem, rendered memorable in being the place to which the two disciples walked on the day of our Lord's resurrection, and where he made himself known unto them, in breaking of bread, and blessing it. (See  Luke 24:13-32)

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [9]

a village about eight miles northwest of Jerusalem; on the road to which two of the disciples were travelling in sorrow and disappointment after the resurrection, when our Lord appeared to them, and held that memorable conversation with them which is recorded by St. Luke , 24.

Holman Bible Dictionary [10]

 Luke 24:13Resurrection

Easton's Bible Dictionary [11]

 Luke 24:13

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

ē̇ - mā´us , em´ā̇ - us ( Ἐμμαούς , Emmaoús , derivation uncertain, but probably from חמּת , ḥammath , "a hot spring"): Josephus ( BJ , IV, i, 3) says: "Now Emmaus, if it be interpreted, may be rendered 'a warm bath' for therein is a spring of warm water useful for healing." Here he is referring to the hot springs near Tiberias. Possibly the same Greek name may not always have been derived from the same Hebrew, and as Cheyne suggests (2) may have come from ha - mōcāh (see below).

1. Emmaus of the Apocrypha

A place where Judas Maccabeus defeated Gorgias (1 Macc 4); it was "in the plain" (1 Macc 3:40); it was subsequently fortified by Bacchides (1 Macc 9:50). It is frequently mentioned by Josephus ( Ant. , Xiv , xi, 2; BJ , I, xi, 2; II, v, 1; xx, 4; IV, viii, 1; V, i, 6), and also in the Talmud and Midrash. It is now the modern mud-village of ‛Amwas , 20 miles along, and a little North of, the main road from Jerusalem to Jaffa. In the 3rd century it was called Nicopolis and was an episcopal see; in early Christian times it was famous for a spring of reputed healing qualities.

2. Emmaus of Luke

The Emmaus of  Luke 24:13 , a village 60 furlongs (stadia) from Jerusalem. Early Christian tradition appears to have identified it with (1) and hence, to harmonize the distance, some manuscripts have 160 furlongs. Eusebius and Jerome place this Emmaus at ‛Aṃwas  ; but in the first place (1) was a city and not a village ( kṓmē ), and secondly (2) The distance, 40 miles there and back, is an almost impossible one for the narrative. In Crusading times this difficulty appears to have been realized, and on what grounds is not known, Kubeibeh at just over 60 stadia, Northwest of Jerusalem, was selected as the site of Emmaus. There a fine church was built which has in recent years been rebuilt and today a Franciscan hospice and school, attached to the church, and a newer German Roman Catholic hospice, combine with the considerable picturesqueness of the place itself to fortify the tradition.

A much more probable site is Ḳuloniyeh , a village about 35 stadia from Jerusalem, on the road to Jaffa. Josephus narrates ( BJ , VII, vi, 6) that Vespasian "assigned a place for 800 men only whom he had dismissed from his army which he gave them for their habitation; it is called Emmaus and is distant from Jerusalem 60 furlongs." This is almost certainly the Emmaus of Luke; it is highly probable that the name ḳuloniyeh is derived from the fact of its being this Colonia . Close to this place is a ruin known as Bēt Mizza , which is probably the Mozah (המּצה , ha - mōcāh ) of  Joshua 18:26 which in the Talmud ( Ṣukk .  Joshua 4:5 ) is also described as a colonia . Today it is a "colony" of Jews who have revived and always use the old name Mōcāh for their settlement.

Other suggestions for this Emmaus are ( a ) el Khamsa , considerably over 60 stadia Southwest of Jerusalem (Conder); ( b ) Koriet el ‛enab , some 10 stadia farther along the Jerus-Jaffa road than Ḳuloniyeh ( LB , etc.); and ( c ) ‛Artas , S. of Bethlehem, where remains of Roman baths have been found (Mrs. Finn). In not one of the places suggested are there any hot springs.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

Emma´us (hot baths), a village 60 stadia, or 7½ miles, from Jerusalem, noted for our Lord's interview with two disciples on the day of his resurrection . The same place is mentioned by Josephus (De Bell. Jud. vii. 6. 6), and placed at the same distance from Jerusalem, in stating that Vespasian left 800 soldiers in Judea, to whom he gave the village of Emmaus. The site is not now known. The other Emmaus, also called Nicopolis, is identified with Luisun, about midway between Jerusalem and Ramleh. There was another Emmaus, near Tiberias, on the lake of the same name, where the hot baths which gave name to it are still frequented, and have a temperature of 130° Fahrenheit. Neither of these places is named in Scripture.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Emmaus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/e/emmaus.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.