Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
GERAR . A place mentioned in Genesis 10:19 in the boundary of the Canaanite territory near Gaza, wheres Abraham sojourned and came in contact with a certain ‘Abimelech king of Gerar’ ( Genesis 20:1 ). A similar experience is recorded of Isaac ( Genesis 26:1 ), but the stories are evidently not independent. Gerar reappears only in 2 Chronicles 14:13-14 , in the description of the rout of the Ethiopians by Asa, in which Gerar was the limit of the pursuit. Eusebius makes Gerar 25 Roman miles S. of Eleutheropolis; hence it has been sought at Umm el-JerÃ¢r , 6 miles S. of Gaza. This, however, seems a comparatively modern site and name. Possibly there were two Gerars: the Abrahamic Gerar has also been identified with Wady JerÃ¢r , 13 miles W. S. W. from Kadesh. The problem, like that of the mention of Philistines in connexion with this place in the time of Abraham, has not yet been solved.
R. A. S. Macalister.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
Chief city of the Philistines in Abraham's and Isaac's time; now Khirbet el Gerar. The fertile region between the two deserts of Kadesh and Shut; resorted to therefore by Abraham and Isaac in time of famine. On the southern border of Canaan, near Gaza and Beersheba ( Genesis 10:19; Genesis 20:1; Genesis 26:1-26). Near the deep wady Jurf el Gerar, "the rapid of Gerar" ( 2 Chronicles 14:13-14.) The people were pastoral in the times of Abraham, but warlike, with a regular "chief captain of the army," Phichol (the "mouth of all," implying a commanding voice as commander-in-chief. Abimelech ("father of kings," implying an hereditary not an elective monarchy) was the common royal title (Psalm 34 title, compare the margin). Condor (Palestine Exploration, August, 1875) identifies it rather with Tel-Jema, an enormous mound covered with broken pottery, immediately S. of Khirbet el Gerar. The name, lost to this the proper site, lingers in the neighboring Khirbet el Gerar.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Gerar ( Gç'Rär ). Residence , or Water-Pots. A city and district in the south of Palestine, and near Gaza, Genesis 10:19; visited by Abraham, Genesis 20:1; by Isaac, Genesis 26:1; Asa pursued the defeated Ethiopians to it. 2 Chronicles 14:13.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
Ancient city on the south of Gaza in the possession of the Philistines. It was visited by both Abraham and Isaac. Genesis 10:19; Genesis 20:1,2; Genesis 26:1-26; 2 Chronicles 14:13,14 . Identified with ruins at Umm Jerrar , 31 25' N, 34 26' E .
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
An ancient town or place of the Philistines in the times of Abraham and Isaac, Genesis 10:19 20:1 26:1,6,17 . It lay not far from Gaza, in the south of Judah, but its exact site is now unknown. See 2 Chronicles 14:13,14 .
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Genesis 20:1 Genesis 26:1 Genesis 10:1 19:1 1 Chronicles 4:39-40 2 Chronicles 14:13-14
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Genesis 10:19 20:1,2 2 Chronicles 14:12-18 Genesis 26:12 Genesis 26:17
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
a royal city of the Philistines, situate not far from the angle where the south and west sides of Palestine meet.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Hebo Gerar', גְּרָר , according to Simonis a Lodging-Place, according to others from the Arabic Water-Pots, but more prob. with F Ü rst, a Region, as being the center of a distinct Philistine kingdom; Sept. and Josephus [ Τὰ ] Γέραρα ), a very ancient town and district on the southernmost borders of Palestine, in the country of the Philistines, and not far from Gaza. It was visited by Abraham after the destruction of Sodom ( Genesis 20:1), and by Isaac when there was a dearth in the rest of Canaan ( Genesis 26:1). The intercourse, differences, and alliances of the Hebrew fathers with the king and people of Gerar form a very curious and interesting portion of patriarchal history (Thomson, Land And Book, 2:350). (See Isaac). In Genesis the people are spoken of as Philistines; but their habits appear, in that early stage, more pastoral than they subsequently were. Yet they are even then warlike, since Ablmelech had "a captain of the host," who appears from his fixed title, "Phichol," like that of the king, "Abimelech," to be a permanent officer (comp. Genesis 21:32; Genesis 26:26; and Psalms 34, title). (See Abimelech). The local description, 21:1, "between Kadesh and Shun," is probably meant to indicate the limits within which these pastoral Philistines, whose chief seat was then Gerar, ranged, although it would by no means follow that their territory embraced all the interval between those cities. It must have trenched on the "south" or "south country" of later Palestine. From a comparison of 21:32 with 26:23, 26, Beersheba would seem to be just on the verge of this territory; and perhaps to be its limit towards the N.E. For its southern boundary, though very uncertain, none is more probable than the wadys El-Arish ("River of Egypt") and El-'Ain; south of which the neighboring "wilderness of Paran" (20:15; 21:22, 34) may probably be reckoned to begin. Isaac was most probably born in Gerar. The great crops which he subsequently raised attest the fertility of the soil, which, lying in the maritime plain, still contains some of the best ground in Palestine (21:2; 26:12). It was still an important place in later times, as we may gather from 1 Chronicles 14:13-14. According to the ancient accounts, Gerar lay in or near a valley ("the valley of Gerar," Genesis 26:17; comp. 1 Samuel 15:5), which appears to be no other than the great wady Sheriah (or one of the branches of it) that comes down from Beersheba; besides, we know that it was in the land of thee Philistines, and that it was not far from Beersheba when Isaac resided there ( Genesis 26:1; Genesis 26:20; Genesis 26:23; Genesis 26-33; comp. 20:1). The name continued to exist (perhaps as a matter of tradition) for several centuries after the Christian neia. Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. Gerar) place it twenty-five Roman miles southward from Eleuteropolis; and Sozomen (Hist. Eccles. 6:32; 9:17) reports that a large and celebrated monastery stood there, near a winter torrent. The abbot Silsanus resided there towards the end of the 4th century, and the name of Marcion, bishop of Gerar, appears among the signatures of the Council of Chalceadon in A.D. 451. In the Talmudical writings the district is termed Gerarki (Schwatz, Palestine, page 109). The name seems to have been afterwards lost, and Dr. Robinson (Researches, 1:279; 2:383) was unable to discover any traces of it is the locality; but he unnecessarily disparages the claims of wady El- Jerur, which runs into the wady El-Arish at Jebel el-Helal, to be regarded as a southern-most trace of the ancient kingdom (Jour. Sac. Lit. July 1860, pages 309-319). It is possible that the wells mentioned by him as lying in the shallow wady El-Kusaimeh, in the same neighborhood (1:280), may represent those digged by Abraham and reopened by Isaac ( Genesis 26:18-22). J. Rowlands, in traveling froes Gaza to Khulassah, came after 3 hours' march to a broad, deep wady, Jurf el-Gerar, a little below its junction with a branch-valley from wadey Sheriah. Near this junction are ruins called Khurbet el-Geaar (Williams, Holy City, 1845, App. pages 488- 492), which he identifies with Gerar. This account Van de Velde heard confirmed by the people of Gaza, with a slighbt modification (Narrative, 2:183). There are no ruins yet standing, but scattered stones which appear to have been once used in buildings; and in the absence of old wells, it would seem as if the ancient city bad been supplied fronc some spring. Stewart's suggestion of the ruins of El-Abdeh (Tent and Khan, page 207) is out of the question (Van de Velde, Memoir, page 314). In 1 Chronicles 4:39, the Sept. substitutes Gerar ( Γέραρα ) for Gedor (q.v.).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
gē´rar ( גּררר , gerār , "circle," "region"; Γεραρά , Gerará ): A town in the Philistine plain South of Gaza ( Genesis 10:19 ), where both Abraham and Isaac ' sojourned for a time, and where they came into contact with Abimelech, king of Gerar (Gen 20 and 26, passim ). The place has not been fully identified, but the site is probably in one of the branches of Wady Sheri‛a , at a place called Um Jerrâr , near the coast Southwest of Gaza and 9 miles from it ( SWP , III, 389-90). The site answers fairly well to the statements of Eusebius and Jerome, Eusebius, Onomasticon , that it was 25 (Roman) miles South of Eleutheropolis ( Beit Jibrı̂n ). It is actually 30 English miles, but distances were not very accurately determined in early times. Gerar was known in the first 5 centuries ad, when it was the seat of a bishopric, and its bishop, Marcian, attended the Council of Chalcedon 451 ad, It was also the seat of a monastery.
The statements in Gen indicate that Gerar belonged to the Philistines, and we are led to infer that Abimelech was king of that people, but it is quite certain that they did not occupy this region until after the time of Abraham, in fact only a short time before the Exodus. It is probable, however, that the writer of Gen would refer to the country as it was known in his day. The town certainly existed in the Philistine period, for it is mentioned in connection with Asa, who defeated the Ethiopian host under Zerar and pursued them in their flight unto Gerār ( 2 Chronicles 14:13 ). Besides the locality of Um Jerrâr , another place in the vicinity known as Jurf el-Jerrar has been thought by some to be the site of Gerar. Jerrar in Arabic means "jars," and it is doubtful whether it represents the Hebrew Gerār ̌ . Jurf means usually "steep declivity," or "precipice," and at the place mentioned many fragments of pottery were found, but this does not necessarily indicate the site of an ancient town. The site of Gerār is discussed in Thomson's LB , I, 196-99 (ed. 1882); Robinson's BR , II, 43-44; PEFS , 1871, 84; 1875, 162-64; 1881, 38.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Ge´rar, a town and district on the southernmost borders of Palestine, in the country of the Philistines, and not far from Gaza. It was visited by Abraham after the destruction of Sodom , and by Isaac when there was a dearth in the rest of Canaan . The incidents of their sojourn show that the district was very fertile. It was the seat of the first Philistine kingdom we read of, and gave name to it. The intercourse, differences, and alliances of the Hebrew fathers with the king and people of Gerar form a very curious and interesting portion of patriarchal history. It was still an important place in later times, as we may gather from . According to the ancient accounts Gerar lay in or near a valley, which appears to be no other than the great. Wady Sheriah (or one of the branches of it), that comes down from Beersheba; besides we know that it was in the land of the Philistines, and that it was not far from Beersheba when Isaac resided there (;;; Genesis 26-33; comp. 20:1). The name continued to exist (perhaps as a matter of tradition) for several centuries after the Christian era, but no traces of it can now be found.
- ↑ Gerar from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- ↑ Gerar from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Gerar from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- ↑ Gerar from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Gerar from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Gerar from Holman Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Gerar from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Gerar from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- ↑ Gerar from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- ↑ Gerar from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- ↑ Gerar from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature