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Goshen
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Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1) A district in Egypt where Jacob and his family settled, and in which they remained till the Exodus ( Genesis 45:10 ; 46:28 , 46:29 , 46:31 , etc.). It is called "the land of Goshen" ( Genesis 47:27 ), and also simply "Goshen" ( Genesis 46:28 ), and "the land of Rameses" ( Genesis 47:11 ; Exodus 12:37 ), for the towns Pithom and Rameses lay within its borders; also Zoan or Tanis ( Psalms 78:12 ). It lay on the east of the Nile, and apparently not far from the royal residence. It was "the best of the land" ( Genesis 47:6 , 47:11 ), but is now a desert. It is first mentioned in Joseph's message to his father. It has been identified with the modern Wady Tumilat, lying between the eastern part of the Delta and the west border of Palestine. It was a pastoral district, where some of the king's cattle were kept ( Genesis 47:6 ). The inhabitants were not exclusively Israelites ( Exodus 3:22 ; 11:2 ; 12:35 , 12:36 ).

(2) A district in Palestine ( Joshua 10:41 ; 11:16 ). It was a part of the maritime plain of Judah, and lay between Gaza and Gibeon.

(3) A town in the mountains of Judah ( Joshua 15:51 ).



Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
approaching; drawing near



Smith's Bible Dictionary
(1) The name of a part of Egypt where the Israelites dwelt during the whole period of their sojourn in that country. It was probably situated on the eastern border of the Nile, extending from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. It contained the treasure-cities of Rameses and Pittim. It was a pasture land, especially suited to a shepherd people, and sufficient for the Israelites, who there prospered, and were separate from the main body of the Egyptians.

(2) A district in southern Palestine conquered by Joshua. ( Joshua 10:41 ) It lay between Gaza and Gibeon.

(3) A town in the mountains of Judah, probably in a part of the country of Goshen.



International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) go'-shen (goshen; Gesem):

go'-shen (goshen):

1. Meaning of Name:
The region where the Hebrews dwelt in Egypt. If the Septuagint reading Gesem be correct, the word, which in its Hebrew form has no known meaning, may mean "cultivated"--comparing the Arabic root jashima, "to labor." Egyptologists have suggested a connection with the Egyptian word qas, meaning "inundated land" because Goshen was apparently the same region, called by the Greeks the "Arabian nome," which had its capital at Phakousa representing the Egyptian Pa-qas (Brugsch, Geog., I, 298), the name of a town, with the determinative for "pouring forth." Van der Hardt, indeed, more than a century ago (see Sayce, Higher Criticism, 235), supposed the two words to be connected. Dr. Naville in 1887 found the word as denoting the vicinity of Pi-sopt (now Saft el Henneh), 6 miles East of Zagazig--in the form Q-s-m. He concludes that this was the site of Phakousa, but the latter is usually placed at Tell el Faqus, about 15 miles South of ZOAN (which see), and this appears to be the situation of the "City of Arabia" which Silvia, about 385 AD, identifies with Gesse or Goshen; for she reached it in her journey from Heroopolis, through Goshen to Tathnis or Taphnis (Daphnai), and to Pelusium.

2. Situation:
It is generally agreed that Goshen was the region East of the Bubastic branch of the Nile; and in Psalms 78:12 , 43 , it seems to be clearly identified with the "field (or pastoral plain) of Zoan," which was probably also the "land of Rameses" mentioned (Genesis 47:11) as possessed by Jacob's family (see RAAMSES; ZOAN). Where first mentioned (Genesis 45:10), Goshen is promised by Joseph to Jacob as a land fit for flocks, and the Septuagint here reads, "Gesem of Arabia," probably referring to the Arabian nome which took its name from the "desert" which defended the East border of Egypt. In the second notice (Genesis 46:28), the boundary of the land of Goshen, where Joseph met his father, is called in the Septuagint Heroo(n)-polis, and also (Genesis 46:28) "the land of Ramesse(s)"; so that in the 3rd century BC Goshen seems to have been identified with the whole region of the Arabian nome, as far South as Heroopolis which (see PITHOM) lay in Wady Tumeilat. Goshen included pastoral lands (Genesis 46:34 ; 47:1 , 4 , 6 , 27 ; 50:8) and was still inhabited by the Hebrews at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 8:22 ; 9:26), after which it is unnoticed in the Old Testament. The name, however, applied to other places which were probably "cultivated" lands, including a region in the South of Palestine (Joshua 10:41 ; 11:16), "all the country of Goshen Septuagint Gosom), even unto Gibeon," and a city of Judah (Joshua 15:51) in the mountains near Beersheba. These notices seem to show that the word is not of Egyptian origin.

3. Description:
The region thus very clearly indicated was not of any great extent, having an area of only about 900 square miles, including two very different districts. The western half, immediately East of the Bubastic branch of the Nile, stretches from Zoan to Bubastis (at both of which cities records of the Hyksos ruler Apepi have been found), or a distance of about 35 miles North and South. This region is an irrigated plain which is still considered to include some of the best land in Egypt. The description of the land of Rameses (see RAAMSES), in the 14th century BC, shows its fertility; and Silvia says that the land of Goshen was 16 miles from Heroopolis, and that she traveled for two days in it "through vineyards, and balsam plantations, and orchards, and tilled fields, and gardens." The region narrows from about 15 miles near the seashore to about 10 miles between Zagazig and Tell el Kebir on the Southeast of this, a sandy and gravelly desert lies between the Nile plain and the Suez Canal, broadening southward from near Daphnai (Tell Defeneh) to Wady Tumeilat, where it is 40 miles across East and West. South of this valley an equally waterless desert stretches to Suez, and from the Bitter Lakes on the East to the vicinity of Heliopolis (Southeast of Cairo) on the West. Thus, Wady Tumeilat, which is fertilized by the Nile waters (see PI-HAHIROTH), and contains villages and corn fields, is the only natural route for a people driving with their flocks and herds by which the vicinity of the Red Sea can be reached, the road leading from the South end of the "field of Zoan" near Bubastis, and 40 miles eastward to the "edge of the wilderness" (see ETHAM) and the head of the Bitter Lakes. This physical conformation is important in relation to the route of the Israelites (see EXODUS); and Wady Tumeilat may very possibly be intended to be included in Goshen, as the Septuagint translators supposed.

C. R. Conder

(2) Mentioned as a country ('erets) in the South of Judah distinct from the "hill country," the Negeb and the Shephelah (Joshua 10:41 ; 11:16). Unidentified.

(3) A town in the Southwest part of the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:51), very probably connected in some way with the district (1).


Copyright Information: "Easton's Bible Dictionary", Matthew George Easton M.A., D.D., 1897; "Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names", Roswell D. Hitchcock, 1869; "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia", Orr, James, M.A., D.D., 1915; and "Smith's Bible Dictionary", Smith, William, Dr., 1901. are public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
   
   
 
 
 
 
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