– also, Biblical
(or simply Shittim
) – was an ancient city east of the Jordan River
, later Peraea
, near Livias
, about twelve km
northeast of the north shore of the Dead Sea
; the site is now that of Abil-ez-Zeit
meaning "Meadow of the Acacias"), is found only in Num.
xxxiii.49; but Ha-Shittim (Hebrew meaning "The Acacias"), evidently the same place, is mentioned in Num. xxv.1, Josh.
iii.1, and Micah
, vi.5. It was the forty-second encampment of the Israelites
and the final headquarters of Joshua before he crossed the Jordan. Josephus
iv.8, § 1; v.1, § 1) states that there was in his time a town, Abila, full of palmtrees, at a distance of sixty stadia (seven and one-half Roman miles) from the Jordan, and describes it as the spot where Moses
delivered the exhortations of Deuteronomy
. There is to this day an acacia grove not far from the place, although the palms mentioned by Josephus are no longer there. In I Sam
vi.18, the words "even unto the great stone of Abel" can contain no allusion to Abel-Shittim.