Peraea, in Roman times, the area E of the Jordan River, between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, and S of the Decapolis.
Abila – also, Biblical: Abel-Shittim or Ha-Shittim (or simply Shittim) – was an ancient city east of the Jordan River in Moab, 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, Jordan. Abel-Shittim (Hebrew 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 (Ant. 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.


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