Gazara

ga-za'-ra (Gazara, Gazera): A fortress of great strength in Judea, which figures often in the Maccabean wars. To this place Judas pursued Gorgias (1 Macc 4:15). It was fortified by the Greek general Bacchides (1 Macc 9:52; Ant, XIII, i, 3). It was captured by Simon Maccabeus, who turned out the inhabitants and purified the city. He built here a palace for himself, and appointed his son John commander of his army (1 Macc 13:43 ff). A different account of this occurrence is given in 2 Macc 10:32 ff, where the capture is attributed to Judas. The narrative here, however, is inspired by antagonism to Simon because he had assumed the high-priesthood.

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.

The fortress is identical with Tell Jezer, the ancient GEZER (which see). It is interesting to note that recent excavations have uncovered the ruins of Simon's palace (PEFS, 1905, 26).

W. Ewing

 
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