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ABEL-MEHOLAH (Heb. אָבֵל מְחוֹלָה), ancient city in the Jordan Valley that was the birthplace of the prophet *Elisha (i Kings 19:16). Abel-Meholah also appears in the Bible as a place through which the Midianites passed in their flight from *Gideon (Judg. 7:22) and as part of Solomon's fifth administrative district, which comprised the towns of the Jezreel and Beth-Shean valleys (i Kings 4:12). Eusebius identified the place in the Onomasticon with Bethmaela, 10 (Roman) mi. south of Beth-Shean. Accordingly, it is generally accepted that Abel-Meholah lay west of the Jordan at the southern end of the Beth-Shean Valley, apparently in the neighborhood of ʿAyn al-Ḥilwa near the point where the Wadi al-Māliḥ enters the Jordan, perhaps Tell Abu Sifri or Tell Abu Sus. Glueck suggested locating it in Transjordan and to identify it with Tell al-Maqlūb, but this has not been generally accepted.


N. Glueck, River Jordan (1946), 168 ff.; idem, in: basor, 90 (1943), 9 ff.; 91 (1943), 8, 15; idem, in: aasor, 25–28 (1951), 211 ff.; M. Naor, in: bjpes, 13 (1947), 89 ff.; A. Alt, in: pjb, 24 (1928), 45, 99; 28 (1932), 39 ff.; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 234; em, s.v.; Aharoni, Land, 241, 278; Zobel, in: zdpv, 82 (1966), 83–108; N. Zori, in: bies, 31 (1967), 132–5.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

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