views updated


ẒOFIM (Heb. צוֹפִים), place in the vicinity of Jerusalem, which indicated the limits of the city (Pes. 3:8). From this spot, pilgrims approaching Jerusalem first saw the Temple. According to later sources, Jews arriving at Ẓofim and seeing the Temple in ruins were apt to tear their clothes in mourning (tj, mk 3:7, 83b; Lam. R. 5:18, no. 1). Josephus describes Saphein (the Greek transcription of Ẓofim) as the place where the high priest Jaddua met Alexander the Great (Ant., 11:329). During his march on Jerusalem, Cestius Gallus camped at a spot called Scopus (the Greek translation of Ẓofim = "place of beholding"), 7 furlongs (c. 1 mi.; c. 1½ km.) from the city (Jos., Wars, 2:528; 542). It was also the last camp of Titus in his march on Jerusalem in 70 c.e. (Jos., Wars, 5:67, 106). Ẓofim is usually identified with Ras el-Mesharref to the north of Jerusalem, on the road along the watershed which enters the city from the north and served as the main road on the west. By extension, the name Ẓofim has been applied in modern times to the campus occupied by the Hebrew University until 1948, when it became a demilitarized Israel enclave in Jordanian territory, until reunited with the city during the Six-Day War in 1967.


Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 375; Y. Epstein, in: Tarbiz, 5 (1934), 386; G. Dalman, Jerusalem und sein Gelaende (1930), 28ff.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]