Smith's Bible DictionaryAbelshittim
(the meadow of the acacias), in the "plains" of Moab, on the low level of the Jordan valley, opposite Jericho. The last resting-place of Israel before crossing the Jordan. (Numbers 33:49) The place is most frequently mentioned by its shorter name of Shittim. See SHITTAH TREE, SHITTIM, SHITTIM.
ATS Bible DictionaryAbelshittim
In the plains of Moab, east of the Jordan, and near Mount Peor. It was one of the last encampments of Israel before the death of Moses, Numbers 33:49; called also Shittim, Joshua 2:1. Here the Israelites were enticed by the women of Moab and Midian into uncleanness and the idolatry of Baal-peor, and 24,000 died of the plague, Numbers 25:1 18.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaABEL-SHITTIM
a'-bel-shit'-tim ('abhel ha-shiTTim, "the meadow of the Acacias"): The name appears only in Numbers 33:49; but the name Shittim is used to denote the same locality (Numbers 25:1 Joshua 2:1; Joshua 3:1 Micah 6:5). The name always has the article, and the best expression of it in English would be "the Acacias." `The valley of the Acacias' (Joel 3:18 (4:18)) is, apparently, a different locality.
For many weeks before crossing the Jordan, Israel was encamped in the vicinity of the Jordan valley, North of the Dead Sea, East of the river. The notices in the Bible, supplemented by those in Josephus and Eusebius and Jerome, indicate that the camping region was many miles in extent, the southern limit being Beth-jeshimoth, toward the Dead Sea, while Abel of the Acacias was the northern limit and the headquarters. The headquarters are often spoken of as East of the Jordan at Jericho (e.g. Numbers 22:1; Numbers 26:3, 63). During the stay there occurred the Balaam incident (Numbers 22-24), and the harlotry with Moab and Midian (Numbers 25) and the war with Midian (Numbers 31), in both of which Phinehas distinguished himself. It was from the Acacias that Joshua sent out the spies, and that Israel afterward moved down to the river for the crossing. Micah aptly calls upon Yahweh's people to remember all that happened to them from the time when they reached the Acacias to the time when Yahweh had brought them safely across the river to Gilgal.
Josephus is correct in saying that Abel of the Acacias is the place from which the Deuteronomic law purports to have been given. In his time the name survived as Abila, a not very important town situated there. He says that it was "sixty furlongs from Abila to the Jordan," that is a little more than seven English miles (Ant., IV, viii, 1 and V, i, 1; BJ, IV, vii, 6). There seems to be a consensus for locating the site at Kefrein, near where the wady of that name comes down into the Jordan valley.
Willis J. Beecher
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Meadow of the acacias, frequently called simply "Shittim" (Numbers 25:1
; Joshua 2:1
; Micah 6:5
), a place on the east of Jordan, in the plain of Moab, nearly opposite Jericho. It was the forty-second encampment of the Israelites, their last resting-place before they crossed the Jordan (Numbers 33:49
; Comp. 25:1