Hitchcock's Bible NamesHinnom
there they are; their riches
Smith's Bible DictionaryHinnom
(lamentation), Valley of, otherwise called "the valley of the son" or "children of Hinnom," a deep and narrow ravine, with steep, rocky sides, to the south and west of Jerusalem, separating Mount Zion to the north from the "hill of evil counsel," and the sloping rocky plateau of the "plain of Rephaim" to the south. The earliest mention of the valley of Hinnom is in (Joshua 15:8; 18:16) where the boundary line between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin is described as passing along the bed of the ravine. On the southern brow, overlooking the valley at its eastern extremity Solomon erected high places for Molech, (1 Kings 11:7) whose horrid rites were revived from time to time in the same vicinity the later idolatrous kings. Ahaz and Manasseh made their children "pass through the fire" in this valley, (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6) and the fiendish custom of infant sacrifice to the fire-gods seems to have been kept up in Tophet, which was another name for this place. To put an end to these abominations the place was polluted by Josiah, who renders it ceremonially unclean by spreading over it human bones and other corruptions, (2 Kings 23:10,13,14; 2 Chronicles 34:4,5) from which time it appears to have become the common cesspool of the city, into which sewage was conducted, to be carried off by the waters of the Kidron. From its ceremonial defilement, and from the detested and abominable fire of Molech, if not from the supposed ever-burning funeral piles, the later Jews applied the name of this valley --Ge Hinnom, Gehenna (land of Hinnom)--to denote the place of eternal torment. In this sense the word is used by our Lord. (Matthew 5:29; 10:28; 23:15; Mark 9:43; Luke 12:5)
ATS Bible DictionaryHinnom
That is, the valley of Hinnom, or of the son of Hinnom, a narrow valley just south of Jerusalem, running up westward from the valley of the Cedron, and passing into the valley of the Cedron, and passing into the valley of Gihon, which follows the base of mount Zion north, up to the Joppa gate. It was well watered, and in ancient times most verdant and delightfully shaded with trees. The boundary line Judah and Benjamin passed through it, Joshua 15:8 18:6 Nehemiah 11:30. In its lowest part, towards the southeast, and near the king's gardens and Siloam, the idolatrous Israelties made their children pass through the fire to Moloch, 1 Kings 11:7 2 Kings 16:3 Jeremiah 32:35. See MOLOCH.
The place of these abominable sacrifices is also called Tophet, Isaiah 30:33 Jeremiah 7:31. According to some, this name is derived from the Hebrew toph, drum, because drums are supposed to have been used to drown the cries of the victims. But this opinion rests only on conjecture. King Josiah defiled the place, 2 Kings 23:10, probably by making it a depository of filth. It has been a common opinion that the later Jews, in imitation of Josiah, threw into this place all manner of filth, as well as the carcasses of animals and the dead bodies of malefactors; and that with reference to either the baleful idolatrous fires in the worship of Moloch, or to the fires afterwards maintained there to consume the mass of impurities that might otherwise have occasioned a pestilence, came the figurative use of the fires of Gehenna, that is, valley of Hinnom, to denote the eternal fire in which wicked men and fallen spirits shall be punished. This supposition, however, rests upon uncertain grounds.
It seems clear that the later Jews borrowed their usage of the fire of the valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) to represent the punishment of the wicked in the future world directly from two passages of Isaiah: "For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it," Isaiah 66:24. These they correctly interpreted figuratively, as representing the vengeance, which God would take on his enemies and the oppressors of his people. That the prophet, in this terrible imagery, alluded to any fire kept perpetually burning in the valley of Hinnom, has not been clearly proved. But however this may be, it is certain that the Jews transferred the name Gehenna, that is the valley of Hinnom, to the place in which devils and wicked men are to be punished in eternal fire, and which in the New Testament is always translated hell, Matthew 5:22,29,30 10:28 Mark 9:43,45,47 Luke 12:5 James 3:6. See HELL.
The rocks on the south side of Hinnom are full of gaping apertures, the mouths of tombs once filled with the dead, but now vacant.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaHINNOM, VALLEY OF
hin'-om (ge hinnom, Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16; "valley of the son of Hinnom" (ge bhen hinnom), Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16 2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; 19:2, 6; 32:35:00; "valley of the children (sons) of Hinnom" (ge bhene hinnom), 2 Kings 23:10; or simply "the valley," literally, the "hollow" or "ravine" (ha-gay'), 2 Chronicles 26:9 Nehemiah 2:13, 15; Nehemiah 3:13 Jeremiah 31:40 and, perhaps also, Jeremiah 2:23 (the above references are in the Hebrew text; there are some variations in the Septuagint)): The meaning of "Hinnom" is unknown; the expressions ben Hinnom and bene Hinnom would suggest that it is a proper name; in Jeremiah 7:32; Jeremiah 19:6 it is altered by the prophet to "valley of slaughter," and therefore some have thought the original name must have had a pleasing meaning.
1. Bible References and History:
It was near the walls of Jerusalem, "by the entry of the gate Harsith" (Jeremiah 19:2); the Valley Gate opened into it (Nehemiah 2:13; Nehemiah 3:13). The boundary between Judah and Benjamin ran along it (Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16). It was the scene of idolatrous practices in the days of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:3) and of Manasseh, who "made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom" (2 Chronicles 33:6), but Josiah in the course of his reforms "defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children (margin "son") of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech" (2 Kings 23:10). It was on account of these evil practices that Jeremiah (7:32; 19:6) announced the change of name. Into this valley dead bodies were probably cast to be consumed by the dogs, as is done in the Wady er-Rababi today, and fires were here kept burning to consume the rubbish of the city. Such associations led to the Ge-Hinnom (New Testament "Gehenna") becoming the "type of Hell" (Milton, Paradise Lost, i, 405).
The Valley of Hinnom has been located by different writers in each of the three great valleys of Jerusalem. In favor of the eastern or Kidron valley we have the facts that Eusebius and Jerome (Onom) place "Gehennom" under the eastern wall of Jerusalem and the Moslem geographical writers, Muqaddasi and Nasir-i-khusran, call the Kidron valley Wady Jahamum. The Jewish writer Kimchi also identifies the Valley of Jehoshaphat (i.e. the Kidron) with Hinnom. These ideas are probably due to the identification of the eastern valley, on account of its propinquity to the Temple, as the scene of the last judgment-the "Valley of Jehoshaphat" of Joel 3:2 -and the consequent transference there of the scene of the punishment of the wicked, Gehenna, after the ancient geographical position of the Valley of Hinnom, had long been lost. In selecting sacred sites, from the 4th Christian century onward, no critica Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16) cannot be the "Virgin's fount," the ancient Gihon (2 Samuel 17:17).
Several distinguished modern writers have sought to identify the Tyropeon Valley (el Wad) with Hinnom, but as the Tyropeon was incorporated within the city walls before the days of Manasseh (see JERUSALEM), it is practically impossible that it could have been the scene of the sacrifice of children-a ritual which must have occurred beyond the city's limits (2 Kings 23:10, etc.).
3. Wady er-Rababi:
The clearest geographical fact is found in Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16, where we find that the boundary of Judah and Benjamin passed from En-rogel "by the valley of the son of Hinnom"; if the modern Bir Eyyub is En-rogel, as is certainly most probable, then the Wady er-Rababi, known traditionally as Hinnom, is correctly so called. It is possible that the name extended to the wide open land formed by the junction of the three valleys; indeed, some would place Tophet at this spot, but there is no need to extend the name beyond the actual gorge. The Wady er-Rababi commences in a shallow, open valley due West of the Jaffa Gate, in the center of which lies the Birket Mamilla; near the Jaffa Gate it turns South for about 1/3 of a mile, its course being dammed here to form a large pool, the Birket es Sultan. Below this it gradually curves to the East and rapidly descends between sides of bare rocky scarps, much steeper in ancient times. A little before the valley joins the wide Kidron valley lies the traditional site of AKELDAMA (which see).
E. W. G. Masterman
Easton's Bible Dictionary
A deep, narrow ravine separating Mount Zion from the so-called "Hill of Evil Counsel." It took its name from "some ancient hero, the son of Hinnom." It is first mentioned in Joshua 15:8
. It had been the place where the idolatrous Jews burned their children alive to Moloch and Baal. A particular part of the valley was called Tophet, or the "fire-stove," where the children were burned. After the Exile, in order to show their abhorrence of the locality, the Jews made this valley the receptacle of the offal of the city, for the destruction of which a fire was, as is supposed, kept constantly burning there.
The Jews associated with this valley these two ideas, (1) that of the sufferings of the victims that had there been sacrificed; and (2) that of filth and corruption. It became thus to the popular mind a symbol of the abode of the wicked hereafter. It came to signify hell as the place of the wicked. "It might be shown by infinite examples that the Jews expressed hell, or the place of the damned, by this word. The word Gehenna [the Greek contraction of Hinnom] was never used in the time of Christ in any other sense than to denote the place of future punishment." About this fact there can be no question. In this sense the word is used eleven times in our Lord's discourses (Matthew 23:33; Luke 12:5; Matthew 5:22, etc.).
Strong's Hebrew2011. Hinnom -- a valley Southwest of Jer....
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Phonetic Spelling: (hin-nome') Short Definition: Ben-hinnom
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