ACHZIB


ACHZIB (Heb. אַכְזִיב). The name may mean "charming," "delightful." (1) Ancient Canaanite harbor town north of Acre near the cliff called "the ladder of Tyre." North of the village is a tell in which potsherds dating from and after the Early Bronze Age have been found. According to Joshua 19:29 and Judges 1:31, Achzib belonged to the tribe of Asher, but it did not come under the effective control of the Israelites, as the Canaanites continued to occupy it. A large number of tombs from the period of the Israelite monarchy have been discovered south and east of the tell. Sennacherib captured Achzib from the king of Tyre in 701 B.C.E. In the period of the Second Temple, Achzib is mentioned (in the Greek form Ekdippa) as a road station, 9 Roman mi. north of Ptolemais (Acre., Jos., Wars, 1:257; Pliny, 19). A Roman milestone has been found on the site, on the Acre–Antioch road, in addition to many Roman tombs. In the mishnaic period, Achzib, then called also Kheziv (Gesiv in the Palestinian Talmud), was considered a part of Erez Israel and its inhabitants were bound by all the biblical laws pertaining to the sabbatical and jubilee years, priestly dues, and tithes (Shev. 6:1; 4:6; Hal. 4:8; 2:6; Tosef. Oho. 18:14). Achzib occupied an important position as a base-camp for the Crusader armies and was known as Casal Imbert after the knight who held it. The Arab geographers of the Middle Ages (Ibn Jubayr, 307; Yaqut, 2:964; Idrisi, 2) refer to it as al-Zib, a fortified village. Until 1948 the site was occupied by the Arab village of al-Zib, 9 mi. (15 km.) north of Acre. Nearby is the kibbutz *Gesher ha-Ziv whose name was partly inspired by the ancient city. In excavations conducted in 1941–44 and 1959–64, fortifications and occupational levels were discovered beginning with the Middle Bronze Age II (first half of the second millennium B.C.E.) to the Roman period and also from the Crusader period and Middle Ages. Most of the tombs investigated were Phoenician (tenth to seventh centuries B.C.E.); others were from the Persian and Roman periods. The tombs were rock-hewn and also contained pottery, figurines, scarabs, and bronze and silver jewelry. Four tombstones were especially significant, being engraved with the name of the deceased; and in one instance, with his occupation (metal worker). A Phoenician inscription on the shoulder of a jar mentions Adonimelekh.

(2) A city of the biblical period in the Shephelah of Judah, between Keilah and Mareshah (Josh. 15:44; Micah 1:14–15) also called Chezib (Gen. 38:5). It is mentioned by Eusebius (Onom. 172:6) as Chasbi near Adullam, a reference which would confirm its proposed identification with Tell al-Bayḍā (today Lavnin) west of Adullam.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

(1) Saarisalo, in: JPOS, 9 (1929), 38 ff.; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 237; Prawer, Ẓalbanim, index; EM S.V.; Press, Ereẓ, 1 (1946), 18; Prausnitz, in: IEJ, 15 (1965), 256–8. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: idem, in: IEJ, 25 (1975), 202–10; J. Dearman, in: JNSL, 22 (1996), 59–71. (2) Saarisalo, in: JPOS, 11 (1931), 98; Elliger, in: ZDPV, 57 (1934), 121–4.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.