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RIBLAH (Heb. רִבְלָה).

(1) Ancient Syrian town situated between Lebo-Hamath and Kadesh on the Orontes, south of Lake Homs, on the crossroads of the military highways to Mesopotamia and Egypt; present-day Ribla. Perhaps because it was better known than nearby Lebo-Hamath in Ezekiel's time (see below) it is named in Ezekiel 6:14 (read רִבְלָתָה), instead of the latter, as the theoretical northern limit of the Land of Israel. Around this point there are many important tells. The great battle of Kadesh between Pharaoh Ramses II (19th Dynasty) and the Hittite king Muwatalliǔ was fought there in 1286 B.C.E. The name of Riblah was then probably Sabtūnaʿ (Pritchard, Texts, 256). This place was strategically situated for northwestern or southwestern conquerors of the West. After a short reign of three months, King *Jehoahaz of Judah was deposed and imprisoned in Riblah by Pharaoh *Neco, presumably while the latter was still in northern Syria in the year 609. Later he took Jehoahaz with him to Egypt (II Kings 23:33–34). *Nebuchadnezzar chose Riblah as his headquarters during his last campaign against Jerusalem in 588–586 B.C.E. After two years of siege, King *Zedekiah saw that the situation was desperate and tried to flee the city, but the Chaldeans overtook him at Jericho and brought him to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah. All of Zedekiah's children were slain before his eyes; he himself was then blinded by order of Nebuchadnezzar and brought to Babylon (II Kings 25:1–7; Jer. 52:9ff.).

(2) Shepham Hariblah (Num. 34:11) is a still unidentified boundary point on the northeastern boundary of the Land of Israel.

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