Name occurring but once in the Bible—in the topographical description in Deut. i. 1. Its identity has not been successfully established. The context, locating it indefinitely in the trans-Jordanic region, and mentioning it among localities connected with similar difficulties, gives no clue. Inviting by its form etymological interpretations, the ancient versions have accordingly translated it καταχρύσεα, "ubi auri est plurimum," and ("a sufficiency of gold"). Onkelos expands it into a Midrash (on account of the golden calf), and is followed in this by Rashi.
This idea is still more fully enlarged upon by Targ. Yerushalmi and pseudo-Jonathan; they also see in it an allusion to the golden calf, but hold that the sin thus committed was pardoned in consideration of Israel's having covered the Ark of the Covenant with "shining gold." Ibn Ezra simply suggests that it and the other ἅπαζ λερόμενα in this passage may be unusual designations for places otherwise denoted by different names. According to the school of Rabbi Jannai, Moses in this verse refers to the golden calf, "to make which Israel was tempted by the superabundance of gold and silver poured out over them by God until they protested 'it is enough'" (Ber. 32a). Cheyne proposes to emend into "Me-zahab," which Sayce among others has urged as corresponding, in Gen. xxxvi. 39, to "Di-zahab" in Deut. i. 1. This "Mc-zabab," however, Cheyne holds again to be a corruption of "Mizraim," the name for the northern Arabian land, Mizri or Miẓrim, adjoining Edom. Burckhardt ("Travels in Syria," 1822, p. 523) suggests "Mina al-Dhahab" as its equivalent, but this view has been abandoned by modern commentators.