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GABBATHA or GABATHA:

  • 1. Town corresponding to the Biblical "Gibeah," mentioned in the Septuagint (I Chron. xii. 3), in Josephus ("Ant." v. 1, § 29; vi. 4, § 2, 6), and in the "Onomastica Sacra" of Eusebius and of Jerome. In the last-named it answers to "Geba" and "Gibbethon" also. Both "Onomastica" (ed. Lagarde, 128, 17; 246, 53) mention a town named "Gabbatha" existing in their time in the district of Sepphoris near Legeon in the great plain. They also refer to another east of the Daroma, and to a third about twelve miles from Eleutheropolis, southwest of Judea (ib. 128, 32; 246, 67). Near the last-named Gabbatha the tomb of the prophet Habakkuk used to be pointed out. This, according to the same "Onomastica" (109, 19; 120, 15; 256, 3; 270, 35), was situated near Keilah—a statement which corresponds with the foregoing one, considering the relative positions of Eleutheropolis and Keilah. The frontier town Gebath, mentioned several times in the Talmud in connection with Antipatris (Sanh. 94b; Yeb. 62b; Yer. Meg. i. 70a; Ḳid. 57b), is probably identical with Gabbatha near Eleutheropolis.Bibliography: Buhl, Geographie des Alten Palästina, p. 199; Boettger, Top.-Hist. Lex. zu Josephus, p. 120.
  • 2. According to John xix. 13, the Hebrew (properly the Aramaic) name of the place called Λϑόστρωωου ("the Pavement"), situated in front of the pretorium, in Jerusalem, where Pilate delivered the final judgment upon Jesus. According to Philo ("Legatio ad Caium," § 38, ed. Mangey, ii. 589 et seq.) and Josephus ("B. J." ii. 14, § 8; 15, § 5), Herod's palace served as the pretorium for the procurator during his stay in Jerusalem. "The Pavement" was perhaps the only paved place in the city (it was constructed under Agrippa II.; see Josephus, "Ant." xx. 9, ?§ 7), and may have received its name for this reason. "Gabbatha," however—derived either from ("hill") or from ("back")—does not correspond to the Greek name, and may have designated another part of the upper city, near the royal palace.
Bibliography:
  • Commentaries on John xix. 13;
  • Barnabé, Le Pretoire de Pilate.
G. A. Büch.
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