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the giant’s backbone (so called from the head of a mountain which runs out into the sea), an ancient city and harbour at the north-east end of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Akabah, near Elath or Eloth (Num. 33:35; Deut. 2:8). Here Solomon built ships, “Tarshish ships,” like those trading from Tyre to Tarshish and the west, which traded with Ophir (1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chr. 8:17); and here also Jehoshaphat’s fleet was shipwrecked (1 Kings 22:48; 2 Chr. 20:36). It became a populous town, many of the Jews settling in it (2 Kings 16:6, “Elath”). It is supposed that anciently the north end of the gulf flowed further into the country than now, as far as ‘Ain el-Ghudyan, which is 10 miles up the dry bed of the Arabah, and that Ezion-geber may have been there.


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