Engaddi is the name of a warm spring near the centre of the west shore of the Dead Sea, and also of a town situated in the same place. In 2 Chronicles 20:2, it is identified with Asasonthamar (Cutting of the Pain), the city of the Amorrhean, smitten by Chodorlahomor (Genesis 14:7) in his war against the cities of the plain. Joshua 15:62, enumerates Engaddi among the cities of Juda in the desert Betharaba, but Ezekiel 47:10, shows that it was also a fisherman's town. Later on, David hides in the desert of Engaddi (1 Samuel 24:1, 2), and Saul seeks him "even upon the most craggy rocks, which are accessible only to wild goats" (ibid., 3). Again, it is in Engaddi that the Moabites and Ammonites gather in order to fight against Josaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1, 2) and to advance against Jerusalem "by the ascent named Sis" (ibid., 16). Finally, Cant., i, 13, speaks of the "vineyards of Engaddi"; the words, "I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades" (’en aígialoîs), which occur in Sirach 24:18, may perhaps be understood of the palm trees of Engaddi.
To these strictly Biblical data concerning Engaddi the following notes taken from profane sources may be added. Josephus (Antiq., IX, i, 2) connects Engaddi with the growth of beautiful palm trees and the production of opobalsam. Pliny (Nat. Hist., V, xxvii, 73) places Engaddi only second to Jerusalem as far as fertility and the cultivation of the palm tree are concerned. Eusebius and St. Jerome (Onomastica sacra, Göttingen, 1870, pp. 119, 254) testify that at their time there still existed on the shore of the Dead Sea a large Jewish borough called Engaddi which furnished opobalsam. The name still lives in the Arabic form ’Ain Jedi, which is now applied to a mere oasis enclosed by two streams, the Wady Sudeir and Wady el-’Areyeh, and bounded by nearly vertical walls of rock. The former vineyards and palm groves have given place to a few bushes of acacia and tamarisk, and the site of the ancient town is now occupied by a few Arabs.
AGEN, Biblicum (Paris, 1907), II, 177 sq.; HULL in Dictionary of the Bible (New York, 1900), I, 703; LEGENDRE in Dictionnaire de la Bible (Paris, 1899), II, 1796 sqq.; BAEDEKER-BENZIGER, Palestina und Syrien (5th ed.), 198; Survey of Western Palestine; Memoirs (London, 1881-83), III, 384-86; NEUBAUER, La géographie du Talmud (Paris, 1868), 160.
APA citation. (1909). Engaddi. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05428a.htm
MLA citation. "Engaddi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05428a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by WGKofron. With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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