Home : Complete Site List : Search : What's New? : Permission to Use : Contact Us

Maresha - Marisa (Beth Guvrin)

Maresha - Marisa (Beth Guvrin)

Mareshah was a town in the Shephelah allotted to Judah (Josh 15:44) and fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chron 11:8). Asa, the king of Judah, fought Zerah the Ethiopian in the vicinity (2 Chron 14:9, 10). During the days of Jehoshaphat, Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied (2 Chron 20:37) and Mareshah is mentioned in the prophecy of Micah (1:15). During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was an important center known as Marisa – T. Sandahannah/T. Maresha (140111), 13 mi. NW of Hebron in Shephelah.

Edomites from Transjordan settled in it during and after the Babylonian Exile and Maresha became the most important city and capital of Idumea.  It ruled a territory from the Mediterranean Sea to the Lake Asphaltis on the east (aka Dead Sea).  Please remember that Herod the Great was an Idumean.

During the Hellenistic Period the city was first controlled by the Ptolemies of Egypt and after 200 BC by the Seleucids of Syria.  Idumeans, Jews, and Greeks from Egypt and Syria lived in the city.  It was conquered by John Hyrcanus in 113/112 BC and then demolished by the Parthians in 40 BC.

See Beth Guvrin for a continuation of the history of the area.

Some useful sources that were consulted include, among others:

Jacobson, David M. “Marisa Tomb Paintings — Recently Discovered Photos Show Long–Lost Details.” Biblical Archaeology Review 30, no. 2 (2004): 25–39.

Kloner, Amos. “Underground Metropolis—The Subterranean World of Maresha.” Biblical Archaeology Review 23, no. 2 (1997): 24-35, 67.