Belmont Castle (Ṣuba)

By Denys Pringle


The site of Ṣuba occupies a hilltop overlooking Abu Ghosh, some 10 km due west of Jerusalem. Attempts to identify it with biblical Zobah (1 Sam. 14:47; 2 Sam. 23:36) now appear to be baseless, though it may possibly be the town of Σωβρης, which is listed under the district of Bethlehem in the Septuagint (Jos. 15:59a). Rabbinic literature of the Late Roman period also refers to a place called Sebo‘im. Occupation in the Iron Age and Byzantine periods is indicated by rock-cut tombs and mosaic fragments.

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