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shur Summary and Overview

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shur in Easton's Bible Dictionary

an enclosure; a wall, a part, probably, of the Arabian desert, on the NEern border of Egypt, giving its name to a wilderness extending from Egypt toward Philistia (Gen. 16:7; 20:1; 25:18; Ex.15:22). The name was probably given to it from the wall (or shur) which the Egyptians built to defend their frontier on the NE from the desert tribes. This wall or line of fortifications extended from Pelusium to Heliopolis.

shur in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(a wall), a place just without the eastern border of Egypt. Shur is first mentioned in the narrative of Haggar's flight from Sarah. #Ge 16:7| Abraham afterward "dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar." #Ge 20:1| It is also called Ethami. The wilderness of Shur was entered in the Israelites after they had crossed the Red Sea. #Ex 15:22,23| It was also called the wilderness of Etham. #Nu 33:8| Shur may have been a territory town east of the ancient head of the Red Sea; and from its being spoken of as a limit, it was probably the last Arabian town before entering Egypt.

shur in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

SHUR (fort), a place in the wilderness, on the south-west of Palestine, including the whole district between the north-eastern frontier of Egypt and the land of Canaan. The wilderness is also spoken of as the "wilderness of Etham." Num 33:8. We first read of Shur in the account of Hagar's flight, and this region later became the dwelling-place of the wild Ishmaelites. Gen 16:7; Gen 25:18. Abraham dwelt between Kadesh and Shur. Gen 20:1. It was over against Egypt. 1 Sam 15:7; 1 Sam 27:8. Some would identify it with Ayun Musa, 7 or 8 miles from Suez; but Trumbull supposes it to mean "a wall of Egypt," from the Great to the Red Sea. See Etham.

shur in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Outside the eastern border of Egypt. ("a wall".) The strip of desert which skirts the wall-like range of jebel er Rahah (E. of Suez, the continuation of the range jebel et Tih northward toward the Mediterranean, still called by the Arabs jebel es Sur) as far S. as wady Gharandel. Hagar fleeing from Abraham, then in southern Israel, reached a fountain "in the way to Shur" (Genesis 16:7). She was probably making for her country Egypt by the inland caravan route, the way by Star over jebel er Rahah as distinguished from the coast road by el Arish. Abraham settled for a time between the two deserts of Kadesh and Shur, and finally sojourned at Gerar (Genesis 20:1). In Genesis 25:18 Shur is defined to be "before (i.e. E. of) Egypt." So 1 Samuel 15:7; 1 Samuel 27:8; Josephus (Ant. 6:7) makes it Pelusium, near the Nile's mouth; others the N.E. part of the wilderness of Paran, now al Jifar. Gesenius makes Shur the modern Suez. Israel entered "the wilderness of Shur" when they had crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 15:22-23). The wilderness of Shur is the whole district between the N.E. frontier of Egypt and Israel, Shur being derived from the Egyptian Khar (occurring in a papyrus of the 19th dynasty), Kh and Sh being interchanged. In Numbers 33:8 the special designation occurs, "the wilderness of Etham" (at the northern extremity of the Bitter Lakes).