The Mountain of Judah
and the Shephelah
70. Gedur, also Gidirtha - (Kh. Jadirah)
This is another difficult locating problem. Eus.On. 68:22f. mentions a village called Gedur, in his time Gedrus, 10 miles on the road from Diospolis (Lydda) to Eleutheropolis (Bet Jibrin, nr. 87): this 'very large' village might be identified with Hirbat ash-Sheh 'Ali Jadir (coord. 146-137), 2.5 km west of Latrun, i.e. not far from Nikopolis (nr. 73). Eusebius intends to explain the Gedor of Josh. 15:58 which is, however, situated more in the south, identical with Hirbat Jadur (coord. 158-115), about 6 km north-northwest of Halhul (coord. 160-109). The village Gedur or Gedera, in Aramaic Gidirtha, near Latrun has no Biblical reference. Moreover, it is in relation to Nikopolis ('Amwas), whereas the other villages in this area are represented regardless of Nikopolis. We may wonder if the mosaicist confused it with Gezer, in Greek Gazer or Gazera, identical with Tall Jezer (coord. 142-140) near Abu Shusha, the well-known Biblical city (Josh. 10:33; Judg. 1:29; 11 Sam. 5:25; 1 Kings 9:15-17 a.o.). Otherwise, the absence of Gezer on the Madaba map would be rather odd because of its Biblical importance.
Herbert Donner, The Mosaic Map of Madaba, 58-59
Leah Di Segni ("The Onomastikon of Eusebius and the Madaba Map", in The Madaba Map Centenary, Jerusalem 1999, 117)
Gedour he kai Gidirtha may perhaps be the same as Gedour, Gedrous, a village 10 miles from Diospolis on the way to Eleutheropolis according to Eusebius: in this case, the Aramaic form Gidirtha comes to the map from another source. But Avi-Yonah wonders at the absence of Gezer from the Madaba map, and suggests that Gidirtha, possibly confused in name with Gedrus of the Onomastikon, was meant to represent Gezer, Gazara in Eusebius, Gazaris, Gadara in other Byzantine sources. Its location in the map, on the hills just west of Nicopolis, would be exactly right; moreover, Avi-Yonah points out that the confusion of Gedor and Gezer has a parallel in Josephus. (See also the complete article)
Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea - Palaestina (Jerusalem 1994, 131.132.161)
Gazara II, Gadaris (Tell Jezer: 142140). Biblical Gezer. A village in the fourth century, four miles from Nicopolis; Episcopal see in Palaestina prima in the sixth century; Roman bath. Excavated site.
Gedrous, Gidirtha (H. Gader, Kh, Jadirah: 146137). Large village ten miles from Diospolis on the way to Eleutheropolis. Perhaps identical with Kedron.
Kedron (Qatra: 129136), in the southern coastal plain, fortified by the Seleucids against the Hasmonaeans (1 Macc. 15,39-41; 16,9). Remains of buildings, tombs, mosaics. Perhaps identical with Gedrus.
More sources and bibliography are found thereafter.
Map Section 6 Place Sources