Achzib on the Mediterranean

I love to study the book of Joshua. After Joshua led Israel in the Conquest of Canaan, the book bearing his name lists two biblical cities known as Achzib.

Josh. 15:44 lists Achzib among the cities with their villages designated as Judah’s tribal inheritance. The prophet Micah also mentions Achzib (Mic. 1:14), referencing this same southern city.

The other Achzib (featured in this post) was on the Mediterranean coast, and was included in the inheritance given to the tribe of Asher. “Then the boundary turns to Ramah, reaching to the fortified city of Tyre. Then the boundary turns to Hosah, and it ends at the sea; Mahalab, Achzib” (Josh. 19:29, ESV). Of course the “sea” mentioned in this verse is the Mediterranean Sea.

Note the location on the map:

Achzib. Map by

Achzib. Map by

Achzib was a significant settlement dating back to the Middle Bronze age (approximate time of Abraham), when it was a fortified harbor town.

Information Sign at Achzib. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Information Sign at Achzib. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

But this city with its coastal access, and location on a major international route, was unfortunately not retained by Israel. Achzib is listed among seven cities not possessed within Asher’s inheritance: ” Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon or of Ahlab or of Achzib or of Helbah or of Aphik or of Rehob” (Judges 1:31). For much of its history Achzib was a Phoenician city.

Achzib was listed in Assyrian records as one of the cities during Sennacherib’s campaign in Syria and Palestine in 701 BC. In Roman times it was a thriving coastal town known as Ecdippon or Ecdippa.

Today it is just barely south of Israel’s border with Lebanon. Our photo here below was taken at Achzib looking south toward Acco (see above Judges text).

At Achzib looking south toward biblical Acco. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

At Achzib looking south toward biblical Acco. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Click on images for larger view.

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