Meaning: oracle town; sanctuary

The name of a biblical city, a place, and a king.

  1. one of the eleven cities to the west of Hebron, in the highlands of Judah (Joshua 15:49; Judges 1:11-15)

    It was originally one of the towns of the Anakim (Joshua 15:15), and was also called Kirjath-sepher and Kirjath-sannah (49). Caleb, who had conquered and taken possession of the town and district of Hebron (Joshua 14:6-15), offered the hand of his daughter to any one who would successfully lead a party against Debir. Othniel, his younger brother (Judges 1:13; 3:9), achieved the conquest, and gained Achsah as his wife. She was not satisfied with the portion her father gave her, and as she was proceeding toward her new home, she “lighted from off her ass” and said to him, “Give me a blessing [i.e., a dowry]: for thou hast given me a south land” (Joshua 15:19, King James Version); or, as in the Revised King James Version, “Thou hast set me in the land of the south,” i.e., in the Negeb, outside the rich valley of Hebron, in the dry and barren land.

    “Give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.”

    Debir has been identified with the modern Edh-Dhaheriyeh, i.e., “the well on the ridge”, to the south of Hebron.

  2. a place near the “valley of Achor” (Joshua 15:7), on the north boundary of Judah, between Jerusalem and Jericho.

  3. King Debir of Eglon, one of the five Canaanitish kings who were hanged by Joshua (Joshua 10:3, 23) after the victory at Gibeon

    These kings fled and took refuge in a cave at Makkedah. Here they were kept confined till Joshua returned from the pursuit of their discomfited armies, when he caused them to be brought forth, and “Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees” (26).