Beth-Jeshimoth: The photographs attached demonstrate the eastern margins of Jeshimon as it reaches toward the Dead sea, with the foothills of where Balaam and the princes stood to view it in the background.
Jeshimon has the idea of wasted, or destroyed and is a reference to wild and dry wastelands on the margins of the Dead Sea, and in particular reference to the area around 55km by 25km on the western side. Jeshimon is described as being both the place where the princes of Israel would view Num 21:20 and then Balaam Num 23:28. In fact there is three consecutive locations that both the princes of Israel and then Balaam both would stand. Jeshimon was the end of a man without God. To take another’s water and not the water of deity would end up in this place. The princes would dig wells, be involved in Nahaliel (the rivers of El) and vow not to take from others wells in Num 21, and it would appear that spectacular rainfall may have been instrumental in the battle of Arnon in the same chapter. The proper noun is translated by several bible translations as follows: Wasteland NIV, NASB Desert ESV looks over the surface of the waste Darby which is looking on the front of the wilderness YLit.
The term “Yeshimon” is used as a generic term for wilderness, with the intent of lack of growth or vegetation, Ps 78:40; Isa 43:19 etal. A term used of the wilderness experienced after leaving Sinai Deut 32:10. It is used in contrast to the term Midbar, which has the idea of driving wind, which was the presence of the divine spirit operating to develop men and women in their passage through life. The idea of Midbar can contain purpose of execution, whereas Jeshimon does not.
The only other place Jeshimon is used in scripture is the during the pursuit of Saul, David was to hide in the hill of Hacilah near Jeshimon, 1Sam 23:19,24; 26:1,3 and in the arabah south of Jeshimon, placing him in the valley of salt, famous later in one of his conquests against the Edomites, Ps 60. It is apparent then that the wilderness of Ziph, being the borderlands of the Judean foot-hills looked down on Jeshimon. Khirbet Khoresa (1) has been suggested for Horesh 1Sam 23:19.
Beth-Jeshimoth at the left of the this photograph
Another specific location that includes the same hebrew term is Beth-Jeshimoth, (Num 33:49; Josh 12:3; 13:20; Ezek 25:9) located at the entry of the Jordan river into the Dead sea. This location confirms the spiritual intent that the natural course of man is toward destruction, the point at which the natural flow from vigorous bubbling waters leads to the distinct sterility of salt in the Dead sea. It was the southern limit of the encampment of Israel, extending for around 9km from Kafrain or Abel-shittim. The two limits marking the prospects for the encampment, the mourning of the piercing representing the empathy for, and acceptance of the crucifixion of Christ, Zech 12, and the destruction for those refusing it. It is most interesting that the encampment of the tribes, in particular Simeon, were most devastated in the events of Baal-peor were on this southern side, and closer to Bethjeshimoth.
- Erdmann’s dictionary of the Bible pg 536