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Gazara was, according to the Bible, a fortress of great strength in Judea that figures often in the Maccabean wars.

To this place Judas pursued Gorgias (1 Maccabees 4:15). It was fortified by the Greek general Bacchides (1 Maccabees 9:52; Ant, XIII, i, 3). It was captured by Simon Maccabeus, who turned out the inhabitants and purified the city. He built here a palace for himself, and appointed his son, John, commander of his army (1 Maccabees 13:43). A different account of this occurrence is given in 2 Maccabees 10:32, where the capture is attributed to Judas.

The fortress is identical with Tel Jezer, the ancient Gezer. Recent excavations have uncovered the ruins of Simon's palace.[1]


  • Ewing, W. (1915). Garaza. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Eds. Orr, James, M.A., D.D. Retrieved December 9, 2005.
  1. ^ PEFS, 1905, 26