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Gerar (Hebrew: גְּרָר Gərār, "lodging-place") was a Philistine town and district in what is today south central Israel, mentioned in the Book of Genesis and in the Second Book of Chronicles of the Hebrew Bible.

According to Easton's Bible Dictionary[1] the Biblical valley of Gerar (Genesis 26:17) was probably the modern Wadi el-Jerdr. Currently it is believed to be the valley of Nahal Gerar. The region was later known as Haluza.[2]

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia,[3] and Dr. William Smith's Bible Dictionary,[4] all state simply that it was "south of Gaza".

Biblically, the town features in two of the three Wife-sister narratives in Genesis. These record that Abraham and Isaac each stayed at Gerar, near what became Beersheba, and that each passed his wife off as his sister, leading to complications involving Gerar's Philistine king, Abimelech. (Genesis 20:1, and Genesis 26:1) The Haggadah identifies the two references to Abimelech as two separate people, the second being the first Abimelech's son, and that his original name was Benmelech ["son of the King"], but he changed his name to his father's, meaning "my father is king".

In 2 Chronicles 14:12-15, Gerar and its surrounding towns figure in the account of King Asa's defeat of Zerah's vast Cushite forces.


  1. ^ Easton's Bible Dictionary, third edition, by M.G. Easton M.A., D.D. published by Thomas Nelson in 1897
  2. ^ Rabbi Saadia Gaon's Judeo-Arabic Translation of the word Gerar (Judeo-Arabic: אלכ'לוץ = al-Khalūṣ) in the Pentateuch (Tafsir), s.v. Genesis 10:19, Genesis 20:2, Genesis 26:17, 20. On Haluza's proximity to Gerar, see: M. Naor, Gerar — Tell el Far'a, Bulletin of the Israel Exploration Society (1955), pp. 99–102 (Hebrew)
  3. ^ Abbreviated as ISBE, published 1844-1913
  4. ^ Smith's Bible Dictionary published 1884

Coordinates: 31°22′54″N 34°36′25″E / 31.3817°N 34.6069°E / 31.3817; 34.6069