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Post  blessed on Thu 20 Aug 2009, 9:51 am

A name given to a certain part of a city, as in Jerusalem (II Chr 27:3; 33:14), or Samaria (II Kgs 5:24, given as "citadel" in the KJV). After the return from the Babylonian Exile the Nethinim (Temple servants) in Jerusalem dwelt in the Ophel (Neh 3:26). From Isaiah 32:14 (KJV "forts and towers") and Micah 4:8 (KJV "tower"), it can be deduced that this part of the city was strongly fortified. The word ophel in Semitic languages means "swell, rise" and hence the ophel was the elevated part of the town, containing the inner citadel, the acropolis, the seat of the king and the center of royal administration.

In Jerusalem the Ophel apparently included the upper (northern) part of the "City of David", the site of the former Jebusite castle of Zion (I Chr 11:5), located near the Water Gate, near the Temple Mount (see MORIAH). The eastern slope, towards the Kidron Valley, was fortified by a series of walls from as early as the Middle Bronze Age. See MILLO; JERUSALEM

II Chr 27:3; 33:14. Neh 3:26-27; 11:21

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