IJON (Heb. עִיּוֹן). (1) Israelite city on the northern border of Ereẓ Israel. It is possibly one of the localities written ynw or nyin the Egyptian Execration Texts (19th/18th century B.C.E.) and in the list of cities conquered by Thutmosis III (c. 1469 B.C.E., nos. 46, 86 or 95). In the Bible it appears in the list of cities captured by Ben-Hadad king of Aram at the time of his intervention, together with Dan, Abel-Bet-Maacah, etc., on behalf of Asa king of Judah against Baasha of Israel (c. 895 B.C.E.; I Kings 15:20; cf. II Chron. 16:4). It is mentioned again among the cities taken from Israel by Tiglath-Pileser III in his invasion of 733/2 B.C.E. In the description of the boundaries of the Holy Land as held by those returning from Babylonian captivity, it appears as Nikbatah de-Iyun (Sif. Deut. 51, and parallels). Early Arabic writers call it Qaryat al-ʿUyun. The city seems to have been abandoned in early Arabic times and it is recorded in 1347 only by the name of its plain, Marj al-ʿAyyūn, the southernmost part of the Lebanese al-Biqāʿ. Biblical Ijon is identified with Tell al-Dibbīn near the Ḥaẓbani source of the Jordan. (2) One of the villages of the city of Hippos (Susitha) east of the Sea of Galilee (Tosef., Shev. 4:10; TJ, Dem. 2:1, 22d). Although inhabited by Jews, it was declared free from the obligation of paying tithes. This Ijon, to which the Execration Texts and inscriptions of Thutmosis III may also refer, is considered by some scholars to be the Ain on the eastern border of the Land of Canaan (Num. 34:11). It has been identified with ʿAyyūn, 2 mi. (3 km.) north of Hammat on the Yarmuk River. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Alt, in PJB, 29 (1933), 17ff.; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 352; G. Posener, Princes et Pays d'Asie et de Nubie (1940), 74; Albright, in BASOR, 83 (1941), 33; 89 (1943), 14–15; Press, Ereẓ, 4 (1955), 695–6. (Michael Avi-Yonah)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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