A major city in antiquity and the object of important archaeological excavations in this century, Gezer lies on the border between the Judean foothills and the Shephelah, in the tribal territory of Ephraim (Map 1:W5). Mentioned in inscriptions of Pharaohs Tuthmose III (first half of fifteenth century BCE) and Merneptah (end of thirteenth century), as well as in the Amarna letters (mid‐fourteenth century), Gezer came under Israelite control at a relatively late date. Although the Israelites had failed to conquer the Canaanite city (Josh. 16.10; Judg. 1.29), it passed to their control when it was ceded to Solomon by Egypt, ostensibly as a dowry for his wife, the pharaoh's daughter (1 Kings 9.16). The siege of Gezer by the Assyrians (734–732 BCE) is depicted on a relief from the palace of Tiglath‐pileser III in Nimrud (ancient Calah). During the Maccabean period Gezer (called Gazara) was an important Seleucid stronghold until its capture by Simon in 143 BCE (1 Macc. 13.43–48).

Carl S. Ehrlich