1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Emmaus

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EMMAUS, the name of two places in Palestine.

1. A village mentioned by Luke (xxiv. 13), without any indication of direction, as being 60 stadia (almost 7 m.), or according to some MSS.[1] 160 stadia, from Jerusalem. Its identification is a matter of mere guesswork: it has been sought at (a) Emmaus-Nicopolis (see 2 below), distant 176 stadia from Jerusalem; (b) Kuryet el- ‛Enab, distant 66 stadia, on the carriage road to Jaffa; (c) Kulonieh, distant 36 stadia, on the same road; (d) el-Kubeibeh, distant 63 stadia, on the Roman road to Lydda; (e) ‛Urtas, distant 60 stadia; and (f) Khurbet el-Khamasa, distant 86 stadia, on the Roman road to Eleutheropolis. Of these, el-Kubeibeh or ‛Urtas seems the most probable, though many favour Kulonieh because of its nearness to Bet Mizza, in which name there is similarity with Emmaus, and because of a reading (30 stadia) in Josephus.

2. Emmaus-Nicopolis, now ‛Amwās, a town on the maritime plain, and a place of importance during the Maccabaean and Jewish wars. Near it Judas Maccabaeus defeated Gorgias in 164 B.C., and Vespasian established a fortified camp in A.D. 69. It was afterwards rebuilt and named Nicopolis, and became an episcopal see. It was also noted for a healing spring.

  1. Including Codex א. But this distance is too great for the conditions of Luke’s narrative and the reading (160) is evidently an attempt to harmonize with the traditional identification of Emmaus-Nicopolis held by Eusebius and Jerome. For a curious reading in three old Latin MSS, which makes Emmaus the name of the second traveller on the journey, see Expos. Times, xiii. 429, 477, 561.