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Tekoa

Tekoa, from the Hebrew pronounced tek-oh-ah (one of the relatively few English renderings of a Hebrew place name that resulted in the same pronunciation; most don't e.g. "Jerusalem" in Hebrew is pronounced yer-oo-shaw-lay-yim) was a town in Judah / Judea about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. It is also translated into English as Tekoah, from a variation of Tekoa referring to the people who lived there. Tekoa is mentioned primarily 3 times in Bible History, from King David, King Rehoboam and when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (known today as Iraq) was sent by The Lord to conquer the corrupt Kingdom of Judah.

"Blow the trumpet in Tekoa"

King David was a great man of God, but nevertheless human, and therefore subject to the sorts of problems that all humans can experience (actually, God's true people can have more problems in this world because the more one tries to obey God, the more Satan is going to attack in every possible way). When David's overly-ambitious son Absalom became alienated from his father (i.e. a deadly threat to his father and to the king's other sons), Joab used "a wise woman" from Tekoa to play a part in a ruse intended to cause David to put aside his anger and emotion and to follow his own impartial advice that he thought that he was giving to someone else (it wasn't the only time that such a tactic was used on David; Nathan The Prophet did it too to rebuke the king for his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband to attempt to cover it up i.e. 2 Samuel 12:1-9).

Tekoa

"Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart went out to Absalom. And Joab sent to Tekoa, and fetched from there a wise woman, and said to her, "Pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning garments; do not anoint yourself with oil, but behave like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead; and go to the king, and speak thus to him." So Joab put the words in her mouth.

When the woman of Tekoa came to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, "Help, O king."

And the king said to her, "What is your trouble?"

She answered, "Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead. And your handmaid had two sons, and they quarreled with one another in the field; there was no one to part them, and one struck the other and killed him. And now the whole family has risen against your handmaid, and they say, 'Give up the man who struck his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he slew'; and so they would destroy the heir also. Thus they would quench my coal which is left, and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant upon the face of the earth."

Then the king said to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you."

And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, "On me be the guilt, my lord the king, and on my father's house; let the king and his throne be guiltless."

The king said, "If any one says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall never touch you again."

Then she said, "Pray let the king invoke The Lord your God, that the avenger of blood slay no more, and my son be not destroyed."

He said, "As The Lord lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground."

Then the woman said, "Pray let your handmaid speak a word to my lord the king."

He said, "Speak."

And the woman said, "Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in giving this decision the king convicts himself, inasmuch as the king does not bring his banished one home again." (2 Samuel 14:1-13 RSV)

After the division of Israel into two separate kingdoms ("Israel" in the north and "Judah" in the south), King Rehoboam of Judah, who then had only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remaining, militarized numerous cities in Judah, including Tekoa, as a defense against Israel (see Israelite Monarchy - The Division Of Israel).

"Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and he built cities for defense in Judah.

He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Bethzur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, fortified cities which are in Judah and in Benjamin. He made the fortresses strong, and put commanders in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. And he put shields and spears in all the cities, and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin." (2 Chronicles 11:5-12 RSV)

The northern kingdom quickly became religiously corrupt; the Levites who lived in the northern kingdom, whose tribal inheritance was throughout the other tribes, returned to Judah while Judah remained (at least for that time) more faithful (i.e. obedient) to The Lord.

"And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him from all places where they lived. For the Levites left their common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of The Lord, and he appointed his own priests for the high places, and for the satyrs, and for the calves which he had made." (2 Chronicles 11:13-15 RSV)

The Levites were not the only obedient among the people to leave Israel and move down to Judah. Some of the people of the ten tribes also moved to Judah, although this does not affect the reality that the vast majority of people of "the lost ten tribes" were later conquered and taken away to Babylon (today known as Iraq) and were lost to history. Prophecy plainly describes the gathering of those lost ten tribes (see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah) who are not a part of Judah, then or now.

"And those who had set their hearts to seek The Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to The Lord, the God of their fathers." (2 Chronicles 11:16 RSV)

Eventually the southern kingdom of Judah became just as corrupt as Israel, and like Israel, The Lord allowed it to be conquered, this time by the Babylonians. When that happened, the military town of Tekoa fell along with all of the rest.

"Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise a signal on Bethhaccherem; for evil looms out of the north, and great destruction. The comely and delicately bred I will destroy, the daughter of Zion. Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; they shall pitch their tents around her, they shall pasture, each in his place.

Prepare war against her; up, and let us attack at noon! Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of evening lengthen! Up, and let us attack by night, and destroy her palaces! For thus says The Lord of hosts: "Hew down her trees; cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city which must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her." (Jeremiah 6:1-6 RSV)

Fact Finder: Was the prophet Amos from Tekoa? What was Amos' profession there?
Amos 1:1


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