In the Holy Scriptures it is the 'Water of Merom,' Joshua 11:5. In the Babylonian Talmudists it is 'The Sibbechean sea.' Hence is that, |Jordan ariseth out of the cave of Paneas, and flows into the Sibbechean sea.| In the Jerusalem Talmudists, sometimes it is 'The sea of Cobebo,' as we have noted before; and sometimes 'The sea of Samaco'; whence in other languages it is 'Samachonitis.'
|The lake Semechonitis is thirty furlongs in breadth, and sixty in length. The fens of it are stretched out unto the country Daphne; a country, as it is otherwise pleasant, so containing fountains: [Greek passage omitted]. The scruple lies concerning the pointing...The sentence and sense seems indeed to flow more smoothly, if you should render it thus, |The springs which, nourishing Little Jordan, as it is called, send it out into the Great, under the temple of the golden calf|: but then a just doubt ariseth of the situation of that temple. That clause, therefore, is rather to be referred to the foregoing, so that the sense may go thus; |The springs, which, nourishing Little Jordan, as it is called, under the temple of the golden calf, send it into the Great|: and so you have the temple of the golden calf at the springs of Jordan, and the place adjacent called Daphne, and the marshes of Samochonitis reaching thither.
The Jerusalem Gemarists do thus explain those words of Ezekiel, 47:8: |These waters go forth into the east coast: that is, into the lake Samochonitis. And they shall go down into the plain; that is, into the sea of Tiberias. And they shall go out into the sea; that is, into the Dead Sea.|
|The city Hazor (saith Josephus) lies on the lake Semechonitis.| This city is the metropolis of Canaan, that is, of that northern country, which is known by that name: which is called also 'Galilee of the Gentiles.' Jabin the king of Hazor, and others, fight with Joshua at the waters of Merom, that is, at the lake Samochonitis, Joshua 11:4. And Jonathan in the same place, as it seems, with the army of Demetrius, |in the plain of Asor,| as the same Josephus writes. But, in the Book of the Maccabees, it is, |The plain of Nasor,| 1 Maccabees 11:67.