Places in the Bible Today:



Translated NamesSebam, Shebam, Shibmah, Sibmah
Geo Data KML (for Google Earth)
GeoJSON (for GIS applications)

4 Possible Identifications

  1. Qarn al Qubish (modern): 50% confidence
    1. satellite view of the region around Qarn al QubishQarn al Qubish

  2. Khirbet Ayun Musa (modern): 15% confidence
    1. panorama of ruins at Khirbet Ayun MusaKhirbet Ayun Musa

  3. within 5 km of Baal-meon (ancient): less than 10% confidence
    1. satellite view of the region around Ma‘inwithin 5 km of Ma‘in

  4. Sumia (modern): less than 10% confidence
    1. satellite view of the region around SumiaSumia

Verses (6)

Gen-Deut (2)
Num 32:3, 32:38
Josh-Ruth (1)
Josh 13:19
Job-Mal (3)
Isa 16:8, 16:9
Jer 48:32

Linked Data Identifiers

Logos FactbookSibmah (2007)Sebam, Sibmah
OpenBible.infoaa10f27 (Sibmah)
TIPNRSebam@Num.32.3, Sibmah@Num.32.38
UBS Names Databaseot ID_2738, ot ID_2739
WikipediaList of minor biblical places#Sibmah (anchor)


  1. Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (1992): Sibmah (place)
  2. Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary (2013): Sibmah
  3. Baly, Atlas of the Biblical World (1971): Sibmah
  4. Baly, The Geography of the Bible (1974): page 233
  5. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000): Sibmah
  6. ESV Bible Atlas (2010)
  7. Expositor’s Bible Commentary (1984): Josh 13:19
  8. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (2011): Sibmah
  9. Hess, Joshua (1996): table 8
  10. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (2003)
  11. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1979): Sibmah
  12. IVP Old Testament Bible Background Commentary (2000): Jer 48:32; Josh 13:17-20; Jer 48:32
  13. New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary (2009)
  14. New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (1988)
  15. Oxford Bible Atlas, Fourth Edition (2007)
  16. Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible (2010)
  17. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (2009): Num 32:3; Jer 48:32

Confidence Trends over Time

This chart indicates how confidence in the identifications is changing over time. Each dot (connected by a dotted line) reflects the confidence of an identification over the preceding ten years (e.g., the 2009 dot reflects scholarship from 2000 to 2009), and the corresponding solid line reflects a best-fit line for the identification. Confidences that cluster near or below 0% indicate low confidence. Because of the small dataset, it's best to use this chart for general trends; if one identification is trending much higher than the others (in this case, Qarn al Qubish), then you can probably have higher confidence in the identification. This chart only reflects the sources I consulted (listed above), not an exhaustive review of the literature.

Thumbnail Image Credits

Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2019, Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg)


This page attempts to identify all the possible locations where this biblical place could be. The confidence levels add up to less than 100%, indicating that the modern location is uncertain. It's best to think about the confidences in relative rather than absolute terms. Often they reflect different schools of thought, each confident in their identifications.