A site near Gaza mentioned in the earliest record of the boundaries of Canaanite territory. (Gen. 10:19) In the past Gerar was commonly linked with Tell Jemmeh, about eight miles (13 kilometers) S of modern Gaza. But currently it is identified by numerous geographers with Tell Abu Hureirah, located in the foothills of the Judean mountains about twelve miles (19 kilometers) SE of modern Gaza. Many earthenware fragments believed to date from the time of the patriarchs have been found at the site. Abraham and, later, Isaac resided for a time as aliens at Gerar and dealt with its king Abimelech (possibly two different rulers that bore this name or official title).—Gen. 20:1-18; 21:22-34; 26:1-31; in reference to the Philistines of this early period, see PHILISTIA, PHILISTINES.
After Jehovah brought about the defeat of the impressive army of Zerah the Ethiopian, King Asa’s forces pursued the fleeing enemy as far as Gerar. Thereafter the Judeans struck and plundered “all the cities round about Gerar” (probably due to their being allied with the Ethiopians); “even the tents with livestock they struck so that they took captive flocks in great number and camels.”—2 Chron. 14:8-15.
Some scholars suggest altering 1 Chronicles 4:39, 40 to read “Gerar” (as does LXX) instead of “Gedor.” This passage connects Gedor with a region originally inhabited by the Hamites and having good pasturage, and this description would fit the Biblical references to the area around Gerar.