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ATAROTH (ăt'a-rŏth, crowns)

ATAROTH ăt’ ə rŏth (עֲטָרֹ֤ות, crowns, wreaths). 1. One of the towns built by the children of Gad in the Trans-Jordan (Num 32:3, 34) along with Dibon and Aroer. It is mentioned by King Mesha on his Moabite Stone (LL-10-14) as being the city where “the men of God had always dwelt.” It apparently was built and used by Israel, prior to Mesha’s capture, as a border fortress against Moab. Mesha claims to have brought back from Ataroth the “altar of David” (?) which he “dragged before Chemosh at Keriyoth.” The site is usually identified with Khirbet ’Aṭṭarus, eight m. NW of Dibon.

2. A NE border town of Ephraim in the Jordan Valley (Josh 16:7). It is variously identified with modern Tell Sheikh edh-Dhiâb by Grollenburg or Tell el Mazar by N. Glueck.

3. An Ephraimite town (Josh 16:2); possibly the same as Ataroth-addar (16:5; 18:13).

4. “Ataroth, the house of Joab” (1 Chron 2:54) may all be a proper name, Ataroth beth Joab, or tr. as the “crowns” (chiefs) of the house of Joab “and referring to the two sons of Salma.”


Y. Kaufmann, The Conquest of Palestine (1953), 28-33; W. Thomas (ed), Documents from OT Times (1958), 195-198.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

at’-a-roth, a-ta’-roth (`aTaroth, "crowns" or "wreaths"; Ataroth):

(1) A city East of the Jordan, apparently in the territory given to Reuben, but built, or fortified, by the children of Gad (Nu 32:3,34). It is named along with Dibon, which is identified with Dhiban. Eight miles Northeast by North of Dibon, on the South of Wady Zerqa Ma`in, stands Jebel `Attarus, in which the ancient name is preserved. The city is doubtless represented by Khirbet `Attarus, about 4 miles West of the mountain.

(2) A place on the boundary between Ephraim and Benjamin, toward the West (Jos 16:2). It seems to be the same as Ataroth- addar of Jos 16:5, 18:13. It is probably to be identified with the modern ed-Dariyeh South of nether Bethhoron, and about 12 1/2 miles West of Jerusalem.

(3) A place on the eastern frontier of Ephraim (Jos 16:7). This town has not been identified. Conder thinks it may be identified with et-Truneh in the Jordan valley, or with Khirbet et-Taiyereh.

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