Free Online Bible Library | Ataroth-addar

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ATAROTH-ADDAR at’ ə roth ăd’ ərh (עַטְרֹ֣ות אַדָּ֔ר crowns of Addar). In Joshua 16:5 and 18:13, the boundary lists for Ephraim and Manasseh and Benjamin include a town called Atarothaddar. The southern boundary of the Joseph tribes coincides with the northern boundary of Benjamin.

A. Alt (ZDPV 69, 1953) had suggested that Aṭaroth and Mizpah are only different names for the same place; the former for the premonarchic town and the latter for the monarchic period beginning with Asa’s fortifications (1 Kings 15:16-22). This theory puts too much strain on the preservation of the name ’Ataroth and esp. since the small village at the foot of Tell en Naṩbeh (Mizpah) named Kirbet ’Atarah is not an ancient site. It goes back only to Byzantine-Arabic times with no pre-Rom. remains. Nor does the fact that “Ataroth” does not occur outside of the boundary descriptions of Joshua prove that it was replaced by Mizpah around 900 b.c. since there are five other names in this same category found in the second part of this boundary list. So, the site identification remains unknown.

Yehezkel Kaufmann has also dealt with M. Noth’s interpretation of these border lists. Kaufmann convincingly demonstrates that Joshua 16:5-7 describes the southern and northern borders of Ephraim by starting in the middle of each border, Ataroth-Addar in one case and Hammish-methath in the other, and traces the border from this middle point westward and then eastward in one and conversely eastward and then westward in the other.


Y. Kaufmann, The Biblical Account of the Conquest of Palestine (1953), 28-33; J. Simons, The Geographical and Topographical Texts in the OT (1959) 161-169.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(`aTroth ’addar, "crowns of Addar"). See Ataroth (2).

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