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DOR (dôr). A very ancient Canaanite city on the coast of Palestine, about eight miles (thirteen km.) north of Caesarea. Josh.11.2 and Josh.12.23 read “Naphoth Dor.” Its ruler fought against Joshua, but he conquered it (Josh.11.1-Josh.11.8). In Judg.1.27 it is mentioned as one of the towns not occupied by the Israelites. Its place is now occupied by the village of Tantura.

DOR dôr (דֹּ֣אר, דֹּ֖ור; LXX Δωρ, 1 Macc 15 Δωρα; this name may be related to Akkad. duru, “fortress”; KJV 1 Macc 15 DORA, dô’ re). A fortified city on the coast of Pal. S of Mount Carmel c. eight m. N of Caesarea. It was settled in very ancient times by the Phoenicians because of the abundance of shells along the coast which were the source of a rich purple dye. Near the end of the 2nd millennium b.c. Dor was inhabited by the Tjekker, one of the sea peoples. Dor is mentioned in the Egyp. story of Wen-Amon, an emissary of Pharaoh who stopped at Dor on his way to Phoenicia.

The king of Dor supported Jabin, king of Hazor, in his unsuccesful battle against Joshua at the waters of Merom (Josh 11:2ff; 12:23). Dor was one of the cities within the borders of Issachar and Asher which were assigned to Manasseh although Manasseh was unable to capture it. In later years when it was captured, its Canaanite inhabitants were subjected by Israel to forced labor (Josh 17:11ff.; Judg 1:27). Dor is listed also among cities possessed by descendants of Ephraim (1 Chron 7:29). Dor and the neighboring territory were made the 4th administrative district by Solomon.

Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 b.c.) conquered Dor and established an Assyrian governor over it. In 219 b.c. the city was besieged by Antiochus the Great. He did not capture Dor, however, for rumors of an approaching Egyp. army caused him to agree to a truce. The Phoen. cities were subject to the Ptolemies until c. 200 b.c. when they were taken by the Seleucids who made Dor and several other cities independent. In 139 b.c. Dor was besieged by Antiochus VII (1 Macc 15:10-25). Trypho, her governor, fled to Apamia where he was captured and killed. The city was rebuilt, made free, and made a part of the province of Syria by Pompey in 64 b.c.

The site of Dor is identified with modern el-Burj N of Tanturah.


CAH (1954), VII, 190, 192; Jos. Antiq. V. i. 22; XIII. viii. 2; XIV. iv. 4; XIX. vi. 3; J. Pritchard, ANET (1955), 26; D. Baly, Geography of the Bible (1957), 131-133; J. Simon, The Geographical and Topographical Texts of the OT (1959), 272, 418, 419, 433.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

dor, do’-ra (do’r, dor, "habitation," "circle"; Dor; Josephus, Dora; modern TanTurah): A town of the coast of Palestine, South of Carmel (Apion, II, 10; Vita, 8), about 8 miles North of Caesarea. It was occupied in the earliest times by the Canaanites and probably belonged to Phoenicia, tradition saying that it was a Sidonian colony. It furnished an abundance of the shell-fish so valuable for the manufacture of the Tyrian purple, and this would have led the Phoenicians to occupy the site. In the 12th century BC, the region was occupied by the northern people who raided the whole Syrian coast and Egypt. They were driven back by the Egyptians, but renewed the attack, and the weakness of Egypt in the middle of the century enabled them to settle in the coast region South of Carmel; a tribe of them occupied Dor, and others the territory to the limits of the desert of Sinai, and became the Philistine people so well known by their contests with the Hebrews. Naphoth-dor, "the heights of Dor," may be the slopes of Carmel inland from TanTurah. Dor fell within the territory assigned to Manasseh (Jos 17:11; compare Ant, V, i, 22). It was the seat of a king who possessed other towns on the heights back of the coast. He was one of the allies of Jabin of Hazor in the conflict with Joshua (Jos 11:2) and was conquered by him (Jos 12:23), but Dor was not occupied by the Israelites (Jos 17:11; Jud 1:27).

The inhabitants of Dor were at enmity with the Phoenician towns and it would seem that the Sidonians seized it to obtain its rich supplies of shell-fish, and this probably caused the war of retaliation waged by the Philistines, under the lead of Ashkelon, against Sidon in the middle of the 11th century. Sidon was besieged by land, and the inhabitants were compelled to flee to Tyre. Dor seems to have been occupied by Solomon since he placed one of his purveyors in the town (1Ki 4:11), and Tiglath-pileser III reduced it and set a governor over it (Rawl., Phoenician., 84). Here Tryphon was besieged by Antiochus, but escaped to Apamea (1 Macc 15:11,13,15; Ant, XIII, vii, 2). It was made free by Pompey, and joined to the province of Syria (XIV, iv, 4). The youths of the place set up a statue of Tiberius in the Jewish synagogue, an outrage that was reported to Publius Petronius by Agrippa, and reparation was made (XIX, vi, 3). It does not seem to have been of much importance in later times, though the fortifications still remaining on the ruined site, from the period of the Middle Ages, show that it was then occupied. It is now only a miserable village nestled in the ruins.