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HAMMATH (hăm'ăth, hot spring)

One of the fortified cities assigned by lot to the tribe of Naphtali in the division of the land under Joshua (Josh.19.35). It lay close to the shore of the Sea of Galilee, only a mile or so (about two km.) south of the city of Tiberias, and even today three of these hot springs send up sulphurous water at the southern extremity of the ancient ruins. It may have been the same as the Hammoth Dor of Josh.21.32 and Hammon of 1Chr.6.76.The founder of the house of Recab (1Chr.2.55; kjv Hemath).

HAMMATH hăm’ ăth (חַמַּ֖ת, hot spring). 1. “The father of the house of Rechab” (1 Chron 2:55, KJV HEMATH).

2. A fortified city of Naphtali (Josh 19:35); located at the modern Hamman Tabariyeh, famous for its hot baths, c. two m. S of Tiberias on the W shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is prob. the same as Hammon (1 Chron 6:76) and Hammoth-dor (Josh 21:32), and the Emmaus of Josephus (Jos. Antiq. XVIII. ii. 3; War IV. i. 3).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(chammath, "hot spring"):

(1) "The father of the house of Rechab" (1Ch 2:55).

(2) One of the fenced cities of Naphtali, named with Zer, Rakkath and Chinnereth (Jos 19:35). It is doubtless identical with Emmaus mentioned by Josephus (Ant., XVIII, ii, 3; BJ, IV, i, 3) as near Tiberias, on the shore of the lake of Gennesareth. It is represented by the modern el-Chammam, nearly 2 miles South of Tiberias. It was, of course, much nearer the ancient Tiberias, which lay South of the present city. The hot baths here, "useful for healing," in the time of Josephus, have maintained their reputation. In recent years, indeed, there has been a marked increase in the number of sick persons from all parts who visit the baths. The waters are esteemed specially valuable for rheumatism and skin troubles. In the large public bath the water has a temperature of over 140 degree Fahr. Parts of the ancient fortification still cling to the mountain side above the baths; and the remains of an aqueduct which brought fresh water from sources in the Southwest may be traced along the face of the slopes. Hammath is identical with Hammon (1Ch 6:76); and probably also with Hammoth-dor (Jos 21:32).