HOR, MOUNT hôr (הֹ֥ר הָהָֽר, Hor, the mountain). A mountain on the border of the land of Edom at the foot of which the Israelites encamped on their journey from Kadesh to the Promised Land (
According to Josephus (Antiq. IV. 4, 7) Mount Hor was one of the mountains surrounding Petra, Jebel Neby Harun, a mountain 4,800 ft. high, c. half way between the S end of the Dead Sea and the N end of the Gulf of Akabah. It is the highest of the mountains in Edom. On the top is a tomb which is said to belong to Aaron, but the upper part at least is a Mohammedan tomb. Mohammedan tradition has it that this is the Mount Hor where Aaron is buried.
It is doubtful, however, that Jebel Neby Harun is Mount Hor. For one thing, it is in the middle of Edom and not on its border as was Mount Hor. It is also too far E of Kadesh. The mountain is moreover too high to witness from below what went on above and too rugged for the three men to ascend it. Moreover, since Edom denied the request of the Israelites to pass through its territory, and came out against Israel with a strong force of men, it is not likely that Israel would encamp at a mountain in the middle of Edom.
Jebel Madurah, a mountain c. fifteen m. NE of Kadesh, on the NW border of Edom, is a more likely site. Its topography is such that Israel could observe the ceremony on the top. It is on the direct route from Kadesh to Moab.
2. Another mountain peak with the same name (
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(hor ha-har; literally, "Hor, the mountain"):
1. Not Jebel Neby Harun:
(1) a tradition identifying this mountain with Jebel Neby Harun may be traced from the time of Josephus (Ant., IV, iv, 7) downward. Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. Hor) favors this identification, which has been accepted by many travelers and scholars. In HDB, while noting the fact that it has been questioned, Professor Hull devotes all the space at his disposal to a description of Jebel Neby Harun. It is now recognized, however, that this identification is impossible. Niebuhr (Reise nach Arabic, 238), Pocoke (Description of the East, I, 157), Robinson (BR, I, 185), Ewald (Hist. of Israel, II, 201, note), and others had pointed out difficulties in the way, but the careful discussion of Dr. H. Clay Trumbull (, 127 ff) finally disposed of the claims of Jebel Neby Harun.
2. Suggested Identification:
3. Jebel Maderah:
This points to some eminence to the North or Northeast of Kadesh. A hill meeting sufficiently all these conditions is Jebel Maderah (see Mount Halak), which rises to the Northeast of `Ain qadis (Kadeshbarnea). It stands at the extreme Northwest boundary of the land of Edom, yet not within that boundary. Above the barrenness of the surrounding plain this "large, singular-looking, isolated chalk hill" rises "alone like a lofty citadel," "steep-sided" and "quite naked." Here the solemn transactions described in
(2) A mountain named only in