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Netophah, Netophas

NETOPHAH, NETOPHAS nē tō’ fə, nē tō’ fəs (נְטֹפָ֖ה; Apoc., Νετέβας, Νετωφάς; dropping). A town of Judah, SE of Bethlehem.

While the precise location of Netophah remains uncertain, it was close to Bethlehem (1 Chron 2:54). Because of its listing between Bethlehem and Anathoth in Ezra 2:22 and Nehemiah 7:26, some have identified Netophah with the fortress of Ramat Rahel just S of Jerusalem (cf. J. Simons, Geographical and Topographical Texts of the OT, 339); but this community did not develop until after the time of David, and the lists in Ezra and Nehemiah do not appear to be in strict geographical order. Its more probable location is Khirbet Bedd Faluh, three m. SE of Bethlehem, where the Biblical name is still preserved in the nearby spring, ’Ain en-Natuf (so Simons, loc. cit.).