Nob

NOB (nōb, Heb. nōv). A town of the priests in the tribe of Benjamin just north of the city of Jerusalem. The language of Isa.10.32 indicates that it was within sight of Jerusalem. In the time of King Saul the tabernacle stood here for a time, and David’s visit to Ahimelech the priest (1Sam.21.1-1Sam.21.15) was the cause or at least the occasion for the complete destruction of the city by Saul (1Sam.22.19). David, fleeing from Saul, asked for provision for his young men and for a sword, all of which the priest granted; but a mischief-maker, Doeg the Edomite, was a witness to the transaction and reported it to Saul who, in his insane hatred and jealousy of David, had the priests murdered and their city destroyed.


b

NOB nŏb (נֹ֖ב, thriving?). A town NE of Jerusalem.


Such a location for Nob is confirmed by 2 Samuel 15, which speaks of David’s coming to the top of the ascent of Olivet “where God was worshiped” (v. 32), and by Nehemiah 11:31, 32, which lists Nob as a Benjamite town between Anathoth and Ananiah (q.v.) (Bethany; ibid., 390).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

An ancient priestly town to which David came on his way South when he fled from Saul at Gibeah (1Sa 21:1). Here he found refuge and succor with Ahimelech. This was observed by Doeg the Edomite, who informed the king, and afterward became the instrument of Saul’s savage vengeance on the priests, and on all the inhabitants of the city (1Sa 22). The name occurs in Ne 11:32 in a list of cities, immediately after Anathoth. In Isaiah’s ideal account of the Assyrians’ march against Jerusalem, Nob is clearly placed South of Anathoth. Here, says the prophet, the Assyrian shall shake his hand at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. It was a place, therefore, from which the Holy City and the temple were clearly visible.

The district in which the site must be sought is thus very definitely indicated; but within this district no name at all resembling Nob has been discovered, and so no sure identification is yet possible. `Anata (Anathoth) is 2 1/2 miles Northeast of Jerusalem. Nob therefore lay between that and the city, at a point where the city could be seen, apparently on the great road from the Nob. Rather more than a mile North of Jerusalem rises the ridge Ras el-Mesharif (2,665 ft.), over which the road from the Nob passes; and here the traveler approaching from that direction obtains his first sight of the city. It is fittingly named "the look-out." Col. Conder states the case for identifying this height with Mt. Scopus where Titus established his camp at the siege of Jerusalem (PEFS, 1874, 111 ff). Immediately South of the ridge, to the East of the road, there is a small plateau, South of which there is a lower ridge, whence the slopes dip into Wady el-Joz. This plateau, on which Titus may have sat, is a very probable site for Nob. It quite suits the requirements of Isaiah’s narrative, and not less those of David’s flight. Gibeah lay not far to the North, and this lay in the most likely path to the South.