Timnath Serah

TIMNATH-SERAH (tĭm'năth-hē'rēz, Heb. timnath serah). The same as Timnath Heres (Judg.2.9). It was a village in Ephraim that Joshua requested as an inheritance (Josh.19.50), that he rebuilt, and where his remains were buried (Josh.24.30). It is probably Tibnah, twelve miles (twenty km.) NE of Lydda.


TIMNATH SERAH tīm’ năth sĭr’ ə (תִּמְנַת־סֶ֖רַח, precinct remaining) the inheritance and burial place of Joshua according to Joshua 19:50; 24:30. The LXX reads Θαμνασαραχ, which may be either the modern Khirbet-tibneh about twelve m. NW of Ramallah, or the site associted with Timnath-heres, Kafr-Haris. Needless to say, there is very little archeological evidence to support either identification other than some surface finds of Iron Age potsherds. It is highly probable that Timnath-serah and Timnath-heres are two different names, each fully legitimate, going back to two slightly variant forms of the name.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

This place, assigned as an inheritance to Joshua, is described as being in Mt. Ephraim, on the north side of the mountain of Gaash (Jos 19:50; 24:30). Here, when his work was done, the great leader was laid to rest. The mountain of Gaash unfortunately cannot be identified. Josephus says that Joshua was buried at Thamna, a city of Ephraim (Ant., V, i, 29), which probably corresponds to Thamna, the head of a Jewish toparchy (BJ, III, iii, 5). Vespasian marched from Thamnatha to Lydda, which apparently was near (IV, viii, 1). The place was taken and reduced to slavery by Cassius (Ant., XIV, xi, 2). It was put in charge of John the Essene at the beginning of the Jewish war (BJ, II, xx, 4). Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. "Thamna" and "Thamnathsara") identifies it with "Timnath" of Ge 38:12 the King James Version, placing it in the mountain in the tribe of Da (or Judah), on the way from Diospolis (Lydda) to Jerusalem. The tomb of Joshua was still shown there. This points to Tibneh, in the uplands 12 miles Northeast of Lydda. South of the village, in the face of a rock, are a series of rock-hewn tombs, the largest of which, containing 14 loculi, and a small chamber behind with one loculus, may be that associated with Joshua by Eusebius, Onomasticon. A giant oak grows hard by perhaps the greatest tree in Palestine. Kefr Ishu`a, "village of Joshua," lies about 3 miles to the East. This identification is now generally accepted.

The Samaritan tradition points to the tomb of Joshua at Kefr Charis, 9 miles South of Nablus. Outside the village to the East are two shrines. One is called Neby Kifl, the other, Neby Kala`a. The former, "prophet of division," or "of the portion," might apply to Joshua; the latter is identified with Caleb. This identification assumes that the first element of the name has fallen out, the second only surviving.