Identifying Joshua’s Negev Sites

According to the Book of Joshua, the cities of the Negev were (from chapter 15):

Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (that is, Hazor), 26 Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet, 28 Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iyim, Ezem, 30 Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain and Rimmon—twenty-nine towns and their villages.

The first three cannot be identified, except Eder, which might be Arad. If such an identification is to be made, Kabzeel may be identified with Horvat Tov, and Jagur to be found between Kinah and Arad. Kinah is mentioned in the Arad ostraca, and can safely be identified with Horvat ‘Uza (31°12’33″N, 35° 9’56″E), by the Wadi el-Qeni, since nearby Horvat Radum can and should be identified with Ramah of the Negev (Josh 19:8). Adadah is best read “Aroer” ( 31° 9’8″N, 34°58’45″E), since it should appear in this list. Beersheba is the same as modern Beersheba (Tel Beersheba was sparsely inhabited since 701 BC). Rimmon may be identified with Tel Halif or a nearby site. Moladah may be identified with the Roman Malhata, the modern Tell el-Milh. Ezem may be identified with an Umm al-Asm three miles to the southwest of Aroer.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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