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NOB (Heb. נֹב), priestly town in the territory of Benjamin, near Jerusalem. When David fled from Saul's court, he traveled by way of Nob (i Sam. 21ff.). Pretending to be on a royal mission, he obtained from the chief priest Ahimelech hallowed bread and the sword of Goliath from the local sanctuary for himself and his men. Doeg the Edomite, Saul's chief herdsman, denounced the priest to the king (i Sam. 22:9ff.); on Saul's order, he slew 85 priests and also "men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen and asses and sheep" (i Sam. 22:19). Abiathar son of Ahimelech escaped and later became high priest to David. Nob was the last stopping point, after Anathoth, of Sennacherib's northern army before their assault on Jerusalem (Isa. 10:32). It was one of the cities settled by Jews returning from Babylonian Exile. In the Mishnah, the question of the permissibility of high places at Nob is discussed (Zev. 14:7; Tosef., Zev. 13:5). The ancient city is identified with an Iron Age site near the village of ʿIsawiyya on Mt. Scopus, near the modern campus of the Hebrew University.


Voigt, in: jpos, 3 (1923), 79–87; W.F. Albright, in: aasor, 4 (1924), 139; A. Alt, in: pjb, 21 (1925), 12ff.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

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nob2 (sl.) person of wealth or distinction. XIX. In XVIII Sc. nab, knabb, of unkn. orig.
Hence nobby smart, elegant XIX; in XVIII Sc. knabby.

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nob1 (sl.) head. XVII. perh. var. of KNOB.

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Nob, in the Bible, religious center just N of Jerusalem. Saul had its inhabitants massacred.