Ashtaroth, Ashteroth-Karnaim, Karnaim

views updated


ASHTAROTH, ASHTEROTH-KARNAIM, KARNAIM (Heb. עַשְׁתָּרוֹת, עַשְׁתְּרׁת־קַרְנַיִם, קַרְנָיִם; "horns"; Amos 6:13), Canaanite city in Bashan, named after the goddess *Ashtoreth. Ashtaroth is mentioned in the Egyptian Execration Texts (19th–18th centuries b.c.e.), in the inscriptions of Thutmosis iii (No. 28 in his list), and in the El-Amarna letters (ea 197, 256). With the addition of neighboring *Karnaim, it appears in the list of *Chedorlaomer's conquests (Gen. 14:5). Together with *Edrei, Ashtaroth was the capital of Og, king of Bashan (Deut. 1:4), and after the Israelite conquest it was allotted to the tribe of *Manasseh (Josh. 13:31). It was a levitical city (i Chron. 6:56; Josh. 21:27 – "Beeshterah") and the home of Uzziah, one of David's "mighty men" (i Chron. 11:44). Ashtaroth was captured by Tiglath-Pileser iii in 732 b.c.e.; a relief depicting the deportation of its inhabitants has been preserved. The temple of Atargatis there was stormed by Judah Maccabee (i Macc. 5:26, 43–44; ii Macc. 12:21, 26). In talmudic literature it appears as Ashtor, a city of proselytes (tj, Bik. 1:4, 64a). In the time of Eusebius (fourth century), two villages, one called Ashtaroth and the other Karnaim, still existed in the Bashan, nine (Roman) miles apart. It is identified with Tell Ashtareh, 21 mi. (34 km.) east of the Sea of Galilee.


W.F. Albright, in: basor, 19 (1925), 15; A. Alt, in: pjb, 29 (1933), 21; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 255; Press, Ereẓ, 4 (1955), 760; Aharoni, Land, index.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]