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ATAROTH (Heb. עֲטָ רוֹת), name of several biblical towns or settlements. (1) A city in the territory beyond the Jordan, conquered from the Amorites by Moses and the Israelites and allotted to Gad (Num. 32:3, 34), even though it was situated within the inheritance of Reuben (cf. Josh. 13:16). According to the Stele of Mesha, king of Moab, he captured the city from Israel: "Now the men of Gad had always dwelt in the land of Ataroth and the king of Israel had built Ataroth" (lines 10–11). It is now called Khirbat ʿAttārūs, 8 mi. (13 km.) N.W. of Dibon (modern Dhībān) and about 10 mi. (16 km.) E. of the Dead Sea. Moabite, Nabatean, Roman, Byzantine, and Arab potsherds have been found there. (2) Atroth-Shophan (עַטְרׁת שׁוֹפָן), a place in the vicinity of the above-mentioned Ataroth (Num. 32:35). (3) A city on the southern border of Ephraim (Josh. 16:2) which is perhaps identical with Atroth-Addar (עַטְרוֹת אַדָּר; Josh. 18:13). The Palestinian Targum translates Tomer Devorah ("palm tree of Deborah"; Judg. 4:5) as Atroth Devorah. A village with that name was located in this region in Byzantine times and is also mentioned in the Crusader period as Atarbereth (Atar Be'erot). (4) A city on the northern border of Ephraim (Josh. 16:7); its suggested identification is ʿAwja al-Fawqā or Tell Sheikh al-Dhiyāb, north of Jericho. (5) Atroth-Beth-Joab (עַטְרוֹת בֵּ ית יוֹאָב) in Judah (i Chron. 2:54) is unidentified.


(1) Aharoni, Land, index; Avi-Yonah, Land, 152; Press, Ereẓ, 4 (1955), 693–4; Glueck, in: asor, 18–19 (1939), 135; idem, in: huca, 23 (1) (1950–51), 126 ff. (2) Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 255 ff. (3) Alt, in: pjb, 21 (1925), 25; 22 (1926), 33; 23 (1927), 32; Elliger, in: zdpv, 53 (1930), 279 ff.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]