BET(H)-NIMRAH (Heb. בֵּית נִמְרָה), biblical locality in the Jordan Valley opposite Jericho, in the area allotted to the tribe of Gad (Num. 32:36; Josh. 13:27; called Nimrah in Num. 32:3). It is mentioned in the form Bethnambris in the time of the Jewish War with Rome (66–70/73; Jos., Wars, 4:420), after which it continued to exist as a Jewish settlement and is frequently mentioned in talmudic sources (e.g., Pe'ah 4:5, etc.). In Byzantine times it was known as Bethnambris (Eusebius, Onom. 44:17; Johannes Moschus, Pratum Spirituale, pg, 87, pt. 3, 2952) and it is mentioned in the Rehov Synagogue inscription as well. The biblical town of Beth-Nimrah has been identified with Tell Balaybil, and the later settlement with Tell Nimrīn, 11 mi. (18 km.) S.W. of Gadara. The nearby Wadi Nimrin may very well be the "'waters of Nimrin" (Isa. 15:6; Jer. 48:34). Explored in the 19th century by C.R. Conder, the site was visited by many scholars including W.F. Albright and N. Glueck. Following a new survey of the site in 1976, a sixth-century three-aisled church was uncovered by M. Piccirillo in 1980 with magnificent decorated mosaic floors. Since 1989 large-scale excavations have been conducted at the site, revealing the archaeological remains of settlements from the Early Bronze iv, Middle Bronze ii, Iron Age i–ii. Destruction levels found in the Iron Age levels at the site date from the late 10th century b.c.e., late 9th century b.c.e., and the 7th century b.c.e. Persian through to Mamluk strata were also uncovered at the site.
Glueck, in: aasor, 25–28 (1951), 367–71; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 278; Press, Ereẓ, 1 (1951), 92–93; 3 (1952), appendix, 10. add. bibliography: M. Piccirillo, "A Church at Shunat Nimrim," in: Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 26 (1982); J.W. Flanagan, D.W. McCreer, and Kh. N. Yassine, "Preliminary Report on the 1990 Excavation at Tell Nimrin," in: Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 36 (1992).
[Michael Avi-Yonah /
Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]