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HADRACH (Heb. חַדְרָךְ), city in Syria. Its identification is established by the biblical reference to the "land of Hadrach" in context with Damascus, Hamath, Tyre, and Sidon (Zech. 9:1). Some scholars also emend Ezekiel's description of the country's northern border from "the way of [Heb. haderekh] Hethlon" to "Hadrach-Hethlon," and accordingly locate it between the Mediterranean and Zedad (Ezek. 47:15). The city Hazrak is mentioned in an inscription of Zakir, king of Hamath and Luʿat (Lʿs; c. 780 b.c.e.), who captured the city and resisted its invasion by a coalition of kings from northern Syria and southern Anatolia. In the eighth century, the Assyrians stormed the city three times before Tiglath-Pileser iii succeeded in conquering it in c. 738 b.c.e. He reduced it to an Assyrian province, bearing its name; an Assyrian governor is still found there in 689 b.c.e.

Since Hadrach appears in Assyrian documents together with Mt. Saua (apparently Mt. al-Zāwiya), scholars locate the land of Hadrach between the valley of Unqi (Antiochia) in the north, Hamath in the south, and the Orontes in the west. The location of the city Hadrach, however, is disputed; it is most likely Kharake, near Mu'arat e-Nu'aman.

A note from R. Joseph b. Dormaskit to R. Judah indicates that in talmudic times Hadrach was thought to be located in the vicinity of Damascus (Sif. Deut. 1). In the Middle Ages, the seat of Gaon Solomon b. Elijah and his yeshivah was called Hadrach; this is possibly the city Javbar, two miles (3 km.) northeast of Damascus, where remains of an ancient synagogue have been found. Hadrach was still mentioned by the travelers of the 16th and 17th centuries, as the place where the "Synagogue of the Prophet Elijah" whose ruins subsist to this day, was situated.


M. Noth, in: zdpv, 52 (1929), 124–41; A. Dupont-Sommer, Les Araméens (1949), 51, 55, 62 f.; Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), 230 n. 215; A. Malamat, in: Eretz Israel, 1 (1951), 81ff.; B.Z. Luria, Ha-Yehudim be-Suryah (1957), 214, 243; I. Ben-Zvi, She'ar Yashuv (1965), 484ff.; Luckenbill, Records, index.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]