Kefar Otnay

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KEFAR OTNAY (Otnai ; Heb. כְּפַר עוֹתְנָאִי), ancient village, 24 Roman mi. from Caesarea, 24 from Scythopolis (Beth-Shean), and 16 from Sepphoris. It is defined in talmudic sources as the farthest limit of Galilee in the direction of Judah and anyone passing it was considered to have left Galilee (Git. 7:7). It was the hometown of R. Shemaiah, a pupil of R. Johanan b. Zakkai, and the patriarch Gamaliel occasionally visited there. Samaritans living in the vicinity (Git. 1:5) cultivated vegetables on the land of the village (Tosef., Dem. 5:23). In the time of Hadrian, Kefar Otnay (Gr. Caparcotnei – Καπαρκοτνεί) was chosen as the camp of the sixth legion and renamed *Legio. Previously proposed identifications with Kafr Dān or Kafr Qūd are no longer accepted.


Ramsay, in: jrs, 6 (1916), 129; Alt, in: zdpv, 68 (1951), 57ff.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]