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KIRIATH-JEARIM (Heb. קִרְיַת יְעָרִים), city of the Hivites belonging to the Gibeonite confederation (Josh. 9:17). Its original name was Kiriath-Ba'al or Baalah. Kiriath-Jearim was situated on the border of Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:9, 60; 18:14, 15) and was connected with the family of *Caleb (i Chron. 2:50, 52, 53). The tribe of Dan camped in its vicinity for some time (Judg. 18:12). When the Ark was rescued from the Philistines, it was placed in the house of Abinadab in Kiriath-Jearim (i Sam. 6:21; 7:1, 2) until eventually brought by David to Jerusalem (ii Sam. 6:2ff.; i Chron. 13:5, 6; ii Chron. 1:4). It was the home town of *Uriah, the son of the prophet Shemaiah, who fled to Egypt and was caught and executed by the king Jehoiakim (Jer. 26:20). The inhabitants of Kiriath-Jearim were among those who returned from Babylonian exile (Ezra 2:25; Neh. 7:29). According to Eusebius, the place was a station 9 or 10 mi. from Jerusalem on the road to Diospolis (Lod; Onom. 48:22; 114:23). The identification of Kiriath-Jearim with Tell/Deir (Dayr) al-ʿAzār about 8 mi. (13 km.) west of Jerusalem in the village of *Abu Ghosh is generally accepted. The Crusaders considered this site to be the ancient Emmaus, also calling it Fontenoid because of the springs below the tell.


Abel, in: rb, 34 (1925), 580; 43 (1934), 351; M. Noth, Das Buch Josua (1938), 61–62, 81; em, s.v.Ba'alah (includes bibliography); Aharoni, Land, index; Avi-Yonah, Geog, index.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]