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NAIN , village in the Jezreel Valley, 2 mi. south of Mount Tabor, where according to the New Testament Jesus revived a dead man (Luke 7:11). It was situated on the slopes of the hill of Moreh. In the Midrash, it is located in the territory of Issachar (Gen. R. 98:12). For many centuries, it was one of the villages of the district of Sepphoris. It was a large village, for it had a gate and presumably a wall (if one accepts the testimony of Luke). In the fourth century, Nain was made independent, remaining a separate district within Palaestina Secunda until the Arab conquest. The area of the village included the valley of Iksalo (Exaloth). In 1101 Naym appeared in a list of villages in the possession of the abbey of Mount Tabor. The presentday village (Kafr Na'im) has retained the same name and is built on a slope, 5 mi. (8 km.) south-southwest of Nazareth. A spring in the village irrigates plantations of olives and figs. Rock-cut graves were found in the crags along the road leading from the village to the southwest. In the area of the village are remains of a church or chapel, later transformed into a mosque (maqam Sayidna), ruined buildings, and a mosaic pavement.


Alt, in: pjb, 22 (1926), 60; idem, in: zdpv, 68 (1951), 61; see also: zdpv, 73 (1957), 141–2. add. bibliography: B. Bagatti, Ancient Christian Villages of Galilee (2001), 218–24; Y. Tsafrir, L. Di Segni, and J. Green, Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea – Palaestina. Maps and Gazetteer. (1994), 192; D. Pringle, The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. A Corpus. Vol. 2: L–Z (excluding Tyre) (1998) 115–16.

[Michael Avi-Yonah /

Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]