views updated


REHOB (Heb. רְחֹב ,רְחוֹב; "a wide place, square");

(1) Town allocated to the tribe of Asher, mentioned together with Hammon and Kana (Josh. 19:28), but apparently not conquered by the tribe (Judg. 1:31). It may be identical with the Rehob mentioned in the Egyptian Execration texts of the late 19th century b.c.e. and in the list of Thutmosis iii (no. 87). It is variously identified both with Tell al-Balāṭ, southeast of Tyre, and with Khirbat al-ʿAmrī, northeast of Achzib.

(2) A second Rehob in the territory of Asher, mentioned together with Aphek (Josh. 19:30). It was one of the levitical cities (Josh. 21:31; i Chron. 6:60). A suggested identification is with Tell al-Birwa al-Gharbï where remains of the Middle and Late Bronze Ages and the Early Iron Age have been found. Some scholars consider it identical with (1) above.

(3) The Roobot of Eusebius (Onom. 142:11) and the Rehob known from various Egyptian inscriptions are identified with the large tell of al-Ṣārim, south of Beth-Shean, near the present-day al-Sheikh al-Riḥāb. This is the most important mound in the Beth-Shean Valley and the remains found there date from the third millennium b.c.e. to about the tenth century b.c.e. It may be identical with the Rehob mentioned in the Egyptian Execration texts of the 20th–19th centuries b.c.e. According to one of the Beth-Shean stelae of Seti i, it was attacked by forces from Pehel and Hamath, but was eventually relieved by the pharaoh's army. The name appears as Rahabu in the Taanach letters (15th century) and in Papyrus Anastasi i (13th century), where it is listed before Beth-Shean. The last mention of the place occurs in the list of towns conquered by Shishak (no. 26) and, therefore, the town must have existed until at least 925 b.c.e., although it is not mentioned in the Bible.


Y. Aharoni, Hitnaḥalut Shivtei Yisrael ba-Galil ha-Elyon (1967), 51–52; Aharoni, Land, index; Bergman and Bransteter, in: bjpes, 8 (1941), 88; Albright, in: basor, 83 (1941), 33; 94 (1944), 23.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]