Shihor, Shihor-Libnath

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SHIHOR, SHIHOR-LIBNATH (Heb. שִׁיחוֹר־לִבְנָת, שִׁחוֹר).

(1) Geographical term used in the Bible and derived from the Egyptian si-hor ("lake of Horus") which originally referred to the lake in the eastern Delta near the Pelusiac branch of the Nile. It has been identified with the Egyptian Pa-she-Hor, "the Waters of Horus," which are mentioned in a 19th-Dynasty Egyptian text, Papyrus Anastasi iii, 2:11–12 (Pritchard, Texts, 471). It marked the westernmost limit of Palestine in the south, extending to the Egyptian border (Josh. 13:3; i Chron. 13:5). The prophets occasionally identify it with the waters of Egypt (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 3:18).

(2) Shihor, with the addition of Libnath ("of the white willows") is used in Joshua 19:26 to indicate the southern boundary of Asher; it is mentioned with Mt. Carmel. Scholars are divided between its identification with the outlet of the Kishon River north of the Carmel and with the Naḥal Tanninim south of the Carmel (Ar. Nahr al-Zarqā or Miyāh al-Tamāsiḥ, "the waters of the crocodiles"), which may explain the associations of the name Shihor with Egypt; cf. the Crocodilopolis of Strabo.


R. Dussaud, Topographie historique de la Syrie… (1928), 15; Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 470; A.H. Gardiner, Ancient Egyptian Onomastica, 2 (1947), 201; R.A. Caminos, Late Egyptian Miscellanies (1954), 79; Aharoni, and, index.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]