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TIMNAH (Heb. תִּמְנָה), the name of a number of places mentioned in the Bible.

(1) A Danite city (Josh. 19:43) located on the northern boundary of Judah between Beth Shemesh and Ekron (Josh. 15:10). In the time of the struggle between Dan and the Philistines, Timnah and its vineyards apparently belonged to the latter; Samson went there to marry the daughter of "the Timnite," the lord of Timnah (Judg. 14; 15:6). Later, probably in the days of David, it became an Israelite city, as is evident from its inclusion in the list of cities seized by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (ii Chron. 28:18). Sennacherib conquered it after the battle of Eltekeh in 701 b.c.e. (Annals 2:240). Eusebius places the city between Diospolis (Lydda) and Jerusalem, mistakingly identifying it with (2) below (Onom. 96:24ff.). It is now identified with Tell al-Baṭṭāshī in the Sorek Valley, an almost square mound west of Beth Shemesh with traces of Iron Age pottery and fortifications. Nearby excavations revealed Neolithic to Middle Bronze Age remains.

(2) A Judean city fortified by *Bacchides (i Macc. 9:50). This may be the Timnah to which Judah went for sheepshearing and on the way to which he met Tamar (Gen. 38); some, however, locate this event at (1) above. It is identified with Khirbat al-Tibnā near Beit Nattif.

(3) An unidentified city in the southeastern mountain district of Judah (Josh. 15:57).


B. Mazar, in: iej, 10 (1960), 66; J. Kaplan, in: Eretz-Israel, 5 (1959), 9ff.; Y. Aharoni, in: pefqs, 90 (1958), 27ff. (2) Avi-Yonah, Geog, 36ff.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]