Timnah and surrounding area

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Genesis 38:12 After many days, Shua's daughter, the wife of Judah, died. Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers to Timnah, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite.

Genesis 38:13 It was told Tamar, saying, "Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep."

Genesis 38:14 She took off of her the garments of her widowhood, and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gate of Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she wasn't given to him as a wife.

Joshua 15:10 and the border turned about from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, and passed along to the side of Mount Jearim on the north (the same is Chesalon), and went down to Beth Shemesh, and passed along by Timnah;

Joshua 15:57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah; ten cities with their villages.

Joshua 19:43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron,

Judges 14:1 Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines.

Judges 14:2 He came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me as wife."

Judges 14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah: and behold, a young lion roared against him.

2 Chronicles 28:18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland, and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, and Aijalon, and Gederoth, and Soco with its towns, and Timnah with its towns, Gimzo also and its towns: and they lived there.


tim'-na (timnah, timnathah (Joshua 19:43 Judges 14:1, 2, 5), "allotted portion; Codex Vaticanus Thamnatha; also several Greek variations; King James Version has Timnath in Genesis 38:12, 13, 14 Judges 14:1, 2, 5; and Thimnathah in Joshua 19:43):

(1) A town in the southern part of the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:57). Tibna proposed by Conder, a ruin 8 miles West of Bethlehem, seems too far N. (PEF, III, 53, Sh XVII). It is possible this may be the "Timnah" of Genesis 38:12, 13, 14.

(2) A town on the northern border of Judah (Joshua 15:10), lying between Beth-shemesh and Ekron. It is probably the same Timnah as Judah visited (Genesis 38:12-14), and certainly the scene of Samson's adventures (Judges 14:1 f); his "father-in-law" is called a "Timnite" (Judges 15:6). At this time the place is clearly Philistine (Judges 14:1), though in Joshua 19:43 it is reckoned to Dan. Being on the frontier, it probably changed hands several times. In 2 Chronicles 28:18 it was captured from the Philistines by Ahaz, and we learn from Assyrian evidence (Prison Inscription) that Sennacherib captured a Tamna after the battle of Alteka before he besieged Ekron (Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Altes Testament, 170). The site is undoubted. It is now a deserted ruin called Tibneh on the southern slopes of the Wady es Surar (Valley of Sorek), about 2 miles West of Beth-shemesh. There is a spring, and there are evident signs of antiquity (PEF, II, 417, 441, Sh XVI).

(3) There was probably a Timna in Edom (Genesis 36:12, 22, 40 1 Chronicles 1:39, 51). Eusebius and Jerome (in Onomasticon) recognized a Thamna in Edom at their time.

(4) The "Thamnatha" of 1 Maccabees 9:50 (the King James Version) is probably another Timnah, and identical with the Thamna of Josephus (BJ, III, iii, 5; IV, viii, 1). This is probably the Tibneh, 10 miles Northwest of Bethel, an extensive ruin.

E. W. G. Masterman

Tigris-Euphrates Region
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