CUTH, CUTHAH (Heb. כּוּת, II Kings 17:30; כּוּתָה; II Kings 17:24), a Sumero-Akkadian and Babylonian holy and cult city; the present-day Tell Ibrāhīm, 31¼ mi. (50 km.) N.E. of Babylon, 12½ mi. (20 km.) W. of Jemdet Nasr (see *Mesopotamia). The Sumerian (or pre-Sumerian) name for Cuthah is Gudua, and the Akkadian (from which the biblical name was derived) is Kutû(m). In the Bible (II Kings 17:24, 30) Cuthah figures as one of the cities from which the king of Assyria brought colonists to the province of Samaria. The Talmud (BB 91a) and Josephus (Ant., 9:279) speak of it as a locality still known in their time. The former identifies it with the Ur of the Chaldeans, which was Abraham's original home according to Genesis (11:31; 15:7). Perhaps the modern name of the site of Cuthah, Tell Ibrāhīm, reflects this tradition. The city of Cuthah is known in cuneiform sources chiefly as the cult center of the god Nergal; his central shrine, É-MES-LAM, stood in Cuthah (cf. e.g., Laws of Hammurapi, Preamble, line 71), and the Cuthean colonists in the province of Samaria established this cult there (II Kings 17:30).
Luckenbill, Records, index; A. Parrot, Archéologie mésopotamienne (1946), 93; D.O. Edzard, Die zweite Zwischenzeit Babyloniens (1957); A.L. Oppenheim, in: Centaurus, 14 (1969/70), 97–135.