NETOPHAH


NETOPHAH (Heb. נְטֹפָה), Judean village, evidently near Bethlehem (I Chron. 2:54). It was the hometown of two of David's heroes (II Sam. 23:28, 29) and of a captain of Gedaliah (II Kings 25:23; Jer. 40:8). It appears after Bethlehem in the list of those returning from Babylonian exile (Ezra 2:22; Neh. 7:26). In Byzantine times, it is placed in the vicinity of Tekoa (Life of Cyriacus, in: PG, vol. 115, p. 929); the same source mentions a "desert of Netopha." The usual identification is with Khirbat Badd Falūh, about 3.4 mi. (5½ km.) south of Bethlehem, where Iron Age to Byzantine pottery was found. It has also been located at Ramat Raḥel, which, however, is identified with Beth-Cherem by its excavator.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 399; Aharoni, Land, index; EM, 5 (1968), 829–30 (incl. bibl.).

[Michael Avi-Yonah]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.