TOB (Heb. טוֹב), biblical place name. When *Jephthah the Gileadite was expelled from his father's house, he went to the land of Tob (Judg. 11:13). "A man of Tob" (Heb. ish Tov) is mentioned alongside the Aramean armies which came to the aid of the Ammonites during their war with David (II Sam. 10:6, 8). The phrase "a man of Tob" apparently refers to the people of the land of Tob (cf. the usages "man of Israel," "man of God"), or to a Tobite ruler (cf. the terms for Canaanite rulers in the *El-Amarna tablets).

Documents from the second millennium B.C.E. mention a place called Ṭby or Ṭubu, along with cities in *Bashan. It has been suggested, therefore, by B. Mazar, that the land of Tob is to be located in the vicinity of the settlement of Taiyibeh, east of Edrei. It seems that the land of Tob was back country, and that it served as an asylum for outlaws.


B. Maisler (Mazar), in: JPOS, 9 (1929), 83; M. Noth, in: ZDPV, 68 (1949), 6 (n. 6), 8 (n. 3), 27–28.

[Bustanay Oded]

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