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BAALAH (Heb. בַּעְלָה), name of several biblical localities, evidently associated with the worship of Baal. (1) Mount Baalah is mentioned as one of the demarcation points on the northwestern boundary of the territory of Judah, between Shikkeron and Jabneel in the vicinity of Ekron (Josh. 15:11). Its location is dependent on the identification of *Ekron, but the prevailing opinion is the ridge of Mughār, near Wadi Qaṭra. (2) A city of Baalah is listed in the Negev district of Judah (Josh. 15:29). It is also among the settlements of Simeon as Balah (Josh. 19:3) or Bilhah (I Chron. 4:29). Its identification is unknown. (3) Baalah is mentioned as another name for *Kiriath-Jearim (Josh. 15:9–10); in I Chronicles 13:6 it is called Baalath (Heb. version). (4) A city of Baalath appears in the list of Danite settlements (Josh. 19:44) after Eltekeh and Gibbethon; this is perhaps identical with the Baalath fortified by Solomon (I Kings 9:18). It has been identified with the mound Mughār or of Qatra; in this case it would be identical with (1).


(1) Kallai, in: BIES, 17 (1952), 63; Aharoni, in: PEQ, 90 (1958), 28–30; Mazar, in: IEJ, 10 (1960), 70; (2) Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 258; (3) Mazar, in: Sefer Dinaburg (1949), 317; EM, S.V.; Aharoni, Land, index.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

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