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HAROSHETH-GOIIM (Heb. חֲרשֶׁת הַגּוֹיִם), biblical locality, the seat of *Sisera , commander of the army of Jabin king of Canaan (Judg. 4:2). When Sisera heard that *Barak was assembling his army at Mount Tabor, he advanced from Harosheth-Goiim to the brook of Kishon, where Barak defeated him and drove his army back to Harosheth-Goiim (ibid. 4: 12–16). Various scholars have proposed to identify the site with either Khirbat al-Harbaj or Tell al-ʾAmar near al-Ḥārithiyya. These identifications, however, are disputed by B. Mazar, who argues that Harosheth-Goiim is not the name of a city but a general term designating the forested regions of central Galilee (cf. Gelil ha-goyim, "Galilee of the nations," Isa. 8:23), over which Sisera attempted to impose his rule. The root חרש in Hebrew and related languages means "forest"; the Septuagint also translates Harosheth as drymos, "forest" (Judg. 4: 16).


Abel Geog, 2 (1938), 343f.; Maisler (Mazar), in: HUCA, 24 (1953), 81–84; Y. Aharoni, Hitnaḥalut Shivtei Yisrael ba-Galil ha-Elyon (1957), 101f.; Aharoni, Land, index.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

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