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HOR (Heb. הֹר הָהָר). (1) A mountain in the Negev, on the border of the land of Edom (Num. 20:23; 33:37, "in the edge of the land of Edom"). During the Exodus, it was the first station of the Israelites after Kadesh-Barnea on the way to Zalmonah and Punon (ibid. 33:41–42). It is referred to as the burial place of Aaron (ibid. 20:22–29; 33:38–39; Deut. 32:50), but according to another account, Aaron died in Moserah, between Beer-oth-Bene-Jaakan and Gudgod (before Jotbah) in the Arabah (Deut. 10:6–7). The Bible relates that when the Israelites arrived at Mount Hor, the king of Arad dwelt (i.e., ruled) in the Negev (Num. 33:40), and accordingly G.L. Robinson identified the mountain with Jebel Maḍra (Moserah), an isolated limestone peak south of the Great Makhtesh and the brook of Zin, on the road between Kadesh and the Arabah. F.M. Abel, on the other hand, identified Beeroth-Bene-Jaakan with Beerothaim (Bīr) Bīrayn) and located Mount Hor, on the basis of the name Wadi Hārūniyya (Aaron's Brook), closer to ʿAyn al-Qudayrāt (Kadesh-Barnea), at a spot 10½ mi. (17 km.) northwest of it. Alternatively, he suggested Avedat, called al-Madra (Moserah) – following an identification made by the Arab writer el-Maqrīzī. Another proposal, put forth by S. Loewenstamm, is the ridge above Kadesh-Barnea, and another suggestion is ʿImārat al-Khuraysha, a mountain near Kadesh. A popular tradition, dating from the time of Josephus (Ant. 4:82–83, and followed by Eusebius, Onom. 176:7–8), located Kadesh-Barnea in the valley of Petra and identified Mount Hor with Jebel Hārūn (Mt. Aaron), 4,692 ft. (1,400 m.) high, west of Petra. Remains of a Byzantine church and the tomb of a Muslim wali ("holy man") from the time of the Mamluk sultan Qalʿūn have been found there.

(2) A landmark designating the northern limit of Israelite territory (i.e., of the land of Canaan) near the coast of the Mediterranean (Num. 34:7). Its location is determined by means of another point mentioned on the northern frontier – Lebo-Hamath, which is Libwa in the plain of Lebanon, and Mount Hor is accordingly identified with either Jebel ʿAkkār or Jebel Makmal in northern Lebanon. Another proposal, based on the possibility of a connection between Hor and the Egyptian god Hor, identifies it with the frontier mark of Raʾs al-Shaqqa, north of Byblos.


(1): EM, S.V.; Aharoni, Land, index; Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 386ff.; 2 (1938), 215; Glueck, in: AASOR, 15 (1935), 116–7. (2): Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 302; Maisler, in: RHJE, 1 (1947), 46 n. 2; Aharoni, Land, index.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.