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PENUEL (or Peniel; Heb. לֵאונפ, לֵאיִנְּפ), fortified city near the ford of the river Jabbok, where Jacob fought with the angel of the Lord and received the appellation Israel (Gen. 32:31). It appears with Succoth (with which it is also connected in the story of Jacob) as a city in Transjordan which refused to give food to Gideon and his men in their pursuit of the Midianites (Judg. 8:8); returning victorious, Gideon destroyed the tower of Penuel and slew the men of the city (Judg. 8:17). According to the last biblical reference to the place, it was built by Jeroboam I, king of Israel, after he built Shechem, apparently to be used as a capital for his lands beyond the Jordan (I Kings 12:25). Shishak captured Penuel in his campaign in the fifth year of Rehoboam, together with neighboring Succoth and Mahanaim (no. 53 on his list of conquered towns). It is now usually identified with the eastern mound of Tulūl al-Dhahab on the southern side of a bend in the Jabbok; the pottery on the site extends from the Late Bronze to the Byzantine periods. Some scholars suggest that both mounds of Tulūl al-Dhahab mark the site of Penuel, while others identify the western mound, on the northern side of the Jabbok, with *Mahanaim.


Albright, in: BASOR, 35 (1929), 12–13; Glueck, in: AASOR, 18–19 (1939), 232–4; de Vaux, in: RB, 47 (1938), 411–3; Press, Ereẓ, S.V.; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 406; Aharoni, Land, index.

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