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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Taanach

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tā´nak ( תּענך , ta‛ănākh , or תּענך , ta‛nākh ; the Septuagint Τανάχ , Tanách , with many variants): A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was slain by Joshua ( Joshua 12:21 ). It was within the boundaries of the portion of Issachar, but was one of the cities reckoned to Manasseh (Joshua 17:11 ; 1 Chronicles 7:29 ), and assigned to the Kohathite Levites (Joshua 21:25 ). The Canaanites were not driven out; only at a later time they were set to taskwork (Joshua 17:12 f; Judges 1:27 f). Here the great battle was fought when the defeat of Sisera broke the power of the oppressor Jabin ( Judges 5:19 ). It was in the administrative district of Baana ben Ahilud (1 Kings 4:12 ). The name appears in the list of Thothmes III at Karnak; and Shishak records his plundering of Taanach when he invaded Palestine under Jeroboam I (compare 1 Kings 14:25 f). Eusebius says in Onomasticon that it is a very large village, 3 miles from Legio. it is represented by the modern Ta‛annek , which stands on a hill at the southwestern edge of the plain of Esdraelon. Megiddo (Tell el -Mutesellim ) lies 5 miles to the Northwest. These two places are almost invariably named together. The great highway for traffic, commercial and military, from Babylon and Egypt, ran between them. They were therefore of high strategic importance. Excavations were recently conducted on the site by Professor Sellin, and a series of valuable and deeply interesting discoveries were made, shedding light upon the social and religious life and practices of the inhabitants down to the 1st century BC, through a period of nearly 2,000 years. The Canaanites were the earliest occupants. In accordance with Biblical history, "there is no evidence of a break or abrupt change in the civilization between the Canaanite and the Israelite occupation of Taanach; the excavations Show rather gradual development. The Canaanites will have gradually assimilated the Israelites drawn to them from the villages in the plain" (Driver, Schweich Lectures , 1908, 84). In the work just cited Driver gives an admirable summary of the results obtained by Professor Sellin. In his book on the Religion of Ancient Palestine , Professor Stanley A. Cook has shown, in short compass, what excellent use may be made of the results thus furnished.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Taanach'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/isb/t/taanach.html. 1915.

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