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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Timnah', תַּמְנָה , portion), the name of several places in Palestine, which appears in the original, either simple or compounded, in several forms, not always accurately represented in the A. V. We treat under this head only the simple name, reserving the compounds for a separate article. (See TIMNA).

1. The place near which Tamar entrapped Judah into intercourse with her (Genesis 38:12-14; Heb. with ה directive, Timnathah, תַּמְנ תָה ; Sept. θαμνά ; Vulg. Thamnatha; A.V. "to Timnath" ). It had a road leading to it (Genesis 38:14), and as it lay on high ground (Genesis 38:12), it probably was the same with the Timnah in the mountain district of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:57; Sept. θαμνά v.r. θαμναθά ; Vulg. Thamna). As it lay in the same group with Maon, Ziph, and Carmel, south-east of Hebron (Keil, Comment. ad loc.), it may perhaps be identical with a ruined site upon a low hill on the west of the road between Ziph and Carmel, "called Um el- Amod ( mother of the pillar'). Foundations and heaps of stones, with some cisterns, cover a small tract of ground, while two or three coarse columns mark the site probably of a village church, and give occasion for the name" (Robinson, Bibl. Res. 2, 192; comp. p. 629).

2. A town near the north-west border of Judah, between Beth-shemesh and Ekron (Joshua 15:10; Sept. Λίψ v.r. Νότς ; Vulg. Thamna). It is doubtless the same with the place of the same name in Dan (Joshua 19:43, Heb. with ה paragogic, Timnathah, תַּמְנ תָה ; Sept. θαμνά ; Vulg. Themna; A. V. "Thimnathah" ), which lay in the vicinity of Ekron; and likewise with the residence of Samson's first wife (Judges 14:1-2; Judges 14:5; Heb. likewise with ה appended; Sept. θαμναθά ; Vulg. Thanmnatha; A.V. "Timnath ;" Josephus, θαμνά, Ant. 5, 8,5), which lay on the Philistine edge of the Shephelah (Judges 14:1); and both are therefore the same place that was invaded by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:18; Sept. θαμνά ; Vulg. Thamnan). At this last date it had suburbs adjoining ("villages" ); and in Samson's day it contained vineyards, haunted, however, by such savage animals as indicate that the population was but sparse. It was on higher ground than Ashkelon (Judges 14:19), but lower than Zorah, which we may presume was Samson's starting- point (Judges 13:25). After the Danites had deserted their original allotment for the north, their towns would naturally fall into the hands of Judah, or of the Philistines, as the continual struggle between them might happen to fluctuate. In the later history of the Jews, Timnah must have been a, conspicuous place. It was fortified by Bacchides as one of the most important military posts of Judaea (θαμνάθα, 1 Maccabees 9:50), and it became the head of a district or toparchy, which was called after its name, and was reckoned the fourth in order of importance among the fourteen into which the whole country was divided at the time of Vespasian's invasion (θαμνά, Josephus, War, 3, 3, 5; see Pliny, 5, 14). Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. θαμνά, Thamna" ) confound it with the Timnah of Judah's adventure with Tamar, but say that it still existed as a large village near Diospolis on the road to Jerusalem. According to Schwarz (Palest. p. 106), it is likewise mentioned in the Talmud (Sotah, fol. 10 b). The modern representative of all these various forms of the same name is probably Tibneh, a deserted village about two miles west of Ain Shems (Beth- shemesh), among the broken undulating country by which the central mountains of this part of Palestine descend to the maritime plain (Robinson, Bibl. Res. 2, 342; Thomson, Land and Book, 2, 361).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Timnah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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Timnah (or Timnath)
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