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Anathoth

Hebrew: עֲנָתוֹת —transliteration: Anathoth

Meaning: (uncertain), but compare to “Anat,” a pagan goddess

This was the name of one of the cities of refuge, in the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 21:18). It is mentioned 15 times in Scripture, and is located about 3 miles north of Jerusalem.

The Jews, as a rule, did not change the names of the towns they found in Canaan, so this town probably derived its name from the goddess Anat. It was the native place of Abieezer, one of David’s “thirty” (2 Samuel 23:27), and of Jehu, another of his mighty men (1 Chronicles 12:3).

It is most importantly notable as the birthplace and usual residence of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1; 11:21-23; 29:27; 32:7-9). It suffered greatly from the army of Sennacherib, and only 128 men returned to it from the Exile (Neh. 7:27; Ezra 2:23).

Anathoth has been identified with the modern town of Anata, Israel (below).

Modern Anata, site of ancient Anathoth—satellite view

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Article Version: February 13, 2019