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Hebrew: חֲרָשִׁים —transliteration: Charashim —meaning: craftsmen —can include blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, engravers, jewelers, skillful artisans, manufacturers, and other skilled workers

also known as: Harashim

Charashim is the plural of the Hebrew word charash.

This word appears in the Old Testament.

The King James Bible translates 1 Chronicles 4:14 as follows, with Charashim being a valley—the “valley of craftsmen.”

And begat Ophrah: and Seraiah begat Joab, the father of the valley of Charashim; for they were craftsmen. —1 Chronicles 4:14 KJV

The New American Standard translates the same verse slightly different…

Meonothai became the father of Ophrah, and Seraiah became the father of Joab the father of Ge-harashim [valley of craftsmen], for they were craftsmen. —1 Chronicles 4:14 NASB

In modern Israel, the town of Harashim (literally: “Craftsmen”) is the name of a small settlement in the north in upper Galilee, and to the north of the city of Karmiel. Harashim’s name is derived from nearby Tel Harashim, an Iron Age Jewish village where it is believed the inhabitants worked as blacksmiths.

In Isaiah the charash is a man.

The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the expert artisan,
And the skillful enchanter. —Isaiah 3:3 NASB

“The sons of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash and Aija, at Bethel and its towns, at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, Lod and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.” —Nehemiah 11:31-35 NASB

In Hebrew, the word for “the valley of craftsmen” is Ge-Harashim (or Ge-Harasim).

This appears to be a valley resettled by Benjamites after the Exile, and is probably the same as the site settled by the Kenizzite (Cenezite) craft clan—an Edomite tribe referred to in the covenant God made with Abraham (Genesis 15:19).

“Its association with Lod and Ono points toward identification with one of the valleys bordering the Plain of Sharon. Wadi esh-Shellal and Sarafand el-Kharab have been suggested. Alternatively, it is suggested that Hirsha, east of Lydda) marks the site. These identifications imply that a Judahite clan lived outside the boundaries of Judah. This is readily explained in terms of the easy geographic mobility of skilled craftsmen.”

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