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Timnah/Tel Batash
תל בטש
Tel batash
Timnah is located in Israel
Shown within Israel
Alternate name תמנתה
Area 10 acre
Periods Middle Bronze Age
Site notes
Excavation dates 1979-1990s
Archaeologists George L. Kelm

Timnath or Timnah was a Philistine city in Canaan that is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in Judges 14. It has been identified with Tel Batash (Hebrew: תל בטש‎), a tel located in the Sorek Valley, near moshav Tal Shahar, Israel.

It was uncovered through 1977-1979 by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, on a dig sponsored by the Seminary.[1][2]

The town of Timnath, Colorado in the United States is named for the city.


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • References 3
  • Other References 4


The site is strategically located in the Sorek Valley, an access point from the Coastal Plain through the Shephelah and into the Central Judean Mountains. The site is not to be confused with the copper smelting site of Timna in the Arabah near Eilat.


The site was first settled in the Hellenistic period, with sparse settlement nearby during the Byzantine period. It included fortifications and buildings from the Kingdom of Judah period, dating to the 7th and 8th Centuries BCE. In one of the buildings, a ceramic potsherd bearing a written LMLK was found. Not far from the tel, on the edge of Nahal Sorek are the remains of a Roman road as well as settlement dating to the Chalcolithic and Canaanite-periods.

Timnah is mentioned in Genesis 38 in the context of the story of Tamar. More important, the city is featured in Judges 14 in the Samson saga. Samson goes to Timnah in order to find a wife. On his way there, he rends a lion. Samson marries a "girl of the Philistines" from Timnah. In Joshua 15:10, the city is mentioned describing the borders of the Tribe of Judah.


  1. ^ Tandy Institute
  2. ^,_George_L._Kelm_and_Amihai_Mazar,_BAR_15:01,_Jan/Feb_1989.

Other References

  • George L. Kelm; Amihay Mazar (December 1995). Timnah: a biblical city in the Sorek Valley. Eisenbrauns.  
  • Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Amsterdam University Press. 31 December 2000. p. 1312.  
  • Avraham Negev; Shimon Gibson (July 2005). Archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 509.  
  • John Charles Hugh Laughlin (2006). Fifty major cities of the Bible: from Dan to Beersheba. Routledge. pp. 226–.  
  • Lester L. Grabbe (2003). "Like a bird in a cage": the invasion of Sennacherib in 701 BCE. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 12.  
  • Jonathan Michael Golden (November 2004). Ancient Canaan and Israel: new perspectives. ABC-CLIO. pp. 70–71.  
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