Dothan

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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

DOTHAN Genesis 37:17 ,   2 Kings 6:13-18; Dotæa , Jdt 3:9; Dothaim , Jdt 4:6 etc.). To-day, Tell Dothan , a remarkable isolated hill at the S.E. corner of a great plain Sahl ’Arrâbeh  ; surrounded on three sides by hills (  2 Kings 6:17 ). Clearly a place suitable for defence, it must have been of importance when the neighbouring high-road, still much used, was a main thoroughfare from Damascus to Egypt. The situation is, too, a choice one on account of its abundant fountain, now used to work a mill and irrigate fruit gardens; two ancient wells and a number of empty cisterns (  Genesis 37:24 ) are also found near the foot of the tell . Great herds of cattle, sheep, and goats from the neighbouring abundant pastures, may always be found gathered there in the afternoon drinking from the water and browsing in the shade. Although there are no ancient remains on the surface, traces of walls may be seen all around the hill top.

E. W. G. Masterman.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

DOTHAN or DOTHAIN. ("two wells".) At it Joseph was put into a well pit (from whence it derived its name) become dry, and afterward sold to Ishmaelite merchants who traveled that route between Syria and Egypt ( Genesis 37:17); near Shechem. Elisha's place of sojourn, when the Syrian king invested the city with horses and chariots, to Gehazi's dismay; but "the mountain" whereon it stood he saw, when the Lord opened his eyes, to be "full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" ( 2 Kings 6:13-18). Situated in the center of the country near the S. edge of the Esdraelon plain, from which hills extending from Carmel range separate it. The ruins on a large tell or mound mark the place, Dotan; beneath the S. side is a spring. Close by is an ancient road with massive pavement running N. and S. To this day there are numerous cisterns hewn in the rock, and bottle shaped with hallow mouth, such as egress, would be impossible from without help. Into such a pit doubtless Joseph was cast here.

Holman Bible Dictionary [3]

 Genesis 37:17 2 Kings 6:13 Isaiah 5

In 1953, excavations were begun by Joseph E. Free under the sponsorship of Wheaton College. Excavations of tell Dotha, an isolated mound, determined that there was occupation of the site from the end of the Chalcolithic Age through the Hellenistic Roman Period (3200 B.C. through A.D. 300-400) with a break from 700 to 330. It became a walled city about 3000 B.C. The importance of Dothan was its placement upon the roads in the hill country of Ephraim and the resulting commercial trade. It controlled all traffic going between the hills and the Jezreel Valley.

David M. Fleming

People's Dictionary of the Bible [4]

Dothan ( Dô'Than ), Two Cisterns. Where Joseph found his brethren,  Genesis 37:17, and Elisha resided.  2 Kings 6:13. It was on the south side of the plain of Jezreel, 12 miles north of Samaria; now called Tel-Dothân, five miles southwest of Jenin. Numerous bottled-shaped cisterns hewn in the rock are still found, which are supposed to resemble the "pit" of  Genesis 37:24. Caravans still pass this place, as of old, on their way from Damascus to Egypt.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

 Genesis 37:17

It was the residence of Elisha ( 2 Kings 6:13 ), and the scene of a remarkable vision of chariots and horses of fire surrounding the mountain on which the city stood. It is identified with the modern Tell-Dothan, on the south side of the plain of Jezreel, about 12 miles north of Samaria, among the hills of Gilboa. The "two wells" are still in existence, one of which bears the name of the "pit of Joseph" (Jubb Yusuf).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Do'than. (Two Wells). A place first mentioned,  Genesis 37:17, in connection with the history of Joseph, and apparently as in the neighborhood of Shechem. It next appears as the residence of Elisha.  2 Kings 6:13. It was known to Eusebius, who places it 12 miles to the north of Sebaste (Samaria); and here it has been discovered in our own times, still bearing its ancient name unimpaired.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]

Or DOTHAIN, the place where Josephus was sold to the Ishmaelites,  Genesis 37:17 , and where the Syrians were smitten with blindness at Elisha's word,  2 Kings 6:13 . It was on the caravan-route from Syria to Egypt, about eleven miles north of Samaria.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

City of Manasseh, west of the Jordan.  Genesis 37:17;  2 Kings 6:13 . Identified with Tell Dothan, 32 25' N, 35 14' E .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

(Hebrews Dothan', דֹּתָן , contracted for דֹּתִיַן , two cisterns, which occurs with ה directive, Dotha'Yenah , דֹּת יְנָה , "to Dathan,"  Genesis 37:17 [first clause]; Sept. Δωδαείμ and Δωδαϊ v Μ , the latter in Judith; Vulg. Dothain ), the place where Joseph found his brethren, who had wandered thither with their flocks from Shechem, and where he was treacherously sold by them to the Ishmaelites ( Genesis 37:17). It next appears as the residence of Elisha, and the scene of a remarkable vision of horses and chariots of fire surrounding "the mountain" ( הָהָר ) on which the city stood, while the Syrians were smitten with blindness at the word of Elisha ( 2 Kings 6:13). It is not again mentioned in the O.T. (Reland, Palaest. page 739); but later still we encounter it then evidently well known as a landmark in the account of Holofernes's campaign against Bethulia ( Judith 4:6;  Judith 7:3;  Judith 7:18;  Judith 8:3). In the Vat., and Alex., and Vulg. text it is also mentioned in  Judith 3:9, where the A.V. has "Judaea" ( Ι᾿Ουδαία for Δωταία ). This passage was a great puzzle to the old geographers, not only from the corrupt reading, Ι᾿Ουδαίας , but also from the expression, still found in the text, Τοῦ Πρίονος Τοῦ Μεγάλου ; A.V. "the great strait," literally, "the great saw." The knot was cut by Reland, who conjectured most ingeniously that Πρίων was the translation of מִשּׂוֹר Massor = a saw, which was a corruption of מַישׁוֹר , Mishor" the plain" (Palaest. page 742 sq.). All these passages testify to its situation being in the center of the country, near the southern edge of the great plain of Esdraelon. Dothan is placed by Eusebius and Jerome twelve Roman miles north of Sebaste; or Samaria (Onomast. s.v. Δωθαείμ , Dothaim ). The well into which Joseph was cast by his brothers, and consequently the site of Dothan, has, however, been placed by tradition in a very distant quarter, namely, about three miles south-east from Safed, where there is a khan called Khan Jubb Yusuf, the Khan of Joseph's Pit, because the well connected with it has long passed among Christians and Moslems for the well in question (Robinson, Res. 3:317). The true site of Dothan was known to the Jewish traveler Rabbi ha-Parchi, A.D. 1300 (see Zunz's extracts in notes to Benjamin of Tudela, Asher's ed. 2:434), and to Schwarz, A.D. 1845 (Palest. page 168); but neither of these travelers gives any account of the site. It was accidentally discovered in 1852 by Van de Velde (Narrative, 1:364-369). Dr. Robinson, in his last visit to Palestine, likewise identified the true site of Dothan in the modern name Dothan, a place which he found in the middle of a beautiful plain extending south-westerly from Kefr Kud (Capharcotia) to Attil, southeast of Lejjunm. He thus speaks of it: "It is now a fine green tell (knoll), with a fountain on its southern base, corresponding entirely to the position assigned to it by Eusebius. We were told at Ya'bad that the great road from Beisan and Zer'in to Ramleh and Egypt still leads through this plain, entering it west of Jenin, passing near Kefr Kud, and bending south-westward around Ya'bud to the western plain. It is easy to see, therefore, that the Midianites, to whom Joseph was sold in Dothan, had crossed the Jordan at Beisin, and were proceeding to Egypt along the ordinary road. It is obvious, too, that Joseph's brethren well knew the best places for pasturage. They had exhausted that of the Mukna by Shechem (Nablus), and had afterwards repaired to the still finer pastures here around Dothan"'(Bibliotheca Sacra, 1853, pages 122, 123).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

dō´than ( דּתין , dōthayı̄n , דּתן , dōthān , "two wells," "double feast"; Δωθάειμ , Dōtháeim ): A place to the North of Shechem whither Jacob's sons went for pasture for the flocks; where Joseph who followed them was sold to the Ishmaelites, after having been imprisoned in a "pit" ( Genesis 37:17 ). Here in later days the eyes of Elisha's servant were opened to see the mountain "full of horses and chariots of fire," guarding his master from the encircling Syrians ( 2 Kings 6:13 ). This is certainly to be identified with Tell Dōthān , which lies on the East of the ancient road leading from Gilead across Esdraelon to the seacoast, and thence to Egypt. It is about 5 miles to the Southwest of Jenı̄n . There are some traces of old buildings, two cisterns - Dōthayin or Dōthayim = "two cisterns" or "pits" - and one copious spring. Excellent pasture is found in the surrounding plain, and on the adjoining slopes.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]

Do´than or Dothaim, the place where Joseph found his brethren, who had wandered thither with their flocks from Shechem, and where he was treacherously sold by them to the Ishmaelites . It was here also that the Syrians were smitten with blindness at the word of Elisha . Dothan is placed by Eusebius and Jerome twelve Roman miles north of Sebaste or Samaria, and it was obviously on the caravan track from Syria to Egypt. The well into which Joseph was cast by his brothers, and consequently the site of Dothan, has, however, been placed by tradition in a very distant quarter, namely, about three miles southeast from Safed, where there is a khan called Khan Jubb Yusuf, the Khan of Joseph's Pit, because the well connected with it has long passed among Christians and Muslims for the well in question.

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