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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

("a divided or assigned part".)

1. Judah went to shear his sheep in Timnah ( Genesis 38:13-14).

2. A boundary town in Judah on the N. side ( Joshua 15:10). Near the western extremity, further than Bethshemesh, toward Ekron; in the Shephelah or low hills between the mountains and the plain ( 2 Chronicles 28:18). Probably the same as Timnathah of Dan ( Joshua 19:43), and as the Timhah of Samson. ( Judges 14:1;  Judges 14:19); haunted by lions, etc., therefore thinly peopled; higher than Askelon, lower than Zorah ( Judges 13:25). Now Tibneh, a deserted site S.W. of Zorah, and two miles W. of Ain Shems. Timnah when deserted by the Danite emigrants to Laish fell by turns to Judah and the Philistines.

Tibneh is 740 ft. above the sea, not in the plain. Samson in going down to it would descend first 700 ft. into the valley, then ascend again 350 ft. to Timnah. The grain which he fired grew in the valley, whereas the vineyards and olives lined the hills. With appropriate accuracy Judges ( Judges 15:4-6) says "the Philistines came up" to Timnah. The substitution of b for m, which we see in Tibneh for Timnah, occurs also in Atab for Etam ( Judges 15:8;  Judges 15:11, where instead of KJV "top" translated "he went down and dwelt in the cleft" Seiph of the rock Etam). These clefts were the natural hiding places of the Israelites from their oppressors; and the term Seiph is only used of the kind of rock to which the term Celah is applied, Nikrah of the "cavities" of the rock called Tsur .

Etam answers to Belt Arab, which has a cavern called "the place of refuge," 250 ft. long, and from 5 to 8 ft. high, 18 ft. wide. The natural cleft has been artificially but rudely hewn in the rock. As Beit Atab, into which Samson went down for refuge (now called Hasuta ), answers to the rock Elam ("eagle's nest"), so seven miles off is a low hill, and close by is a chapel sacred to sheikh Nedhir, "the Nazarite chief," and higher up is the ruin "Ism-Allah," i.e. God heard, evidently pointing to the battle of Ramath Lehi. Moreover the springs were sometimes called Ayun Kara, answering to En-Hak. Kore, "fountain of the crier":  Judges 15:19. (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, July 1878, pp. 116-118).

3. A town in the mountain district of Judah, enumerated with Maon, Ziph, and Carmel S. of Hebron.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Tim'nah. (Portion).

1. A place which formed, one of the landmarks on the north boundary, of the allotment of Judah.  Joshua 15:10. It is probably identical with the Thimnathah of  Joshua 19:43, and that again with the Timnath, or, more accurately, Timnathah, of Samson  Judges 14:1-2;  Judges 14:5, and the Thamnatha of the Maccabees. The modern representative of all these various forms of the same name is, probably, Tibneh , a village about two miles west of Ain Shems , (Beth-shemesh). 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 Judea.  1 Maccabees 9:50.

2. A town in the mountain district of Judah.  Joshua 15:57, A distinct place from that just examined.

3. Inaccurately, written as Timnath, in the Authorized Version, the scene of the adventure of Judah, with his daughter in-law, Tamar.  Genesis 38:12-14. There is nothing here to indicate its position. It may be identified, either, with the Timnah in the mountains of Judah, or with the Timnathath of Samson.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

TIMNAH . 1 . A town in the high region of S. Judah, S. E. of Hebron (  Joshua 15:57 ). It is possible that this was the Timnah visited by Judah at the time of sheep-shearing (  Genesis 38:12 ). Or it may have been 2 . A place on the N. frontier of the tribe of Judah between Beth-shemesh and Ekron (  Joshua 15:10 ). At one time it was counted in the territory of Dan (  Joshua 19:43 ), but at another it was in Philistine possession (  Judges 14:1 ). Here Samson celebrated his marriage. His father-in-law is called the Timnite (  Judges 15:6 ). The town was held by the Hebrews in the reign of Uzziah, but was lost to the Philistines by Ahaz (  2 Chronicles 28:13 ). It is now identified with Tibneh , on the S. side of the Wady Sarar , 2 miles W. of Beth-shemesh. 3 . For   Genesis 36:40 see Timna, 3 .

H. L. Willett.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

1. Duke descended from Esau.  Genesis 36:40;  1 Chronicles 1:51 . Perhaps the same as Timna No. 3.

2. City on the north border of Judah.   Joshua 15:10 . Identified with ruins at Tibnah , 31 45' N, 34 56' E .

3. City in the south of Judah.  Joshua 15:57;  2 Chronicles 28:18 . Identified with Tibna, 31 42' N, 35 2' E.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • A "duke" or sheik of Edom ( Genesis 36:40 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Timnah'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/t/timnah.html. 1897.

  • Holman Bible Dictionary [6]

     Joshua 19:43 Joshua 15:10 Judges 14:1-5 2 Chronicles 26:6 2 Chronicles 28:18 Joshua 15:57 Genesis 38:12-14

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

    (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).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [8]

    tim´na ( תּמנה , timnāh , תּמנתה , timnāthāh (  Joshua 19:43;  Judges 14:1 ,  Judges 14:2 ,  Judges 14:5 ), "allotted portion; Codex Vaticanus Θαμνᾶθα , Thamnátha  ; also several Greek variations; King James Version has Timnath in   Genesis 38:12 ,  Genesis 38:13 ,  Genesis 38:14;  Judges 14:1 ,  Judges 14:2 ,  Judges 14:5; and Thimnathah in   Joshua 19:43 ):

    (1) A town in the southern part of the hill country of Judah ( Joshua 15:57 ). Tibna proposed by Conder, a ruin 8 miles West of Bethlehem, seems too far N. ( PEF , III, 53, Sh Xvii ). It is possible this may be the "Timnah" of  Genesis 38:12 ,  Genesis 38:13 ,  Genesis 38:14 .

    (2) A town on the northern border of Judah ( Joshua 15:10 ), lying between Beth-shemesh and Ekron. It is probably the same Timnah as Judah visited ( Genesis 38:12-14 ), and certainly the scene of Samson's adventures ( Judges 14:1 f); his "father-in-law" is called a "Timnite" (  Judges 15:6 ). At this time the place is clearly Philistine ( Judges 14:1 ), though in  Joshua 19:43 it is reckoned to Dan. Being on the frontier, it probably changed hands several times. In   2 Chronicles 28:18 it was captured from the Philistines by Ahaz, and we learn from Assyrian evidence (Prison Inscription) that Sennacherib captured a Tamna after the battle of Alteka before he besieged Ekron (Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Altes Testament , 170). The site is undoubted. It is now a deserted ruin called Tibneh on the southern slopes of the Wâdy es Surâr (Valley of Sorek), about 2 miles West of Beth-shemesh. There is a spring, and there are evident signs of antiquity ( PEF , II, 417, 441, Sh Xvi ).

    (3) There was probably a Timna in Edom ( Genesis 36:12 ,  Genesis 36:22 ,  Genesis 36:40;  1 Chronicles 1:39 ,  1 Chronicles 1:51 ). Eusebius and Jerome (in Onomasticon ) recognized a Thamna in Edom at their time.

    (4) The "Thamnatha" of  1 Maccabees 9:50 (the King James Version) is probably another Timnah, and identical with the Thamna of Josephus ( Bj , III, iii, 5; IV, viii, 1). This is probably the Tibneh , 10 miles Northwest of Bethel, an extensive ruin.

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [9]

    Tim´nah or Timnath, an ancient city of the Canaanites , first assigned to the tribe of Judah , and afterwards to Dan but it long remained in the possession of the Philistines (;; comp. Josephus, Antiq. v. 8. 5). It is chiefly noted as the abode of Samson's bride, and the place where he held his marriage feast. It is probably represented by a deserted site now called Tibneh, which is about one hour's journey south-west of Zerah, the residence of Samson. Another Timnah lay in the mountains of Judah .