From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

SUCCOTH . A place first mentioned in   Genesis 33:17 , where it is said to have been so called because Jacob, on his return from Haran to Canaan, halting at it after his wrestling with the angel at Penuel, built there ‘booths’ (Heb. succôth ) for his cattle. Gideon also, after crossing the Jordan in his pursuit of the Midianites, passed Succoth, and afterwards ‘went up’ to Penuel (  Judges 8:5;   Judges 8:8 ). The name has not been preserved; and the site is thus matter of conjecture. From the passages quoted and other notices it is clear that it was E. of the Jordan; and it may further be inferred that, while Penuel was close to the Jabbok (  Genesis 32:22;   Genesis 32:30 f.), on higher ground than Succoth, and to the E. or S.E. (  Judges 8:5;   Judges 8:8 , cf. v. 11), Succoth was on the route between Penuel and Shechem, which would pass most naturally over the ford ed-Dâmiyeh (a little S. of the point at which the Jabbok enters the Jordan), in the territory of Gad, in a ‘vale’ (  Joshua 13:27 ,   Psalms 60:5 ), presumably, therefore, in that part of the Jordan valley through which the Jabbok flows into the Jordan, and which is very fertile. Jacob came from Mizpah (see No. 1 in art. s.v. ), which is most naturally to be sought somewhere on the N. or N.E. of the Jebel ‘Ajlun; and any one journeying thence to the ford ed-Dâmiyeh would naturally descend as soon as possible into the Ghôr (or Jordan valley), and join the track which passes along it from N. to S. The rest of Jacob’s route would be consistent and intelligible, if Mahanaim (his last halting-place before Penuel,   Genesis 32:2 ) were (say) at Deir ‘Allâ, 4 miles N. of the ford by which the track down the Ghôr crosses the Jabbok, Penuel near where the same track crosses the route from es-Salt to ed-Dâmiyeh (see the map), and Succoth on one of the lower terraces of the Jordan valley (which here sinks from -500 ft. to -1000 ft.), W. of the point just suggested for Penuel, S. of the Jabbok, and in the territory of Gad (  Joshua 13:27 ). Whether towns actually stood at or near the sites thus indicated can, of course, be determined only by excavation.

Succoth is said in the Talmud to have been called in later times Tar‘alah or Dar‘alah  ; and hence it has often been identified with Deir ‘Allâ mentioned above. But it is very doubtful whether Deir ‘Allâ has any connexion with this Talm. name; for Deir is a Syriac and Arabic word (common in names of places) meaning ‘monastery,’ which there is no reason whatever for seeing in the Tar or Dar (without the yod ) of the Talm. name. Nor does the geographical position of Deir ‘Allâ seem to agree with the narrative of either Jacob or Gideon. See, further, Driver in ExpT [Note: Expository Times.] xiii. (1902), p. 457 ff., more briefly in Gen . p. 300 ff.

S. R. Driver.

SUCCOTH (meaning in Heb. ‘booths’). The name of the first encampment in the Exodus, which started from Rameses (  Exodus 12:37;   Exodus 13:20 ,   Numbers 33:5-6 ). It is probably the Egyptian Thuke , the same as or near to Pithom (wh. see), capital of the 8th nome, and situated in the Wady Tumilat.

F. Ll. Griffith.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

("booths"), from Saakak "to entwine" or "shelter."

1. Jerome places it "beyond Jordan" (Quaest. Hebrew). In  Joshua 13:27-28 Succoth is assigned to Gad. The mention of the "house" and "booths" marks that Jacob stayed there for long, in contrast to his previous pilgrim life in tents, Succoth lay on the route between Pentel on the E. of Jordan and Shechem on the W. of Jordan ( Genesis 32:30;  Genesis 33:17-18). (See Penuel ; Shalem Subsequently, in Gideon's days Succoth had 77 chiefs and elders ( Zeqeenim , "Sheikhs", I.E. Headmen, Literally, Old Men) . See also  1 Kings 7:46;  2 Chronicles 4:17. The Talmud makes Succoth a district (So  Psalms 60:6 , "The Valley Of Succoth") as well as a town, called Τer'Alah ; this corresponds to the tell or mound Der'ala, thickly strewed with pottery, in the great plain N. of the Jabbok, one mile from the river and three miles from where it leaves the hills. Close by is a smaller mound with ruins. The Bedouin say a city existed formerly on the large mound. E. of Tell Der'Ala is the ford of the Jabbok, "Mashra'a Canaan," i.e. Canaan's crossing.

The route into Canaan which the nomadic tribes, as Midian, always took ("The Way Of Them That Dwell In Tents,"  Judges 8:11 ) was along the course of the Jabbok and so across Jordan opposite Bethshean, thence spreading over the Esdraelon plain. Gideon ( Judges 8:4-17) in pursuing Midian took the same course in reverse order until he reached Succoth. The men of Succoth, as living on this great army route between Canaan and the East, and having regard only to self and no concern for Israel's deliverance and no compassion for the sufferings of Gideon's gallant little band, would give no bread to their brethren lest they should incur the vengeance of Midian; nay more, they added insolence to unkindness. As then they classed themselves with the wicked, of whom thorns are the symbol, their retributive punishment was to be chastised with thorns of the wilderness (the strongest thorns:  Isaiah 5:6;  Isaiah 27:4;  Amos 1:3;  2 Samuel 23:6-7). (See Palestine Exploation Quarterly Statement, April 1878, p. 81.)

2. Israel's first camping place after leaving Egypt, half way between Rameses and Etham, Succoth of the Βirket Τimseh ("the lake of crocodiles") on the road which led by the shortest way to the edge of the wilderness. Possibly from Hebrew Sukowt "booths," but probably from the Egyptian Sechet or Sochot , the "domain of an officer of state" in Lower Egypt not far from Memphis, in the time of Chufu ( Exodus 12:37;  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:5-6).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Suc'coth. (Booths).

1. An ancient town, first heard of in the account of the homeward journey of Jacob from Padan-aram.  Genesis 35:17. The name is derived from the fact of Jacob's having there put up "booths," ( succoth ), for his cattle, as well as a house for himself. From the itinerary of Jacob's return, it seems that Succoth lay between Peniel, near the ford of the torrent Jabbok and Shechem. Compare  Genesis 32:30 and  Genesis 33:18.

In accordance with this, is the mention of Succoth in the narrative of Gideon's pursuit of Zebah and Zalluunna.  Judges 5:5-17. It would appear from this passage that, it lay east of the Jordan, which is corroborated by the fact that, it was allotted to the tribe of Gad.  Joshua 13:27.

Succoth is named once again after this - in  1 Kings 7:46;  2 Chronicles 4:17 - as marking the spot, at which the brass founderies were placed, for casting the metal work of the Temple. (Dr. Merrill identifies it with a site called Tell Darala , one mile north of the Jabbok. - Editor).

2. The first camping place of the Israelites when they left Egypt.  Exodus 12:37;  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:5-6. This place was apparently reached at the close of the first days march. Rameses, the starting place, was probably near the western end of the Wadi-T-Tumeylat . The distance traversed in each day's journey was about fifteen miles.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [4]

  • A city on the east of Jordan, identified with Tell Dar'ala, a high mound, a mass of debris, in the plain north of Jabbok and about one mile from it ( Joshua 13:27 ). Here Jacob ( Genesis 32:17,30;  33:17 ), on his return from Padan-aram after his interview with Esau, built a house for himself and made booths for his cattle. The princes of this city churlishly refused to afford help to Gideon and his 300 men when "faint yet pursuing" they followed one of the bands of the fugitive Midianites after the great victory at Gilboa. After overtaking and routing this band at Karkor, Gideon on his return visited the rulers of the city with severe punishment. "He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth" ( Judges 8:13-16 ). At this place were erected the foundries for casting the metal-work for the temple ( 1 Kings 7:46 ).

    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 'Succoth'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

    Succoth ( Suk'Koth ), Booths. 1. An ancient town on the journey of Jacob from Padan-aram.  Genesis 33:17. Succoth lay between Peniel, near the ford of the torrent Jabbok and Shechem. Comp.  Genesis 32:30;  Genesis 33:18. In accordance with this is the mention of Succoth in the narrative of Gideon's pursuit of Zeba and Zalmunna.  Judges 8:6-17. It was allotted to the tribe of Gad.  Joshua 13:27. Succoth is named once again after this—in  1 Kings 7:46;  2 Chronicles 4:17—as marking the spot at which the brass founderies were placed for casting the metal work of the temple. 2. The first camping-place of the Israelites when they left Egypt.  Exodus 12:37;  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:5-6.

    Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

    1. Canaanite city on the east of the Jordan, allotted to the tribe of Gad. Here Jacob built a house for himself and booths for his cattle. The elders of the city were punished by Gideon for not helping him when he was faint in pursuing the Midianites.  Genesis 33:17;  Joshua 13:27;  Judges 8:5-16;  1 Kings 7:46;  2 Chronicles 4:17;  Psalm 60:6;  Psalm 108:7 . Identified by some with Tell Darala, 32 12' N, 35 38' E .

    2. First halting place of the Israelites when they left Rameses.   Exodus 12:37;  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:5,6 . Not identified.

    American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]


    1. A spot in the valley of the Jordan and near the Jabbok, where Jacob set up his tents on his return from Mesopotamia,  Genesis 33:17 . Joshua assigned the city subsequently built here to the tribe of Gad,  Joshua 13:27 . Gideon tore the flesh of the principal men of Succoth with thorn and briars, because they returned him a haughty answer when pursuing the Midianites,  Judges 8:5 . It seems to have lain on the east side of the Jordan; but may possibly have been on the west side, at the place now called Sakut. Compare  1 Kings 7:46;  Psalm 60:6 .

    2. The first encampment of the Israelites, on their way out of Egypt,  Exodus 12:37 .

    Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

     Genesis 33:17 Judges 8:5-7 8:13-16 1 Kings 7:45-46 Exodus 12:37 Exodus 13:20 Numbers 33:5-6

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

    (Heb. Sukkoth', סֻכּוֹת or [in  Genesis 32:17;  Exodus 12:37;  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 23:5-6] סַכֹּת , Booths [as often]; Sept. Σοκχώθ v.r. Σοκχωθά , but Σκηναί in Genesis and Psalms; Vulg. Socoth or Soccoth), the name of at least two Biblical places of early mention, the exact position of neither of which, however, has been clearly identified by modern researches. (See Succoth-Benoth).

    1. A town of ancient date in the Holy Land, being first heard of in the account of the homeward journey of Jacob from Padanaram ( Genesis 33:17). The name is derived from the fact of Jacob's having there put up" booths" for his cattle, as well as a house for himself; and these structures, in contrast with the "tents" of the wandering life, indicate that the Patriarch made a lengthened stay there-a fact not elsewhere alluded to. Travelers frequently see such "booths" occupied by the Bedawin of the Jordan valley. They are rude huts of reeds, sometimes covered with long grass, sometimes covered with a piece of a tent. They are much used by a semi- nomad people. This fertile spot must have reminded Jacob of the banks of the Euphrates from which he had recently come. The situation is approximately indicated by the fact that Jacob was on his way from Peniel to Shechem. Peniel was apparently on the north bank of the Jabbok ( Genesis 32:22-23); and it would seem that after his interview with Esau on the south bank, he turned back to avoid further intercourse with his dangerous brother; and instead of following him to Edom, he recrossed the Jabbok and descended to the valley of the Jordan, where he resolved to rest for a time amid its luxuriant pastures (see, however, Kalisch, Ad Loc.; Ritter, Pal. Und Syr. 2, 447).

    The next notice of Succoth is in Joshua's description of the territory of Gad. To this tribe the middle section east of the Jordan was allotted, including the valley of the Jordan up to the Sea of Galilee. (See Gad). Among the towns in the valley is Succoth ( Joshua 13:27). Nothing more can be inferred from this than that it lay on the east bank of the river.

    In the narrative of Gideon's pursuit of Zeba and Zalmunna it is said, "And Gideon came to Jordan, passed over, and said unto the men of Succoth," etc. ( Judges 8:5). His course was eastward the reverse of Jacob's and he came first to Succoth, and then to Penuel, the latter being farther up the mountain than the former ( Judges 8:8, "went up thence"). The tale there recorded of the mingled cowardice and perfidy of the inhabitants, and of Gideon's terrible vengeance, is one of the most harrowing in the Bible. At that period Succoth must have been a place of importance, when it ventured to refuse the request of Gideon. Its "princes and elders," too, are said to have numbered "threescore and seventeen men."

    Though the rulers were slain, the city continued to prosper, and in the days of Solomon it was well known. The sacred historian informs us that the brazen vessels of the Temple were cast "in the circuit ( בִּכַּכִּר ) of the Jordan in the clay ground, between Succoth and Zarthan" ( 1 Kings 7:46;  2 Chronicles 4:17). Succoth gave its name to "a valley" ( עֵמֶק ), probably a lower section of "the circuit," or great plain of the Jordan (comp. "the Vale of Siddim," which was also called an Emek in "the circuit of the Jordan,"  Psalms 9:6). Jerome observes, in his notes on Genesis: "There is to this day a city of this name (Succoth) beyond Jordan in the region of Scythopolis" (Opera, 2, 989, ed, Migne); but in the Onomnasticon both Jerome and Eusebius merely state that it is the place where Jacoh dwelt on his return from Mesopotamia, without indicating its site or appearing to know of its existence (s.v. "Scenca").

    Burckhardt, on his way from Beisan to es-Salt, forded the Jordan two hours (about six miles) below the former, and observes in a note (Travels in Syria, p. 345), "Near where we crossed, to the south, are the ruins of Sukkof." The ruins seem to have been on the east bank of the river, though he does not expressly say so, as later travelers do (see Schwarz, Palest. p. 232). This may possibly be the Succoth of Jerome; but it seems too far north to suit the requirements of the narrative in Genesis Jacob's direct road from the Wady Zerka to Shechem would have led him by the Wady Ferrah, on the one hand, or through Yanfun, on the other. If he went north as far as Sukkot, he must have ascended by the Wady Maleh to Tevasir, and so through Tubas and the Wady Bidan. Perhaps it is going north was a ruse to escape the dangerous proximity of Esau and if he made a long stay at Succoth, as suggested in the outset of this article, the did tour from the direct road to Shechem would be of little importance to him (see the Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 1876, p. 742 sq.). Robinson discovered another ruin, called Sakuot (which is radically as. well as topographically different from the Sukkot of Burckhardt), situated on the west bank of the Jordan, about fifteen miles south of Beisan. Near it is a copious fountain, and the plain around it is covered with most luxuriant vegetation. The ruin is merely that of a common village, a few foundations of unhewn stones (Bibl. Res. 3, 309; comp. Van de Velde, Travels, 2, 343). Its position on the west bank prevents its being identified with the Succoth of the Bible, but it is just possible that the name may have been transferred to a spot on the "other side (see Ritter, ut sup. 2, 446), or it may have been a crusaders site (see Conder, Tent Work in Palest. 2,62).

    Until the position of Succoth is more exactly ascertained, it is impossible to say what was the valley of Succoth mentioned in  Psalms 9:6;  Psalms 108:7. The same word is employed ( Joshua 13:27) in specifying, the position of the group of towns among which Succoth occurs, in describing the allotment of Gad; so that it evidently denotes some marked feature of the country. It is not probable, however, that the main valley of the Jordan, the Ghor, is intended, that being always designated in the Bible by the name of the Arabah.

    2. The first camping-place of the Israelites when they left Egypt ( Exodus 12:37;  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:5-6). This place was apparently reached at the close of the first day's march. Rameses, the starting-place, we have shown was probably near the western, end of the Wady et- Tumeylat. We have supposed the distance traversed in each day's journey to have been about thirty miles; and as Succoth was not in the Arabian desert, the next station, Etham, being "in the edge of the wilderness" ( Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:6), it must have been along the present pilgrim route called Dub el-Ban, about half-way between the easternmost branch of the Nile and the castle of Ajruid. It was probably, to judge from its name, a resting-place of caravans, or a military station, or a town named from one of the two. We find similar names in Sense Mandrae (Itin. Ant.), Scense Mandrorum (Not. Dign.), or Σκηνὴ Μανδρῶν (Not. Graec. Episcopatuum), Scenee Veteranorum (L Tin. Ant. Not. Diqn.), And Saesae extra Gerasa (Sic Not. Dignl.). See, for all these places, Parthey, Zur Erdkunde Des. Alten Aegyptens, P. 535. It is, however, evident that such a name would be easily lost, and, even if preserved hard to recognize, as it might be concealed under a corresponding name of similar signification, though very different in sound, like that of the settlement of Ionian and Carian mercenaries, called Τὰ Στρατόπεδα (Herod. 2, 154). (See Passage Of Exode See Red Sea).

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [10]

    Succoth, 1

    Suc´coth (Booths), the first encampment of the Israelites on the Egyptian side of the Red Sea (;; [EXODUS].

    Succoth, 2

    Suc´coth, a town in the tribe of Gad , on the east of the Jordan . The spot in which the town stood is called 'the valley of Succoth,' and must have been part of the valley of the Jordan. The place derived its name from Jacob having tarried some time there on his return from Padan-aram, and made booths for his cattle .