Holman Bible Dictionary 
Taanach thus sat along one fork of the major north-south road of antiquity that went through Palestine, usually called the Via Maris. It also sat on an east-west road that led from the Jordan Valley to the Mediterranean Sea near modern Haifa.
In the Bible, Taanach is only mentioned seven times, usually in lists such as tribal allotments ( Joshua 17:11; 1 Chronicles 7:29 ), administrative districts ( 1 Kings 4:12 ), Levitical towns ( Joshua 21:25 ), or conquered cities ( Joshua 12:21; Judges 1:27 ). The most famous biblical reference to Taanach is that of the battle fought at “Taanach by the waters of Megiddo” where the Hebrew forces under Deborah and Barak defeated the Canaanites under Sisera ( Judges 5:19 ).
Taanach was a town of about 13 acres, about the same size as the better known Megiddo. Its history runs through the Bronze Ages and into the Iron Age, from about 2700 B.C. to about 918 B.C. when it was destroyed by the Egyptian Pharaoh Shishak. A large fortress was built on the site during the early Islamic period, and that fortress may well have continued in use during the Crusades.
While Megiddo was apparently a major Canaanite administrative center, Taanach seems to have been less heavily populated and perhaps the home for the farmers of the surrounding area and their tenants. Excavations have shown a number of cultic objects and installations at Taanach, suggesting that it was a religious center as well.
Joel F. Drinkard, Jr.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
("sandy soil".) An old city of Canaan. Joshua conquered its king ( Joshua 12:21). It was afterward assigned to Manasseh ( 1 Chronicles 7:29), and became a Levitical city ( 1 Chronicles 17:11-12; 1 Chronicles 21:25). Israel failed to drive out its aboriginal occupants ( Judges 1:27), The scene of Barak's victory was not Taanach or Megiddo, but Mount Tabor, near the sources of the Kishon, three miles W. of Mount Tabor (el Mujahiyeh, "the spring head"): Judges 4:7-14. Barak had all the advantage of a rush down the hill upon the foe in the plain, as Napoleon had in his battle of Mount Tabor; had the battle been in Taanach he would have had to come the whole width of the plain to attack from low ground the foe on the spurs of the hills far away from the main bed of the Kishon.
"In Taanach" ( Judges 5:19) must be a general name for the district of which Taanach is the capital; or else must be translated "sandy soil," which abounds all over the plain. "The waters of Megiddo" in Judges 5:19 are those of the stream Jalud, supplied from springs round Mejedda, a ruin near Beisan (Bethsheart). (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, January 1877, p. 13-20.) Taanach and Megiddo ( 1 Kings 4:12) were the chief towns of the fertile tract which forms the western part of the great Esdraelon valley. Now Ta'annuk, a small village with ruins on a flat tell, an hour and a quarter S.E. of Megiddo.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
TAANACH ( Joshua 12:21 , 1 Kings 4:12 , 1 Chronicles 7:29 ). One of the royal Canaanite cities, mentioned in OT always along with Megiddo . Though in the territory of Issachar, it belonged to Manasseh; the native Canaanites were, however, not driven out ( Joshua 17:11-13 , Judges 1:27 ). It was allotted to the Levites of the children of Kohath ( Joshua 21:25 ). It was one of the four fortress cities on the ‘border of Manasseh’ ( 1 Chronicles 7:29 ). The fight of Deborah and Barak with the Canaanites is described ( Judges 5:19 ) as ‘in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo.” The site is to-day Tell Ta‘annak , four miles S.E. from Tell el-Mutesellim (Megiddo). The hill has been excavated by Prof. Sellin of Vienna. Many remains of Canaanite and Jewish civilization have been found, and also a considerable number of clay tablets with cuneiform inscriptions similar to those discovered at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt. See Sellin in Mem. Vienna Acad ., 1. (1904), lii. (1905).
E. W. G. Masterman.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Ta'anach. (Sandy). An ancient Canaanitish city, whose king is enumerated, among the thirty-one kings conquered by Joshua. Joshua 12:21. It came into the half tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 17:11; Joshua 21:25; 1 Chronicles 7:29, and was bestowed on the Kohathite Levites. Joshua 21:25. Taanach is almost always named in company with Megiddo, and they were, evidently, the chief towns of that fine rich district, which forms the western portion of the great plain of Esdraelon. 1 Kings 4:12. It is still called Ta'Annuk , and stands about four miles southeast of Lejjun , and 13 miles southwest of Nazareth.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Taanach ( Tâ'A-N Ăk ), Sandy Soil. A royal Canaanitish city in Issachar, but assigned to Manasseh, Joshua 12:21; Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27; Judges 5:19; 1 Kings 4:12, also written "Tanach." Joshua 21:25, A. V. This city is perhaps the same as "Aner." 1 Chronicles 6:70. It is now called Taanuk, with ruins about four miles southeast or Megiddo, on the western side of the plain of Esdraelon.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
A Caanite royal city, Joshua 12:21 , in the territory of Issachar, but assigned to Manesseh, Joshua 17:11; 21:25 . There is still a small place called Taannuk on the south border of the plain of Esdraelon, four miles southeast of the site of Megiddo, which is usually named with Taanach, Judges 1:27; 5:19; 1 Kings 4:12 .
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
A province in Canaan. In the division made by Joshua, it was given to Manasseh in the portion of Issachar and Asher. (See Joshua 17:11) But in Deborah's song of victory, she describes the battle of Sisera as near these borders. ( Judges 5:19) Perhaps the name itself is derived from Hanah, to humble.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Joshua 12:21 Judges 5:19
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Heb. Taanak', תִּעֲנָךְ , Sandy [Gesenius], or Fortified [F Ü rst]; twice [ Judges 21:25; 1 Chronicles 7:29] more briefly Tanak', תִּעְנָךְ , A.V. "Tanach;" Sept. Θανάχ or Θαανάχ v.r. Τανάχ , Σανάκ , etc.), an ancient Canaanitish city, whose king is enumerated among the thirty-one conquered by Joshua ( Joshua 12:21). It came into the hands of the half- tribe of Manasseh ( Joshua 17:11; Joshua 21:25; 1 Chronicles 7:29), though it would appear to have lain within the original allotment of Issachar ( Joshua 17:11). It was bestowed on the Kohathite Levites ( Joshua 21:25). Taanach was one of the places in which, either from some strength of position, or from the ground near it being favorable for their mode of fighting, the aborigines succeeded in making a stand ( Joshua 17:12; Judges 1:27); and in the great struggle of the Canaanites under Sisera against Deborah and Barak it appears to have formed the headquarters of their army ( Judges 5:19). After this defeat the Canaanites of Taainach were probably made, like the rest, to pay a tribute ( Joshua 17:13; Judges 1:28), but in the town they appear to have remained to the last. Taanach is almost always named in company with Megiddo, and they were evidently the chief towns of that fine, rich district which forms the western portion of the great plain of Esdraelon ( 1 Kings 4:12).
It was known to Eusebius, who mentions it twice in The Onomasticon ( Θαανάχ and Θαναή ) as a "very large village" standing between three and four Roman miles from Legio, the ancient Megiddo. It was known to hap-Parchi, the Jewish medieval traveler, and it still stands about four miles south-east of Lejjum, retaining its old name with hardly the change of a letter. Schubert, followed by Robinson, found it in the modern Ta'Annuk, now a mean hamlet on the south-east side of a small hill, with a summit of table-land (Schubert, Morgenland, 3, 164; Robinson, Bibl. Res. 3, 156; Bibl. Sacra, 1843, p. 76; Schwarz, Palest. p. 149). The ancient town was planted on a large mound at the termination of a long spur or promontory, which runs out northward from the hills of Manasseh into the plain, and leaves a recess or bay, subordinate to the main plain on its north side, and between it and Lejjun (Van de Velde, 1, 358). Ruins of some extent, but possessing no interest; encompass it (Porter, Handbook, p. 371). The houses of the present village are mud huts, with one or two stone buildings (Ridgaway, The Lord's Land, p. 588).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
tā´nak ( תּענך , ta‛ănākh , or תּענך , ta‛nākh ; the Septuagint Τανάχ , Tanách , with many variants): A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was slain by Joshua ( Joshua 12:21 ). It was within the boundaries of the portion of Issachar, but was one of the cities reckoned to Manasseh ( Joshua 17:11; 1 Chronicles 7:29 ), and assigned to the Kohathite Levites ( Joshua 21:25 ). The Canaanites were not driven out; only at a later time they were set to taskwork ( Joshua 17:12 f; Judges 1:27 f). Here the great battle was fought when the defeat of Sisera broke the power of the oppressor Jabin ( Judges 5:19 ). It was in the administrative district of Baana ben Ahilud ( 1 Kings 4:12 ). The name appears in the list of Thothmes Iii at Karnak; and Shishak records his plundering of Taanach when he invaded Palestine under Jeroboam I (compare 1 Kings 14:25 f). Eusebius says in Onomasticon that it is a very large village, 3 miles from Legio. it is represented by the modern Ta‛annek , which stands on a hill at the southwestern edge of the plain of Esdraelon. Megiddo ( Tell el - Mutesellim ) lies 5 miles to the Northwest. These two places are almost invariably named together. The great highway for traffic, commercial and military, from Babylon and Egypt, ran between them. They were therefore of high strategic importance. Excavations were recently conducted on the site by Professor Sellin, and a series of valuable and deeply interesting discoveries were made, shedding light upon the social and religious life and practices of the inhabitants down to the 1st century BC, through a period of nearly 2,000 years. The Canaanites were the earliest occupants. In accordance with Biblical history, "there is no evidence of a break or abrupt change in the civilization between the Canaanite and the Israelite occupation of Taanach; the excavations Show rather gradual development. The Canaanites will have gradually assimilated the Israelites drawn to them from the villages in the plain" (Driver, Schweich Lectures , 1908, 84). In the work just cited Driver gives an admirable summary of the results obtained by Professor Sellin. In his book on the Religion of Ancient Palestine , Professor Stanley A. Cook has shown, in short compass, what excellent use may be made of the results thus furnished.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Ta´anach, a royal city of the Canaanites , in the territory of Issachar, but assigned to Manasseh (;;;; ). Schubert, followed by Robinson, finds it in the modern Taannuk, now a mean hamlet on the south side of a small hill, with a summit of table-land. It lies on the south-western border of the plain of Esdraelon, four miles south of Megiddo, in connection with which it is mentioned in the triumphal song of Deborah and Barak .
- Taanach from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Taanach from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Taanach from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Taanach from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Taanach from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Taanach from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Taanach from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Taanach from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Taanach from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Taanach from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Taanach from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature