Endor (village)

Endor (village)

Endor (or En Dor or Ein Dor) was a village of Canaanites probably located on the Hill of Moreh (Jebel Datii).Fact|date=August 2007 The original Hebrew meaning of "Endor" is unknown because it is spelled differently in each of the three times it is mentioned in the Bible. In Joshua 17:11 and 1 Samuel 28:7, the word Endor likely comes from the root, “dor,” meaning “spring of settlement,” “spring of divine assembly,” or “fountain of habitation." There must have been a spring in connection with the site. The spelling variant of Endor in Psalm 83:10 is unknown, therefore its meaning is unknown as well.

Historical basis

Endor was first mentioned in Joshua 17:11, when Endor fell within the tribal allotments of Manasseh. In 1st Samuel (28: 4-25), Saul consulted the Medium of Endor, who lived in the village, on the evening before the battle of Gilboa, in which he perished. According to Psalms 83:9-10, it was the scene of the rout of Jabin and Sisera after being defeated by Barak and Deborah in Judges 4 and 5.

The ancient site of Endor is widely debated and many locations have been suggested. From the biblical accounts, an Endor that is located on the south edge of the Jezreel Valley seems to fit best. The tribal allotments of Manasseh, Saul’s journey to Endor and the defeat of Sisera’s army all fit well with a location that is on this side of the valley, somewhere between Ibleam and Tanaach. However, there are difficulties with this location. From the origin of the name, a spring must also be located somewhere near, and archaeological evidence from the time of Joshua, Judges, and Saul is required.

Many suggested sites are located on the north side of the Jezreel Valley, near or on the Hill of Moreh. The main reasons for this placement are due to tradition and name preservation. The major difficulty in a northern location for Endor is that it does not seem to fit the biblical accounts well. The city lists in Joshua 17:11 and Judges 1:27 would be mentioning Endor out of logical order. In spite of this, a supporting factor for a northern site is that Saul had to be disguised as he traveled to the witch at Endor. This is usually attributed to the fact that Endor was behind enemy lines since the Philistines were camped at Shunem, just southwest of the most accepted Endor site. Those who hold to a southern site location explain the disguise as necessary not to transverse any enemy lines but to hide Saul’s identity from the medium. Both explanations are possible. The following are a list of suggested sites with a brief explanation of each:

Khirbet Jadurah - This site is located on the south edge of the Jezreel Valley, but with no spring the site has been deemed incorrect. Tell Qedesh / Tell abu Qudeis - This tell is a much better site than Khirbet Jadurah and it is located on the south edge of the Jezreel Valley. It has two springs nearby, remains from the right time periods, and a walled city area. Proponents for a southern Endor usually hold to this as the correct site for ancient Endor.

Tell el-Ajjul / el-Ajyul / Agol - This tell is located on the north side of the Jezreel Valley 3 km east of Nain, on the right of the road to Tamra. The small hill, on the east side of the Hill of Moreh is 211 meters high. Archaeology has uncovered tombs and a spring inside a cave. The spring was named Fountain of Dor after it was believed to be the ancient site of Endor. Indur, Endur, En-dor - In the 4th century AD, a large village on the north side of the Hill of Moreh was known to be 4 Roman miles south of [http://www.bibleplaces.com/mounttabor.htm Mount Tabor] . Today there is a modern kibbutz, Indur, which still preserves the ancient name. This name preservation can be seen in Eusebius’ Onomostican. The modern village is 11 km southeast of Nazareth, 6 km south of [http://www.bibleplaces.com/mounttabor.htm Mount Tabor] and 3 km northeast of Nain. Excavations were carried out here, but with no remains found at the site it was largely ruled out as being ancient Endor.

Khirbet Safsafeh / Es-Safsafa - Many believe Khirbet Safsafeh to be the site of ancient En-dor, as reflected as being the site most normally marked on maps. This site is located 6.7 km northeast of modern Solem, 4 mi south of [http://www.bibleplaces.com/mounttabor.htm Mount Tabor] , 6 mi southeast of Jezreel Valley, 4 mi northeast of Shunem. Two wadis drain from this location, one to the northeast and the other to the northwest. During the Roman Period, there was a large population on the site. It was later inhabited by Arabs until they abandoned it in 1948 due to the war. After the war, Israelis settled it and named it Ein Dor. Tradition seems to be the best support for Khirbet Safsafeh. Since the 4th C. Endor has been recognized by the Crusaders and early pilgrims as Biblical Endor. It was also known during the Crusader Period and was mentioned by Brocardus, a 14th-century German priest. When Edward Robinson came upon the site, he described it as an ordinary village. C. Conder and H. Kitchner also recognized the site and described it as a small village. Name preservation also supports Khirbet Safsafeh as being ancient Endor. Although the site itself does not have a name that is preserved, its nearby neighbor does. Khirbet Safsafeh is located only a few kilometers northeast of the modern village of Indur. The modern city could have easily moved from the ancient site, taking the name with it.

There is no conclusive evidence for any of the above listed sites. The biblical texts seems to call for a site on the south edge of the Jezreel Valley while the best tradition supports a site on the north edge at Khirbet Safsafeh. Khirbet Jadurah, Tell Qedesh, Tell el-Ajjul, Indur, Khirbet Safsafeh and even a site at the foot of Mount Tabor, Israel have all been suggested as the location of ancient Endor. Until further excavations can be carried out, the location of ancient En-dor will most likely continue to be debated.

ee also

* Ein Dor (kibbutz)
* Witch of Endor


For more information see [http://www.bibleplaces.com Bibleplaces.com] : [http://www.bibleplaces.com/jezreelvalley.htm Jezreel Valley] [http://www.bibleplaces.com/mounttabor.htm Mount Tabor]


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