ARUBBOTH, HEPHER AND THE THIRD SOLOMONIC DISTRICT
Dpt. of Archaeology, Haifa University
The Jewish presence in northern Manasseh … is well-attested in the book of Judith of the Apocrypha ….
The geographical background of the book, with the valley of Dothan in northern Manasseh as the focus of the events (Jdt 3:9-10) suits well the possible location of the third Solomonic district, with long continuity of the pattern of settlement (Zertal 1989, ).
Moore (1985, 47) underestimates the geographical value of the text, stating, as an evidence against the historicity of the text: ‘For instance, of the eight Israelite places named in 4:4, five are totally unknown, namely Kona, Belmaim, Choba, Aesore and the valley of Salem’.
But it seems that the reason for this is the simple fact that the territory has never been surveyed before, nor any candidates for these settlements has been suggested.
It seems possible now, as a result of the survey, to propose some new identifications for some of the places discussed above, a task the author hopes to fulfill in the near future.