Hormah (meaning "broken rock", "banned", or "devoted to destruction"), also known by its Canaanite name Zephath (Tsfat צפת), is an unidentified city mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in relation to several conflicts between the migrant Israelite people seeking to enter the Promised Land and the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt at that time in southern Canaan.

Its location is unknown; some place it between Beer Sheba and Gaza, some between Beer Sheba and Arad, and some in the east side of the Arabah in the ruins of Sarta (under the town of Tafileh, Tufileh or Tafyleh, identified as biblical Tophel).

The city is mentioned in Book of Numbers 14:45 as the site of an Israelite defeat:

Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah.

The city is then mentioned in Book of Numbers 21:2-3 as the site of an Israelite victory:

Then Israel made this vow to the LORD: "If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities." The LORD listened to Israel's plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.

Hormah is also mentioned in Book of Judges 1:17:

Then the men of Judah went with the Simeonites their brothers and attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they totally destroyed the city. Therefore it was called Hormah.

See also

External links

Ali Khamenei's fatwa against nuclear weapons

A fatwa by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, against the acquisition, development and use of nuclear weapons dates back to the mid-1990s though its first public announcement is reported to have occurred on October 2003, which was followed by an official statement at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna two years later on August 2005.

Some analysts have questioned either the existence, applicability and/or constancy of the fatwa. According to Khalaji, Khamenei may alter his fatwa under critical circumstances, as did his predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini, on some civil and political issues. According to Gareth Porter writing in Foreign Policy, Iran's aversion to nuclear weapons is sincere because of the "historical episode during its eight-year war with Iraq", and Iran never sought revenge for Iraqi chemical attacks against Iran, which killed 20,000 Iranians and severely injured 100,000 more. According to Mehdi Khalaji, the fatwa is also considered to be consistent with Islamic tradition.The fatwa is included in the fatwa section of Khamenei's official website, and it was referred to in remarks by both US President Barack Obama and Khamenei himself.


Balak (Hebrew: בָּלָק Bālāq) was a king of Moab described in the Book of Numbers in the Hebrew Bible, where his dealings with the prophet Balaam are recounted. Balak tried to engage Balaam for the purpose of cursing the migrating Israelite community.On his journey to meet the princes of Moab, Balaam is stopped by an angel of the lord after beating his donkey. He tells the angel he will return home: "I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood against me on the road". The angel instructs Balaam to attend the meeting with the princes of Moab but to "say only what I tell you". According to Numbers 22:2, and Joshua 24:9, Balak was the son of Zippor.

In the preceding chapter of Numbers, the Israelites, seeking the Promised Land following their Exodus from Egypt, had defeated the Canaanites at a place named Hormah, as well as the Amorites and the people of Bashan, and next approached Moab. The biblical narrative stresses the fears of the people of Moab, who were 'exceedingly afraid' and 'sick with dread' (NKJV) or 'terrified (GNT) . Their fears appear to relate to the size of the Israelite population and the consequent resource depletion which could be expected if they were permitted to occupy Moabite land.

Balak initially conferred with his Midianite allies in order to block Israelite settlement, before sending his elders (along with Midianite elders) to seek Balaam's curse on them. The Midianites appear to have been co-located with the Moabites - according to the Targum of Jonathan, they were one alliance of people at this time and therefore had a common interest in preventing Israelite settlement of the area.

After his mission with Balaam to curse Israelites failed, Balak decided to ally with Midianites to gather their women in order to lead Israelites men astray in adultery.

Other sources detailing the story of Balak:

Numbers 22–24

Judges 11:25 - This is the only time in the Bible that Balak is not mentioned in direct conjunction with Balaam.

Micah 6:5According to the Pulpit Commentary, Balak seems to be mentioned by name on a papyrus in the British Museum.


Chukat, Hukath, or Chukkas (חֻקַּת — Hebrew for "decree," the ninth word, and the first distinctive word, in the parashah) is the 39th weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the Book of Numbers. The parashah sets out the laws of corpse contamination (tumat hamet) and purification with the water of lustration prepared with the Red Cow (פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה, parah adumah, also called the “Red Heifer”). It also reports the deaths of Miriam and Aaron, the failure of Moses at the Waters of Meribah, and the conquest of Arad, the Amorites, and Bashan. The parashah constitutes Numbers 19:1–22:1. The parashah is the shortest weekly Torah portion in the Book of Numbers (although not the shortest in the Torah), and is made up of 4,670 Hebrew letters, 1,245 Hebrew words, 87 verses, and 159 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah).Jews generally read it in late June or July. In most years (for example, in 2019, 2021, 2022, 2024, 2025, and 2028), parashah Chukat is read separately. In some years (for example, 2020, 2023, 2026, and 2027) when the second day of Shavuot falls on a Sabbath in the Diaspora (where observant Jews observe Shavuot for two days), parashah Chukat is combined with the subsequent parashah, Balak, in the Diaspora to synchronize readings thereafter with those in Israel (where Jews observe Shavuot for one day).Jews also read the first part of the parashah, Numbers 19:1–22, in addition to the regular weekly Torah portion, on the Sabbath after Purim, called Shabbat Parah. On Shabbat Parah, a reader chants the regular weekly Torah portion first, and then a reader chants the chapter of the Red Cow. Shabbat Parah occurs shortly before Passover, and Numbers 19:1–22 sets out the procedure by which the Israelites could purify themselves from the impurity of death (tumat hamet), and so prepare for the Pilgrimage Festival of Passover.

Cities in the Book of Joshua

The Book of Joshua lists almost 400 ancient Levantine city names (including alternative names and derivatives in the form of words describing citizens of a town) which refer to over 300 distinct locations in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Each of those cities, with minor exceptions (e.g. Hamath, Gubla) is placed in one of the 12 regions, according to the tribes of Israel and in most cases additional details like neighbouring towns or geographical landmarks are provided. It has been serving as one of the primary sources for identifying and locating a number of Middle Bronze to Iron Age Levantine cities mentioned in ancient Egyptian and Canaanite documents, most notably in the Amarna correspondence.

Devarim (parsha)

Devarim, D'varim, or Debarim (דְּבָרִים — Hebrew for "things" or "words," the second word, and the first distinctive word, in the parashah) is the 44th weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the first in the Book of Deuteronomy. It constitutes Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22. The parashah recounts how Moses appointed chiefs, the episode of the Twelve Spies, encounters with the Edomites and Ammonites, the conquest of Sihon and Og, and the assignment of land for the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh.

The parashah is made up of 5,972 Hebrew letters, 1,548 Hebrew words, 105 verses, and 197 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah). Jews generally read it in July or August. It is always read on Shabbat Chazon, the Sabbath directly before Tisha B'Av.

List of Hebrew place names

This is a list of traditional Hebrew place names. This list includes:

Places involved in the history (and beliefs) of Canaanite religion, Abrahamic religion and Hebrew culture and the (pre-Modern or directly associated Modern) Hebrew (and intelligible Canaanite) names given to them.

Places whose official names include a (Modern) Hebrew form.

Places whose names originate from the Hebrew language.All names are in the Hebrew alphabet with niqqud, and academically transliterated into Tiberian vocalization (of the Masoretic Text) and Standard Hebrew.

List of biblical names starting with H

This page includes a list of biblical proper names that start with H in English transcription. Some of the names are given with a proposed etymological meaning. For further information on the names included on the list, the reader may consult the sources listed below in the References and External Links.

A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M – N – O – P – Q – R – S – T – U – V – Y – Z

List of surviving and destroyed Canaanite cities

This is not a list of archaeological remains in the modern-day Middle East. This discusses a specific list present in the BibleThe list of destroyed and surviving Canaanite cities at Judges 1:17-36 is an account of the failures and successes of the military campaigns of the Israelites in their attempt to conquer Canaan. While the Book of Joshua portrays complete victory, Judges presents the tribes which were to become the western half of the Kingdom of Israel as having several failures. In each of these cases, the book of Judges says that the tribes later subjugated the Canaanites into forced labour.

According to the Bible, God inflicted the later tribulations in Judges upon the Israelites partially because they failed to completely extinguish the Canaanite race despite his somewhat genocidal command elsewhere to the contrary. According to modern textual criticism the discrepancy with the picture of victory that Joshua portrays is down to the use of different sources. The less pious and more realistic presence of failures leading to the text being considered more historically reliable, and from a potentially earlier, less censured, source.

The list does not consider the tribes who became the eastern half of the Kingdom of Israel, but the western part of the Kingdom of Israel are only described as failing, and the only successes are by those tribes which became the Kingdom of Judah. In particular, even where Judah fails, an excuse is given - the occupants had chariots. Hence, many biblical critics see the list as biased, and partly deliberate propaganda, by an author hailing from the Kingdom of Judah.

One curious feature of the list is that Jerusalem is described as having not been conquered and containing Jebusites to this day. This is somewhat in contrast to the slightly earlier Judges 1:8, which says that everyone there was killed and the city burnt to the ground. Another unusual feature is that it lists every single tribe whose lands are west of the Jordan, except Levi, the holy tribe, and Issachar, who apparently had no failures, but also no successes worthy of mention.


Shlach, Shelach, Sh'lah, Shlach Lecha, or Sh'lah L'kha (שְׁלַח or שְׁלַח-לְךָ — Hebrew for "send", "send to you", or "send for yourself") is the 37th weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah = pericope) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the fourth in the Book of Numbers. Its name comes from the first distinctive words in the parashah, in Numbers 13:2. Shelach (שְׁלַח) is the sixth and lecha (לְךָ) is the seventh word in the parashah. The parashah tells the story of the twelve spies sent to assess the promised land, commandments about offerings, the story of the Sabbath violator, and the commandment of the fringes (צִיצִת, tzitzit).

The parashah constitutes Numbers 13:1–15:41. It is made up of 5,820 Hebrew letters, 1,540 Hebrew words, 119 verses, and 198 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah). Jews generally read it in June or early July.

The Bible and violence

The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament contain narratives, poetry, and instruction describing, recording, encouraging, commanding, condemning, rewarding, punishing and regulating violent actions by God, individuals, groups, governments, and nation-states. Among the violent acts included are war, human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, murder, rape, and criminal punishment. The texts have a history of interpretation within the Abrahamic religions and Western culture that includes justification and opposition to acts of violence.

Urwa al-Wuthqa

Urwa al-Wuthqa (Arabic: العروة الوثقي) is Mohammed Kazem Yazdi's book which is considered as the most prominent compilation and Fiqhi book of him so that it is mentioned there are many—Islamic—scholars who hold this book with themselves.This compilation's author is known as the Sahib-Urwa (the owner of Urwa). The mentioned book includes diverse chapters of Fiqh, and expresses (Islamic) legal rulings/problems.On the whole, Urwa al-Wuthqa consists of 3260 problems in three volumes; its first volume includes the matters of Ijtihad and Taqlid, the books of: al-Taharah, al-Salah, al-Sawm, al-E'tekaf, al-Zakat, al-Khoms, al-Haj, al-Ijarah, al-Mudharebah, al-Mazare'ah, al-Musaqat, al-Dhiman, al-Hawalah, al-Nikah and al-Wasiah.The second volume of that consists of: the matters of hypocrisy Hormah (being haram), Iddah matters and its rulings; the book of al-Hibah, the book of al-Waqf; and a small Risalah in Sadaqah Bel-Ma'ni al-Khasah.The third volume of the book of Urwa al-Wuthqa is included the book of al-Qadha, which has been paid heed by Marjas. Moreover, Sheikh Abbas Qomi has translated Yazdi's Urwa al-Wuthqa into Persian; and another scholar has completed it, and has been published as "Qayatul-Qaswa Fi Tarjomah Urwa-al-Wuthqa"


Zephath may refer to:

Safed, a city in Galilee

Hormah, an unidentified place mentioned in the Bible


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.