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ASHTEROTH KARNAIM ():

A town east of the Jordan (Gen. xiv. 5; "Onomastica," ed. Lagarde, 209, 61, 213, 39); called simply "Karnaim" in Amos vi. 13 (so Wellhausen, Nowack, and G. A. Smith, ad loc.), in I Macc. v. 43, and II Macc. xii. 21, 26. The first element in the name was derived from the goddess Ashtart, whose temple was situated in the town (II Macc. xii. 26). The last part of the name has been variously explained. Stade ("Zeitschrift," vi. 323) understands "the horned Astarte" to be a moon goddess, the horns referring to the crescent of the moon; Barton in 1894 ("Hebraica," x. 40) explained it as an Ashtart represented by some horned animal, a cow, bull, or ram; Moore ("Jour. Bibl. Lit." xvi. 155), on the basis of Baal-Karnaim, whose temple near Cartnage was on a mountain formed by two peaks separated by a gorge, interprets the name as "the goddess of the two-peaked mountain." This last is the probable solution.

The town was very old. It is mentioned by Thothmes III. (thirteenth century B.C.; compare W. Max Müller, "Asien und Europa," p. 162) and in the El-Amarna tablets (fourteenth century B.C.; compare Schrader, "K. B." v., Nos. 142, 237; Sayce, "Patriarchal Palestine," pp. 133, 153). It has been identified by Dillmann (on Gen. xiv. 5) with the mound of Tell Ashtereh; by G. A. Smith ("Hist. Geog." map) with Tell Ashary; and by Buhl ("Geog." pp. 248 et seq.), whom Gunkel (on Gen. xiv. 5) follows, with El-Muzêrîb (see also Buhl, "Zur Topographie des Ostjordanlandes," pp. 13 et seq.; "Zeit. Deutsch. Paläst. Ver." vols. xiii., xv.). The real site can not be determined until some of these mounds are excavated. See Ashtaroth.

J. Jr. G. A. B.
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