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ASHTAROTH and ASHTAROTH CARNAIM (Ἀσταρώθ, Ἀσταρώθ καὶ Καρνᾳΐν, LXX., El-Mezârîb), a town of Bashan (Deut. 1.4; Josh. 9.10), included in the territory of the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13.31), which was afterwards assigned to the Levites (1 Chron. 6.71). Eusebius (Onomast. in Ἀσταρώθ and Ἀσαρώθ) places it 6 M.P. from Adraa and 25 M. P. from Bostra. This town existed in the time of Abraham (Gen. 14.5). The epithet of “Karnaim” or “horned” is referred to the worship of the moon under the name of Ashtaroth or Astarte. This goddess, the Derceto of the Greeks, had a temple (Ἀταργατείη) at Carnion (2 Mace. 12.26; comp. 1 Macc. 5.43), which is identified with Ashtaroth, and is described as a strongly fortified town, but taken by Judas Maccabaeus, who slew 25,000 of the inhabitants (2 Macc. 12.26; J. AJ 12.8.4.) El-Mezârîb, which Colonel Leake (Preface to Burkhardt's Travels, p. xii.) identifies with Ashtaroth, is the first resting-place for the caravans on the great Hadj Road from Damascus to Mekkah. Burkhardt (Trav. p. 241) mentions, that close to the castle where the pilgrims collect, built by the Sultan Selym, is a lake or pond, a mile and a half in circumference. In the midst of this lake is an island, and at an elevated spot at the extremity of a promontory, advancing into the lake, stands a sort of chapel, around which are many ruins of ancient buildings. There are no other ruins. (Buckingham, Arab. Tribes, p. 162; Chesney, Exped. Euphrat. vol. i. p. 511 ; Capt. Newbold, Lond. Geoq. Journ. vol. xvi. p. 333.)


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    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 12.8.4
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