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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Taanak', תִּעֲנָךְ, sandy [Gesenius], or fortified [Fü rst]; twice [Judges 21:25; 1 Chronicles 7:29] more briefly Tanak', תִּעְנָךְ, A.V. "Tanach;" Sept. Θανάχ or Θαανάχ v.r. Τανάχ, Σανάκ, etc.), an ancient Canaanitish city, whose king is enumerated among the thirty-one conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:21). It came into the hands of the half- tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 17:11; Joshua 21:25; 1 Chronicles 7:29), though it would appear to have lain within the original allotment of Issachar (Joshua 17:11). It was bestowed on the Kohathite Levites (Joshua 21:25). Taanach was one of the places in which, either from some strength of position, or from the ground near it being favorable for their mode of fighting, the aborigines succeeded in making a stand (Joshua 17:12; Judges 1:27); and in the great struggle of the Canaanites under Sisera against Deborah and Barak it appears to have formed the headquarters of their army (Judges 5:19). After this defeat the Canaanites of Taainach were probably made, like the rest, to pay a tribute (Joshua 17:13; Judges 1:28), but in the town they appear to have remained to the last. Taanach is almost always named in company with Megiddo, and they were evidently the chief towns of that fine, rich district which forms the western portion of the great plain of Esdraelon (1 Kings 4:12).

It was known to Eusebius, who mentions it twice in the Onomasticon (Θαανάχ and Θαναή ) as a "very large village" standing between three and four Roman miles from Legio, the ancient Megiddo. It was known to hap-Parchi, the Jewish medieval traveler, and it still stands about four miles south-east of Lejjum, retaining its old name with hardly the change of a letter. Schubert, followed by Robinson, found it in the modern Ta'annuk, now a mean hamlet on the south-east side of a small hill, with a summit of table-land (Schubert, Morgenland, 3, 164; Robinson, Bibl. Res. 3, 156; Bibl. Sacra, 1843, p. 76; Schwarz, Palest. p. 149). The ancient town was planted on a large mound at the termination of a long spur or promontory, which runs out northward from the hills of Manasseh into the plain, and leaves a recess or bay, subordinate to the main plain on its north side, and between it and Lejjun (Van de Velde, 1, 358). Ruins of some extent, but possessing no interest; encompass it (Porter, Handbook, p. 371). The houses of the present village are mud huts, with one or two stone buildings (Ridgaway, The Lord's Land, p. 588).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Taanach'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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