Gath-hepher (Hebrew: גַּת הַחֵֽפֶר) was a border town in ancient Israel. It was the home of the prophet Jonah. The etymology of the name is literally "wine-press of the digging" and is mentioned twice in the Bible at Joshua 19:13 and 2 Kings 14:25. In Joshua, a copying error has resulted in the form Gittah-hepher.
Jerome in Roman Times (Commentary on Jonah) describes the town ‘as an inconsiderable village’ and tells that the tomb of Jonah was nearby. Similarly the medieval geographer Benjamin of Tudela also relates the tomb of Jonah in his travels to the area.
Today the site, at Latitude 32° 44' 30" N and Longitude 35° 19' 30" E in the Galilee, is a small set of ruins on a hilltop near the Arab village of el-Meshed five kilometres north of Nazareth and one kilometre from Canna. The supposed tomb of Jonah is still pointed out by locals.
- "Lexicon Results for Gath-ha-Chepher". Blue Letter Bible. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
- Jerusalem Talmud (Kila'im 9:3; Genesis Rabba § 98:15; not a ruin, per se, but a recognised land feature (e.g. "wine press") known to the ancients as "Gob'batha of Sepphoris," situate some 3 biblical miles from Sepphoris. Marcus Jastrow explains "Gob'batha" as meanings "hills". In J. Payne Smith's A Compendious Syriac Dictionary the word is explained as meaning "a pit, hole, den, cavern." In the Jerusalem Talmud, the name is written in its elided-form, פפתה, instead of גובבתא/גופפתא. The place is said to have been the birthplace of Jonah the prophet.
- Thomas Kelly Cheyne (1901) . "Gath-hepher". In T. K. Cheyne; J. Sutherland Black (eds.). Encyclopaedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary, Political, and Religious History, the Archaeology, Geography, and Natural History of the Bible. 2, E-K. New York: The Macmillan Company.
- Ewing, William (1910). The Temple Dictionary of the Bible. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd. p. 216.