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Coordinates: 32°44′30″N 35°19′30″E / 32.74167°N 35.32500°E / 32.74167; 35.32500

Gath-hepher (Israel)

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"[1] 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.[2]

Jerome in Roman Times (Commentary on Jonah) describes the town ‘as an inconsiderable village’ and tells that the tomb of Jonah was nearby.[3] 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.


  1. ^ "Lexicon Results for Gath-ha-Chepher". Blue Letter Bible. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Thomas Kelly Cheyne (1901) [1899]. "Gath-hepher". In T. K. Cheyne; J. Sutherland Black. 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. 
  3. ^ Ewing, William (1910). The Temple Dictionary of the Bible. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd. p. 216.