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Pethor or Petor is identified in the Hebrew Bible as the home of the prophet (or diviner) Balaam, near to the Euphrates River.[1]

According to the Book of Numbers, Balak, the king of Moab, sent messengers to Pethor to meet with Balaam in order to elicit a curse upon the Israelite people who had left Egypt and were approaching Moab to occupy the land. Balaam required the messengers to stay overnight in Pethor and to await his response until the next morning.[2] In Deuteronomy, Baalam is described as "Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia".[3]

It had been speculated that it was the same place as Pitru, a town mentioned in ancient Assyrian records.[4] More recently, it has been identified with the modern Deir Alla.[5]


  1. ^ Numbers 22:5
  2. ^ Numbers 5-8
  3. ^ Deuteronomy 23:4
  4. ^ Hogarth, D. G. (David George), 1915, The Ancient East, p.30
  5. ^ W.H. Shea, "The Inscribed Tablets From Tell Deir `Alla" (Part II), Andrews University Seminary Studies, vol. 27, no. 2, p. 108, 1989.