Mount Hor in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
hor (hor ha-har; literally, "Hor, the mountain"):
1. Not Jebel Neby Harun:
(1) a tradition identifying this mountain with Jebel Neby
Harun may be traced from the time of Josephus (Ant., IV, iv,
7) downward. Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. Hor) favors this
identification, which has been accepted by many travelers
and scholars. In HDB, while noting the fact that it has been
questioned, Professor Hull devotes all the space at his
disposal to a description of Jebel Neby Harun. It is now
recognized, however, that this identification is impossible.
Niebuhr (Reise nach Arabic, 238), Pocoke (Description of the
East, I, 157), Robinson (BR, I, 185), Ewald (Hist. of
Israel, II, 201, note), and others had pointed out
difficulties in the way, but the careful discussion of Dr.
H. Clay Trumbull (Kadesh Barnea, 127 ff) finally disposed of
the claims of Jebel Neby Harun.
2. Suggested Identification:
From Nu 20:22; 33:37 we may perhaps infer that Mt. Hor, "in
the edge of the land of Edom," was about a day's journey
from Kadesh. The name "Hor the mountain" suggests a
prominent feature of the landscape. Aaron was buried there
(Nu 20:28; Dt 32:50). It was therefore not in Mt. Seir (Dt
2:5), of which not even a foot-breadth was given to Israel.
Jebel Neby Harun is certainly a prominent feature of the
landscape, towering over the tumbled hills that form the
western edges of the Edom plateau to a height of 4,800 ft.
But it is much more than a day's journey from Kadesh, while
it is well within the boundary of Mt. Seir. The king of Arad
was alarmed at the march to Mt. Hor. Had Israel marched
toward Jebel Neby Harun, away to the Southeast, it could
have caused him no anxiety, as he dwelt in the north.
3. Jebel Maderah:
This points to some eminence to the North or Northeast of
Kadesh. A hill meeting sufficiently all these conditions is
Jebel Maderah (see HALAK, MOUNT), which rises to the
Northeast of `Ain qadis (Kadeshbarnea). It stands at the
extreme Northwest boundary of the land of Edom, yet not
within that boundary. Above the barrenness of the
surrounding plain this "large, singular-looking, isolated
chalk hill" rises "alone like a lofty citadel," "steep-
sided" and "quite naked." Here the solemn transactions
described in Nu 20:22 ff could have been carried out
literally, "in the sight of all the congregation." While
certainty is impossible, no more likely suggestion has been
(2) A mountain named only in Nu 34:7 f as on the North
boundary of the land of Israel. No success has attended the
various attempts made to identify this particular height.
Some would make it Mt. Hermon (Hull, HDB, under the word);
others Jebel Akkar, an outrunner on the Northeast of Lebanon
(Furrer, ZDPV, VIII, 27), and others the mountain at the
"knee of" Nahr el-Qasimiyeh (van Kasteren, Rev. Biblical,
1895, 30 f). In Ezek 47:15 ha-derekh, should certainly be
amended to chadhrakh, a proper name, instead of "the way."
Possibly then Mt. Hor should disappear from Nu 34:7 f, and
we should read, with slight emendation, "From the great sea
ye shall draw a line for you as far as Hadrach, and from