And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.(2 Chronicles 26:7)

Question- I have a question concerning the location of Gur-baal. I am reading multiple commentaries and they all have different answers. Some say its Gur a place in Philistia while I read other commentaries that say that Gur-Baal is another name for Bozrah. Is Gur-Baal Bozrah/Place in Edom or is it in another location?

1 Answer 1


Yes, there's a disagreement among scholars about the location of Gur-Baal.
The Encyclopedia Mikrait (Hebrew Biblical Encyclopedia), entry 'גור בעל' writes that Gur-Baal was in southern Judah, in the Negev area. This was likewise asserted by Nadav Na'aman here, p. 267, n. 17 and Martin Selman also seemed to go in this direction. Their argument is mostly based on the assumption that since the Arabs are mentioned together with the Plishtim, that means that they lived nearby. The Negev is near Philistia.

The LXX added that this place was near Petra (κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς πέτρας), hence the identification with Bozrah, which is near Petra. This was accepted by several of the commentaries found online, as well as several scholars such as Yehoshua M. Grintz here, p. 138 and Alois Musil here. It should be noted that an Idumean (late Edomite) ostracon features the name Gurbaal (גורבעל) as well as one that features the name Baalgur (בעלגור).1

1 B. Porten, 'Theophorous Names in Idumean Ostraca', in: M. Mor et al, For Uriel: Studies in the History of Israel in Antiquity, Presented to Professor Uriel Rappaport, pp. 113* and 121*; A. Yardeni and B. Porten, Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea: Volume 1, pp. 74, 99; idem, Volume 3, p. 314.

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