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s_Ataroth_IMG_3140Atarah is a feminine singular name used of the wife of Jerahmeel 1Chron 2:26 and Ataroth is the feminine plural name meaning crown(s) and is related to a place on the slopes of the Madaba plateau Num 32:3,34 in Judah (Ataroth beth-Joab) 1Dhron 2:54 but also the name of a village on the border of the inheritance of Ephraim Josh 16:2,7 and the northern boundary of the tribe of Benjamin Josh 18:13 where the village is mentioned as Ataroth-addar (most glorious or honourable crowns) The location of Atara can easily be seen to fit this description with the village having a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding rolling country, mainly covered in olive trees. Visiting this town in October finds the olives being picked, and the delicious dates (arabic teen) ripe for the taking, Ataroth is a delightful and contenting place to visit.  The modern village is located to the direct west of Ner’s spring the junction of the Nablus-Jerusalem road, so named after the uncle, and commander-general of Saul, the first king from Benjamin over Israel 1Chron 9:39

A moshav called Atara was established here in 1922, the first of the central massif settlements

The feminine plural name is used as it represents a community that enjoy the association with the crown, and as such are “kings daughters”  Ps 45:9 noted for their honour, and so connected as Ataroth-addar, crowns of glory or honour.  This honour was from within Ps 45:13 coming from hearkening, considering and inclining 45:10 and like the patriarchs forgetting one’s own people to be associated with a house established on faith in the promises of deity. Gen 12:1-3; Ps 45:10,16 Honour comes from hearing the values of God above sentiment naturally engrained in physical-paternal family. So Christ would accept those who accept the will of a father in heaven Matt 12:50 Ataroth is a treasured and enduring inheritance. A place where willingness of service and not constraint is rewarded by a crown of glory that does not pass away 1Peter 5:2-4  God offers all men the opportunity of sharing a kingdom with the messiah, but are subject to the king Rev 4:4,10 This kingdom is an enduring physical reality that will see places like Ataroth again inhabited by the children of Israel and those willing to share their destiny.

Ref (1) Robinson, Edward and Eli Smith Biblical Researches in Palestine and Adjacent Regions: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1838 Crocker and Brewster, p.256.  (2) Conder and Kitchener, 1882, p. 289 (3) Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener

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