A'tad (Hebrews Atad', אָטָד, a thorn; Sept. Α᾿τάδ), the person (B.C. 1856 or ante) on whose threshingfloor the sons of Jacob and the Egyptians who accompanied them performed their final act of solemn mourning for Jacob (Ge 1; Ge 10; Ge 11); on which account the place was afterward called ABEL-MIZRAIM SEE ABEL-MIZRAIM (q.v.), "the mourning of the Egyptians." Schwarz (Palest. p. 79) causes unnecessary difficulty by placing it east of the Jordan; whereas the expression "beyond Jordan" is to be understood with reference to a foreign approach from the east. According to Jerome (Onom. s.v. Area-atad), it was in his day called Bethgla or Bethacla (Beth-Hogla), a name which he connects with the gyratory dances or races of the funeral ceremony: "'locus gyri; eo quod ibi more plangentium circumierint." Beth-Hoglah is known to have lain between the Jordan and Jericho, therefore on the west side of Jordan SEE BETH-HOGLAH; and with this agrees the fact of the mention of the Canaanites, "the inhabitants of the land," who were confined to the west side of the river (see, among others, verse 13 of this chapter), and one of whose special haunts was the sunken district "by the 'side' of Jordan" (Nu 13:29). SEE CANAAN. The word עֶבֶר, "beyond," although usually signifying the east of Jordan, is yet used for either east or west, according to the position of the speaker. So Jerome quotes "trans Jordanem;" but Dr. Thompson, rejecting this authority, supposes Abel- mizraim to have been located near Hebron (Land and Book, 2, 385). Atad, as a name, is possibly only an appellative descriptive of a "thorny" locality (גֹּרֵן הָאָטָד="the floor [or trodden space] of the thorn"). SEE JACOB.

Bible concordance for ATAD.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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