Misrephoth Maim (Rosh-HaNiqra), Israel’s Northern Border

Misrephoth-maim is mentioned twice in the biblical text.The first occurrence is in Joshua 11:8, which records the third phase of the Conquest, that of the north, and specifically that of Hazor, which formerly was the head of all those kingdoms (v.10). The text records the flight of the defeated Canaanites,

The LORD handed them over to Israel and they struck them down and chased them all the way to Greater Sidon, Misrephoth Maim, and the Mizpah Valley to the east. They struck them down until no survivors remained (Josh 11:8, NET).

With the initial Conquest accomplished, the Lord told Joshua,

I will drive out before the Israelites all who live in the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, all the Sidonians; you be sure to parcel it out to Israel as I instructed you (Joshua 13:6, NET).

We had the opportunity in September to see this interesting biblical site. Misrephoth Maim is identified with Rosh-HaNiqra, and is situated just below Israel’s border with Lebanon on the coast.

Rosh HaNiqra. Looking north to Lebanon. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Alexander the Great tunneled through the cliffs here to bring his army from Tyre down to Israel.

Rosh HaNiqra. Alexander the Great tunneled through the mountain here. Facing north. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

We had the occasion to go inside the tunnel.

Rosh HaNiqra inside tunnel. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Here is a view from the cable car:

Rosh HaNiqra. View from Cable Car. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Wikipedia has this info:

The Book of Joshua mentions ‘Misraphot Mayim’ as a place south of Rosh HaNikra that was the border of the Israelite tribes of the time (13:6). Jewish sages referred to the cliff as “The Ladder of Tyre’ (Hebrew: sullam Tzor‎).The site was later renamed A-Nawakir (“the grottos”) after an Arab conquest. The present name, Rosh HaNikra, is Hebrew for the later Arabic name ‘Ras-an-Nakura.’

Throughout human history, Rosh HaNikra served as a passage point for trade caravans and armies between Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Egypt, and Africa. The British blasted a railway tunnel through the nearby rocks for trains running along the Cairo-Istanbul line. A bridge was destroyed by Jewish underground fighters prior to 1948 during the operation Night of the bridges.

Rosh Hanikra was the site where Israeli and Lebanese officials negotiated and concluded an armistice in 1949 which ended the Lebanese-Israeli component of the 1948 War of Israeli Independence.

Click on images for larger view.

One Response to Misrephoth Maim (Rosh-HaNiqra), Israel’s Northern Border

  1. I’m going to Israel after 3 days 🙂


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