HALHUL (Heb. חַלְחוּל), town in the territory of Judah mentioned once in the Bible together with Beth-Zur and Gedor (Josh. 15:58). An Idumean village called Aluros (identical with Halhul) is referred to by Josephus (Wars, 4:522) as a fortified city which was destroyed by Simeon b. Giora along with Hebron during the Jewish War (66–70/73). Jerome mentions the city Alula belonging to Jerusalem near Hebron (Eusebius, Onom., 87:11–12). The "tomb of Jonah" was shown there. In the 14th century Jews were living in Halhul and according to tombstone lists compiled by medieval Jewish travelers, the grave of the prophet Gad was located there. Today, the Muslim Arab village Ḥalḥūl is located at the highest spot of the Judean Hills about 3,347 ft. (1020 m.) above sea level, 2.5 mi. (4 km.) north of Hebron. As a result of the proximity of Hebron, Ḥalḥūl expanded in the 1950s and 1960s; in 1968 the village had over 6,000 inhabitants. Fruit orchards and particularly vineyards constituted its principal farming branch. In 2005, including the surrounding villages, the population exceeded 50,000. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Nestle, in: ZDPV, 34 (1911), 79; E. Mader, Altchristliche Basiliken und Lokaltraditionen in Suedjudaea (1918), 35ff. (Michael Avi-Yonah)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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