From Judges 8:10-11 (ESV):

Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army, about 15,000 men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the East, for there had fallen 120,000 men who drew the sword. And Gideon went up by the way of the tent dwellers east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the army, for the army felt secure.

I'm curious about where Karkor is. From the text, it looks like knowing where Nobah and Jogbehah would help, but I don't know where they are either. :)

The Karkor Wikipedia article quotes from the Easton Bible Dictionary which says it's a place "not far" beyond Succoth and Penuel. Judging from the text, Karkor is clearly past (i.e., east) of these two cities because Gideon passes them on the way from the west, but saying it's not far from them is what I'd like to have some evidence for.

Any thoughts about the location of Karkor?

  • After only finding Karkor on any map as "Karkor (Peniel)" I found an interesting commentary. It says “Karkor. Or, rather, the Karkor.” …possibly being “a walled-in” place Judges 8:10, not necessarily a city. Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


Karkor probably corresponds to Qarkar mentioned by Shalmaneser II, S. of Hamath (KB, I, 173). It has been said to mean, “soft, level ground.” It was far in the desert, beyond the usual range of the nomadic tribes. A more definite description cannot be given and the exact site has not been located.

Some argue that the indefinite article 'the' should be used with the word (i.e the Karkor.)

Etymologically, Karkor, signifies a walled or enclosed place; and it's possible that the shelter which the kings had found may have been an extensive walled enclosure erected by the Gadites for the protection of cattle or sheep. Further, it is interesting in this connection to recall that, in the notice of the fenced cities of the children of Gad in the Book of Numbers, we find the Jogbehah mentioned in the narrative of Gideon's pursuit among the cities; and immediately after the cities there is added the phrase 'folds for the sheep.' The Karkor whose security the Midianites appropriated may have been a fold in the neighborhood of the Jabbok so extensive as to be distinguished as the Karkor.

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