narrow pass or recess, a town (Jos 15:33) in the low country, the She-phelah of Judah. It was allotted to the tribe of Dan (Jos 19:41), and was one of their strongholds. Here Samson spent his boyhood, and first began to show his mighty strength; and here he was buried in the burying-place of Manoah his father (Jg 13:25; 16:31; 8/2/type/mkjv'>18:2,8,11-12). It is identified with the modern Yeshua, on a hill 2 miles east of Zorah. Others, however, identify it with Kustul, east of Kirjath-jearim.
A town in the shephelah or low country of Judah (Jos 15:33; 19:41), allotted to Daniel On the Philistine border between Azotus and Askelon. Here Samson spent his boyhood, and hither his remains were finally carried to the burying ground of Manoah his father (Jg 13:25; 16:31; 8/2/type/mkjv'>18:2,8,11-12). Between the Danite towns Zorah and Eshtaol and behind Kirjath Jearim was Mahaneh-Dan, the standing camp of the little host exposed to constant warfare with the Philistines; a neighborhood well calculated to train Samson for his after encounters with that race.
As Kirjath Jearim is now Kuriet-el-Enab, and Zorah is Suz'ah, seven miles S.W. of it, Eshtaol is Kustul, a conical hill an hour's journey S.E. from Kuriet-el-Enab toward Jerusalem. This fulfills the requisite condition that Kirjath Jearim should lie between Eshtaol and Zorah. E. Wilton (Imperial Bible Dictionary) identifies Eshtaol with Um Eshteiyeh, 12 Roman miles from Beit Jibrin (Eleutheropolis), agreeing with Eusebius' statement that it is ten miles distant. Jerome says Jarmuth was near, which agrees with the fact that Yarmak is near Eshtaol; Zanua (Zanoah) is also near. Black (Palestine Exploration) identifies Eshtaol with Eshu'a.
A lowland city of Judah (Jos 15:33) on the borders of Dan 19:41), near which Samson began to feel 'the spirit of the Lord' (Jg 13:25), and was buried (Jg 16:31); the home of some of the Danites who attacked Laish (Jg 18:2,11). It is supposed to be the same as Eshu'a, near Ain esh-Shems (Beth-shemesh). The Eshtaolites are enumerated among the Calebites (1Ch 2:53).
R. A. S. Macalister.
Town in the lowlands of Judah, allotted to Dan. It was near to this town that Samson spent his early life, and there he was buried. Jos 15:33; 19:41; Jg 13:25; 16:31; 8/2/type/mkjv'>18:2,8,11. Identified with Eshu'a, 31 47' N, 35 E.