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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

pi'-thom (pithom; Peitho (Exodus 1:11)):

1. Meaning of Name:

Champollion (Gesenius, Lexicon, under the word) considered this name to mean "a narrow place" in Coptic, but it is generally explained to be the Egyptian Pa-tum, or "city of the setting sun." It was one of the cities built by the Hebrews (see RAAMSES), and according to Wessel was the Thoum of the Antonine Itinerary.

Brugsch (History of Egypt, 1879, II, 343) says that it was identical with "Heracleopolis Parva, the capital of the Sethroitic nome in the age of the Greeks and Romans.... half-way on the great road from Pelusium to Tanis (Zoan), and this indication given on the authority of the itineraries furnishes the sole means of fixing its position." This is, however, disputed. Tum was worshipped at Thebes, at Zoan, and probably at Bubastis, while Heliopolis (Brugsch, Geogr., I, 254) was also called Pa-tum.

There were apparently several places of the name; and Herodotus (ii.158) says that the Canal of Darius began a little above Bubastis, "near the Arabian city Patournos," and reached the Red Sea.

2. Situation:

(1) Dr. Naville's Theory.

In 1885 Dr. E. Naville discovered a Roman milestone of Maximian and Severus, proving that the site of Heroopolis was at Tell el MachuTah ("the walled mound") in Wady Tumeilat. The modern name he gives as Tell el Maskhutah, which was not that heard by the present writer in 1882. This identification had long been supposed probable. Excavations at the site laid bare strong walls and texts showing the worship of Tum. None was found to be older than the time of Rameses II-who, however, is well known to have defaced older inscriptions, and to have substituted his own name for that of earlier builders. A statue of later date, bearing the title "Recorder of Pithom," was also found at this same site. Dr. Naville concluded that this city must be the Old Testament Pithom, and the region round it Succoth-the Egyptian T-k-u (but see SUCCOTH). Brugsch, on the other hand, says that the old name of Heropolis was Qes (see GOSHEN), which recalls the identification of the Septuagint (Genesis 46:28); and elsewhere (following Lepsius) he regards the same site as being "the Pa-Khetam of Rameses II" (see ETHAM), which Lepsius believed to be the Old Testament Rameses (see RAAMSES) mentioned with Pithom (Brugsch, Geogr., I, 302, 262). Silvia in 385 A.D. was shown the site of Pithom near Heroopolis, but farther East, and she distinguishes the two; but in her time, though Heroopolis was a village, the site of Pithom was probably conjectural. In the time of Minepthah, son of Rameses II (Brugsch, History, II, 128), we have a report that certain nomads from Aduma (or Edom) passed through "the Khetam (or fort) of Minepthah-Hotephima, which is situated in T-k-u, to the lakes (or canals) of the city Pi-tum of Minepthah-Hotephima, which are situated in the land of T-k-u, in order to feed themselves and to feed their herds."

(2) Patoumos of Herodotus.

These places seem to have been on the eastern border of Egypt, but may have been close to the Bitter Lakes or farther North (see SUCCOTH), whereas Tell el MachuTah is about 12 miles West of Ism'ailieh, and of Lake Timsah. The definition of the Pithom thus noticed as being that of Minepthah suggests that there was more than one place so called, and the Patoumos of Herodotus seems to have been about 30 miles farther West (near Zagazig and Bubastis) than the site of Heropolis, which the Septuagint indentifies with Goshen and not with Pithom. The latter is not noticed as on the route of the Exodus, and is not identified in the Old Testament with Succoth. In the present state of our knowledge of Egyptian topography, the popular impression that the Exodus must have happened in the time of Minepthah, because Pithom was at Heropolis and was not built till the time of Rameses II, must be regarded as very hazardous. See EXODUS. The Patoumos of Herodotus may well have been the site, and may still be discovered near the head of Wady Tumeildt or near Bubastis.

C. R. Conder

Strong's Hebrew
6619. Pithom -- a place in Egypt
... 6618, 6619. Pithom. 6620 . a place in Egypt. Transliteration: Pithom Phonetic
Spelling: (pee-thome') Short Definition: Pithom. ... NASB Word Usage Pithom (1). ...
/hebrew/6619.htm - 5k

6597. pithom -- suddenness, suddenly
... 6596, 6597. pithom. 6598 . suddenness, suddenly. Transliteration: pithom Phonetic
Spelling: (pith-ome') Short Definition: suddenly. ... pithom. 6598 . ...
/hebrew/6597.htm - 6k


The Traitors
... And these be Jambres, and the twelve priests of the cities of the north, and the
innkeeper at Pithom, also the governor over the treasure-city, his soldiers ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xxxviii the traitors.htm

The Secret of Its Greatness
... in the world. 'And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses,'
(Exodus 1:11) that is, store-cities. In Egypt many ...
/.../duff/the bible in its making/chapter ii the secret of.htm

Choosing the Tens
... known as the Delta, once thridded by seven branches of the sea-hunting Nile, Rameses
II, in the fourteenth century BC, erected the city of Pithom and stored ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter i choosing the tens.htm

... He fixed upon Pithom as the chosen spot for the rendezvous, since it was
situated on the Wady Toomilat. ... "He came not to Pithom.". ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xlii expatriation.htm

Sources of the Pentateuch.
... that the Israelites were impressed by Pharaoh into building for him two store-cities
("treasure cities," the old version calls them), named Pithom and Rameses ...
/.../gladden/who wrote the bible/chapter iii sources of the.htm

"The Pharaoh Drew Nigh"
... stepped into the streets of the treasure city, and paused again, till the recollection
of the sorrow upon Egypt returned to him to explain the gloom over Pithom ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xliii the pharaoh drew.htm

The Way to the Sea
... the Red Sea. Meneptah's army had marched twenty-five miles due south of
Pithom and pitched its tents for the night. It was twenty ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xliv the way to.htm

Prosperity under Persecution
... Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.
And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 17 1871/prosperity under persecution.htm

Here Next Followeth the History of Moses
... Then he ordained provosts and masters over them to set them awork and put them to
affliction of burdens. They builded to Pharaoh two towns, Pithom and Raamses. ...
/.../wells/bible stories and religious classics/here next followeth the history.htm

List of Characters and Places
... Pepi,"Pay'-pee, servant of Masanath. Pharaoh,"Fay'-roe, title given to the Egyptian
monarchs. Pithom,"-Py'-thom, a treasure city built by Rameses II. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/list of characters and places.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

their mouthful; a dilatation of the mouth

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(the city of justice), one of the store-cites Israelites for the first oppressor, the Pharaoh "which knew not Joseph." (Exodus 1:11) It is probably the Patumus of Herodotus (ii. 1 159), a town on the borders of Egypt, nest which Necho constructed a canal from the Nile to the Arabian Gulf.

ATS Bible Dictionary

One of the cities built by the children of Israel for Pharaoh in Egypt, during their servitude, Exodus 1:11. This is probably the Pathumos mentioned by Herodotus, which he places near Pi-beseth and the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, not far from the canal made by the kings Necho and Darius to join the Red Sea with the Nile. See EGYPT.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the "treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the Israelites (Exodus 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20 east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this was a great "store city." Its immense ruin-heaps show that it was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw. Succoth (Exodus 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been argued (Dr. Lansing) that these "store" cities "were residence cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build, thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves."
Pithom (1 Occurrence)
... Succoth (Exodus 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name of this city,
Pithom being its sacred name. ... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. PITHOM. ...
/p/pithom.htm - 12k

... The Israelites in Egypt were employed in building the "treasure cities" of Pithom
and Raamses (Exodus 1:11); but it does not seem that they had any cities of ...
/c/city.htm - 43k

Goshen (16 Occurrences)
... It is called "the land of Goshen" (47:27), and also simply "Goshen" (46:28), and
"the land of Rameses" (47:11; Exodus 12:37), for the towns Pithom and Rameses ...
/g/goshen.htm - 19k

Raamses (1 Occurrence)
... The Meaning of "Store-Cities": One of the two "settlements" (mickenoth) built, or
"built up," by the Hebrews for the Pharaoh, the other being Pithom, to which ...
/r/raamses.htm - 10k

Etham (4 Occurrences)
... (see EXODUS; PITHOM.). Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. ETHAM. ... hieroglyph., 453),
and more than one such "fort" seems to be noticed (see PITHOM). ...
/e/etham.htm - 9k

Succoth (18 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Booths. (1.) The first encampment of the Israelites after
leaving Ramesses (Exodus 12:37); the civil name of Pithom (qv). ...
/s/succoth.htm - 16k

Store-cities (5 Occurrences)
... stor'-cit-iz (mickenoth): the Revised Version (British and American) Exodus 1:11
(of PITHOM and RAAMSES (which see)) for the King James Version "treasure cities ...
/s/store-cities.htm - 8k

Rameses (5 Occurrences)
... The Meaning of "Store-Cities": One of the two "settlements" (mickenoth) built, or
"built up," by the Hebrews for the Pharaoh, the other being Pithom, to which ...
/r/rameses.htm - 13k

... The literature of the XIXth Dynasty contains many Hebrew names with much information
concerning Goshen, Pithom, Canaan, etc., while in one huge stele of ...
/e/exploration.htm - 38k

Moses (9295 Occurrences)
... The great oppressor was Rameses II, and the culmination and the revolution came,
most probably, in connection with the building of Pithom and Raamses, as these ...
/m/moses.htm - 53k

Bible Concordance
Pithom (1 Occurrence)

Exodus 1:11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses.



Pithom: A Treasure City in Lower Egypt

Related Terms


Goshen (16 Occurrences)

Raamses (1 Occurrence)

Etham (4 Occurrences)

Succoth (18 Occurrences)

Store-cities (5 Occurrences)

Rameses (5 Occurrences)


Moses (9295 Occurrences)

Golden (86 Occurrences)

Red (124 Occurrences)

Exodus (2 Occurrences)

Calf (39 Occurrences)

Treasure (66 Occurrences)

Zaphnathpaaneah (1 Occurrence)

Zaphnath-paaneah (1 Occurrence)

Oppress (57 Occurrences)

Overseers (47 Occurrences)

Forced (84 Occurrences)

Taskmasters (7 Occurrences)

Task-masters (6 Occurrences)

Treasure-cities (1 Occurrence)

Ra-am'ses (1 Occurrence)


Migdol (6 Occurrences)

Princes (324 Occurrences)

Pitfalls (2 Occurrences)

Pithon (2 Occurrences)

Burdens (35 Occurrences)

Buildeth (73 Occurrences)

Brick (10 Occurrences)

Afflict (55 Occurrences)

Store-towns (5 Occurrences)

Service-masters (1 Occurrence)

Storage (7 Occurrences)


Zoan (7 Occurrences)

On (40792 Occurrences)


Tablets (31 Occurrences)


Tribute (67 Occurrences)

Masters (59 Occurrences)

Tell (3056 Occurrences)

Weight (143 Occurrences)

Less (93 Occurrences)

Store (134 Occurrences)

Built (299 Occurrences)

Labor (181 Occurrences)

Sea (4178 Occurrences)

Heavy (110 Occurrences)

Pharaoh (245 Occurrences)

Egypt (596 Occurrences)

Strength (517 Occurrences)

Appointed (385 Occurrences)

Samaritan (8 Occurrences)

Palestine (1 Occurrence)

Joseph (248 Occurrences)

Cities (427 Occurrences)


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