I was reading the Wikipedia page on Kafr Yasif where it is stated that:

 Kafr Yasif appears in the writings of the Roman Jewish historian Josephus Flavius.

without providing a reference. I googled and found a couple of website that claim the same thing, but couldn't find any details.

I don't think anyone would know this off the top of their head but is there an accessible way to search Josephus' works for mentions of Kafr Yasif?


You will not find "Kafr Yasif" in Josephus because that is a modern place name.

In Josephus the supposed reference to this town occurs as part of the "divine dream" paragraph in the Life (xix, 27), and is as follows:

But wonderful it was, what a dream I saw that very night; for when I had retired to my bed, so grieved and disturbed at the news that had been written to me, it seemed that a certain person stood by me and said," O Josephus! leave off to afflict thy soul; and put away all fear. For what now grieves thee will render thee very considerable; and in all respects most happy. For thou shall surmount not only these difficulties, but many others with great success. However, be not cast down; but remember that thou art to fight with the Romans." When I had seen this dream I got up with an intention of going down to the plain. Now when the whole multitude of Galileans, among whom were the women and the children, saw me, they threw themselves down upon their faces; and, with tears in their eyes, besought me, not to leave them exposed lo their enemies; nor to go away and permit their country to be injured by them. But when I did not comply with their entreaties, they compelled me to take an oath, that I would stay with them. They also cast abundance of reproaches upon the people of Jerusalem, that they would not let their country enjoy peace.

When I heard this, and saw what sorrow the people were in, I was moved to compassion to them, and thought it became me to undergo the most manifest hazards for the sake of so great a multitude. So I let them know I would stay with them. And when I had given order that five thousand of them should come to me armed, and with provisions for their maintenance, I sent the rest away to their own homes. And when those five thousand were come, I took them, together with three thousand of the soldiers that were with me before, and eighty horsemen, and marched to the village of Chabolo ; situate in the confines of Ptolemais ; and there kept my forces together, pretending to get ready to fight with Placidus, who was to come with two cohorts of footmen, and one troop of horsemen, and was sent thither by Cestius Gallus, to burn those villages of Galilee that were near Ptolemais.

Where Chabolo is taken to mean Kafr Yasif, however, this may not be the case, because at the time there were a lot of villages in the area.

Personally, I would strongly doubt any definite biblical connections. First of all, Kafr Yasif, or "Kefr Yasif" as it was formerly known during the Mandate, was originally a very small village just southwest of Abu Sinan. This village originally had nothing in it, except the ruins of an old and small church. The entire area was heavily altered during the crusader period. Also, there are many larger, more ruined towns and tells all around, like Abu Sinan itself for starters. So, it is unlikely that Kafr Yasif has any significant antiquity.

  • +1, I agree with you though that it's not likely to actually be the "same Kafr Yasif" for the reasons you pointed out, but it'll be nice to think I may be walking on the same ground as Josephus next time I go there – Juicy May 11 '14 at 21:34
  • Do we know what the word "Chabalo" means (if it means something, which would be likely for a town in that period no?). Which language is it in? – Juicy May 15 '14 at 11:59

The place name “Yasiph” occurs in the ancient Greek translation of the Bible (the Septuagint) in Joshua 19:29, where it stands for “Hosah” in the Hebrew text. “Hosah” and “Yasiph” are not the same name, but the Septuagint does suggest that a place called “Yasiph” did exist at the time and that the translators identified it with the Biblical “Hosah”. I am not aware that it is mentioned by Josephus.

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