(Aʹchor) [Ostracism; Trouble].
A valley or low plain forming part of the NE boundary of the tribal territory of Judah. (Jos 15:7) The valley’s name, meaning “Ostracism; Trouble,” resulted from its being the place where Achan and his household were stoned to death. Achan, by his stealing and hiding some booty from the capture of Jericho, had brought ostracism on the nation of Israel, including defeat at the first attack on Ai.—Jos 7:5-26.
Some have identified the Valley of Achor with the Wadi el Qilt, a ravinelike torrent valley that passes near Jericho. However, the description of its position as given at Joshua 15:7 appears to place it more to the S, and the statement at Isaiah 65:10 would indicate a broader, more spacious area. In view of this it is tentatively identified with el Buqeiʽa (Biqʽat Hureqanya), a barren, low-lying plateau or basin, that stretches N and S across the Wadi Qumran (Nahal Qumeran) near the NW corner of the Dead Sea. Archaeological investigation there has revealed sites of ancient towns or forts as well as systems of dams.
At Hosea 2:15 Jehovah recalls Israel’s youth at the time of the Exodus, and in a prophecy of restoration from future captivity, he promises that “the low plain of Achor,” once a place of ostracism, will then become “as an entrance to hope.” And, although the area is one of wilderness, in a similar restoration prophecy God foretells that the low plain of Achor will become “a resting-place for cattle.”—Isa 65:10.