(A·dumʹmim) [from a root meaning “red”; possibly, Red Rocks].
The ascent of Adummim is a steep pass about 12 km (7.5 mi) ENE of Jerusalem and midway between the cities of Jericho and Jerusalem. It leads up from the low Jordan Valley to the mountainous region of Judah. From ancient times till the present the road between the two cities has gone through this pass. It is mentioned in the Bible record, however, only as a boundary mark between the territories of Judah and Benjamin.—Jos 15:7; 18:17.
In Arabic the pass is called Talʽat ed-Damm (meaning “Ascent of Blood”) and in Hebrew Maʽale Adummim (meaning “Ascent of Adummim”). While some ancient writers have ascribed the name’s origin to the spilling of blood by robbers and highwaymen, the more likely explanation is the reddish color of the soil due to exposed patches of ocher. The route was always a dangerous one because of the desolateness of the region and the prevalence of thievery, and from early times a fort was maintained there to protect travelers. Because of this, the site has been suggested as the scene of the attack on the traveler ‘on his way down to Jericho,’ as mentioned in Jesus’ illustration of the neighborly Samaritan.—Lu 10:30-37.
“The torrent valley” mentioned at Joshua 15:7, in relation to which the ascent of Adummim lay to the S, is evidently the Wadi el Qilt, which runs fairly parallel to the road and passes just to the S of Jericho on its way to the Jordan River.