1. A place where, after his meeting with Esau, Jacob built himself a house and made booths, or covered stalls, for his herd; hence the name Succoth. (Ge 33:16, 17) The statement that his next stopping place, Shechem, was “in the land of Canaan” implies that Succoth was not in Canaan proper.—Ge 33:18.
Other references also indicate a location E of the Jordan River, since they likely refer to the same place. Thus, Succoth is named as one of the cities in the inheritance of the tribe of Gad, E of the Jordan. (Jos 13:24, 25, 27) Gideon, pursuing remnants of Midianite forces, crossed the Jordan and came to Succoth, where the city princes refused his request for food for his troops, as did the men at nearby Penuel. On his return trip, Gideon obtained the names of 77 princes and elders of Succoth (indicating that it was a city of considerable size) and punished them for their failure to support his God-directed military action. (Jg 8:4-16) When the temple was built by Solomon, the copper items were cast in the District of the Jordan, between Succoth and Zarethan.—1Ki 7:46.
On the basis of these references, Succoth is generally identified with a site at or near Tell Deir ʽAlla (today called Sukkot), about 5 km (3 mi) E of the Jordan River and just a little N of the Jabbok at the point where it issues forth from the hills. The nearby Tell el-Ekhsas may perpetuate the original name, for it is the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew Succoth. Tell Deir ʽAlla overlooks a fertile plain that may be “the low plain of Succoth” spoken of at Psalms 60:6; 108:7.
2. The first stopping point mentioned in the Israelite march toward the Red Sea. (Ex 12:37) Since the location of Rameses, the starting point of the march, and that of Etham, the camping site after Succoth, are both unknown today, the location of Succoth is also uncertain. (Ex 13:20) At best, it can be said that Succoth was evidently about a day’s journey (32 to 48 km; 20 to 30 mi) away from the Wilderness of Etham, which is believed to extend along the northwestern side of the Sinai Peninsula.