A city in the Shephelah or lowland region of Judah. Originally assigned to Judah, it was thereafter given to Simeon, due to Judah’s territory being overly large. (Josh. 15:42; 19:7, 9; 1 Chron. 4:32) From them it passed to the Levite family of the Kohathites. (1 Chron. 6:54, 59) First Samuel 30:30 refers to “Borashan” (well of smoke) as one of the cities in that general region to which David sent spoils after his victory over the Amalekites, and this is thought by some to be the same as Ashan. At Joshua 21:16 the list of cities given to the Kohathites, corresponding to that at 1 Chronicles 6:59, is presented, but “Ain” appears in the Joshua list in place of Ashan. The Soncino Books of the Bible, commenting on the text, suggests that the full name of the city may have been Ainashan (spring of Ashan), thus corresponding to Borashan (well of Ashan). Others view “Ain” as a scribal error, preferring the Septuagint reading of “Ashan” in this text.
Ashan is presently identified with Khirbet ʽAsan, located about one and a half miles (2.4 kilometers) NW of Beer-sheba, alongside the dry wadi ʽAshan.