In the days of Jonathan the Asmonean, "They came together to build the city, and he approached to the wall of the brook, which is on the east; and they repaired that which was called Chaphenatha."
Where and what is this Chaphenatha? I am apt to think it might be some part of the outskirts of the city towards the east; called so much upon the same reason that Bethphage was, which was the outmost part of the city towards the east; for that was so called, viz. "a place of green figs," from the fig-trees that grew near it in the mount of Olives: so here Chaphenatha, some part of that outmost coast towards the east and mount of Olives, so called from the dates growing there.
For Chephanioth is frequently used amongst the Talmudists for the dates of palm-trees, that never come to their full maturity: A sort of ill palm-trees, as the Gloss in Beracoth; "the fruit of the palm that never ripens." So Aruch in Caphnith. By a signification near akin to Hene, and ahene, which denotes the unripe dates of palms; from whence, I suppose, Bethany, in the mount of Olives, is derived. So that some outmost part of the city and wall towards mount Olivet was called Bethphage from the figs that grew there, and another part of it Chaphenatha from the dates.