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Bashan was the region lying north of the Yarmuk River and east of the Sea of Galilee, though the name was occasionally used to cover a wider area. When Israel under Moses moved up from the south conquering all the territory between the Arnon and Jabbok Rivers, they continued on immediately to conquer the land of Bashan. This conquest must have included that part of the land of Gilead that lay between the Jabbok and Yarmuk Rivers (Numbers 21:24; Numbers 21:31-35; for map and other details see GILEAD). The battle in which the king of Bashan was defeated was fought at Edrei (Deuteronomy 3:1-3).

When all the conquered lands east of Jordan were divided between Israel’s two and a half eastern tribes, Bashan fell within the tribal area of Manasseh (Joshua 13:29-31). This Bashan region included within it sixty cities, the most important of which were Edrei, Ashtaroth and Golan (Deuteronomy 3:4; Joshua 12:4-5; Joshua 21:27). The region was fertile and had good pastures. It was well known for its forests, sheep, and particularly the fine cattle it produced (Deuteronomy 32:14; Psalms 22:12; Isaiah 2:13; Jeremiah 50:19; Ezekiel 27:6; Ezekiel 39:18; Amos 4:1; Micah 7:14).

Israel maintained control of Bashan at least till the time of Solomon (1 Kings 4:13). Some time later it lost Bashan, but regained control in the reign of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:25). Israel lost Bashan again, this time without any hope of regaining it, when Assyria overran the northern and eastern sections of Israel and took the people into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). In New Testament times the regions of Iturea and Trachonitis fell within the territory of ancient Bashan (Luke 3:1).

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Bashan'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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