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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Arabah

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ARABAH . The name given by the Hebrews to the whole of the great depression from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of Akabah. (For the part N. of the Dead Sea, see Jordan.) The name is now applied only to the southern part, extending from a line of white cliffs that cross the valley a few miles S. of the Dead Sea. The floor of the valley, about 10 miles broad at the N. end, gradually rises towards the S., and grows narrower, until, at a height of 2000 feet above the Dead Sea, nearly opposite Mt. Hor, the width is only about 1 / 2 mile. The average width thence to Akabah is about 5 miles. The surface is formed of loose gravel, stones, sand, with patches of mud. Up to the level of the Red Sea everything indicates that we are traversing an old sea-bottom. Apart from stunted desert shrub and an occasional acacia, the only greenery to be seen is around the springs on the edges of the valley, and in the wadys which carry the water from the adjoining mountains into the Wâdy el-Jaib , down which it flows to the Dead Sea. The great limestone plateau, et-Tîh , the Wilderness of Paran, forms the western boundary, and the naked crags of Edom the eastern. Israel traversed the Arabah when they went to Kadesh-barnea, and again when they returned to the south to avoid passing through the land of Edom ( Numbers 20:21; Numbers 21:4 , Deuteronomy 2:6 ).

W. Ewing.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Arabah'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/a/arabah.html. 1909.

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