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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(uh roh' er) Place name meaning “juniper.” 1. City on north rim of Arnon Gorge east of Dead Sea on southern boundary of territory Israel claimed east of the Jordan River (Joshua 13:9 ). It figured in territorial claims of Reuben (Joshua 13:16 ), though the tribe of Gad originally built it (Numbers 32:34 ). Compare Deuteronomy 3:12 . Sihon, king of the Amorites, ruled it prior to Israel's conquest (Deuteronomy 4:48 ; Joshua 12:2 ). Israel claimed a three hundred year history in the area (Judges 11:26 ). Jehu's sins brought God's punishment on Israel, including the loss of Aroer to Hazael of Damascus (about 840 B.C.) (2 Kings 10:33 ). Compare Isaiah 17:2 . Jeremiah asked Aroer to witness God's coming judgment on Moab (Jeremiah 48:19 ). The Moabites had gained control of Aroer under King Mesha, as his inscription on the Moabite Stone witnesses (about 850 B.C.). Spanish excavations show Aroer to have been more a border fortress than a major city. It is located at Khirbet Arair two and one-half miles east of the highway along the Arnon River.

2. A city of the tribe of Gad (Joshua 13:25 ) near Rabbah, capital of the Ammonites. This may be the Aroer where Jephthah defeated the Ammonites (Judges 11:33 ).

3. Town in southern Judah about twelve miles southeast of Beersheba with whose leaders David divided the spoil of battle (1 Samuel 30:28 ). This is located at modern Khirbet Arara. The text of Joshua 15:22 may have originally read Aroer. Two of David's captains hailed from Aroer ( 1 Chronicles 11:44 ).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Aroer'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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