Aroer (Hebrew: ערוער, עֲרֹעֵר) is a Biblical town on the north bank of the River Arnon to the east of the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan. The town was an ancient Moabite settlement, and is mentioned in the Bible.
Aroer on the Arnon
Henry Baker Tristram suggested that "Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon" (Deuteronomy 2:36), is the place of modern 'Ara'ir on the north bank of the Arnon ravine, about 11 miles (18 km) from the mouth of the river. The city was still standing in the time of Eusebius. This place was usually described by its situation, in order to distinguish it from other localities of the same name (Deuteronomy 3:12, 4:48; Joshua 12:2, 13:9; Judges 11:26; 2 Samuel 24:5).
It appears first as having been captured from Moab by the Amorite king Sihon (compare Num 21:26). After the Israelite attack on the Amorites, it was assigned as part of the territory of the tribe of Reuben, whose southern frontier it marked. This is the city mentioned in Numbers 32:34, with the southern towns, as having been built by the Tribe of Gad before the Tribal allotments of Israel. When Hazael of Aram Damascus took the Transjordan territory from the Kingdom of Israel, Aroer is given as its southern limit (2 Kings 10:33). It is clear, from Jeremiah 48:19, that the Moabites ultimately recovered it from Israel.
According to a prophecy in the Book of Isaiah, (17:2), Aroer will become either forsaken, forsaken and desolate, or forsaken forever, depending on which manuscript is used to derive the English translation. Its geographical surroundings may be included in this prophecy, as well, as the verse reads "the cities of Aroer."
In the Mesha inscription, l. 26, it is mentioned as having been built by the Moabites.
References and sources
- Tristram, H. B. (Henry Baker) (1873). The land of Moab; travels and discoveries on the east side of the Dead sea and the Jordan. New York : Harper and brothers. p. 144. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
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