Aroer (Hebrew: עֲרוֹעֵר, 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 Wadi Mujib ravine, the biblical Arnon stream, 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.
It appears first as having been captured from Moab by the Amorite king Sihon. 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. It is clear, from Jeremiah 48:19, that the Moabites ultimately recovered it from Israel.
In Joshua 15:22, an Adadah is mentioned. According to Cheyne and Black, arguing partially on the basis of a Septuagint reading of Arouel, this Adadah may in fact be the result of a scribal error, with the text originally reading Ararah, meaning Aroer.
According to a prophecy in the Book of Isaiah, "the cities of Aroer" will become forsaken; however, the Septuagint relates this verse to Damascus in Syria, translating as "deserted for ever" (see Isaiah 17:2).
In the Mesha inscription, line 26, it is mentioned as having been built by the Moabites.
References and sources
- Homès-Fredericq, Denyse (2000-01-01). "Excavating the First Pillar House at Lehun (Jordan)". The Archaeology of Jordan and Beyond: 180–195. doi:10.1163/9789004369801_022.
- 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.
- Deuteronomy 3:12, 4:48; Joshua 12:2, 13:9; Judges 11:26; 2 Samuel 24:5
- Compare Numbers 21:26.
- 2 Kings 10:33)
- Cheyne and Black (1899), Encyclopaedia Biblica, entry for "Adadah." 
- Isaiah 17:2
- Benson Commentary on Isaiah 17, accessed 31 March 2018