The name of several kings of northwestern Arabia. The only one mentioned in Scripture gave his daughter in marriage to Herod Antipas; but she being repudiated by Herod, Aretas made war upon him and destroyed his army. In consequence of this, the emperor Tiberius directed Vitellius, then proconsul of Syria, to make war upon or dead to Rome. But while Vitellius was in the midst of preparation for the war, he received intelligence of the death of Tiberius, A. D. 37; on which he immediately recalled his troops, dismissed them into winter quarters, and then left the province. Aretas, taking advantage of this supineness, seems to have made an incursion and got possession of Damascus, over which he appointed a governor or ethnarch, who, A. D. 39, at the instigation of the Jews, attempted to put Paul in prison, 2 Corinthians 11:32. Compare Acts 9:24,25.