(kihr' ih ath-ahr' buh) Place name meaning, “city of Arba” or “city of four.” The ancient name for the city of Hebron (Joshua 15:54). It was the chief city in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:54) and was both a Levitical city (Joshua 21:11) and a city of refuge (Joshua 20:7). Caleb captured the city for Israel (Joshua 15:13-14). Bible students dispute the origin of the name. According to some, Kiriath-Arba was originally named after Arba the Anakite hero (Joshua 14:15; see
Joshua 15:13). Others point to the nearby cave of Machpelah where, according to Jewish tradition, Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were buried—thus, “city of four.” See Levitical Cities; Cities of Refuge; Hebron.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'KIRIATH-ARBA'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".