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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Hebrew - Arad

(ay' rawd) names two towns of significance to the Old Testament and two Old Testament men.

1. One town is referred to in the Bible during the time of Moses, and another was inhabited during the period of the monarchy. Both are located in the dry, semi-desert region known as the Negeb in the southern extreme of Judah's territory.

The Arad of Numbers 21:1-3 (probably Tel Malhata) was a Canaanite city about eleven miles west southwest of Beersheba. Its king attacked the Israelites as they were moving on to Canaan after the wilderness wandering. He was successful temporarily, taking captives; but after vowing to God that they would destroy the city, Israel struck back effectively and renamed the devastated city Hormah. Victory over this king is recorded in Joshua 12:14. Subsequently the Kenites settled in Arad near the tribe of Judah (Judges 1:16-17).

Another Arad location about seventeen miles west northwest of Beersheba is not mentioned in the Bible, but was an important fortress for Judah from Solomon's time to Josiah, over three hundred years. A temple has been found there with architecture much like the biblical tabernacle and Temple, having similar chambers including a holy of holies. Even the names of priestly families of Israel have been found here, Pashhur (Ezra 2:38; Ezra 10:22) and Meremoth (Ezra 8:33; Nehemiah 10:5). The Temple may well have been destroyed during Josiah's reforms which tolerated only the one Temple in Jerusalem.

2. One of six sons of Beriah the Benjamite (1 Chronicles 8:15-16) who was one of the major inhabitants of Aijalon. (See Aijalon.) Another Old Testament Arad was a Canaanite king who attacked the Israelites near Mount Hor and was defeated (Numbers 21:1).

Daniel C. Fredericks

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 'ARAD'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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