(ehr' eh tass) Personal name meaning, “moral excellence, power.” The ruler of Damascus in New Testament times. He sought to arrest Paul after his conversion (2 Corinthians 11:32). The name Aretas was born by several Arabian kings centered in Petra and Damascus. Aretas IV ruled from Petra (9 B.C.-A.D. 40) as a subject of Rome. Herod Antipas married, then divorced his daughter to marry Herodias (Mark 6:17-18). Aretus joined with a Roman officer to defeat Herod's army in A.D. 36.
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 'ARETAS'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".