ARNON


ARNON
ARNON (Heb. אַרְנוֹן; Ar. al-Mawjib), river in Transjordan having its source east of the al-Karak region and flowing south to north, then turning west for an overall distance of 50 mi. (80 km.). After the Jordan, it is one of the longest water courses in the Ereẓ Israel region. In its lower course it runs through a steep narrow valley and empties into the Dead Sea through a gateway 44 yd. (40 m.) wide of red and rose-colored layers of sandstone. The volume of its waters fluctuates considerably between the rainy season and the summer and autumn months; however, it is one of a few rivers in Israel that contains water all through the year. The average is estimated at 2 cu. m. per second, but due to the steepness of its banks they have so far not been exploited. When the Israelites reached the eastern side of the Jordan in the period of the Exodus, the Arnon marked the boundary between moab and the amorites (Num. 22:36). The Amorites had previously wrested the northern area from the Moabites (ibid. 21:13–15, 24–29). In their war against the Amorites, Moses and the Israelites had to cross the upper reaches of the Arnon (Deut. 2:24); they conquered the territory lying north of it up to the jabbok . This area was allotted by Moses (later confirmed by Joshua) to the tribe of reuben (Deut. 3:8, 12, 16; Josh. 12:1–2; 13:9, 16; Judg. 11:18, 26), making the Arnon its border with Moab. The border and the fort over the ravine were dominated by the city of aroer (Deut. 2:36; 3:12; 4:48; Josh. 12:2; 13:9, 16). In the ninth century B.C.E. Mesha, king of Moab, recovered part of the lands north of the Arnon, and in his inscription (line 26), speaks of the roads (mesillot) which he built across it. Moab, in fact, never accepted the Arnon as its northern border, although Jephthah describes it as the established northern frontier of Moab in his message to the Ammonite king (Judg. 11:26). The region north of the Arnon was conquered by Hazael of Damascus, from Jehu, and finally annexed by Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria in 733 B.C.E. Both Isaiah (16:2) and Jeremiah (48:20) mention the Arnon in connection with Moab. The fords of the Arnon, referred to by Isaiah (16:2 – Mesha's mesillot), constituted an important link in the King's Highway connecting Elath with Damascus by way of Transjordan (Num. 20:17; 21:22; cf. 20:19). In Hasmonean times, when first John Hyrcanus and then Alexander Yannai subdued this region, the Arnon formed the border between their kingdoms and the nabateans (Jos., Ant., 13:254–55, 397). A legion stationed at "Castra Arnonensia" in Roman times guarded the road from Elath to Bozrah where it crossed the Arnon Valley. The Arab geographer al-Idrīsī speaks enthusiastically of the wildlife in the neighborhood of the Arnon ravine and of the abundance of fish in its waters. Rabbinic sources include the fords of the Arnon among the places at the sight of which the blessing "Blessed be He who performed miracles to our forefathers at this place" must be pronounced, and at the same time they describe the fantastic nature of these miracles performed in Moses' time (Ber. 54b; Tanḥ. B., Num. 127). An ancient road probably built by Mesha, king of Moab, which connected the southern parts of Moab to northern Moab, was discovered near the river. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: EM; Press, Ereẓ, 1 (1951), 38–39; G.A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land (193125), 557 ff.; Aharoni, Land, index; Ginzberg, Legends, 3 (1954), 337 ff.; Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 177, 487–9.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Arnon — (a. Geogr.), 1) Grenzfluß der Moabiter u. Ammoniter jenseit des Jordan, entsprang auf dem Gebirge Gilead, ergoß sich ins Todte Meer; jetzt Wady Mudsheb; nach ihm war das fruchtbare Thal Arnonas genannt; 2) Nebenfluß links des Cher im… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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  • Arnon — Der Name Arnon bezeichnet mehrere Flüsse: Arnon (Schweiz) im Kanton Waadt Arnon (Cher), einen Nebenfluss des Cher Arnon (Jordanien), einen Fluss in Jordanien Arnon ist der Vorname folgender Personen: Arnon Grunberg (* 1971), niederländischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Arnon —    Swift, the southern boundary of the territory of Israel beyond Jordan, separating it from the land of Moab (Deut. 3:8, 16). This river (referred to twenty four times in the Bible) rises in the mountains of Gilead, and after a circuitous course …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Arnon — Sp Arnònas Ap Arnon L u. C Prancūzijoje …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė


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