ARPAD (Heb. אַרְפָּד; in the Assyrian inscriptions Ar-padda), city in northern Syria, today Tell-Rifa'at, north of Aleppo; the capital city of the Aramean kingdom Bît-Aguši. Arpad is first mentioned in sources from the ninth century B.C.E. Archaeological excavations show the city to have been inhabited from the beginning of the Chalcolithic period, and that an Aramean population settled there as early as the last third of the second millennium B.C.E. In 858 B.C.E., Aramé, king of Arpad, dissociated himself from the alliance of north Syrian states against Assyria and paid a levy to Shalmaneser III. A few years later, Shalmaneser III conquered a few cities affiliated with Arpad, annexing them to Assyria. Arpad played an important political and military role in eighth-century Syria when it joined with other states and rose against Assyrian efforts to seize control of the area. The anti-Assyrian policy of the kings of Arpad is illustrated by the war of Ben-Hadad, son of Hazael, king of Aram-Damascus, against Hamath in the second quarter of the eighth century. Bargash, king of Arpad, allied himself with Ben-Hadad. In 754 B.C.E. Ashurnirari V of Assyria waged war against Arpad which was concluded by a treaty in which King Matiʾ-ilu of Arpad agreed to Assyrian suzerainty. In 745 Matiʾ-ilu signed a treaty with Bar-Ga'ayah, king of KTK, in which Matiʾ-ilu probably represented all the Syrian states from the Euphrates to Damascus. The alliance appears to have been made possible by the unified efforts of all the Syrian states to break the power of the Assyrian Empire and free themselves from its domination. In 743 Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria, fought against Arpad, which was aided by the army of ararat . After four years of war and siege, Arpad fell and became an Assyrian province. Another attempt at rebellion was made in 720 when the city joined the abortive revolt of Hamath and other Syrian and Ereẓ Israel states against Sargon II. Echoes of the fall of Arpad and its destruction by Assyria are found in II Kings 18:34; 19:13; Isaiah 10:9; 36:19; 37:13; and Jeremiah 49:23. Archaeological data reveal that the place was not completely abandoned, but continued to be settled until the Roman period (fourth century C.E.). (Bustanay Oded)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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