the giant's backbone (so called from the head of a mountain
which runs out into the sea), an ancient city and harbour at the
NE end of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, the Gulf
of Akabah, near Elath or Eloth (Num. 33:35; Deut. 2:8). Here
Solomon built ships, "Tarshish ships," like those trading from
Tyre to Tarshish and the west, which traded with Ophir (1 Kings
9:26; 2 Chr. 8:17); and here also Jehoshaphat's fleet was
shipwrecked (1 Kings 22:48; 2 Chr. 20:36). It became a populous
town, many of the Jews settling in it (2 Kings 16:6, "Elath").
It is supposed that anciently the north end of the gulf flowed
further into the country than now, as far as 'Ain el-Ghudyan,
which is 10 miles up the dry bed of the Arabah, and that
Ezion-geber may have been there.