Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History

Naves Topical Bible Dictionary

bashan Summary and Overview

Bible Dictionaries at a GlanceBible Dictionaries at a Glance

bashan in Easton's Bible Dictionary

light soil, first mentioned in Gen. 14:5, where it is said that Chedorlaomer and his confederates "smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth," where Og the king of Bashan had his residence. At the time of Israel's entrance into the Promised Land, Og came out against them, but was utterly routed (Num. 21:33-35; Deut. 3:1-7). This country extended from Gilead in the south to Hermon in the north, and from the Jordan on the west to Salcah on the east. Along with the half of Gilead it was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:29-31). Golan, one of its cities, became a "city of refuge" (Josh. 21:27). Argob, in Bashan, was one of Solomon's commissariat districts (1 Kings 4:13). The cities of Bashan were taken by Hazael (2 Kings 10:33), but were soon after reconquered by Jehoash (2 Kings 13:25), who overcame the Syrians in three battles, according to the word of Elisha (19). From this time Bashan almost disappears from history, although we read of the wild cattle of its rich pastures (Ezek. 39:18; Ps. 22:12), the oaks of its forests (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6; Zech. 11:2), and the beauty of its extensive plains (Amos 4:1; Jer. 50:19). Soon after the conquest, the name "Gilead" was given to the whole country beyond Jordan. After the Exile, Bashan was divided into four districts, (1.) Gaulonitis, or Jaulan, the most western; (2.) Auranitis, the Hauran (Ezek. 47:16); (3.) Argob or Trachonitis, now the Lejah; and (4.) Batanaea, now Ard-el-Bathanyeh, on the east of the Lejah, with many deserted towns almost as perfect as when they were inhabited. (See HAURAN T0001675.)

bashan in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(fruitful), a district on the east of Jordan. It is sometimes spoken of as the "land of Bashan," #1Ch 5:11| and comp. Numb 21:33; 32:33 and sometimes as "all Bashan." #De 3:10,13; Jos 12:5; 13:12,30| It was taken by the children of Israel after their conquest of the land of Sihon from Arnon to Jabbok. The limits of Bashan are very strictly defined. It extended from the "border of Gilead" on the south to Mount Hermon on the north, #De 3:3,10,14; Jos 12:5; 1Ch 5:23| and from the Arabah or Jordan valley on the west to Salchah (Sulkhad) and the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites on the east. #Jos 12:3-5; De 3:10| This important district was bestowed on the half-tribe of Manasseh, #Jos 13:29-31| together with "half Gilead." This country is now full of interesting ruins, which have lately been explored and from which much light has been thrown upon Bible times. See Porter's "Giant Cities of Bashan."

bashan in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

BA'SHAN (light soil), a district reaching from Hermon to Gilead at the river Arnon, and from the Jordan valley eastward to Salcah. It is referred to about 60 times in the Bible. Physical Features.---There are two ranges of mountains, one along the Jordan valley, about 3000 feet high, another irregular range on the east side of Bashan; between them are plains or undulating table-land watered by springs. The rock of basalt on the west is broken into deep chasms and jagged projections; the hills are covered with oak-forests, as in former times. Isa 2:13; Eze 27:6; Zech 11:2. The plain of the Jaulan (Golan of Scripture) is a vast field of powdered lava and basalt, a fertile pasture to this day. The north-eastern portion of Bashan, including the Argob of Scripture, is a wild mass of basaltic rock, 22 miles long by 14 wide, resembling a "cyclopean wall in ruins." Fissures and chasms cut it like a network and it abounds in caves, yet has much fertile land. The centre of Bashan was mostly a fertile plain, and was regarded as the richest in Syria. History.---Its early people were the giants Rephaim. Gen 14:5. Og, its king, was defeated and slain by Israel, Num 21:33; Num 32:33, and the country divided; its pastures, cattle, sheep, oaks, and forests were famous. Deut 32:14; Ps 22:12; Isa 2:13; Jer 50:19; Eze 39:18. After the Captivity it was divided into four provinces: (1) Gaulanitis, or modern Jaulan; (2) Argob, or Trachonitis, now Lejah; (3) Auranitis, now Haurau; (4) Batanaea. Ituraea was not strictly a part of Bashan, though taken by Israel. Under the Roman rule the division was but slightly changed. The country is now nominally under Turkish rule, but is really held by tribes of Arabs, dangerous, warlike, and unsubdued. Ruins.---Bashan is almost literally crowded with cities and villages, now deserted and in ruins, corroborating the account in Scripture. Josh 13:30. There are four classes of dwellings:(1) the natural cavern fitted up for residence. (2) Long tunnels descending obliquely, sometimes 150 feet, at the bottom of which run out a number of passages or underground streets, 16 to 23 feet wide, lined on either side by subterranean dwellings furnished with air-holes in the ceilings, each generally having only one outlet, and that in a rocky, precipitous slope. (3) Dwellings cut in the rock and covered over with stone vaulting; not all of these, however, belong to early biblical times. Deut 3:4-13. (4) The villages in the Hauran consist chiefly of dwellings built of handsome well-hewn stone, closely jointed without cement. Wood was nowhere used. The gates, doors, and window-shutters are of stone, turning on stone hinges; the roofs are also of stone, resting on supports and arches of the same material. Some of the gateways are ornamented with sculptured vines and bear numerous inscriptions yet undeciphered, while within are stone cupboards, benches, and candlesticks. Many of these dwellings belong to an age since the beginning of the Christian era, but, though deserted for centuries, seem almost as if the occupants had gone out only for a few hours. Porter's views on their antiquity are not accepted. Among its cities mentioned in Scripture are Golan, Ashteroth, Karnaim, Edrei, Salcah, Kerioth, and Bozrah. See these titles, and Porter's Giant Cities (1865-6), Merrill's East of Jordan (1881), and Baedeker's Handbook of Syria and Palestine (1876).

bashan in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

("rich soil".) The tract beyond Jordan (Deuteronomy 3:3; Deuteronomy 3:10; Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 12:5; 1 Chronicles 5:23), between mount Hermon on the N., and Gilead on the S., the Arabah or Jordan valley on the W., and Salkah and the Geshurites and Maacathites on the E. Fitted for pasture; so assigned with half Gilead from Mahanaim to the half tribe of Manasseh, as the rest of Gilead was to Reuben and Gad, as those tribes abounded in flocks and herds (Joshua 13:29-32; Numbers 32:1-33). Famed for its forests of oaks (Isaiah 2:13). It was taken by Israel after conquering Sihon's land from Arnon to Jabbok. They "turned and went up by the way of Bashan," the route to Edrei on the W. border of the Lejah. Og, the giant king of Bashan, "came out" from the rugged strongholds of Argob to encounter them, and perished with all his people (Numbers 21:33-35; Deuteronomy 3:1-5; Deuteronomy 3:12-13).frontARGOB.) Argob and its 60 "fenced cities" formed the, principal part of Bashan, which had "beside unwalled towns a great many." Ashtaroth (Beeshterah, Joshua 21:27, compare 1 Chronicles 6:71), Golan (a city of refuge, assigned with Ashtaroth to the Gershomite Levites), Edrei, Salkah, were the chief cities. Argob in Bashan frontBASHAN-HAVOTH-JAIR), with its 60 walled and barred cities still standing, was one of Solomon's commissariat districts (1 Kings 4:13). Hazael devastated it subsequently (2 Kings 10:33). The wild cattle of its pastures, "strong bulls of Bashan," were proverbially famed (Psalm 22:12; Amos 4:1); also its oaks (Ezekiel 27:6); and hills (Psalm 68:15); and pastures (Jeremiah 1.19; Micah 7:14). The name "Gilead," connected with the history of the patriarch Jacob (Genesis 31:47-48), supplanted "Bashan," including Bashan as well as the region originally called "Gilead," After the return from Babylon Bashan was divided into (1) Gaulanitis or Jaulan, the most western, on the sea of Galilee, and lake Merom, and rising to a table land 3,000 ft. above the water, clothed still in the N.W. with oaks, and having the ruins of 127 villages. (2) Auranitis, the Hauran (Ezekiel 47:16), the most fertile region in Syria, S.E. of the last, and S. of the Lejah, abounding in ruins of towns, as Bozrah, and houses with stone roofs and doors and massive walls, and having also inhabited villages. (3) Trachonitis ("rugged"): Argob, now the Lejah, rocky and intricate, in contrast to the rich level of the Hauran and Jaulan. frontARGOB.) (4) Batanaea (akin to Bashan), now Ard el-Bathanyeh, E. of the Lejah, N. of the Jebel Hauran range, of rich soil, abounding in evergreen oaks; with many towns deserted, but almost as perfect as the day they were built. E. of Jebel Hauran lies the desert El Harrah covered with black volcanic stones. The Safah E. of this is a natural fortress thickly strewed with shattered basalt, through which tortuous fissures are the only paths. On the eastern side of volcanic hills lie ruined villages of a very archaic structure. Traces appear of an ancient road with stones placed at intervals and inscribed with characters like the Sinaitic. N. of Hauran and Jaulan lies Jedur, the Ituraea of the New Testament; the country of Jetur, son of Ishmael; possibly once part of Og's kingdom of Bashan. Psalm 68:22, "I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring My people again from the depths of the sea," means, "I will restore Israel from all quarters, and from dangers as great as their conflict with Og of Bashan, and, as the passage through the Red Sea. "Why leap ye, ye high hills?" namely, with envy. Or translate, "Why do ye look with suspicion and envy?" namely, at God's hill, Zion, which He hath raised to so high a spiritual elevation above you.