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Elparan, El-Paran

ELPARAN, EL-PARAN ĕl pâr’ ən (אֵ֣יל פָּארָ֔ן). Mentioned in Genesis 14:6 as the southernmost point of the campaign of Chedorlaomer against the Horites in the mountains of Seir (i.e. Edom). It is said to be on the edge of the wilderness (14:6b). Now “El-paran” contains the name paran that is a wilderness area in the E central region of the Sinai peninsula whose eastern boundary was the Wadi Arabah in the N and the Gulf of Aqabah in the S. Since the mountains of Seir (the modern Jebelesh-Shera’ range) extend to the SW as far as the Gulf of Aqabah, “El of paran” on the edge of the wilderness (of paran), situated at the southern limit of the mountains of Seir, exactly describes the position of Elat (q.v.), the seaport on the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqabah. Finally, Elat (אֵילַ֖ת) and El-paran (אֵ֣יל פָּארָ֔ן) both contain the same initial element El- (איל), hence it is highly probable that they are identical, El-paran being the ancient name of Elat.