KING’s HIGHWAY (דֶּ֧רֶכְ הַמֶּ֣לֶכְ, meaning the king’s way). An important road running N and S from Damascus to the Gulf of Aqabah, E of the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley.
Direct reference is made to the King’s Highway (
This route of travel is known to have existed well before 2000 b.c. A number of Bronze Age fortresses have been discovered. The invasion of Chedorlaomer and his allies (
Fortifications at strategic points guarded the road when the Edomites and Ammonites objected to Israel’s use of the highway. During Solomon’s reign it was an important trade link between Ezion-geber, Judah, and Damascus. In the 2nd cent. a.d. the Romans under Trajan incorporated it in their important highway across Trans-Jordan. The modern auto road follows the old track.
Bibliography N. Glueck, The Other Side of the Jordan (1940), 10-16; J. A. Thompson, Archaeology and the Old Testament (1957), 57, 58.