; LXX ̓Ωγ
, meaning unknown, but possibly the name of a god). He was king of Bashan, his territory included northern Gilead from the River Jabbok to the River Yarmuk and Bashan from the River Yarmuk to Mt. Hermon. It had two royal cities, Edrei and Ashtaroth (Josh 13:12
), corresponding to the two sections, and there were sixty strongly fortified towns (Deut 3:4
). He was an amorite (Deut 3:8
); he was called the last of the remnant of the Rephaim (3:11
). Jewish tradition has interpreted this to mean that he was a giant, and this seems to be confirmed by the size of his iron bedstead which was thirteen and a half by six feet (Deut 3:11
). Some have conjectured that the bed was made of basalt, although barzel
is everywhere else interpreted to mean “iron.” A further suggestion is that “bedstead” refers to his coffin, although eres
is nowhere else used in this sense.
The account of his war with Israel is given in Numbers 21:33-35 and Deuteronomy 3:1-12, after the defeat of Sihon. It would appear that he prepared to attack before Israel could take the initiative, and was defeated and killed near his capital, Edrei (Deut 3:1). His territory was given to the half tribe of Manasseh. For other references, cf. Nehemiah 9:2; Psalms 135:11; 136:20. Archeology throws little light on him.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
See Argob; Bashan.