Aram (biblical region)

Aram ( Aramäa ) was in ancient times the name of the Near East region with different region assignment.

Aram as a country in extra-biblical references

The oldest evidence of Aram as the name of a region or site can be found in an inscription of the Akkadian king Naram -Sin in the 23rd century BC The further development of the country Aram was always accompanied by small start-ups Aramaic city states, separated geographically from each other were expanded. From a country of Aram therefore can not be spoken. Accordingly, the different assignments of other states are to be understood. Tellingly, the description of the country Aram is therefore as a satellite city-states, which represented as a unit the settlement area of Aram.

  • Egyptian name for the area in and around Syria. So the Egyptian king Kamose called the Hyksos as miserable Aremu / Aramu. In the notation until the New Kingdom, the ayin / aleph was alternatively used for R; Egyptian original notation A ³ mu. This expression appears often mistakenly under Aamu.
  • Assyrian country name for the merger of small kingdoms in the area of ​​Damascus. In the inscriptions, this region was also labeled donkey- land.
  • Country's self-description of the Aramaic king Hazael to 840 BC for the region around Damascus.

Aram as a country in biblical mentions

In the Bible was from Aram, a name of various Aramaic kingdoms. In the table of nations in Genesis they are derived from an eponymous ancestor of Aram.

The Bible recognizes the following Aramaic kingdoms:

  • Aram (Ri 3.10 EU)
  • Aram Beth Nahrin / Aram (1 Mos 24,10 EU; 1 Mos 28, 10 EU, 5 Mos 22.5 EU; 1 Chr 19,6 EU)
  • Paddan Aram (1 Mos 28.2 EU; 1 Mos 35.26 EU)
  • Aram Maacah (2 Sam 10.6 EU; 1 Chr 19,6 EU)
  • Aram Geshur (2 Sam 15.8 EU; Jos 13,13 EU)
  • Aram Beth rehob (2 Sam 10.6 EU)
  • Aram Zobah (2 Sam 10.6 EU)
  • Aram Damascus ( 2 Kings 14-16 EU)


The word Paddan is interpreted as " plow " or " box ", so it is believed that the name refers to fertile land, perhaps in Mesopotamia.

Aram Maacah

Machaa is in Genesis, a descendant of Nahor, Abraham's brother (1 Mos 22,24 EU). In I. Chronicles 7:14 emerged a Machaa as the daughter of Manasseh of an Aramaic concubine, perhaps an attempt to integrate these small genealogical Aramaic root in the people of Israel.

The territory of Aram Maacah lay to the south of Damascus within the Israelite settlement area ( the tribe of Manasseh ), in the distribution of land and the Geschuriten Maachiter were not driven ( Jos 13:13 EU).

At the time of King David, the Ammonites chariot fighters from Aram Maacah campaigned against the Israelites ( 1 Chr 19,6 EU), the allies are defeated by Joab, and Abishai, however. Samuel (2 Sam 10.6 EU) cites among the allies also Aram Zobah, Aram rehob and the men of Tob and reported to the king of Maacah should be indented with 1,000 men. After the defeat of the allies at Helam the area of Maacah was subjected to (2 Sam 10,19 EU).

Aram Geshur

Even the area of Aram Geshur was, like the neighboring Aram Maacah within the Israelite settlement area ( Jos 13:13 EU). Its capital was probably Bethsaida on the northern shore of the Sea of ​​Galilee. It was founded in the 9th century and had an Aramaic archaeological 8th century through the influence of the northern kingdom of Israel lost it gradually the Aramaic character.

From Jair, a descendant of Judah, is reported ( 1 Chr 2,23 EU), that he took away Geshur and Aram tent villages in Gilead and Kenat and its towns, 60 cities, without giving further details.

King David was, among other things with Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur married, her son was Absalom (2 Sam 3,3 EU). This fled to Geshur, which was considered an ally of David (2 Sam 3,3 EU), after he had killed his half-brother Amnon (2 Sam 13,38 EU) and made a vow here (2 Sam 15.8 EU), YHWH serve when he could return to Jerusalem again. In preparation for his rebellion against David, during which he was killed, he pretended to want to pull to Geshur.

Aram rehob

Aram rehob is among the allies of the Ammonites against David mentioned (2 Sam 10.6 EU).

Aram Zobah

Aram - Zobah was probably near Hama, other researchers identify it but with Chalkis or Subiti ( Jewish Encyclopedia ). 2 Samuel 8.8 lists the cities and Betach Berothai as part of the kingdom.

Aram Zobah is mentioned in 1 Samuel 14,47 among the enemies of Saul, against which he fought, after he became king of Israel, along with the Ammonites, the Philistines and the Edomites.

2 Samuel 8,3 called Hadadezer, the son of rehob, as king of Zobah, David struck when he moved to the Euphrates. The report by David took 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers and let all the coaches horses up to 100 by cutting the chains. As Damascus Hadadezer came to help, it was beaten and subjected to the rule of David.

Aram Zobah under Hadadezer and his general Scho Bach is among the allies of the Ammonites against David in the battle of Helam mentioned (2 Sam 10.6 EU), they found 20,000 foot soldiers. Hadadezer seems to have been the leader of the Aramaic coalition. He is once again mentioned in 1 Kings 11:23, so the days of Solomon.

Aram (Damascus )

In the book of Judges (Judges 3:7-10 EU) mentions that the sons of Israel were given for their sins for eight years under the rule of the Kushan Rischatajims, king of Aram (also known as king of Mesopotamia ) until it Othniel killed.

Under King Jehoahaz of Israel ( 2 Kings 13 EU ), the son of Jehu, Hazael, king of Aram (Damascus ) and his son Ben Hadad conquered parts of Samaria. It must have been a crushing defeat, reportedly remained of the army of Jehoahaz only " fifty chariots, and ten chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers left. Everything else the king of Aram had destroyed and razed to the dust, to which one occurs. " ( 2 Kgs 13.7 EU). An unnamed helpers freed Israel but from the power of Aram, to which she again " lived in their tents as before ."

The prophet Elisha prophesied King Joash, the son of Jehoahaz of Israel before his death a victory over the Syrians in Aphek, and three more wins (2 Kings 13,14 EU). After the death of Hazael 's son Ben Hadad can Joash beat him and take the cities which his father had taken ( 2 Kings 13,25 EU). Jeroboam the son of Joash succeeded even then, Hama and Damascus to take ( 2 Kgs 14,28 EU).

King Pekah of Israel allied with Rezin then, the king of Aram, and besieged Jerusalem with him, which was under the reign of Ahaz ( 2 Kings 16 EU ), but without success. But Rezin took a Eilat, expelled the resident Israelites and Edomites moved on. Allegedly, at the invitation of Ahaz, accompanied by silver and gold from the royal treasury and the Temple of YHWH, then moved Tiglath- pileser III. of Assyria against Damascus, took it, killed King Rezin and deported the people to Kir ( 2 Kings 16.9 EU). King Ahaz went to Damascus, then to pay homage to Tiglath- Pileser.