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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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"A wall", or "place fortified with a wall".)

1. An Armenian region subject to Assyria, Kurgistan or Georgia between the Black and Caspian seas (Isaiah 22:6). The river Kur (Cyrus) in it falls into the Caspian Sea. From Kir the Syrians migrated originally; and to it they were removed from Damascus by Tiglath Pileser (2 Kings 16:9). Esarhaddon had subdued Armenia (according to Assyrian inscriptions: Rawlinson, Herodotos i. 481), warring with it as the harbourer of his father Sennacherib's two parricidal murderers (Amos 1:5; Amos 9:7). Keil thinks Kir to be Kurena along the river Mardus in Media, or else Karine a town in Media, on the ground that the remote parts of Armenia were beyond the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:37); but Esarhaddon subdued it. The Septuagint,Vulgate, and Targum rendering "Cyrene" favor Keil.

2. KIR HARESH, HERES, HARESETH, HARASETH, or of MOAB. From harith "a hill" Arabic), or heres "baked clay," namely, the walls being of brick (?). Moab's two strongholds were Ar (mother) of Moab, the metropolis, and Kit of Moab (2 Kings 3:25) on the most elevated hill in the country (Isaiah 16:7; Isaiah 16:11; Isaiah 15:1; 2 Kings 3:25; Jeremiah 48:31; Jeremiah 48:36). Here the Moabite king made his last stand against confederate Israel, Judah, and Edom, (See DIBON.) Here he sacrificed his son and so created "indignation against Israel," because they had reduced him to such an awful extremity; the Israelites' own superstitious fears were excited and they withdrew from the expedition; then followed Mesha's victorious campaign recorded on the Dibon stone.

Now Kerak, capital of Moat, on the top of a hill 3,000 feet above the Dead Sea, surrounded on all sides by deep ravines, and these by hills from whence the Israelite slingers hurled when they could not take the place; entered by a tunnel through the solid rock for 100 feet distance; a deep. rock hewn moat separates the massive citadel from the town. Kiriah is the archaic term; Ir and Ar the more recent terms for a city. Kereth the Phoenician form appears in Carthage, Cirta. In the Bible we have Kerioth (i.e. "the cities"), Kartah, Kartan (Joshua 21:32; Joshua 15:25; Jeremiah 48:23-24; Jeremiah 48:41; Amos 2:2).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Kir'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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