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(kuhr) Place name meaning “wall.” 1. A Moabite city mentioned in connection with Ar in Isaiah's prophesy against Moab (Leviticus 15:1 ). Many believe that Kir is the same as Kir-Hareseth, an ancient capital of Moab along with Ar. Located at Kerak about seventeen miles south of the Arnon and eleven miles east of the Dead Sea. See Kir Hareseth.

2. Kir is the Hebrew translation of the city name, Der (a word from Akkadian which also means “wall”). Kir was a Mesopotamian city east of the lower Tigris River (which is now identified with the modern Badrah) on the main road from Elam (Persia) to Babylon. During the Neo-Babylonian period (605-539 B.C.; see Babylon), Kir was the capital of the province of Gutium. The governor of this province joined Cyrus the Persian in the overthrow of the Babylonian Empire in 539 B.C.

According to the Bible, Kir was the city from which Arameans migrated to Syria (Isaiah 22:6 ). Their migration—like the migration of the Philistines from Caphtor—is spoken of in terms similar to that of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt (Amos 9:7 ; see Amos 1:5 ). When Tiglath-pileser III conquered the area during the reign of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:9 ), the descendants of the original immigrants to Syria were sent back to Kir (compare the aversion of the ancient Hebrews to being sent back to Egypt in Deuteronomy 17:16 ; Deuteronomy 28:68 ).

Phil Logan

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Kir'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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Kir of Moab
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