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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Bashan (bâ'shan), light sandy soil. A district reaching from Hermon to Gilead at the river Arnon, and from the Jordan valley eastward to Salcah. It is referred to about 60 times in the Bible. Bashan has two ranges of mountains, one along the Jordan valley, about 3000 feet high, another irregular range on the east side of the district; between them are plains or undulating tableland watered by springs. The rock of basalt on the west is broken into deep chasms and jagged projections; the hills are covered with oak forests, as in former times. Isaiah 2:13; Ezekiel 27:6; Zechariah 11:2. The plain of the Jaulan (Golan of Scripture) is a vast field of powdered lava and basalt, a fertile pasture to this day. The northeastern portion of Bashan, including the Argob of Scripture, is a wild mass of basaltic rock. The centre of Bashan was mostly a fertile plain, and was regarded as the richest in Syria. The early people of Bashan were the giants Rephaim. Genesis 14:5. Og, its king, was defeated and slain by Israel, Numbers 21:33; Numbers 32:33, and the country divided. Its pastures, cattle, sheep, oaks, and forests were famous. Deuteronomy 32:14; Psalms 22:12; Isaiah 2:13; Jeremiah 50:19; Ezekiel 39:18. After the captivity it was divided into four provinces. The country is now nominally under Turkish rule, but is really held by tribes of Arabs, dangerous, warlike, and unsubdued. Bashan is almost literally crowded with cities and villages, now in ruins, some supposed to date back to Joshua's conquest, corroborating the account in Scripture. Joshua 13:30.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Bashan'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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