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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Rab´bah. This name, which properly denotes a great city or metropolis, is given in Scripture to the capital of the Ammonites (; ; ; ; ); the full name of which, however, as given in , appears to have been Rabbath-beni-Ammon. It was in this place that the great iron bedstead of Og king of Bashan was preserved (). It was besieged by Joab, and when on the point of yielding to that general, was surrendered to David in person (). After this Rabbah was included in the tribe of Gad. After the separation of the ten tribes, Rabbah, with the whole territory beyond the Jordan, adhered to the kingdom of Israel, till it was ravaged by the Assyrians under Tiglathpileser, and the inhabitants expatriated to Media. The Ammonites then recovered possession of Rabbah and the other cities and territories which had in former times been taken from them by the Israelites. Some centuries later, when these parts were subject to Egypt, Rabbah was restored or rebuilt by Ptolemy Philadelphus, and called by him Philadelphia, and under this name it is often mentioned by Greek and Roman writers.

Rabbah appears to have consisted, like Aroer, of two parts; the city itself, and 'the city of waters,' or royal city, which was probably a detached portion of the city itself, insulated by the stream on which it was situated. The 'city of waters' was taken by Joab; but against the city itself he was obliged to call for the assistance of David with a reinforcement ().

The ruins of Rabbah stand about 19 miles south-east of Szalt, in a long valley traversed by a stream, the Moiet Amman, which at this place is arched over, the bed as well as the banks being paved. The prophet Ezekiel foretold that Rabbah should become 'a stable for camels,' and the country 'a couching place for flocks' (). This has been literally fulfilled, and Burckhardt actually found that a party of Arabs had stabled their camels among the ruins of Rabbah.

The Rabbah of was in the tribe of Judah.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Rabbah'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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