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Ar

Meaning: A city; Awakening; “a place guarded by a watch” / Similar to the Hebrew word for city: 'iyr, in the plural 'ar.

Ar was the capital city of ancient Moab. The exact location is still uncertain. If Ar is the city referred to in Numbers 22:36, then Ar was located near the river Arnon, at the southern edge of Israel, on the south side of the river. According to Smith,

“In later times the place known as Areopolis and Rabbath-Moab. The site still called Rabba. It lies about halfway between Kerak and the Wady Mojeb, 10 or 11 miles from each, the Roman road passing through it” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary).

Ar is mentioned by name in the following verses, only:

  1. Numbers 21:15 (“…at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.”).
  2. Numbers 21:28 (“For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon… it hath consumed Ar of Moab…”).
  3. Deuteronomy 2:9 (“…I have given Ar unto the children of Lot…”).
  4. Deuteronomy 2:18 (“Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day.”).
  5. Deuteronomy 2:29 (“…the Moabites which dwell in Ar…”).
  6. Isaiah 15:1 (“…Ar of Moab is laid waste…”)

Ar may also be referred to in certain other verses, such as Numbers 22:36; Deuteronomy 2:36; Joshua 13:9, 16; 2 Samuel 24:5.

“The prophecy against Moab (descendants of Lot and inveterate enemies of Israel) occupies chapters 15 and 16 [of the book of Isaiah]. The Moabites' lands were often invaded, and they finally disappeared from history shortly before the first coming of Christ. Their land, currently part of the kingdom of Jordan, is now largely desolate, though once quite fruitful” (Henry M. Morris, The Defender’s Study Bible, footnote for Isa. 15:1).

Editor: Paul S. Taylor.

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