ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Meaning: Stony heap.
This was the name of an area in Israel. It has been called an “island” of rock about 30 miles by 20, rising 20 or 30 feet above the tableland of Bashan, an extremely wild, craggy, chasmed area. On this “island” stood sixty walled cities, ruled over by Og. It is called Trachonitis (“the rugged region”) in the New Testament (Luke 3:1).
It is now called the Lejah. Here “sixty walled cities are still traceable in a space of 308 square miles. The architecture is ponderous and massive. Solid walls 4 feet thick [1.2 meters], and stones on one another without cement; the roofs enormous slabs of basaltic rock, like iron; the doors and gates are of stone 18 inches thick [45.72 centimeters], secured by ponderous bars. The land bears still the appearance of having been called the ‘land of giants’ under the giant Og.” “I have more than once entered a deserted city in the evening, taken possession of a comfortable house, and spent the night in peace. Many of the houses in the ancient cities of Bashan are perfect, as if only finished yesterday. The walls are sound, the roofs unbroken, and even the window-shutters in their places. These ancient cities of Bashan probably contain the very oldest specimens of domestic architecture in the world” (Porter’s Giant Cities).