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Meaning: light soil
A biblical place first mentioned in Gen. 14:5, where it is said that Chedorlaomer and his confederates “smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth,” where Og the king of Bashan had his residence. At the time of Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land, Og came out against them, but was utterly routed (Num. 21:33-35; Deut. 3:1-7). This country extended from Gilead in the south to Hermon in the north, and from the Jordan on the west to Salcah on the east. Along with the half of Gilead it was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:29-31). Golan, one of its cities, became a “city of refuge” (Josh. 21:27).
Argob, in Bashan, was one of Solomon’s commissariat districts (1 Kings 4:13). The cities of Bashan were taken by Hazael (2 Kings 10:33), but were soon after reconquered by Jehoash (2 Kings 13:25), who overcame the Syrians in three battles, according to the word of Elisha (19). From this time Bashan almost disappears from history, although we read of the wild cattle of its rich pastures (Ezek. 39:18; Ps. 22:12), the oaks of its forests (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6; Zech. 11:2), and the beauty of its extensive plains (Amos 4:1; Jer. 50:19). Soon after the conquest, the name “Gilead” was given to the whole country beyond Jordan.
After the Exile, Bashan was divided into four districts: