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Edrei


Edrei — mighty; strength. (1.) One of the chief towns of the kingdom of Bashan (Josh. 12:4, 5). Here Og was defeated by the Israelites, and the strength of the Amorites broken (Num. 21:33–35). It subsequently belonged to Manasseh, for a short time apparently, and afterwards became the abode of banditti and outlaws (Josh. 13:31). It has been identified with the modern Edr’a, which stands on a rocky promontory on the south-west edge of the Lejah (the Argob of the Hebrews, and Trachonitis of the Greeks). The ruins of Edr’a are the most extensive in the Hauran. They are 3 miles in circumference. A number of the ancient houses still remain; the walls, roofs, and doors being all of stone. The wild region of which Edrei was the capital is thus described in its modern aspect: “Elevated about 20 feet above the plain, it is a labyrinth of clefts and crevasses in the rock, formed by volcanic action; and owing to its impenetrable condition, it has become a refuge for outlaws and turbulent characters, who make it a sort of Cave of Adullam … It is, in fact, an impregnable natural fortress, about 20 miles in length and 15 in breadth” (Porter’s Syria, etc.). Beneath this wonderful city there is also a subterranean city, hollowed out probably as a refuge for the population of the upper city in times of danger. (See BASHAN.)

(2.) A town of Naphtali (Josh. 19:37).