Arad was the name of two ancient cities in the land of Israel. One of them, the one dealt with in this study, was a Canaanite city located about 19 miles / 31 kilometers south of Hebron, 15 miles / 24 kilometers east of Beersheba, and about 19 miles / 31 kilometers west of the Dead Sea (or The Salt Sea), in southern Judea in the The Negev (see Bible Places). The other Arad, located in the same region, is not mentioned specifically by name in The Bible.
Arad was well-known in early Bible History:
Near the end of the Wilderness Journey, the king of Arad attacked the Israelites under Moses:
"When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive." (Numbers 21:1 RSV)
Arad was later conquered by the Israelites under Joshua:
"And these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the people of Israel defeated on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, that rises toward Seir and Joshua gave their land to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their allotments, in the hill country, in the lowland, in the Arabah, in the slopes, in the wilderness, and in the Negeb, the land of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites ... the king of Arad." (Joshua 12:7-8,14 RSV)
The Kenites later settled there also:
"And the descendants of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the Negeb near Arad; and they went and settled with the people." (Judges 1:16 RSV)
The modern-day city of Arad is located about 5 miles / 8 kilometers from the ruins of the ancient city. The first settlement occurred in 1921 by veterans of the "Zion Mule Corps," a Jewish unit of the British Army from the First World War, but it was not successful due to lack of fresh water. A water pipeline later did make habitation possible, and Arad became a residence for mineral resources employees from the Dead Sea Works.
Fact Finder: What is meant by the Biblical term "Dan to Beersheba"?
See Dan to Beersheba
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