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Map of Ancient Aram
Map of Ancient Aram
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Map of Territory of the Ancient Syrians

Aram Damascus was the most important of the Aramean kingdoms in the 9th-8th centuries BC. The mountainous area of the Syrians was truly the "roof" of the region as the name "Aram' implies. The mountains of Lebanon extended for nearly a hundred miles.

The Syrians were a continual thorn to Israel and mentioned often in the stories of David and the Kings of Israel.

2 Kings 13:3 - And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all [their] days.

1 Chronicles 19:17 - And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel, and passed over Jordan, and came upon them, and set [the battle] in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him.

Judges 10:6 - And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.

Isaiah 7:8 - For the head of Syria [is] Damascus, and the head of Damascus [is] Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.

Syria in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

Syria and its Territory
Syria proper was bounded by Amanus and Taurus on the north by the Euphrates and the Arabian desert on the east, by Palestine on the south, by the Mediterranean near the mouth of the Orontes, and then by Phoenicia on the west. This tract is about 300 miles long from north to south, and from 50 to 150 miles broad. It contains an area of about 30,000 square miles.
        General physical features. --The general character of the tract is mountainous, as the Hebrew name Aram (from a roof signifying "height") sufficiently implies. The most fertile and valuable tract of Syria is the long valley intervening between Libanus and Anti-Libanus. Of the various mountain ranges of Syria, Lebanon possesses the greatest interest. It extends from the mouth of the Litany to Arka, a distance of nearly 100 miles. Anti-Libanus, as the name implies, stands lover against Lebanon, running in the same direction, i.e. nearly north and south, and extending the same length. [LEBANON] The principal rivers of Syria are the Litany and the Orontes. The Litany springs from a small lake situated in the middle of the Coele-Syrian valley, about six miles to the southwest of Baalbek. It enters the sea about five miles north of Tyre. The source of the Orontes is but about 15 miles from that of the Litany. Its modern name is the Nahr-el-Asi, or "rebel stream," an appellation given to it on account of its violence and impetuosity in many parts of its course.
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Syria in Smith's Bible Dictionary

History. --The first occupants of Syria appear to have been of Hamitic descent --Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, etc. After a while the first comers, who were still to a great extent nomads, received a Semitic infusion, while most Probably came to them from the southeast. The only Syrian town whose existence we find distinctly marked at this time is Damascus, Ge 14:15; 15:2 which appears to have been already a place of some importance. Next to Damascus must be placed Hamath. Nu 13:21; 34:8 Syria at this time, and for many centuries afterward, seems to have been broken up among a number of petty kingdoms. The Jews first come into hostile contact with the Syrians, under that name, in the time of David. Ge 15:18; 2Sa 8:3,4,13 When, a few years later, the Ammonites determined on engaging in a war with David, and applied to the Syrians for aid, Zolah, together with Beth-rehob sent them 20,000 footmen, and two other Syrian kingdoms furnished 13,000. 2Sa 10:6 This army being completely defeated by Joab, Hadadezer obtained aid from Mesopotamia, ibid. ver. 16, and tried the chance of a third battle, which likewise went against him, and produced the general submission of Syria to the Jewish monarch. The submission thus begun continued under the reign of Solomon. 1Ki 4:21 The only part of Syria which Solomon lost seems to have been Damascus, where an independent kingdom was set up by Rezon, a native of Zobah. 1Ki 11:23-25 On the separation of the two kingdoms, soon after the accession of Rehoboam, the remainder of Syria no doubt shook off the yoke. Damascus now became decidedly the leading state, Hamath being second to it, and the northern Hittites, whose capital was Carchemish, near Bambuk, third. [DAMASCUS] Syria became attached to the great Assyrian empire, from which it passed to the Babylonians, and from them to the Persians, In B.C. 333 it submitted to Alexander without a struggle. Upon the death of Alexander, Syria became, for the first time the head of a great kingdom. On the division of the provinces among his generals, B.C. 321, Seleucus Nicator received Mesopotamia and Syria.  Full Article

Syrians in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

The terms "Syria" and "Syrians" are used in two senses in the Bible. In the Old Testament they are uniformly "Aram," "Aramaean," while in the New Testament they are used in a wider and more indefinite sense (Mt 4:24; Acts 15:23; 18:18; Gal 1:21), and include all the dwellers of the land whether Arameans or not.
1. Division of Aram:
Aram was divided into several districts, comprising, in general, the region to the East of the Jordan, but extending in the North over most of Northern Syria, or from the Orontes eastward, and Northern Mesopotamia. This latter division was called Aram-naharaim--Aram of the two rivers, i.e. Tigris and Euphrates--and is the Nahrina of the Egyptian inscriptions. It is also called Paddan-aram in the Old Testament (Gen 25:20) or field of Aram (Hos 12:12). The most important of the divisions of Aram in Old Testament times was Aram-dammesek, the Syria of Damascus, which sometimes dominated all of the other divisions lying to the South, such as Rehob, Tob, Zobah, and Mancab (2 Sam 10:8). Geshur was in this region and should be reckoned as an Aramean dis-trict (2 Sam 15:8). 
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Aram in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Aram
        (high).
        1. The name by which the Hebrews designated, generally, the country lying to the northeast of Palestine; the great mass of that high tableland which, rising with sudden abruptness from the Jordan and the very margin of the Lake of Gennesaret, stretched at an elevation of no less than 2000 feet above the level of the sea, to the banks of the Euphrates itself. Throughout the Authorized Version the word is, with only a very few exceptions, rendered, as in the Vulgate and LXX., SYRIA. Its earliest occurrence in the book of Genesis is in the form of Aram-naharaim, i.e. the "highland of or between the two rivers."
        Ge 24:10 Authorized Version "Mesopotamia." In the later history we meet with a number of small nations or kingdoms forming parts of the general land of Aram; but as Damascus increased in importance it gradually absorbed the smaller powers, 1Ki 20:1 and the name of Aram was at last applied to it alone. Isa 7:8 also 1Kin 11:24,25; 15:18 etc. 
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The Bible Mentions the "Syrians" Many Times

2 Kings 7:6 - For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, [even] the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.

2 Kings 8:29 - And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

2 Samuel 10:14 - And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.

1 Chronicles 19:17 - And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel, and passed over Jordan, and came upon them, and set [the battle] in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him.

2 Kings 13:17 - And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened [it]. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed [them].

Jeremiah 35:11 - But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.

2 Kings 24:2 - And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.

2 Kings 16:6 - At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.

2 Samuel 10:11 - And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.

1 Chronicles 19:12 - And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will help thee.

2 Kings 9:15 - But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, [then] let none go forth [nor] escape out of the city to go to tell [it] in Jezreel.

1 Kings 20:27 - And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.

Amos 9:7 - [Are] ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

1 Kings 20:28 - And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD [is] God of the hills, but he [is] not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

2 Samuel 8:6 - Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, [and] brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

2 Chronicles 24:24 - For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash.

2 Kings 7:12 - And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, I will now shew you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we [be] hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.

2 Kings 7:16 - And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was [sold] for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD.

2 Samuel 10:19 - And when all the kings [that were] servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.

1 Kings 22:11 - And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.

2 Kings 7:10 - So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, [there was] no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they [were].

2 Chronicles 22:5 - He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.

1 Chronicles 18:6 - Then David put [garrisons] in Syriadamascus; and the Syrians became David's servants, [and] brought gifts. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

1 Chronicles 19:15 - And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother, and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 10:17 - And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him.

1 Kings 22:35 - And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.

2 Kings 7:4 - If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine [is] in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

2 Kings 13:5 - (And the LORD gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime.

1 Chronicles 19:19 - And when the servants of Hadarezer saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they made peace with David, and became his servants: neither would the Syrians help the children of Ammon any more.

2 Samuel 10:16 - And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that [were] beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer [went] before them.

2 Kings 8:9 - So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels' burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?

2 Kings 6:11 - Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us [is] for the king of Israel?

2 Kings 9:14 - So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.

2 Kings 16:5 - Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome [him].

 

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