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Bible Cities : Rabbah
Ancient Rabbah

Rabbah in Easton's Bible Dictionary or Rab'bath, great. (1.) "Rabbath of the children of Ammon," the chief city of the Ammonites, among the eastern hills, some 20 miles east of the Jordan, on the southern of the two streams which united with the Jabbok. Here the bedstead of Og was preserved (Deut. 3:11), perhaps as a trophy of some victory gained by the Ammonites over the king of Bashan. After David had subdued all their allies in a great war, he sent Joab with a strong force to take their city. For two years it held out against its assailants. It was while his army was engaged in this protracted siege that David was guilty of that deed of shame which left a blot on his character and cast a gloom over the rest of his life. At length, having taken the "royal city" (or the "city of waters," 2 Sam. 12:27, i.e., the lower city on the river, as distinguished from the citadel), Joab sent for David to direct the final assault (11:1; 12:26-31). The city was given up to plunder, and the people were ruthlessly put to death, and "thus did he with all the cities of the children of Ammon." The destruction of Rabbath was the last of David's conquests. His kingdom now reached its farthest limits (2 Sam. 8:1-15; 1 Chr. 18:1-15). The capture of this city is referred to by Amos (1:14), Jeremiah (49:2, 3), and Ezekiel (21:20; 25:5). (2.) A city in the hill country of Judah (Josh. 15:60), possibly the ruin Rubba, six miles north-east of Beit-Jibrin.

Rabbah in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("greatness of size or numbers".) 1. Ammon's chief city, its only city named in Scripture, in contrast to the more civilized Moab's numerous cities (Deuteronomy 3:11; 2 Samuel 12:26; 2 Samuel 17:27; Jeremiah 49:2; Ezekiel 21:20). (See AMMON.) Conjectured to be the Ham of the Zuzim (Genesis 14:5). After Hanun's insult Abishai and Joab defeated the allies Ammon and the Syrians of Bethrehob, Zoba, Ishtob, and Maachah (2 Samuel 10). The following year David in person defeated the Syrians at Helam. Next, Joab with the whole army and the king's bodyguard (including Uriah: 2 Samuel 23:39) besieged Ammon (2 Samuel 11; 1 Chronicles 19; 20). The ark apparently accompanied the camp (2 Samuel 11:11), a rare occurrence (1 Samuel 4:3-6); but perhaps what is meant is only that the ark at Jerusalem was "in a tent" (2 Samuel 7:2; 2 Samuel 7:6) as was the army at Rabbah under Jehovah the Lord of the ark, therefore Uriah would not go home to his house. The siege lasted nearly two years, from David's first connection with Bathsheba to the birth of Solomon. The Ammonites made unsuccessful sallies (2 Samuel 11:17). Joab finally took the lower town, which, from the stream rising in it and flowing through it perennially, is called "the city of waters," and from the king's palace "the royal city." Then in a characteristic speech, half jest half earnest (2 Samuel 12:28, compare 2 Samuel 19:6-7), which shows the power he had gained over David through David's secret and wicked commission (2 Samuel 11:14-15), he invited David to crown the capture by taking the citadel lest if he (Joab) took it, it should be called after his name. Josephus (Ant. 7:7, section 5) says the fortress had but one well, inadequate to supply the wants of its crowded occupants. (On its capture by David, and his putting the people under saws and harrows to cut them in pieces in retaliation for their cruelties, see DAVID, also Judges 1:7; 1 Samuel 11:2.) Amos (Amos 1:14) speaks of its "wall" and "palaces" and "king" (perhaps Moloch) about to be judged by God. So also Jeremiah 49:2-3. Nebuchadnezzar attacked Ammon because of Baalis their king having instigated Ishmael to slay Gedaliah the Chaldaean governor (Jeremiah 40:14). See 1 Maccabees 5:6 as to subsequent judgments on Ammon. Ezekiel (Ezekiel 21:20) depicts Nebuchadnezzar's divination to decide whether he should attack Jerusalem or Rabbah the first. Jerusalem's fall should be followed by that of Rabbah (compare Josephus, Ant. 10:9, section 7). Under the Ptolemies Rabbah still continued of importance as supplying water for the journey across the desert, and was made a garrison for repelling the Bedouins of that quarter. Ptolemy Philadelphus named it Philadelphia. Josephus (B. J. 3:3, section 3) includes Rabbah in Decapolis. Now Amman, on a tributary (Moiet Amman) of the Zerka river (Jabbok), 19 miles S.E. of Es Salt ("Ramoth Gilead"), 22 E. of Jordan. Its temple, theater, and forum are remarkable ruins. Eight Corinthian columns of the theater (the largest known in Syria) remain. It has become as foretold "a stable for camels, a couching place for flocks a desolate heap" (Ezekiel 25:5). Its coins bear the image of Astarte, and the word Heracleion from Hercules the idol which succeeded Moloch. The large square stones of the citadel are put together without cement, the massive walls are evidently very ancient. 2. Rabbah of Moab, called in the Bible Ar, in the highlands S.E. of the Dead Sea. 3. Rabbah of Judah, near Kirjath Jearim (Joshua 15:60).

Rabbah in Hitchcock's Bible Names great; powerful; contentious

Rabbah in Naves Topical Bible 1. Also called RABBATH A city east of the Jordan River, originally belonging to the Ammonites Jos 13:25 Bedstead of the giant named Og, kept at De 3:11 Captured by David 2Sa 11:1; 12:26-31; 1Ch 20:1-3 Possessed again by the Ammonites; prophesied against Jer 49:2,3; Eze 21:20; 25:5; Am 1:14 -2. A city in the territory of the tribe of Judah Jos 15:60

Rabbah in Smiths Bible Dictionary (great). 1. A very strong place on the east of the Jordan, and the chief city of the Ammonites. In five passages -- De 3:11; 2Sa 12:26; 17:27; Jer 49:2; Eze 21:20 --it is styled at length Rabbath of the Ammonites, or the children of Ammon; but elsewhere, Jos 13:25; 2Sa 11:1; 12:27,29; 1Ch 20:1; Jer 49:3 simply Rabbah. When first named it is mentioned as containing the bed or sarcophagus of the giant Og. De 3:11 David sent Joab to besiege Rabbah. 2Sa 11:1,17 etc. Joab succeeded in capturing a portion of the place -- the "city of waters," that is, the lower town so called from its containing the perennial stream which rises in and still flows through it. The citadel still remained to be taken, but this was secured shortly after David's arrival. 2Sa 12:26-31 Long after, at the date of the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, Jer 49:2,3 it had walls and palaces. It is named in such terms as to imply that it was of equal importance with Jerusalem. Eze 21:20 From Ptolemy Philadelphus (B.C. 285-247) it received the name of Philadelphia. It was one of the cities of the Decapolis, and became the seat of a Christian bishop. Its ruins, which are considerable are found at Ammon about 22 miles from the Jordan. It lies in a valley which is a branch, or perhaps the main course, of the Wady Zerka usually identified with the Jabbok. The public buildings are said to be Roman, except the citadel, which is described as of large square stones put together without cement, and which is probably more ancient than the rest. 2. A city of Judah named with Kirjath-jearim in Jos 15:60 only. No trace of its existence has yet been discovered.

Rabbah in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE rab'-a: (1) (rabbah; Rhabba, Rhabbath, Rhabban. The full name is rabbath bene `ammon; he akra ton huion Ammon, Rhabbath huion Ammon, "Rabbah of the children of Ammon"): This alone of the cities of the Ammonites is mentioned in Scripture, so we may take it as the most important. It is first named in connection with the "bed" or sarcophagus of Og, king of Bashan, which was said to be found here (Dt 3:11). It lay East of the territory assigned to Gad (Josh 13:25). Whatever may have been its history in the interval, it does not appear again in Scripture till the time of David. This monarch sent an embassy of sympathy to King Hanun when his father Nahash died. The kindness was met by wanton insult, which led to the outbreak of war. The Ammonites, strengthened by Aramean allies, were defeated by the Israelites under Joab, and took refuge in Rabbah. After David's defeat of the Arameans at Helam a year later, the Ammonites were exposed alone to the full-force of Israel, the ark of the covenant being carried with the troops. The country was ravaged and siege was laid to Rabbah. It was during this siege that Uriah the Hittite by David's orders was exposed "in the forefront of the hottest battle" (2 Sam 11:15), where, treacherously deserted by his comrades, he was slain. How long the siege lasted we do not know; probably some years; but the end was in sight when Joab captured "the city of waters" (2 Sam 12:27). This may mean that he had secured control of the water supply. In the preceding verse he calls it the "royal city." By the chivalry of his general, David was enabled in person to enjoy the honor of taking the city. Among the booty secured was the crown of Melcom, the god of the Ammonites. Such of the inhabitants as survived he treated with great severity (2 Sam 12:26-31; 1 Ch 20:1 ff). In the utterances of the prophets against Ammon, Rabbah stands for the people, as their most important, or perhaps their only important, city (Jer 49:2,3; Ezek 21:20; 25:5; Am 1:14). Jer 49:4 speaks of the "flowing valley"--a reference perhaps to the abundance of water and fruitfulness--and the treasures in which she gloried. Ezek 21:21 represents the king of Babylon at "the head of the two ways" deciding by means of the divining arrows whether he should march against Jerusalem or against Rabbah. Amos seems to have been impressed with the palaces of Rabbah. The city retained its importance in later times. It was captured by Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-247 BC), who called it Philadelphia. It was a member of the league of ten cities. Antiochus the Great captured it by means of treachery (Polyb. v.71). Josephus (BJ, III, iii, 3) names it as lying East of Peraea. In the 4th century AD, it ranked with Bostra and Gerasa as one of the great fortified cities of Coele- Syria (Ritter, Erdkunde, XV, ii, 1154 f). It became the seat of a bishop. Abulfeda (1321 AD) says that Rabbah was in ruins at the time of the Moslem conquest. Rabbah is represented by the modern `Amman, a ruined site...

Rabbah Scripture - 1 Chronicles 20:1 And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out [to battle], Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.

Rabbah Scripture - 2 Samuel 11:1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth [to battle], that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

Rabbah Scripture - 2 Samuel 12:26 And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.

Rabbah Scripture - 2 Samuel 12:27 And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters.

Rabbah Scripture - 2 Samuel 12:29 And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.

Rabbah Scripture - 2 Samuel 17:27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,

Rabbah Scripture - Amos 1:14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:

Rabbah Scripture - Ezekiel 25:5 And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couchingplace for flocks: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Rabbah Scripture - Jeremiah 49:2 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD.

Rabbah Scripture - Jeremiah 49:3 Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, [and] his priests and his princes together.

Rabbah Scripture - Joshua 13:25 And their coast was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon, unto Aroer that [is] before Rabbah;

Rabbah Scripture - Joshua 15:60 Kirjathbaal, which [is] Kirjathjearim, and Rabbah; two cities with their villages: