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August 23    Scripture



Bible Names A-G: Aretas


Aretas in Easton's Bible Dictionary the father-in-law of Herod Antipas, and king of Arabia Petraea. His daughter returned to him on the occasion of her husband's entering into an adulterous alliance with Herodias, the wife of Herod-Philip, his half-brother (Luke 3:19, 20; Mark 6:17; Matt. 14:3). This led to a war between Aretas and Herod Antipas. Herod's army was wholly destroyed (A.D. 36). Aretas, taking advantage of the complications of the times on account of the death of the Emperor Tiberius (A.D. 37), took possession of Damascus (2 Cor. 11:32; comp. Acts 9:25). At this time Paul returned to Damascus from Arabia.

Aretas in Fausset's Bible Dictionary A common name of many Arabian kings. 2 Corinthians 11:32; "in Damascus the governor ethnarch) under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me; and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands." The ethnarch did it to please the Jews, who (Acts 9:24) "watched the gates day and night to kill Paul." His office was to exercise authority under the king, over the many Jews in large cities: compare Acts 9:25. Damascus had been a city of the Roman province, Syria; and we have Damascene coins of Augustus and Tiberius, and afterward of Nero, etc., but we have none of Caligula. This implies that some change in the government of Damascus took place under Caligula, Tiberius's successor. Moreover, Aretas, king of Arabia Nabataea dud its capital Petra, made war on Antipas for divorcing Aretas' daughter, and defeated him. But Tiberius, at Antipas' entreaty, commanded Vitellius, governor of Syria, to take Aretas dead or alive. Before the order was executed Tiberius himself was dead. Then all was reversed. Antipas was banished by Caligula to Lyons, and his kingdom given to Agrippa, his nephew and his foe. It seems therefore to harmonize with history, as well as with Scripture, to assume that in A.D. 38 or 39, when Caligula made several changes in the E., he also granted Damascus to Aretas. The incidental way in which Paul alludes to Aretas' kingship over Damascus at the time of his escape from the ethnarch under him, by being let down in a basket from a house on the city wall (compare Acts 9:23-25), is a strong presumption for the truth of the Acts and Second Epistle to Corinthians. This was three years after Paul's conversion; so that A. D. 36 will be the date of his conversion.

Aretas in Hitchcock's Bible Names agreeable

Aretas in Naves Topical Bible A ruler of Syria 2Co 11:32

Aretas in Smiths Bible Dictionary (graver). 1. A contemporary of Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 170, and Jason. 2 Macc. 5:8. 2. The Aretas alluded to by St. Paul 2Co 11:32 was father-in-law of Herod Antipas.

Aretas in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE ar'-e-tas (Aretas): The name is a common one among Arabian princes and signifies "virtuous or pleasing." 1. 2 Macc 5:8: It is mentioned several times in Biblical literature and in Josephus. Here it refers to an Arabian king, who was a contemporary of Antiochus Epiphanes (circa 170 BC), before whom Jason the high priest was accused. 2. Obodas: Another Arabian prince of this name, surnamed Obodas (Ant., XIII, xv, 2; xvi, 2; XVI, ix, 4) defeated Antiochus Dionysius and reigned over Coele-Syria and Damascus. He participated with Hyrcanus in the war for the Jewish throne against his brother Aristobulus, but the allies were completely defeated at Papyron, by Aristobulus and Scaurus, the Roman general. The latter carried the war into Arabia and forced Aretas to make an ignominious peace, at the price of three hundred talents of silver. Of that event a memorial denarius still exists, with a Roman chariot in full charge on the one side and a camel on the other, by the side of which an Arab is kneeling, who holds out a branch of frankincense. 3. Aeneas: The successor of Obodas was apparently surnamed Aeneas and this is the Arabian king who figures in the New Testament (2 Cor 11:32; compare Acts 9:24). The Aretas, here mentioned, is the father-in-law of Herod Antipas, who divorced his wife to marry Herodins, the wife of his brother Philip (Mt 14:3; Mk 6:17; Lk 3:19). Josephus (Ant., XVIII, v, 1,3) gives us a circumstantial narration of the events leading up to and following the conduct of Antipas. Coupled with a boundary dispute, it occasioned a bitter w ar between the two princes, in which Antipas was completely overwhelmed, who thereupon invoked the aid of the Romans. Tiberius ordered Vitellius, proconsul of Syria, to make war on Aretas and to deliver him dead or alive into the hands of the emperor. On the way, at Jerusalem, Vitellius received intelligence of the death of Tiberius, March 16, 37 AD, and stopped all warlike proceedings (Ant., XVIII, v, 1,3). According to 2 Cor 11:32, Damascus, which had formerly belonged to the Arabian princes, was again in the hands of Are tas, when Paul escaped from it, not immediately after his conversion, but on a subsequent visit, after his Arabian exile (Gal 1:16,17). It is inconceivable that Aretas should have taken Damascus by force, in the face of the almost omnipotent power of Rome. The picture moreover, which Josephus draws of the Herodian events, points to a passive rather than an active attitude on the part of Aretas. The probability is that Cajus Caligula, the new emperor, wishing to settle the affairs of Syria, freely gave Damascu s to Aretas, inasmuch as it had formerly belonged to his territory. As Tiberius died in 37 AD, and as the Arabian affair was completely settled in 39 AD, it is evident that the date of Paul's conversion must lie somewhere between 34 and 36 AD. This date is further fixed by a Damascus coin, with the image of King Aretas and the date 101. If that date points to the Pompeian era, it equals 37 AD, making the date of Paul's conversion 34 AD (Mionnet, Descript. des medailles antiques, V, 284-85).

Aretas IV Philopatris in Wikipedia was the King of the Nabataeans from roughly 9 BC to AD 40. His full title, as given in the inscriptions, was "Aretas, King of the Nabataeans, Friend of his People." Being the most powerful neighbour of Judea, he frequently took part in the state affairs of that country, and was influential in shaping the destiny of its rulers. While on not particularly good terms with Rome - as intimated by his surname, "Friend of his People", which is in direct opposition to the prevalent φιλορώμαις ("Friend of the Romans") and φιλόκαισαρ ("Friend of the Emperor") - and though it was only after great hesitation that Augustus recognized him as king, nevertheless he took part in the expedition of Varus against the Jews in the year 4 BC, and placed a considerable army at the disposal of the Roman general...

Aretas Scripture - 2 Corinthians 11:32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

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