Beth-arbel “the house of ambush or lying in wait” is the northern city of Irbid in Jordan. It was here that “Shalman” Hosea 10:14 the biblical reference to Shalmaneser invaded “spoiling the city in the day of battle”. This is the Shalmaneser IV mentioned in 2Kings 17:3 whose name means “the god of Shalman (peace) is chief”. His Assyrian name was Ulula and it appears that he was a successful general but without a lineage to the throne [Josephus Antiq ix,14.2]. The king died in the year of the siege of Samaria BC722 after 5 years reign. This sudden death meant a time of reprieve for the northern tribes, and the urgency of the message of Hosea before impending resumption of Assyrian conquests.
The message to us is clear: There is abundant signs that the return of Christ is on the cusp of becoming a reality. The message of our bible is urgent and calling for reform before the impending day of the battle!
This northern town in Jordan today is a regional centre, with one of the northern universities. Located within the university is an archeological department with a small display of finds from across Jordan.
[The map marks the location of the archeology department, and 2 blocks to the west on the roundabout the house we lived in Irbid!]