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Arad was the location where the Canaanite king came out against Israel on their march north in the Jordan rift, before crossing the Arabah to Punon. Num 21:1; 33:40 Arad is mentioned again in Judges 1:16 as the Negev of Arad (AV: Wilderness of Judea) an area that was settled by the Kenites.

The ancient tel is around 8km to the west of the modern city. The tel was identified by Eusebius as being 20 miles from Hebron and 3 miles from Malaatha which match exactly(onam. 14.2) , and the modern name continues the biblical origins. The tel is separated into a lower and upper sections. The lower section has very old origins, with evidence of extensive bronze age / Canaanite dwellings. The upper section, also known as the citadel was constructed under David and Solomon. An interesting ostraca was found here with the inscription “the house of Yahweh”. Aharoni (An archeologist who also wrote the excellent book: the land of the Bible)  uncovered a significant Canaanitish temple here with two four-horned incense altars, and features of the worship of Tammuz have been noted.  (A well preserved two horned altar has recently been found at Tel es-safi or biblical Gath)  The construction of the temple followed a similar pattern to the tabernacle.  The citadel was conquered by Sheshonq (Shishak) in ca920BC and again under Nebuchadnezzar ca597-577BC 

King Arad was killed at Hormah, (not far from Arad at either Tel  el-Meshash or Tell Halif ) Num 14:44,45; Deut 1:44 Hormah was a Canaanite city-state that was conquered by Joshua Josh 12:14  and alloted to the tribe of Simeon Josh 19:4. It was here that David sent presents after the capture of the Amalekites 1 Sam 30:30  This city was mentioned in the excreation texts and also within inscriptions in Sinaitic mines.  Hormah means not only annihilation, but has the idea of destruction with purpose. The same hebrew root is used in Mount Hermon, and means devoted with the idea of consecrated, or dedicated. Both items and people can be dedicated to Yahweh. So the items allocated as bounty from the destruction of Jericho were consecrated to deity, but Aachen was to foolishly retain these for himself. The destruction was a result of an intense vow Num 21:2: If thou will [indeed] deliver this people into my hand, I will [utterly] destroy their cities. This indicates both the degree of devotion of God for his people, and the expected response from his intervention. Paul was later to indicate that “the love of Christ constrains us, because we thus judge if one died for all, then all are dead, and that he died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto him that died for them, and rose again” 2 Cor 5:14 AV/RSV.

Hormah may indicate the level of destruction levelled on the enemies of God, but als the level of devotion that his people share with him in loving service.

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