Jump to: Hitchcock'sATSISBEEaston'sConcordanceThesaurusGreekLibrarySubtopicsTerms
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ar'-e-tas (Aretas): The name is a common one among Arabian princes and signifies "virtuous or pleasing."

1. 2 Maccabees 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 B.C.), 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 Corinthians 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 (Matthew 14:3 Mark 6:17 Luke 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 A.D., and stopped all warlike proceedings (Ant., XVIII, v, 1, 3). According to 2 Corinthians 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 (Galatians 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 A.D., and as the Arabian affair was completely settled in 39 A.D., it is evident that the date of Paul's conversion must lie somewhere between 34 and 36 A.D. 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 A.D., making the date of Paul's conversion 34 A.D. (Mionnet, Descript. des medailles antiques, V, 284-85).

Henry E. Dosker

702. Aretas -- Aretas, an Arabian king
... 701, 702. Aretas. 703 . Aretas, an Arabian king. Part of Speech: Noun,
Masculine Transliteration: Aretas Phonetic Spelling: (ar ...
// - 6k

703. arete -- moral goodness, ie virtue
... see GREEK arrhen. (aretas) -- 1 Occurrence. (arete) -- 3 Occurrences. (areten) --
1 Occurrence. 702, 703. arete. 704 . Strong's Numbers.
// - 6k


How Aretas and Hyrcanus Made an Expedition against Aristobulus and ...
... CHAPTER 2. How Aretas And Hyrcanus Made An Expedition Against Aristobulus And Besieged
Jerusalem; And How Scaurus The Roman General Raised The Siege. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 2 how aretas and.htm

Herod the Tetrarch Makes War with Aretas, the King of Arabia, and ...
... CHAPTER 5. Herod The Tetrarch Makes War With Aretas, The King Of Arabia, And Is
Beaten By Him As Also Concerning The Death Of John The Baptist. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 5 herod the tetrarch.htm

Abgar Returns from the East; He Gives Help to Aretas in a War ...
... Ancient Syriac Documents. Moses of Chorene. History of Armenia. IV. Abgar returns
from the east; he gives help to Aretas in a war against Herod the Tetrarch. ...
// decretals/iv abgar returns from the.htm

How Scaurus Made a League of Mutual Assistance with Aretas; and ...
... CHAPTER 5. How Scaurus Made A League Of Mutual Assistance With Aretas; And What
Gabinius Did In Judea, After He Had Conquered Alexander, The Son Of Aristobulus ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 5 how scaurus made.htm

How Antiochus, who was Called Dionysus, and after Him Aretas Made ...
... How Antiochus, Who Was Called Dionysus, And After Him Aretas Made Expeditions Into
Judea; As Also How Alexander Took Many Cities And Then Returned To Jerusalem ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 15 how antiochus who.htm

When Hyrcanus who was Alexander's Heir, Receded from his Claim to ...
... principal of that nation, on account of his ancestors and riches, and other authority
to him belonging: he also persuaded Hyrcanus to fly to Aretas, the king ...
/.../chapter 6 when hyrcanus who.htm

Testimonies in Regard to John the Baptist and Christ.
... that, although she was the wife of his brother, Herod made her his own wife after
divorcing his former lawful wife, who was the daughter of Aretas, [191] king ...
/.../pamphilius/church history/chapter xi testimonies in regard to.htm

The War Between Aristobulus and Hyrcanus About the Kingdom;
... That Aristobulus Should Be King, And Hyrcanus Live A Private Life; As Also How Hyrcanus
A Little Afterward Was Persuaded By Antipater To Fly To Aretas. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 1 the war between.htm

Manuscripts and Books
... All the manuscripts, of which there are many, go directly or indirectly
back to the famous Aretas Codex (Paris. Graec.451 [838] ). ...
/.../richardson/early christian fathers/manuscripts and books 5.htm

Antipater Becomes Intolerable. He is Sent to Rome, and Carries ...
... This Sylleus had also a great contest with Aretas his own king; for he had slain
many others of Aretas's friends, and particularly Sohemus, the most potent man ...
/.../chapter 29 antipater becomes intolerable.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

agreeable, virtuous

ATS Bible Dictionary

The name of several kings of northwestern Arabia. The only one mentioned in Scripture gave his daughter in marriage to Herod Antipas; but she being repudiated by Herod, Aretas made war upon him and destroyed his army. In consequence of this, the emperor Tiberius directed Vitellius, then proconsul of Syria, to make war upon or dead to Rome. But while Vitellius was in the midst of preparation for the war, he received intelligence of the death of Tiberius, A. D. 37; on which he immediately recalled his troops, dismissed them into winter quarters, and then left the province. Aretas, taking advantage of this supineness, seems to have made an incursion and got possession of Damascus, over which he appointed a governor or ethnarch, who, A. D. 39, at the instigation of the Jews, attempted to put Paul in prison, 2 1 Corinthians 11:32. Compare Acts 9:24,25.

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; Matthew 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 Corinthians 11:32; Comp. Acts 9:25). At this time Paul returned to Damascus from Arabia.
Aretas (1 Occurrence)
... alliance with Herodias, the wife of Herod-Philip, his half-brother (Luke 3:19, 20;
Mark 6:17; Matthew 14:3). This led to a war between Aretas and Herod ...ARETAS. ...
/a/aretas.htm - 11k

... The first prince mentioned is Aretas I, to whom the high priest Jason fled in 169
BC They were friendly to the early Maccabees in the anti-Hellenistic struggle ...
/n/nabathaeans.htm - 11k

... The first prince mentioned is Aretas I, to whom the high priest Jason fled in 169
BC They were friendly to the early Maccabees in the anti-Hellenistic struggle ...
/n/nabataeans.htm - 11k

... Here Herod "made a supper" on his birthday. He was at this time marching against
Aretas, king of Perea, to whose daughter he had been married. ...
/m/machaerus.htm - 9k

Damascenes (1 Occurrence)
... DAMASCENES. dam-a-senz', dam'-a-senz ten polin Damaskenon, ("the city of the
Damascenes"): The inhabitants of Damascus under Aretas the Arabian are so called ( ...
/d/damascenes.htm - 7k

Ar'etas (1 Occurrence)
Ar'etas. Aretas, Ar'etas. Argob . ... 2 Corinthians 11:32 In Damascus the governor
under King Aretas guarded the city of the Damascenes desiring to arrest me. ...
/a/ar'etas.htm - 6k

... to Jesus while in the midst of His Galilean ministry (Matthew 14:3-12 Mark
6:14-29 Luke 9:7-9). Josephus reports that the defeat of Antipas by Aretas, in the ...
/c/chronology.htm - 74k

Damascus (58 Occurrences)
... of the province. In AD 37 Aretas, the king of Arabia, became master of
Damascus, having driven back Herod Antipas. This city is ...
/d/damascus.htm - 45k

Omega (3 Occurrences)
... Compare Aretas (Cramer's Catenae Graecae in New Testament) on Revelation 1:8 and
Tertullian (Monog, 5): "So also two Greek letters, the first and last, did the ...
/o/omega.htm - 9k

Jason (5 Occurrences)
... with some success to drive out Menelaus, but ultimately failed (2 Maccabees 5:5).
He took refuge with the Ammonites again, and then with Aretas, the Arabian ...
/j/jason.htm - 12k

Bible Concordance
Aretas (1 Occurrence)

2 Corinthians 11:32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of the Damascenes desiring to arrest me.



Aretas or Aretas

Aretas: A Ruler of Syria

Related Terms




Damascenes (1 Occurrence)

Ar'etas (1 Occurrence)


Damascus (58 Occurrences)

Omega (3 Occurrences)

Jason (5 Occurrences)

Guarded (27 Occurrences)

Gates (156 Occurrences)

Garrison (15 Occurrences)

Guarding (16 Occurrences)

Guards (42 Occurrences)

Wishing (25 Occurrences)

Ethnarch (1 Occurrence)

Desirous (31 Occurrences)

Medeba (5 Occurrences)

Alpha (3 Occurrences)



Apprehend (7 Occurrences)

Syrians (63 Occurrences)

Horonaim (5 Occurrences)

Watching (111 Occurrences)

Seize (91 Occurrences)

Desiring (108 Occurrences)

Shut (237 Occurrences)

New (1850 Occurrences)

Herod (45 Occurrences)

Pharisees (86 Occurrences)

Watch (203 Occurrences)

Governor (78 Occurrences)


Testament (13 Occurrences)

Ruler (329 Occurrences)

Arabia (9 Occurrences)

Arrest (22 Occurrences)

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Top of Page
Top of Page