views updated


ARGOB (Heb. אַרְגּׁב), region in northern Transjordan which was part of *Bashan and probably lay between Nahr al-Ruqād and Nahr al-ʿAlān. According to Thutmose iii's geographical list (no. 126) and the el-Amarna letters, this region was heavily populated in the Late Bronze Age. At the time of the Israelite conquest Argob embraced "threescore cities… All these were fortified cities with high walls, gates, and bars; beside the unwalled towns, a great number" (Deut. 3:4–5). It was allotted by Moses to the half-tribe of Manasseh and was possibly settled by Jair (Deut. 3:13–14, but cf. i Kings 4:13). In Solomon's time the region was included in his sixth administrative district and its governor (the son of Geber) resided at Ramoth-Gilead (i Kings 4:13). In the Aramaic translations Argob is identified with the region which Josephus and the New Testament call Trachon or *Trachonitis (Targ. Onk.: Trakona; Targ. Yer.: Tragona), the basaltic highland desert now known as al-Lijā. This later tradition, however, is not consistent with the early sources.


Bergman, in: jpos, 16 (1936), 239; Albright, in: basor, 68 (1937), 21; de Vaux, in: Vivre et Penser, 1 (1941), 22; Mazar, in: jbl, 80 (1961), 16; em, s.v.; Press, Ereẓ, 1 (1946), 36.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

About this article


Updated About content Print Article