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mighty; strength. (1.) One of the chief towns of the kingdom of Bashan (Josh. 12:4, 5). Here Og was defeated by the Israelites, and the strength of the Amorites broken (Num. 21:33-35). It subsequently belonged to Manasseh, for a short time apparently, and afterwards became the abode of banditti and outlaws (Josh. 13:31). It has been identified with the modern Edr'a, which stands on a rocky promontory on the south-west edge of the Lejah (the Argob of the Hebrews, and Trachonitis of the Greeks). The ruins of Edr'a are the most extensive in the Hauran. They are 3 miles in circumference. A number of the ancient houses still remain; the walls, roofs, and doors being all of stone. The wild region of which Edrei was the capital is thus described in its modern aspect: "Elevated about 20 feet above the plain, it is a labyrinth of clefts and crevasses in the rock, formed by volcanic action; and owing to its impenetrable condition, it has become a refuge for outlaws and turbulent characters, who make it a sort of Cave of Adullam...It is, in fact, an impregnable natural fortress, about 20 miles in length and 15 in breadth" (Porter's Syria, etc.). Beneath this wonderful city there is also a subterranean city, hollowed out probably as a refuge for the population of the upper city in times of danger. (See BASHAN.) (2.) A town of Naphtali (Josh. 19:37).
town, southwestern Syria. Dar'a, which is the chief town of the Hawran (a region of southwestern Syria), is a road and rail junction located less than 6 miles (10 km) from the Jordanian border on the Wadi Jride. It is the focal point for communications between Amman, Jerusalem, Haifa, and Damascus. There are no local industries, but Dar'a serves as a market centre and garrison town. The town contains ruins from the Greco-Roman period and a mosque built in 1253. The decisive Battle of the Yarmuk River (636), which led to the annihilation of the Byzantine forces and the capture of Syria by the Arabs, was fought near the town; it also was the scene of fighting during World War I.