2. Nearly synonymous with Syria; the Hebrew name of the whole region northeast of Palestine, extending from the Tigris on the east nearly to the Mediterranean on the west, and to the Taurus range on the north. It was named after Aram the son of Shem. Thus defined, it includes also Mesopotamia, which the Hebrews named Aram-naharaim, Aram of the two rivers, Ge 25:20; 48:7. Various cities in the western part of Aram gave their own names to the regions around them: as Damascus, (Aram-Dammesek,) 2Sa 8:6; Maachah, near Bashan, 1Ch 19:6; Geshur, Jos 12:5; 2Sa 15:8; Zobah, and Beth-rehob, 2Sa 10:6,8. Several of these were powerful states, and often waged war against Israel. David subdued them and made them tributaries, and Solomon preserved this supremacy. After him it was lost, except perhaps under Jeroboam II. See SYRIA, PADAN-ARAM. The Aramaean language, nearly resembling the Hebrew, gradually supplanted the latter as a spoken language, and was in use in Judea at the time of Christ. It is still used by Syrian Christians around Mosul.
The word means high, or highlands, and as the name of a country denotes that elevated region extending from the northeast of Palestine to the Euphrates. It corresponded generally with the Syria and Mesopotamia of the Greeks and Romans. In Ge 25:20; 31:20,24; De 26:5, the word "Syrian" is properly "Aramean" (R.V., marg.). Damascus became at length the capital of the several smaller kingdoms comprehended under the designation "Aram" or "Syria."
("high table land".)
1. The elevated region from the N. E. of Palestine to the Euphrates and Tigris. Balaam's home (Nu 23:7; De 23:4). Syria, stretching from the Jordan and lake Gennesareth to the Euphrates, rising 2000 feet above the level of the sea. In contrast to Canaan, the lowland bordering on the Mediterranean. In Ge 24:10 (Heb.) Aram Naharaim means "the highland between the two rivers," i.e. Mesopotamia. Padan Aram (from paddah, a plow), "the cultivated highland," is the same as Aram (Ge 31:18). In Shalmaneser's inscriptions, 900-860 B.C. the Hittites (Khatte), under the name Palena, occur as occupying the valley of the Orontes and eastward.
Some identify this name with Padan Aram and Batanaea or Bashan. Many petty kingdoms in David's time formed parts of the whole Aram, Aram Rehob, Aram Zobah, etc. (See ARAM REHOB, ARAM ZOBAH.) Damascus subsequently absorbed these. In Genesis 10 Aram is described as son of Shem; Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, and Aram (arranged in the geographical order from E. to W.) being the four brethren. Aram (Syrian) stands for Assyrian in 2Ki 18:26; Jer 35:11.
2. Son of Kemuel, Abraham's nephew. Ge 22:21.
3. Son of Shamer, of the tribe of Asher. 1Ch 7:34.
5. Place in the land of Gilead, east of the Jordan, which Jair captured. 1Ch 2:23.
This is the name of a large district lying north of Arabia, north-east of Palestine, east of Phoenicia, south of the Taurus range, and west of the Tigris. It is generally supposed that the name points to the district as the 'Highlands,' though it may be from Aram the son of Shem, as above. The word occurs once untranslated in Nu 23:7, as 'Aram' simply, from whence Balaam was brought, 'out of the mountains of the east;' but it is mostly translated Syria or Syrian. Thus we have -
1. ARAM-DAMMESEK, 2Sa 8:5, translated 'Syrians of Damascus,' embracing the highlands of Damascus including the city.
2. ARAM-MAACHAH, 1Ch 19:6, translated 'Syria-maachah,' a district on the east of Argob and Bashan.
5. ARAM-NAHARAIM signifying 'Aram of two rivers,' Ge 24:10; De 23:4; Jg 3:8; 1Ch 19:6, translated 'Mesopotamia.' The two rivers are the Euphrates and the Tigris. The district would be the highlands from whence the rivers issue to the plain, and the district between the two rivers without extending to the far south.
1. The name by which the Hebrews designated, generally, the country lying to the northeast of Palestine; the great mass of that high tableland which, rising with sudden abruptness from the Jordan and the very margin of the Lake of Gennesaret, stretched at an elevation of no less than 2000 feet above the level of the sea, to the banks of the Euphrates itself. Throughout the Authorized Version the word is, with only a very few exceptions, rendered, as in the Vulgate and LXX., SYRIA. Its earliest occurrence in the book of Genesis is in the form of Aram-naharaim, i.e. the "highland of or between the two rivers."
Authorized Version "Mesopotamia." In the later history we meet with a number of small nations or kingdoms forming parts of the general land of Aram; but as Damascus increased in importance it gradually absorbed the smaller powers,
and the name of Aram was at last applied to it alone.
2. Another Aram is named in
as a son of Kemuel and descendant of Nahor.
3. An Asherite, one of the sons of Shamer.
4. Son of Esrom or Hezron, and the Greek form of the Hebrew RAM.
See Ram (2)
Mt 1:3-4; Lu 3:33