1. A strong city of Moab; called also Kir-hareseth, Kir-haresh, and Kir-heres, Isa 15:1; 16:7,11; Jer 48:31. It was once nearly destroyed by Joram king of Israel, 2Ki 3:25. It is now called Kerak, and is a town of three hundred families, on a steep hill at the head of a ravine running up fifteen miles into the mountains of Moab. Three-fourths of its present inhabitants are nominal Christians, greatly oppressed by the Mohammedan Arabs around them.
2. A region to which Tiglath-pileser transported the captive people of Damascus, 2Ki 16:9; believed to have been in the vicinity of the river Kur or Cyrus, on the northeast of Armenia. The Kur flows southeast, unites with the Araxes, and empties into the Caspian Sea.
a wall or fortress, a place to which Tiglath-pileser carried the Syrians captive after he had taken the city of Damascus (2Ki 16:9; Am 1:5; 9:7). Isaiah (Isa 22:6), who also was contemporary with these events, mentions it along with Elam. Some have supposed that Kir is a variant of Cush (Susiana), on the south of Elam.
A wall, or "place fortified with a wall".)
1. An Armenian region subject to Assyria, Kurgistan or Georgia between the Black and Caspian seas (Isa 22:6). The river Kur (Cyrus) in it falls into the Caspian Sea. From Kir the Syrians migrated originally; and to it they were removed from Damascus by Tiglath Pileser (2Ki 16:9). Esarhaddon had subdued Armenia (according to Assyrian inscriptions: Rawlinson, Herodotos i. 481), warring with it as the harbourer of his father Sennacherib's two parricidal murderers (Am 1:5; 9:7). Keil thinks Kir to be Kurena along the river Mardus in Media, or else Karine a town in Media, on the ground that the remote parts of Armenia were beyond the Assyrian empire (2Ki 19:37); but Esarhaddon subdued it. The Septuagint,Vulgate, and Targum rendering "Cyrene" favor Keil.
2. KIR HARESH, HERES, HARESETH, HARASETH, or of MOAB. From harith "a hill" Arabic), or heres "baked clay," namely, the walls being of brick (?). Moab's two strongholds were Ar (mother) of Moab, the metropolis, and Kit of Moab (2Ki 3:25) on the most elevated hill in the country (Isa 16:7,11; 15:1; 2Ki 3:25; Jer 48:31,36). Here the Moabite king made his last stand against confederate Israel, Judah, and Edom, (See DIBON.) Here he sacrificed his son and so created "indignation against Israel," because they had reduced him to such an awful extremity; the Israelites' own superstitious fears were excited and they withdrew from the expedition; then followed Mesha's victorious campaign recorded on the Dibon stone.
Now Kerak, capital of Moat, on the top of a hill 3,000 feet above the Dead Sea, surrounded on all sides by deep ravines, and these by hills from whence the Israelite slingers hurled when they could not take the place; entered by a tunnel through the solid rock for 100 feet distance; a deep. rock hewn moat separates the massive citadel from the town. Kiriah is the archaic term; Ir and Ar the more recent terms for a city. Kereth the Phoenician form appears in Carthage, Cirta. In the Bible we have Kerioth (i.e. "the cities"), Kartah, Kartan (Jos 21:32; 15:25; Jer 48:23-24,41; Am 2:2).
An unidentified place, subject in the 8th and 7th cents. to Assyria. Amos (Am 1:5), according to the present Hebrew text, predicted that the Aram
A country from which the Syrians had come, and to which they were carried from Damascus by the Assyrians. 2Ki 16:9; Isa 22:6; Am 1:5; 9:7. Being associated with Elam in Isaiah it is supposed to be in Lower Mesopotamia.
(fortress) is mentioned by Amos,
as the land from which the Syrians (Aramaeans) were once "brought up;" i.e. apparently as the country where they had dwelt before migrating to the region north of Palestine. (A difference of opinion exists in regard to the position of Kir, since some suppose it to be identical with Carma, a city of Media, in the south, on the river Mardus; others place it in Armenia, on the river Kar. --ED.)