Biblical Archaeology Review 9:2, March/April 1983

“And David Sent Spoils … to the Elders in Aroer” (1 Samuel 30:26–28)

Excavators bring to life ancient Negev fortress but find no remains from David’s time

By Avraham Biran

Three sites in the Bible—and perhaps foura—are called Aroer (pronounced Ah-roe-air). We call one Aroer of the Negev. The other two—or three—are east of the Jordan River.

Aroer may mean “crest of a mountain.” This very general description would explain why several sites have this name. Or, Aroer may be derived from the name of the juniper plant, Ar’ar (Juniperus Phoenicia), a common plant in arid zones; this meaning also could give rise to several Aroers.

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