From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Smith's Bible Dictionary [1]

Ed'rei. (Stronghold).

1. One of the two capital cities of Bashan, in the territory of Manasseh, east of the Jordan.  Numbers 21:33;  Deuteronomy 1:4;  Deuteronomy 3:10;  Joshua 12:4. In Scripture, it is only mentioned in connection with the victory gained by the Israelites over the Amorites under Og their king, and the territory thus acquired.

The ruins of this ancient city, still bearing the name, Edr'A , stand on a rocky promontory which projects from the southwest corner of the Lejah. The ruins are nearly three miles in circumference, and have a strange, wild, look, rising up in dark, shattered masses from the midst of a wilderness of black rocks.

2. A town of northern Palestine, allotted to the tribe of Naphtali, and situated near Kedesh.  Joshua 19:37. About two miles south of Kedesh is a conical rocky hill called Tell Khuraibeh , the "Tell Of The Ruin", which may be the site of Edrei.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]


1. One of Bashank, two capitals ( Numbers 21:33;  Deuteronomy 1:4;  Deuteronomy 3:10;  Joshua 12:4). Mentioned only in connection with the victory over Og, and the acquisition of the Amorite territory. Allotted to Manasseh ( Numbers 33:33). Its rains, Edra, stand in black masses, stone roofed and doored houses, of massive walls, on a projection of the S.W. angle of the Lejah or Argob. The site is without water, without access except through rocky defiles, strong and secure, one mile and a half wide by two and a half long, about 25 ft. above the fertile plain. It seems to have been the stronghold of the Geshurites subsequently.

2. A town of Naphtali, near Kedesh ( Joshua 19:37). Now Aitherun (Conder).

People's Dictionary of the Bible [3]

Edrei ( Ĕd'Re-I ) Strength, Stronghold. 1. A capital city of Bashan.  Numbers 21:33;  Deuteronomy 1:4;  Deuteronomy 3:1-10;  Joshua 12:4. It was in the territory of Manasseh beyond (east of) Jordan.  Numbers 32:33. It is not noticed in later Bible history, although it was an important city until the seventh century of the Christian era. Its ruins, called DerʾAt, cover a circuit of three miles. Among the ruins are remains of churches, temples, and mosques. The place has now about 500 population. 2. A town of Naphtali.  Joshua 19:37. Porter identifies it with Tel Khuraibeh, near Kedesh; Conder, with Yàter.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

EDREI . 1. A royal city of Og, king of Bashan (  Deuteronomy 1:4;   Deuteronomy 3:10 ,   Joshua 12:4;   Joshua 13:12 ), the scene of the battle at which Og was defeated (  Numbers 21:33 ,   Deuteronomy 3:1 ); assigned to the eastern division of Manasseh (  Joshua 13:31 ). It seems to be the modern ed-Der’a , where are several important remains of antiquity, including a great subterranean catacomb. 2. A town in Naphtali (  Joshua 19:37 ), not identified.

R. A. S. Macalister.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • A town of Naphtali (  Joshua 19:37 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Edrei'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/e/edrei.html. 1897.

  • American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

    One of the capitals of Bashan, near which Og and his forces were destroyed,  Numbers 21:33-35   Deuteronomy 1:4   3:1-3 . It afterwards fell within the limits of Manasseh,  Joshua 13:31 . Its ruins cover a large space; it was a place of some note in the early ages of Christianity and in the era of the crusades. It is now called Draa, and lies about thirty-five miles east of the outlet of the Sea of Galilee.

    Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

    1. One of the chief towns of Bashan, where Og was defeated by the Israelites.  Numbers 21:33-35;  Deuteronomy 1:4;  Deuteronomy 3:1,10;  Joshua 12:4;  Joshua 13:12,31 . It fell to the lot of Manasseh. It is identified with ed Deraah, 33 9' N, 35 20' E .

    Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

     Joshua 12:4 Numbers 21:33-35 Joshua 13:31 2 Joshua 19:37

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

    (Hebrews Edre'i, אֶדְרֶעַי , Mighty; Sept. Ε᾿Δράείν and Ε᾿Δραϊ v Ν ), the name of two cities.

    1. One of the metropolitan towns (Ashtaroth being the other) of the kingdom of Bashan, beyond the Jordan ( Joshua 12:4-5;  Joshua 13:12;  Deuteronomy 3:10). It was here that Og, the gigantic king of Bashan, was defeated by the Israelites, and lost his kingdom ( Numbers 21:33-35;  Deuteronomy 1:4;  Deuteronomy 3:1-3). Edrei afterwards belonged to eastern Manasseh ( Joshua 13:31;  Numbers 32:33). It is probable that Edrei did not remain long in possession of the Israelites. May it not be that they abandoned it in consequence of its position within the borders of a wild region infested by numerous robber bands? The Lejah is the ancient Argob, and appears to have been the stronghold of the Geshurites; and they perhaps subsequently occupied Edrei ( Joshua 12:4-5). It was the seat of a bishop in the early ages of Christianity (Reland, Palaest, page 547), and a bishop of Adraa sat in the Council of Seleucia (A.D. 381) and of Chalcedon (A.D. 451). In A.D. 1142 the Crusaders under Baldwin III made a sudden attack upon Adraa, or Adratum, then popularly called also Civitas Berardi de Stampis, but they encountered such obstacles in the difficult nature of the ground, the scarcity of water, and the valor of the inhabitants, that they were compelled to retreat (Will. Tyr. pages 895, 896, 1031). Abulfeda calls it Adsraat (Tab. Syr. 79).

    There are two ancient towns in Bashan which now claim the honor of being the representatives of Edrei. The one is called Edhra, and is situated on the southwest angle of the rocky district of Lejah, the Argob of the Hebrews, and the Trachonitis of the Greeks. The ruins of Edhra are among the most extensive in Hauran. The site is a strange one. It is a rocky promontory projecting from the Lejah, (See Trachonitis), having an elevation of some thirty feet above the plain, which spreads out beyond it smooth as a sea, and of unrivaled fertility. The ruins are nearly three miles in circuit, and have a strange, wild look, rising up in black shattered masses from the midst of black rocks. A number of the ancient houses still remain, though half buried beneath heaps of more modern ruins. Their walls, roofs, and doors are all of stone; they are low, massive, and simple in plan; and they bear the marks of the most remote antiquity. Some of them are doubtless as old as the time of the Rephaim, and they are thus specimens of primeval architecture such as no other country could produce. At a later period Edhra was adorned with many public edifices, now mostly in ruins. A large church still stands at the northern end of the town. A Greek inscription over the door informs us that it was originally a heathen temple, was converted into a church, and dedicated to St. George in A.D. 516. There are the walls of another church of St. Elias; and in the center of the town a cloistered quadrangle, which appears to have been at first attached to a forum, and afterwards to a cathedral. On the public buildings and private houses are many Greek inscriptions. Some were copied by Burckhardt, and some by Reverend J.L. Porter. At the time of the visit of the latter in 1854 the population amounted to about fifty families, of which some eight or ten were Christian, and the rest Mohammedan. A full account of the history and antiquities of Edrei is given in Porter's Five Years in Damascus, 2:220 sq., and Handbook for Syria and Palestine, page 532 sq.; also in his Giant Cities of Bashan, page 94 sq. See also Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, page 57 sq.; Buckingham's Travels among the Arab Tribes, page 274.

    The other place with which Edrei has been identified is called Dera, and stands in a shallow wady in the open plain of Hauran, about fourteen miles south of Edhra. The following reasons have been assigned in favor of the other site. 1. The name Edrei, which signifies "strength," and the fact that it was the capital of an ancient and warlike nation, naturally lead to the belief that it was a very strong city. Ancient cities were always, when possible, built on the tops of hills, or in rocky fastnesses, so as to be easily defended. Edhra stands on a ridge of jagged rocks, and is so encompassed with cliffs and defiles as to be almost inaccessible. Dera, on the contrary, is in the open plain, and has no traces of old fortifications (G. Robinson, Travels in Palestine, 2:168). It is difficult to believe that the warlike Rephaim would have erected a royal city in such a position. 2. Dera has neither well nor fountain to attract ancient colonists to an un-defended site. Its supply of water was brought by an aqueduct from a great distance (Ritter, Palest. and Syr. 2:834). 3. The ruins of Edhra are more ancient, more important, and much more extensive than those of Dera. The dwellings of Edhra possess all the characteristics of remote antiquity massive walls, stone roofs, stone doors. The monuments now existing seem to show that it must have been an important town from the time the Romans took possession of Bashan; and that it, and not Dera, was the episcopal city of Adraa, which ranked next to Bostra (Reland, Pal. page 219, 223, 548). None of the buildings in the latter seem older than the Roman period (Dr. Smith, in Robinson's Bib. Res. 3, App. page 155, 1st ed.). On the other hand, the identification of Dera and Edrei can be traced back to Eusebius and Jerome, who say that Edrei was then called Adara ( Ἀδαρά ), and was a noted city of Arabia, twenty-four miles from Bostra (Onomast. s.v. Ε᾿Σδραεί , Esdrai). In another place they give the distance at twenty-five miles from Bostra and six from Ashtaroth (ib. s.v. Ἀσταρώθ , Astaroth, where the place in question is called Ἀδράα , Ader). Adara is laid down in the Peutinger Tables as here indicated (Reland, Palaest. p. 547; comp. Ptolemy, 5:17, 7). There can be no doubt that the city thus inferred to is the modern Dera; and the statement of Eusebius is too explicit to be set aside on the supposition that he has confounded the two sites in dispute. Moreover, it is improbable that the boundaries of Manasseh East extended so far as the locality of Edhra. Most modern geographers have therefore concluded that Dera marks the real site of Edrei (Reland, Palaest. page 547; Ritter, Palest. And Syr. 2:834; Burckhardt, Syria, page 241; Buckingham, Arab Tribes, page 168; Schwarz, however, declares for the other position, Palest. page 222).

    2. A fortified town of northern Palestine, allotted to the tribe of Naphtali, and situated near Kedesh and Hazor ( Joshua 19:37). About two miles south of Kedesh is a conical rocky hill called Tell Khuraibeh, the "Tell of the ruin," with some remains of ancient buildings on the summit and a rock-hewn tomb in its side. It is evidently an old site, and it may be that of the long-lost Edrei. The strength of the position, and its nearness to Kedesh, give probability to the supposition. Dr. Robinson (Bibl. Res. 3:365) suggests the identity of Tell Khurmaibeh with Hazor (q.v.). For the objections to this theory, see Porter's Handbook for Syria and Palestine, page 442.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

    ed´rē̇ - ı̄ ( אדרעי , 'edhre‛ı̄  ; Ἐδράειν , Edráein ):

    (1) One of the cities of Og, not far from Ashtaroth, where the power of his kingdom received its deathblow from the invading Israelites ( Joshua 12:4;  Numbers 21:33 , etc.). It seems to mark the western limit of Bashan as against Salecah on the East ( Deuteronomy 3:10 ). It was given to Machir, son of Manasseh ( Joshua 13:31 ). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 24 Roman miles from Bostra. The most probable identification is with Der‛ah , a town of between 4,000 and 5,000 inhabitants, on the southern lip of Wādy Zeideh , about 29 miles as the crow flies East of the Sea of Galilee. It is the center of an exceedingly fruitful district. The accumulated rubbish in the town covers many remains of antiquity. It is, however, chiefly remarkable for the extraordinary subterranean city, as yet only partially explored, cut in the rock under the town. This is certainly very ancient, and was doubtless used by the inhabitants as a refuge in times of stress and peril. For a description see Schumacher, Across the Jordan , 121ff.

    (2) A place not identified, between Kedesh and En-hazor ( Joshua 19:37 ).

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]

    Ed´rei, one of the metropolitan towns (Ashtaroth being the other) of the kingdom of Bashan, beyond the Jordan. It was here that Og, the gigantic king of Bashan, was defeated by the Israelites, and lost his kingdom (;; ). Edrei afterwards belonged to eastern Manasseh . It was the seat of a bishop in the early ages of Christianity. The place now bears the name of Draa, and has been visited in the present century by most of the travelers who have explored the country beyond the Jordan. It is situated in a deep valley, two hours south-east from Mezareib; and the ruins cover an extent of about two miles in circumference, the principal being an immense rectangular building, with a double covered colonnade all around, and a cistern in the middle. This seems to have been originally a Christian church, and afterwards a mosque. Near the town, in the hollow of the mountains, is a large reservoir cased with stone, near which are the ruins of a large building, with a cupola of light materials.