Ezion-Geber or Asiongaber (Classical Hebrew: עֶצְיֹן גֶּבֶר, pronounced "Etzyón-Gaver") was a city of Idumea, a biblical seaport on the northern extremity of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the area of modern Aqaba and Eilat.

Biblical references

Ezion-Geber is mentioned six times in the Tanach[1] Ruins at Tell el-Kheleifeh were identified with Ezion-Geber by the German explorer F. Frank and later excavavated by Nelson Glueck who thought he had confirmed the identification, but a later re-evaluation dates them to a period between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE with occupation continuing possibly into the 4th century BCE.[2] According to the Book of Numbers Ezion-Geber was one of the first places where the Israelites camped after the Exodus from Egypt.[3]

The ships of Solomon and Hiram started from this port on their voyage to Ophir. It was the main port for Israel's commerce with the countries bordering on the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. According to Book of II Chronicles, Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, joined with Ochozias, the King of Israel, to make ships in Asiongaber; but God disapproved the alliance, and the ships were broken in the port.[4]

In I Kings 9:26-29 (King James Version) says:

And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.
And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.
And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.

"Ezion Geber" resembles "the giant's backbone", perhaps named after a rock formation, but according to the Targum Jonathan, it means city of the rooster. (כְּרַך תַּרְנְגוֹלָא)


  1. (Numbers, xxxiii, 35; Deut., ii, 8; III K. (Vulgate), ix, 26; xxii, 49; II Par. (Chron.), viii, 17; xx, 36. The general site of Asiongaber is indicated in III K., ix, 26 (I K.)
  2. Pratico, Gary D. "Nelson Glueck's 1938-1940 Excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh: A Reappraisal" Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 259 (Summer, 1985), pp.1-32
  3. (Numbers 33:35)
  4. 2 Chronicles 20:37)

Coordinates: 29°33′16″N 34°58′03″E / 29.55435°N 34.96742°E / 29.55435; 34.96742

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Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Ezion-Geber (Conventional theories). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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