Easton's Bible Dictionary
The plain of Aram, or the plain of the highlands, ( Genesis
25:20 ; 28:2 , 28:5 - 7 ; 31:18 , etc.), commonly regarded as the district of
Mesopotamia (q.v.) lying around Haran.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
cultivated field or table-land
Smith's Bible Dictionary
By this name, which signifies the table-land of Aram,
i.e. Syriac, the Hebrews designated the tract of country which they otherwise
called the Aram-naharaim, "Aram of the two of rivers," the Greek Mesopotamia,
( Genesis 24:10 ) and "the field (Authorized Version,country) of Syria." ( Hosea
12:13 ) The term was perhaps more especially applied to that portion which bordered
on the Euphrates, to distinguish if from the mountainous districts in the north
and northeast of Mesopotamia. It is elsewhere called PADAN simply. ( Genesis 48:7
) Abraham obtained a wife for Isaac from Padan-aram. ( Genesis 25:20 ) Jacobs
wives were also from Padan-aram, ( Genesis 28:2 , 28:5 , 28:6 , 28:7 ; 31:1 -
8 ; 33:18 )
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
pad'-an-a'-ram or p.-ar'-am (paddan 'aram; Septuagint
Mesopotamia tes Surias; the King James Version Padan-aram):
In Genesis 48:7, Paddan stands alone, but as the Septuagint, Sam, and Peshitta
read "Aram" also, it must in this verse have dropped out of the Massoretic Text.
In the time of Abraham, padanu occurs on the Babylonian contract-tablets as a
land measure, to which we may compare the Arabic feddan or "ox-gang." In the Assyrian
syllabaries it is the equivalent of iklu, "a field," so that Paddan-aram would
mean "the field of Aram," and with this we may compare Hosea 12:12 (Hebrew 12:13)
and the use of the Hebrew sadheh in connection with Moab and Edom (Judges 5:4
; Ruth 1:6). Furthermore, ['padanu] and harranu are given as synonyms with the
meaning of "road."
Paddan-aram occurs only in the Priestly Code (P), but it corresponds to the "Haran"
of the older documents. The versions agree in translating both as Mesopotamia,
and identify with the home of the patriarchs and the scene of Jacob's exile the
district of Haran to the East of the Upper Euphrates valley. More in harmony with
the length of Jacob's flight, as indicated by the time given (Genesis 31:22 ,
23), is Harran-el-'Awamid, an ancient site 10 miles to the East of Damascus, which
satisfies all the demands of history.
W .M. Christie
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