Syria
    Footnotes

    Syria

    Originally known as Aram (or “the highlands”), a general name for the country north and northeast of Palestine. The people were of Semitic origin (Gen. 10:22; 22:21) and were descended from the same stock as the Israelites. (See Aram.) At the beginning of the Hebrew monarchy Syria was divided into a number of small kingdoms, such as Damascus (2 Sam. 8:5–6), Maachah and Geshur (2 Sam. 15:8; 1 Chr. 19:6), Beth-Rehob (2 Sam. 10:6), and Zobah (2 Sam. 10:6, 8). These kingdoms were as a rule rivals of Israel (2 Sam. 8:3–6; 1 Kgs. 11:23–25; 15:18; 20:34; 22; 2 Kgs. 6:24–7:20; 8:28–29; 10:32–33; 21:17–18; 13:3–7, 25; 14:28). As the Assyrian kingdom grew stronger, Syria grew weaker, and Damascus was destroyed (2 Kgs. 16:7–9). Under Seleucus Nicator (312 B.C.) Syria again became a powerful kingdom with Antioch as its capital. Antiochus the Great (223 B.C.) increased its strength, and Palestine became a Syrian province. Then followed the Maccabean rebellion (see Maccabees). In 66 B.C. Syria was conquered by Pompey and became a Roman province; as such it is mentioned in the New Testament in Matt. 4:24; Luke 2:2; Acts 15:41; 18:18; 21:3; Gal. 1:21.