(ah' ruh tuhs) GREEK: HARETAS
"virtuous" or "pleasing"

This was the dynastic name of the kings of Arab Nabatea, the region south of Judea whose capital was at Petra. It was Aretas IV, who ruled from 9 B.C. to A.D. 40, to whome Paul referred in describing his escape from "the governor under King Aretas" in Damascus by being "let down in a basket through a window in the wall" (2 Cor. 11:32,33). Since Acts 9:25 places this event soon after Paul's conversion, but Paul's own chronology in Galatians 1:17-21 refers to other visits to Damascus, probable dates for the escape range from A.D. 35 to 39 or 40.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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