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ARIOCH

—Biblical Data:
  • 1. King of Ellasar, one of the four kings who invaded Palestine in the days of Abraham (Gen. xiv. 1, 9). The style of the chapter in Genesis is such as to make it probable that the narrative, though embellished, rests on some historical tradition. Midrash Gen. R. xlii. seeks to identify Arioch with Yawan (changed by the censor into Antiochus), and remarks further that coins the name of which bore some resemblance to the name Ellasar were still in circulation. It is now, however, generally held that Arioch, king of Ellasar, is identical with Eri-aku, king of Larsa, found in cuneiform inscriptions, though it should be added that no account of Eri-aku's campaign has as yet been discovered, so that only the identity of the two names can be maintained with certainty. We know that Eri-aku was conquered by Hammurabi, the Amraphel of Gen. xiv. 1, and that he became a vassal to him. The ruins of Larsa cover the site known as Senkereh.Bibliography: Schrader, K. A. T. 2d ed., p. 135, Eng. ed., p. 121: Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition, index, s.v. Eriaku; Jensen, in Z. D. M. G. l. 247 et seq.
  • 2. Captain of Nebuchadnezzar's guard, mentioned in Dan. ii. 14, 15.
  • 3. A king of the Elymeæans (Elamites) in alliance with Nebuchadnezzar (Judith i. 6).
J. Jr. G. B. L.—In Rabbinical Literature:

In Arioch of Ellasar the Midrash finds an indication of the fate of the Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes [Arioch being construed as Antioch(us)] (Gen. R. xlii. 4). In the other Arioch, "the captain of the king's guard" (Dan. ii. 14), the Rabbis recognize Nebuzaradan, who was given this name because he roared like a lion () against the captured Jews (Lam. R. v. 5;the reason for the identification is found in II Kings xxv. 8, which offers a parallel to Dan. ii. 14). It may be mentioned that the amora Samuel is often called by the name of Arioch (Shab. 53a, and elsewhere), which, however, is derived from the Old Persian arjak ("ruler").

J. Sr. L. G.
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