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 but no ruins have been found, so its precise site is a matter of conjecture. According to the Book of Numbers Ezion-Geber was one of the places where the Israelites camped after the Exodus from Egypt.

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.

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)


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