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Og

The meaning of «og»

Og (Hebrew: עוֹג‎, romanized: ʿŌg [ʕoɡ]; Arabic: عوج‎, romanized: ʿŪj [ʕuːdʒ]; Ancient Greek: Ωγ, romanized: Ōg) according to the Hebrew Bible and other sources, was an Amorite king of Bashan who was slain along with his army by Moses and his men at the battle of Edrei. In Arabic literature he is referred to as ʿŪj ibn ʿAnāq (عوج بن عنق).

Og is introduced in the Book of Numbers. Like his neighbor Sihon of Heshbon, whom Moses had previously conquered at the battle of Jahaz, he was an Amorite king, the ruler of Bashan, which contained sixty walled cities and many unwalled towns, with his capital at Ashtaroth (probably modern Tell Ashareh, where there still exists a 70-foot (20 m) mound).

The Book of Numbers, Chapter 21, and Deuteronomy, Chapter 3, continues:

Next we turned and headed for the land of Bashan, where King Og and his entire army attacked us at Edrei. But the Lord told me, "Do not be afraid of him, for I have given you victory over Og and his entire army, and I will give you all his land. Treat him just as you treated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon."

So the Lord our God handed King Og and all his people over to us, and we killed them all. Not a single person survived. We conquered all sixty of his towns—the entire Argob region in his kingdom of Bashan. Not a single town escaped our conquest. These towns were all fortified with high walls and barred gates. We also took many unwalled villages at the same time. We completely destroyed the kingdom of Bashan, just as we had destroyed King Sihon of Heshbon. We destroyed all the people in every town we conquered—men, women, and children alike. But we kept all the livestock for ourselves and took plunder from all the towns.

So we took the land of the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River—all the way from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon. (Mount Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians, and the Amorites call it Senir.) We had now conquered all the cities on the plateau and all Gilead and Bashan, as far as the towns of Salecah and Edrei, which were part of Og's kingdom in Bashan. (King Og of Bashan was the last survivor of the giant Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It can still be seen in the Ammonite city of Rabbah.)

Og's destruction is told in Psalms 135:11 and 136:20 as one of many great victories for the nation of Israel, and the Book of Amos 2:9 may refer to Og as "the Amorite" whose height was like the height of the cedars and whose strength was like that of the oaks. He was the only giant left on earth after all the giants in the Bible had been killed. His stature made him sleep on an iron bed, which was about 9 cubits in length.

In Deuteronomy 3:11, and later in the book of Numbers and Joshua, Og is called the last of the Rephaim. Rephaim is a Hebrew word for giants. Deuteronomy 3:11 declares that his "bedstead" (translated in some texts as "sarcophagus") of iron is "nine cubits in length and four cubits in width", which is 13.5 by 6 feet (4.1 by 1.8 m) according to the standard cubit of a man. It goes on to say that at the royal city of Rabbah of the Ammonites, his giant bedstead could still be seen as a novelty at the time the narrative was written. If the giant king's bedstead was built in proportion to his size as most beds are, he may have been between 9 and 13 feet (2.7 and 4.0 m) in height. However, later Rabbinic tradition has it, that the length of his bedstead was measured with the cubits of Og himself.

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