Ezion-geber (ēˈzēŏn-gēˈbər) [key] or Ezion-gaber –gāˈ– [both: Heb., = giant's backbone], ancient port, on the Gulf of Aqaba. The site, near Aqaba, is now some distance from the shore, which is advancing. The Bible reveals the existence of a port there from the reign of Solomon to at least that of Uzziah in the 8th cent. B.C. (Num. 33.35,36; Deut. 2.8; 1 Kings 9.26; 22.48; 2 Chron. 8.17). Excavations were carried out (1938–40) under American auspices. The largest copper refineries ever found to have existed in the ancient world were unearthed at the level of the oldest of the five periods of settlement. Trade relations existed with Phoenicia, Arabia, Egypt, Sinai, and Greece (5th cent. B.C.). Nearby was the ancient port of Elat.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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