Country east of the Jordan river


Bashan is a region east of the Jordan River, notable in biblical history and mentioned briefly in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon reference to Bashan occurs in a prophetic context, where Nephi quotes the words of Isaiah, stating, “Yea, and the day of the Lord shall come upon all the cedars of Lebanon, for they are high and lifted up; and upon all the oaks of Bashan” (2 Nephi 12:13), symbolically referring to the pride and loftiness of the wicked that will be brought low at the time of the Lord’s coming.

In ancient times, Bashan was known for its fertile lands and its large and strong oaks. It was originally the kingdom of Og, which came to prominence with its defeat and integration into the territories of Israel as assigned to the half-tribe of Manasseh. Bashan’s boundaries were not explicitly defined in the Book of Mormon, but its description in other historical accounts suggests that it encompassed an area from southern Gilead to Mount Hermon in the north and from the Jordan River to the east towards Salcah. Rich in cities and known for its lush woodlands and formidable agricultural produce, particularly wheat, Bashan contributed to the image of a bountiful and prosperous land.

Throughout its history, Bashan experienced various changes in control, being part of the Assyrian empire, the Nabatean domain, and territories under the rule of Herod the Great, Philip, and Agrippa II. Despite the paucity of details about Bashan in the Book of Mormon, the reference serves to illustrate the prophetic pronouncements concerning the last days and the humbling of all people before the Lord.


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