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CARAVAN - kar'-a-van, kar-a-van' ('orach): This word is not found in the King James Version, but the Revised Version (British and American) employs it three times, namely, in Job 6:18,19 ('orchoth), where the King James Version renders "paths" (Job 6:18) and "troops" (Job 6:19); in Isa 21:13 ('orechoth), where the King James Version and English Versions of the Bible give "travelling companies," and in Ezek 27:25 (sharoth), where the King James Version gives a totally different translation. The Hebrew text in Ezekiel is dubious, but in Isaiah and Job "caravan" is undoubtedly a correct rendering of the Hebrew (compare also Gen 37:25). The inhabitants of Palestine were familiar with the caravans--the goods trains of the Semitic world--which traveled between BabyIon and Syria on the one hand to Arabia and on the other to Egypt. The main routes between these countries passed through Canaan. Isaiah refers to "caravans of Jedanites"--a trading Arabic tribe who conveyed their wares to Babylon. Job compares his would-be friends to a deceitful brook, full in the rainy season, but dry in summer, which entices caravans to turn aside from the main route in the hope of a plentiful supply of water, but which fails the thirsty travelers when they need it most.

T. Lewis

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