ARETAS (Arab. Hāritha), the Greek form of a name borne by
kings of the Nabataeans resident at Petra in Arabia, (i) A
king in the time of Antiochus IV. Epiphanes (2 Mace. v. 8).
(2) The father-in-law of Herod Antipas (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5. 1, 3),
In 2 Cor. xi. 32 he is described as ruler of Damascus (q.v.) at the
time of Paul’s conversion. Herod Antipas had married a
daughter of Aretas, but afterwards discarded her in favour of
Herodias. This led to a war with Aretas in which Antipas was
An Aretas is mentioned in 1 Macc. xv. 22, but the true
reading is probably Ariarathes (king of Cappadocia). See
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