Jews and Joes

Where is "Arzareth" (2 Esdras 13)?

There are many views and opinions on the location of "Arsareth". As more evidence is accumalated and as time permits, more possibilities will be described here.

The mystery of the location of Arsareth stems from the Apocryphal book of II Esdras (otherwise known as 4 Esdras and/or 3 Esdras).

II Esdras 13 says:
[39] And whereas thou sawest that he gathered another peaceable multitude unto him;
[40] Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land.
[41] But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt,
[42] That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land.
[43] And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river.
[44] For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over.
[45] For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth.
[46] Then dwelt they there until the latter time; and now when they shall begin to come,
[47] The Highest shall stay the springs of the stream again, that they may go through: therefore sawest thou the multitude with peace.
[48] But those that be left behind of thy people are they that are found within my borders.
[49] Now when he destroyeth the multitude of the nations that are gathered together, he shall defend his people that remain.
[50] And then shall he shew them great wonders.
  • Transliterated variants: Arsareth, Arzareth, Artzareth, Arserath, Arseret, Arsiret
  • Similar to "Armageddon" or "Har-Meggido" (Hebrew: Mount-Meggido), "Arzareth" or "Har-zareth" may mean "Mount Zareth". Or "valley of Mount Zareth".
  • Ar-sareth: "Ar" means "River" in Chaldean, which is why some have speculated that the place may be linked to a river by the name "Sareth". One such river near the boarder of Romania and the Ukraine, which was also the southwest board of ancient Scythia, has been identified as a possibility. It is often transliterated into English as Siret, Sereth, or Sareth. Below is a map of the Romanian region. You'll see the river "Siret" flowing into the "Dunare" (Danube) and then into the Black Sea to the east.

River Sareth

  • Because II Esdras 13:41,45 mentions a journey taking a year and a half and resulting in a land never before inhabited by man, Arsareth is believed by some to be Ancient Japan (see Moshiach) and/or the Americas.