(Bozʹrah) [fortified place].
1. A prominent city of Edom, the home of the father of Jobab, an Edomite king in the second millennium B.C.E. (Gen. 36:31, 33; 1 Chron. 1:44) Its prominence is evident from the fact that the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Amos under inspiration referred to it as representative of all Edom, due for desolation.—Isa. 34:5, 6; 63:1-4; Jer. 49:12, 13, 17, 22; Amos 1:11, 12.
Bozrah’s name indicates it to have been a fortress city. It is identified with modern Buseira, about twenty-four miles (39 kilometers) SE of the southern extremity of the Dead Sea, and situated on the main road to Petra. It thus occupied a fairly central position in the Edomite kingdom and guarded the approaches to the copper mines in the Arabah. The ancient ruins at Buseira show Bozrah to have been a strongly fortified city built on a narrow spur jutting out from the Jebel esh-Sheraʼ with deep wadis on either side so that its position was nearly impregnable.
The rendering of Micah 2:12 in the Authorized Version contains the name “Bozrah” but most modern translations view this as referring, not to a town, but an enclosure or “pen” for sheep.
2. In prophesying against Moab, Jeremiah 48:24 refers to Bozrah as among cities “of the land of Moab.” It is included among other cities of the tableland or “land of level country [Heb., mi·shorʹ]” (vs. 21), and the use of this same Hebrew word in connection with Bezer (Deut. 4:43) causes some scholars to view them as likely the same place. Since Jeremiah’s prophesying took place about a century after the fall of the northern kingdom, this would allow for Moab’s expansion northward to take in the cities previously held by Reuben. Others would identify this Bozrah with Bosora in the Hauran, but this site seems too far to the N and too removed from the other cities mentioned to fit the description.—See BEZER No. 2.