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Moab ''Mōáb'';
Assyrian
Assyrian
: 𒈬𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Mu'aba'', 𒈠𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Ma'ba'', 𒈠𒀪𒀊 ''Ma'ab'';
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
: 𓈗𓇋𓃀𓅱𓈉 ''Mū'ībū'', name=, group= () is the name of an ancient Levantine kingdom whose territory is today located in the modern state of
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It in ...

Jordan
. The land is mountainous and lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the
Dead Sea The Dead Sea ( he, יָם הַמֶּלַח lit. Sea of Salt; ar, البحر الميت , lit. ''the Dead Sea'',The first article ''al-'' is unnecessary and usually not used. or Buhayrat, Bahret or Birket Lut, ''lit.'' "Lake/Sea of Lot") is a s ...

Dead Sea
. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archaeological findings, most notably the
Mesha Stele The Mesha Stele, also known as the Moabite Stone, is a stele dated around 840 BCE containing a significant Canaanite and Aramaic inscriptions, Canaanite inscription in the name of King Mesha of Moab (a kingdom located in modern Jordan). Mesha tel ...
, which describes the Moabite victory over an unnamed son of
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

King
Omri Omri ( he, עָמְרִי, ''‘Omrī''; fl. 9th century BC) was the sixth Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), king of Israel. He was a successful military campaigner who extended the northern kingdom of Israel. Other monarchs from the House of Omri are A ...
of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...
, an episode also noted in 2 Kings . The Moabite capital was
Dibon Dhiban, (Arabic language, Arabic: ''Ḏiʾbān'') known to the Moab, Moabites as Dibon (Moabite language, Moabite: *; Hebrew language, Hebrew: ''Dīḇōn''), is a Jordanian town located in Madaba Governorate, approximately 70 kilometres south ...
. According to the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, with a f ...

Hebrew Bible
, Moab was often in conflict with its
Israelite The Israelites (; he, בני ישראל ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israe ...

Israelite
neighbours to the west.


Etymology

The etymology of the word Moab is uncertain. The earliest gloss is found in the
Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible and deuterocanonical books. The ...
() which explains the name, in obvious allusion to the account of Moab's parentage, as ἐκ τοῦ πατρός μου ("from my father"). Other etymologies which have been proposed regard it as a corruption of "seed of a father", or as a participial form from "to desire", thus connoting "the desirable (land)".
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see below), was a medieval French rabbi A rabbi is a spi ...
explains the word ''Mo'ab'' to mean "from the father", since ''ab'' in Hebrew and Arabic and the rest of the Semitic languages means "father". He writes that as a result of the immodesty of Moab's name, God did not command the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
to refrain from inflicting pain upon the Moabites in the manner in which he did with regard to the
Ammonites Ammonoids are a group of extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Li ...
.
Fritz Hommel Fritz Hommel (31 July 1854 – 17 April 1936) was a German Orientalist. Biography Hommel was born in Ansbach 280px, Ansbach in the 17th century Ansbach (; ) is a city in the Germany, German state of Bavaria. It is the capital of the Regierun ...
regards ''Moab'' as an abbreviation of ''Immo-ab''="his mother is his father". According to , the
ancestor An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring In biology, offspring are the young born of living organism, organisms, produced either by a single organism or, in the ...

ancestor
of the Moabites was
Lot Lot or LOT may refer to: Common meanings Areas *Land lot, an area of land *Parking lot, for automobiles *Backlot, in movie production Sets of items *Lot number, in batch production *Lot, a set of goods for sale together in an auction; or a quantit ...
by
incest Incest ( ) is between family members or close . This typically includes sexual activity between people in (blood relations), and sometimes those related by ( or ), adoption, or . The is one of the most widespread of all cultural s, both in ...
with his eldest daughter. She and her sister, having lost their fiancés and their mother in the destruction of
Sodom and Gomorrah Sodom and Gomorrah () were two legendary biblical cities destroyed by God for their wickedness. Their story parallels the Genesis flood narrative The Genesis flood narrative is the flood myth found in chapters 6–9 of the Book of Genesis in ...
, decided to continue their father's line through intercourse with their father. The elder got him drunk to facilitate the deed and conceived Moab. The younger daughter did the same and conceived a son named
Ben-Ammi Ammon (Ammonite *Belemnoidea—an extinct group of . {{fossil cephalopods, state=collapsed Prehistoric cephalopods by classification Coleoidea ...: 𐤏𐤌𐤍 ''ʻAmān''; he, עַמּוֹן ''ʻAmmōn''; ar, عمّون, ʻAmmūn ...
, who became ancestor to the
Ammon Ammon (Ammonite language, Ammonite: 𐤏𐤌𐤍 ''ʻAmān''; he, עַמּוֹן ''ʻAmmōn''; ar, عمّون, ʻAmmūn) was an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torrent ...

Ammon
ites. According to the Book of Jasher (24,24), Moab had four sons—Ed, Mayon, Tarsus and Kanvil—and his wife, whose name is not given, is apparently from Canaan.


Geography


Topography

Moab was located on a
plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the proces ...

plateau
about above the level of the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
, or above the
Dead Sea The Dead Sea ( he, יָם הַמֶּלַח lit. Sea of Salt; ar, البحر الميت , lit. ''the Dead Sea'',The first article ''al-'' is unnecessary and usually not used. or Buhayrat, Bahret or Birket Lut, ''lit.'' "Lake/Sea of Lot") is a s ...

Dead Sea
, rising gradually from north to south. In the north are a number of long, deep
ravine A ravine is a landform that is narrower than a canyon and is often the product of streambank erosion.
s, and
Mount Nebo Mount Nebo ( ar, جَبَل نِيبُو, Jabal Nībū; he, הַר נְבוֹ, Har Nevo) is an elevated ridge A ridge or a mountain ridge is a geographical feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elev ...
, famous as the scene of the death of
Moses Moses he, מֹשֶׁה, ''Mōše''; also known as Moshe Rabbenu ( he, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ "Moshe our Teacher"); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, ''Mūše''; ar, موسى '; el, Mωϋσῆς, ' () is considered the most important prophet in Judais ...

Moses
(
Deuteronomy The Book of Deuteronomy (literally "second law" from Greek ''deuteros'' + ''nomos'') is the fifth book of the Jewish , where it is called ''Devarim'' ( he, דְּבָרִים), "the words f Moses F, or f, is the sixth Letter (alphabet), let ...
).


Boundaries in the Hebrew Bible

In the boundaries are given as being marked by Beth-jeshimoth (north), Baal-meon (east), and Kiriathaim (south). That these limits were not fixed, however, is plain from the lists of cities given in and
Jeremiah Jeremiah, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human acti ...

Jeremiah
, where
Heshbon Heshbon (also Hesebon, Esebon, Esbous, Esebus; ar, حشبون, links=no, la, Esebus, links=no, he, חשבון, links=no, grc, Ἐσεβών, Ἐσσεβών, Ἐσβούτα, Ἐσβούς, Ἔσβους, Ἔξβους, links=no) were at least ...

Heshbon
, Elealeh, and
JazerJazer (or Jaazer) was a city east of the Jordan River ) , name_native_lang = , name_other = , name_etymology = Hebrew: ירדן (yardén, ''“descender”''), from ירד (yarad, ''“descended”'') , image = 201 ...
are mentioned to the north of Beth-jeshimoth;
Madaba Madaba ( ar, مادبا; Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic ...

Madaba
, Beth-gamul, and Mephaath to the east of Baalmeon; and
Dibon Dhiban, (Arabic language, Arabic: ''Ḏiʾbān'') known to the Moab, Moabites as Dibon (Moabite language, Moabite: *; Hebrew language, Hebrew: ''Dīḇōn''), is a Jordanian town located in Madaba Governorate, approximately 70 kilometres south ...
,
AroerAroer ( he, עֲרוֹעֵר, עֲרֹעֵר) is a biblical town on the north bank of the River Arnon to the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North ...
,
Bezer Bezer was a Levitical city In the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblica ...
,
Jahaz A Abana Abana, according to , was one of the "rivers of Damascus", along with the Pharpar, Pharpar river. Abdon Abdon was a Levitical city in Tribe of Asher, Asher allocated to the Gershonites according to and . Abel-Shittim Abel-Shittim, the ...
, and Kirhareseth to the south of Kiriathaim. The principal rivers of Moab mentioned in the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
are the Arnon, the Dimon or Dibon, and the Nimrim. The territory occupied by Moab at the period of its greatest extent, before the invasion of the
Amorites The Amorites (; Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''Th ...

Amorites
, divided itself naturally into three distinct and independent portions: the enclosed corner or canton south of the Arnon, referred to in the Bible as "field of Moab" ( Ruth ). The more open rolling country north of the Arnon, opposite
Jericho Jericho ( ; ar, أريحا ' ; he, יְרִיחוֹ ') is a city in the . It is located in the , with the to the east and to the west. It is the administrative seat of the and is governed by the . In 2007, it had a population of 18,346. ...

Jericho
and up to the hills of
Gilead Gilead or Gilad (; he, גִּלְעָד ''Gīləʿāḏ'', ar, جلعاد, Ǧalʻād, Jalaad) is the ancient, historic, biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religio ...

Gilead
, called the "land of Moab" (
Deuteronomy The Book of Deuteronomy (literally "second law" from Greek ''deuteros'' + ''nomos'') is the fifth book of the Jewish , where it is called ''Devarim'' ( he, דְּבָרִים), "the words f Moses F, or f, is the sixth Letter (alphabet), let ...
) and the district below
sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloquial, ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of a list of numbers, usually the sum of the numbers divided by how many numbers are in th ...

sea level
in the tropical depths of the
Jordan valley The Jordan Valley ( ar, غور الأردن, ''Ghor al-Urdun''; he, עֵמֶק הַיַרְדֵּן, ''Emek HaYarden'') forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. Unlike most other river valleys, the term "Jordan Valley" often applies just to ...
(
Numbers A number is a mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or could be) formally defined, and with which one may do deduc ...
).


Soil and vegetation

The
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
hills which form the almost treeless plateau are generally steep but fertile. In the spring they are covered with
grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain ...
and the table-land itself produces
grain A grain is a small, hard, dry seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double albu ...

grain
. The rainfall is fairly plentiful and the climate, despite the hot summer, is cooler than the area west of the
Jordan river ) , name_native_lang = , name_other = , name_etymology = Hebrew: ירדן (yardén, ''“descender”''), from ירד (yarad, ''“descended”'') , image = 20100923 mer morte13.JPG , image_size = , ima ...

Jordan river
, snow falling frequently in winter and in spring.


Ancient vestiges and current population

The plateau is dotted with hundreds of
dolmen A dolmen () is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb A megalith is a large pre-historic stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. There are over 35,000 in Europe alone, l ...

dolmen
s, menhirs, and stone circles, and contains many ruined villages, mostly of the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman
and
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
periods. It contains the city of
al-Karak Al-Karak ( ar, الكرك), known in the Kingdom of Jerusalem The Kingdom of Jerusalem ( la, Regnum Hierosolymitanum; fro, Roiaume de Jherusalem; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a br ...
whose modern inhabitants consider themselves as descendants of Moabites.


History


Bronze Age

Despite a scarcity of archaeological evidence, the existence of the Kingdom of Moab prior to the rise of the Israelite state has been deduced from a colossal statue erected at
Luxor Luxor (; ar, الأقصر ', , Upper Egyptian pronunciation: ; Sahidic ''Pape'', ) is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bord ...

Luxor
by pharaoh
Ramesses II Ramesses II ( egy, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state ...
, in the 13th century BCE, which lists ''Mu'ab'' among a series of nations conquered during a campaign.. The early inhabitants likely came from the Arabian peninsula immigrating due to the lack of water emphasised by a drought.


Iron Age

In the
Nimrud Nimrud (; syr, ܢܢܡܪܕ ar, النمرود) is an ancient Assyrian city located south of the city of Mosul, and south of the village of Selamiyah ( ar, السلامية), in the Nineveh plains in Upper Mesopotamia. It was a major Assyri ...
clay inscription of
Tiglath-pileser III Tiglath-Pileser III (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviation_of_logotype,_from__el.html" ;"title="Chiswick_ ...
(r. 745–727 BCE), the Moabite king Salmanu (perhaps the Shalman who sacked Beth-arbel in
Hosea In the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are almost exclusively in , with a few passages in (in the books of and , the verse 10:11, and some sin ...

Hosea
) is mentioned as tributary to
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
.
Sargon II Sargon II (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviation_of_logotype,_from__el.html" ;"title="Chiswick_Press_.ht ...
mentions on a clay prism a revolt against him by Moab together with
Philistia Philistia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek langua ...
, Judah, and Edom; but on the
Taylor prism Sennacherib's Annals are the annals of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. They are found inscribed on a number of artifacts, and the final versions were found in three clay prisms inscribed with the same text: the Taylor Prism is in the British Museum ...
, which recounts the expedition against
Hezekiah Hezekiah (; he, חִזְקִיָּהוּ ''H̱īzəqīyyahū''), or Ezekias, ''Ḥazaqia'ú'' 'ḫa-za-qi-a-ú'' el, Ἐζεκίας Septuagint">/nowiki>Septuagint:_Εζεζία.html" ;"title="Septuagint.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Septuagint"> ...

Hezekiah
, Kammusu-Nadbi ( Chemosh-nadab), King of Moab, brings tribute to Sargon as his suzerain. Another Moabite king, Mutzuri ("the Egyptian"?), is mentioned as one of the subject princes at the courts of
Esarhaddon Esarhaddon, also spelled Essarhaddon, Assarhaddon and Ashurhaddon (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviatio ...

Esarhaddon
and
Assurbanipal Ashurbanipal, also spelled Assurbanipal, Asshurbanipal and Asurbanipal (Neo-Assyrian language, Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: , ''Aššur-bāni-apli'' or ''Aššur-bāni-habal'', meaning "Ashur (god), Ashur has given a son-heir") was the king of the Neo- ...

Assurbanipal
, while Kaasḥalta, possibly his successor, is named on cylinder B of Assurbanipal. Sometime during the
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

Persian
period Moab disappears from the extant historical record. Its territory was subsequently overrun by waves of tribes from northern
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...

Arabia
, including the Kedarites and (later) the
Nabataeans The Nabataeans, also Nabateans (; Nabataean Aramaic Nabataean Aramaic was the Western Aramaic The Western Aramaic languages represent a specific group of Aramaic languages, once spoken widely throughout the ancient Levant The Levant ( ...
. In the
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...

Arabs
are mentioned instead of the Moabites as the allies of the Ammonites.


Crusader period

When the
Crusaders The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
occupied the area, the castle they built to defend the eastern part of the
Kingdom of Jerusalem The Kingdom of Jerusalem ( la, Regnum Hierosolymitanum; fro, Roiaume de Jherusalem; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middl ...
was called
Kerak Castle Kerak Castle ( ar, قلعة الكرك, Qal'at al-Karak) is a large Crusader castle This is a list of castles in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean and Middle East, founded or occupied during the Crusades. For crusader castles in Polan ...

Kerak Castle
.


19th-century travellers

Early modern travellers in the region included
Ulrich Jasper Seetzen Ulrich Jasper Seetzen (January 30, 1767September 1811) was a German explorer of Arabia and Palestine from Jever, German Frisia Frisia (, ; ; ) is a cultural region in Germany and the Netherlands, along the southeastern corner of the North Sea. ...

Ulrich Jasper Seetzen
(1805),
Johann Ludwig Burckhardt Johann Ludwig (also known as John Lewis, Jean Louis) Burckhardt (24 November 1784 – 15 October 1817) was a Swiss traveller, geographer and orientalist. Burckhardt assumed the moniker ''Sheikh Ibrahim Ibn Abdallah'' during his travels in Arabia ...

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
(1812), Charles Leonard Irby and James Mangles (1818), and
Louis Félicien de Saulcy Image:Schultz C. - Louis Félicien Joseph Caignart de Saulcy.jpg, 250px, Louis Félicien Joseph Caignart de Saulcy Louis Félicien Joseph Caignart de Saulcy (19 March 1807 – 4 November 1880), better known as simply Félicien or Félix de Saulcy, w ...
(1851).


Biblical narratives

According to the biblical account, Moab and
Ammon Ammon (Ammonite language, Ammonite: 𐤏𐤌𐤍 ''ʻAmān''; he, עַמּוֹן ''ʻAmmōn''; ar, عمّون, ʻAmmūn) was an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torrent ...

Ammon
were born to
Lot Lot or LOT may refer to: Common meanings Areas *Land lot, an area of land *Parking lot, for automobiles *Backlot, in movie production Sets of items *Lot number, in batch production *Lot, a set of goods for sale together in an auction; or a quantit ...
and Lot's elder and younger daughters, respectively, in the aftermath of the destruction of
Sodom and Gomorrah Sodom and Gomorrah () were two legendary biblical cities destroyed by God for their wickedness. Their story parallels the Genesis flood narrative The Genesis flood narrative is the flood myth found in chapters 6–9 of the Book of Genesis in ...
. The Bible refers to both the Moabites and Ammonites as Lot's sons, born of incest with his daughters (). The Moabites first inhabited the rich highlands at the eastern side of the chasm of the Dead Sea, extending as far as
Wadi Mujib Wadi Mujib ( ar, وادي الموجب, ''Wadi el-Mujib'', Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as ...

Wadi Mujib
to Wadi Hasa, from which country they expelled the Emim, the original inhabitants (
Deuteronomy The Book of Deuteronomy (literally "second law" from Greek ''deuteros'' + ''nomos'') is the fifth book of the Jewish , where it is called ''Devarim'' ( he, דְּבָרִים), "the words f Moses F, or f, is the sixth Letter (alphabet), let ...
), but they themselves were afterward driven southward by warlike tribes of
Amorites The Amorites (; Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''Th ...

Amorites
, who had crossed the
river Jordan ) , name_native_lang = , name_other = , name_etymology = Hebrew: ירדן (yardén, ''“descender”''), from ירד (yarad, ''“descended”'') , image = 20100923 mer morte13.JPG , image_size = , ima ...

river Jordan
. These Amorites, described in the Bible as being ruled by King
Sihon Sihon was an Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were a ...
, confined the Moabites to the country south of the river Arnon, which formed their northern boundary (
Numbers A number is a mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or could be) formally defined, and with which one may do deduc ...
;
Judges A judge A judge is a person who presides over court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. ...
). God renewed his
covenant Covenant may refer to: Religion * Covenant (religion) In religion, a covenant is a formal alliance or agreement made by God with a religious community or with humanity in general. The concept, central to the Abrahamic religions The Abraha ...
with the Israelites at Moab before the Israelites entered the
Promised Land The Promised Land ( he, הארץ המובטחת, translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:litte ...
" (). Moses died there (), prevented by God from entering the Promised Land. He was buried in an unknown location in Moab and the Israelites spent a period of thirty days there in
mourning Mourning is the expression of an experience that is the consequence of an event in life involving loss, causing grief Grief is the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or some living thing that has died Death ...
(). According to the Book of Judges, the Israelites did not pass through the land of the Moabites (), but conquered Sihon's kingdom and his capital at
Heshbon Heshbon (also Hesebon, Esebon, Esbous, Esebus; ar, حشبون, links=no, la, Esebus, links=no, he, חשבון, links=no, grc, Ἐσεβών, Ἐσσεβών, Ἐσβούτα, Ἐσβούς, Ἔσβους, Ἔξβους, links=no) were at least ...

Heshbon
. After the conquest of
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
the relations of Moab with Israel were of a mixed character, sometimes warlike and sometimes peaceable. With the
tribe of Benjamin According to the Torah, the Tribe of Benjamin () was one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The tribe was descended from Benjamin, the youngest son of the patriarch Jacob (later given the name Israel) and his wife Rachel. In the Samaritan Pentateuch ...

tribe of Benjamin
they had at least one severe struggle, in union with their kindred the Ammonites and the
Amalek Amalek (; he, עֲמָלֵק, ''‘Ámālēq'', ar, عماليق ''‘Amālīq'') is a nation described in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic la ...
ites (). The Benjaminite
shofet In several ancient Semitic-speaking cultures and associated historical regions, the shopheṭ or shofeṭ (plural shophṭim or shofeṭim; he, שׁוֹפֵט ''šōfēṭ'', phn, 𐤔𐤐𐤈 ''šāfēṭ'', xpu, 𐤔𐤐𐤈 ''šūfeṭ'', u ...
Ehud ben Gera assassinated the Moabite king Eglon and led an Israelite army against the Moabites at a ford of the Jordan river, killing many of them. The
Book of Ruth The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) ( he, מגילת רות, ''Megilath Ruth'', "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot) is included in the third division, or the Writings (Ketuvim Ketuvim (; hbo, כְּתוּבִים Kethūvīm "wri ...
testifies to friendly relations between Moab and
Bethlehem Bethlehem (; ar, بيت لحم , "House of Meat"; he, בֵּית לֶחֶם ', , "House of Bread"; ; la, Bethleem; initially named after Canaanite fertility god Lehem) is a city in the central West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضف ...

Bethlehem
, one of the towns of the
tribe of Judah According to the Hebrew Bible, the tribe of Judah (, ''Shevet Yehudah'') was one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. Biblical account The Tribe of Judah, its conquests, and the centrality of its capital in Jerusalem for the worship of the god Yah ...

tribe of Judah
. By his descent from Ruth,
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...
may be said to have had Moabite blood in his veins. He committed his parents to the protection of the king of Moab (who may have been his kinsman), when hard pressed by
King Saul Saul (; he, , translit=Šāʾūl; gr, Σαούλ; ), according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the N ...
. (1 Samuel 22:3,4) But here all friendly relations stop forever. The next time the name is mentioned is in the account of David's war, who made the Moabites tributary (
2 Samuel The Book of Samuel is a book in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. These texts ...
;
1 Chronicles The Book of Chronicles ( he, דִּבְרֵי־הַיָּמִים ) is a Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is ...
). Moab may have been under the rule of an Israelite governor during this period; among the exiles who returned to Judea from
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
were a clan descended from Pahath-Moab, whose name means "ruler of Moab". After the destruction of the
First Temple According to the Biblical narrative, Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was a temple in Jerusalem The Temple in Jerusalem was any of a series of structures which were located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, t ...
, the knowledge of which people belonged to which nation was lost and the Moabites were treated the same as other gentiles. As a result, all members of the nations could convert to Judaism without restriction. The problem in
Ezra Ezra (; he, עֶזְרָא, '; fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe (, ') and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scripture ...

Ezra
and
Nehemiah Nehemiah is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which describes his work in rebuilding Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. He was governor of Yehud Medinata, Persian Judea under Artaxerxes I of Persia (465–424 BC). The name i ...

Nehemiah
occurred because Jewish men married women from the various nations without their first converting to Judaism (). At the disruption of the kingdom under the reign of
Rehoboam Rehoboam (; , ; , ; la, Roboam) was, according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are almost exclusively in , with a few passages in (in the book ...
, Moab seems to have been absorbed into the northern realm. It continued in vassalage to the Kingdom of Israel until the death of
Ahab Ahab (; akk, , Aḫabbu; grc-koi, ''Achaáb''; la, Achab) was the seventh king of Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, according to the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible p ...

Ahab
which according to
E. R. Thiele Edwin R. Thiele (10 September 1895 – 15 April 1986) was an United States of America, American Seventh-day Adventist missionary in China, an editing, editor, Archaeology, archaeologist, writer, and Old Testament professor. He is best known ...
's reckoning was in about 853 BCE, when the Moabites refused to pay tribute and asserted their independence, making war upon the kingdom of Judah (). After the death of
Ahab Ahab (; akk, , Aḫabbu; grc-koi, ''Achaáb''; la, Achab) was the seventh king of Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, according to the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible p ...

Ahab
in about 853 BCE, the Moabites under
Mesha King Mesha ( Moabite: 𐤌𐤔𐤏 *''Māša‘''; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the langu ...
rebelled against
Jehoram
Jehoram
, who allied himself with
Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat (; alternatively spelled Jehosaphat, Josaphat, or Yehoshafat; ; el, Ἰωσαφάτ, Iosafát; la, Josaphat), according to 1 Kings 15:24, was the son of Asa, and the fourth king of the Kingdom of Judah, in succession to his father ...
, King of the
Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'uda'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁‬𐤉‬𐤕‬𐤃𐤅‬𐤃 ''Bēyt David, Dāwīḏ'') was an Israelites, Israelite kingdom of the Southern Le ...
, and with the King of Edom. According to the Bible, the prophet
Elisha Elisha (; , Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...
directed the Israelites to dig a series of ditches between themselves and the enemy, and during the night these channels were miraculously filled with water which was as red as blood. According to the biblical account, the crimson color deceived the Moabites and their allies into attacking one another, leading to their defeat at Ziz, near
En Gedi Ein Gedi ( he, עֵין גֶּדִי‎, ), also spelled En Gedi, meaning "spring of the kid", is an oasis In geography, an oasis (, plural oases, ) is a fertile land in a desert or semi-desert environment.Mesha Stele The Mesha Stele, also known as the Moabite Stone, is a stele dated around 840 BCE containing a significant Canaanite and Aramaic inscriptions, Canaanite inscription in the name of King Mesha of Moab (a kingdom located in modern Jordan). Mesha tel ...
, however, he was completely victorious and regained all the territory of which Israel had deprived him. The battle of Ziz is the last important date in the history of the Moabites as recorded in the Bible. In the year of Elisha's death they invaded Israel () and later aided Nebuchadnezzar in his expedition against
Jehoiakim Jehoiakim, also sometimes spelled Jehoikim; la, Joakim was the eighteenth and antepenultimate king of Judah The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəh ...
(). Allusions to Moab are frequent in the prophetical books (; ; ; ). Two chapters of Isaiah (15 and 16) and one of Jeremiah (48) are devoted to the "burden of Moab". Its prosperity and pride, which the Israelites believed incurred the wrath of
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...
, are frequently mentioned (; ; ), and their contempt for Israel is once expressly noted (). Moab would be dealt with during the time of the Messiah's rulership according to the prophets. The
book of Zephaniah The Book of Zephaniah ( he, צְפַנְיָה, ''Tsfanya'') is the ninth of the Twelve Minor Prophets The Minor Prophets or Twelve Prophets ( he, שנים עשר, ''Shneim Asar''; arc, תרי עשר, ''Trei Asar'', "Twelve") ( grc, δωδ ...
states that Moab would become "a permanent desolation". Moab is also made reference to in the 2 Meqabyan, a book considered
canonical Canonical may refer to: Science and technology * Canonical form In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geo ...
in the
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church ( am, የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን, ''Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan'') is the largest Oriental Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox church. On ...
. In that text, a Moabite king named Maccabeus joins forces with Edom and Amalek to attack Israel, later repenting of his sins and adopting the Israelite religion.


Religion

References to the religion of Moab are scant. Most of the Moabites followed the
ancient Semitic religion Ancient Semitic religion encompasses the polytheistic Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of n ...
like other
ancient Semitic-speaking peoples Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples or Proto-Semitic people were Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divid ...
, and the
Book of Numbers The Book of Numbers (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population i ...
says that they induced the Israelites to join in their
sacrifice Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a God (male ...

sacrifice
s (; ). Their chief god was
Chemosh Chemosh ( Moabite language, Moabite: 𐤊𐤌𐤔 ''Kamāš''; he, כְּמוֹשׁ ''Kəmōš'' ; Eblaite: 𒅗𒈪𒅖 ''Kamiš'', Akkadian language, Akkadian: 𒅗𒄠𒈲 ''Kâmuš'') was the god of the Moabites. He is most notably atteste ...
(, ), and the Bible refers to them as the "people of Chemosh" (; ). According to
II Kings II is the Roman numeral for 2. II may also refer to: Biology and medicine *Image intensifierAn image intensifier or image intensifier tube is a vacuum tube device for increasing the intensity of available light in an optical system to allow us ...
, at times, especially in dire peril,
human sacrifice #REDIRECT Human sacrifice Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more humans as part of a ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set ...
s were offered to Chemosh, as by Mesha, who gave up his son and heir to him (). Nevertheless,
King Solomon of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg, Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco (altepetl), Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female eq ...

King Solomon
built a "high place" for Chemosh on the hill before Jerusalem (), which the Bible describes as "this detestation of Moab". The altar was not destroyed until the reign of
Josiah Josiah ( or ) or Yoshiyahu; la, Iosias was the 16th king of Judah The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā(h)''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 '' ...

Josiah
(). The Moabite Stone also mentions (line 17) a female counterpart of Chemosh,
Ashtar-Chemosh Ashtar-Chemosh (; Moabite language, Moabite: 𐤏𐤔𐤕𐤓𐤟𐤊𐤌𐤔 ''‘Ištar-Kamāš'') is a goddess worshipped by the ancient Moabites. She is mentioned on the Mesha Stele as a female counterpart to Chemosh. She may be identical with ...
, and a god
Nebo
Nebo
(line 14), probably the well-known Babylonian divinity
Nabu Nabu ( akk, cuneiform: 𒀭𒀝 Nabû syr, ܢܵܒܼܘܼ\ܢܒܼܘܿ\ܢܵܒܼܘܿ Nāvū or Nvō or Nāvō) is the ancient Mesopotamian patron god of literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writ ...

Nabu
.


Language

The
Moabite language The Moabite language, also known as the Moabite dialect, is an extinct sub-language or dialect of the Canaanite languages The Canaanite languages, or Canaanite dialects, are one of the three subgroups of the Northwest Semitic languages Nort ...
was spoken in Moab. It was a
Canaanite language The Canaanite languages, or Canaanite dialects, are one of the three subgroups of the Northwest Semitic languages, the others being Aramaic Aramaic ( Classical Syriac: ''Arāmāyā''; Old Aramaic: ; Imperial Aramaic: ; square script ) ...
closely related to
Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroas ...
,
Ammonite *Belemnoidea of belemnoids. Belemnoids are an extinct group of marine cephalopod A cephalopod is any member of the mollusca Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda. The members are known as mollu ...
and
Edomite Edom (; Edomite language, Edomite: ; he, Wiktionary:אדום, אֱדוֹם , lit.: "red"; Akkadian language, Akkadian: , ; Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: ) was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan (region), Transjordan located between Mo ...
, and was written using a variant of the
Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician alphabet is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes t ...

Phoenician alphabet
. Most of our knowledge of it comes from the
Mesha Stele The Mesha Stele, also known as the Moabite Stone, is a stele dated around 840 BCE containing a significant Canaanite and Aramaic inscriptions, Canaanite inscription in the name of King Mesha of Moab (a kingdom located in modern Jordan). Mesha tel ...
, which is the only known extensive text in this language. In addition, there are the three line
El-Kerak Inscription The El-Kerak Inscription was discovered in 1958 in Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ( ar, المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية; tr. '), is an Arab country in the Levant ...
and a few seals.


In Jewish tradition

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Moabites opposed the Israelite invasion of
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
, as did the Ammonites. As a consequence, they were excluded from the congregation for ten generations. The term "tenth generation" is considered an idiom, used for an unlimited time, as opposed to the third generation, which allows an Egyptian convert to marry into the community. The
Talmud The Talmud (; he, תַּלְמוּד ''Tálmūḏ'') is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the ...

Talmud
expresses the view that the prohibition applied only to male Moabites, who were not allowed to marry born Jews or legitimate converts. Female Moabites, when converted to Judaism, were permitted to marry with only the normal prohibition of a convert marrying a kohen (priest) applying. However, the prohibition was not followed during the
Babylonian captivity The Babylonian captivity or Babylonian exile is the period in Jewish history during which a number of people from the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon, the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. After the Battle of Carchemish in ...
, and Ezra and Nehemiah sought to compel a return to the law because men had been marrying women who had not been converted at all (, 12; ). The heir of King Solomon was
Rehoboam Rehoboam (; , ; , ; la, Roboam) was, according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are almost exclusively in , with a few passages in (in the book ...
, the son of an Ammonite woman,
NaamahNaamah or Na'amah can refer to: Religion * Naamah (Genesis), the daughter of Lamech the Cainite * Naamah, Noah's wife in some extra-Biblical traditions * Naamah (wife of Solomon), mother of Rehoboam * Naamah, a city of Canaan, listed in Joshua a ...
(). On the other hand, the marriages of the
Bethlehem Bethlehem (; ar, بيت لحم , "House of Meat"; he, בֵּית לֶחֶם ', , "House of Bread"; ; la, Bethleem; initially named after Canaanite fertility god Lehem) is a city in the central West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضف ...

Bethlehem
Ephrath Ephrath or Ephrathah or Ephratah ( he, אֶפְרָת \ אֶפְרָתָה) is a biblically The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, ...
ites (of the
tribe of Judah According to the Hebrew Bible, the tribe of Judah (, ''Shevet Yehudah'') was one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. Biblical account The Tribe of Judah, its conquests, and the centrality of its capital in Jerusalem for the worship of the god Yah ...

tribe of Judah
)
Chilion Mahlon ( ''Maḥlōn'') and Chilion (כִּלְיוֹן ''Ḵilyōn'') were two brothers mentioned in the Book of Ruth The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) ( he, מגילת רות, ''Megilath Ruth'', "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot ...
and
Mahlon Mahlon ( ''Maḥlōn'') and Chilion (כִּלְיוֹן ''Ḵilyōn'') were two brothers mentioned in the Book of Ruth The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) ( he, מגילת רות, ''Megilath Ruth'', "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot ...
to the Moabite women
Orpah Orpah ( he, עָרְפָּה ''ʿorpā'', meaning "neck" or "fawn") is a woman mentioned in the Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible. She was from Moab and was the daughter-in-law of Naomi (Bible), Naomi and wife of Chilion. After the death of her hu ...
and Ruth (), and the marriage of the latter, after her husband's death, to
Boaz Boaz (; Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Hebrew: בֹּעַז ''Bōʿaz''; ) is a biblical figure appearing in the Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible and in the Genealogy of Jesus, genealogies of Jesus in the New Testament and also the name of a Boaz ...
() who by her was the great-grandfather of
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...

David
, are mentioned with no shade of reproach. The Talmudic explanation, however, is that the language of the law applies only to Moabite and Ammonite ''men'' (Hebrew, like all Semitic languages, has
grammatical gender In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langua ...
). The Talmud also states that the prophet
Samuel Samuel ''Šəmūʾēl''; ar, إِشْمَوِيل ' or '; el, Σαμουήλ ''Samouḗl''; la, Samūēl is a figure who, in the narratives of the , plays a key role in the transition from the period of the to the institution of a under ...

Samuel
wrote the Book of Ruth to settle the dispute as the rule had been forgotten since the time of
Boaz Boaz (; Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Hebrew: בֹּעַז ''Bōʿaz''; ) is a biblical figure appearing in the Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible and in the Genealogy of Jesus, genealogies of Jesus in the New Testament and also the name of a Boaz ...
. Another interpretation is that the
Book of Ruth The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) ( he, מגילת רות, ''Megilath Ruth'', "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot) is included in the third division, or the Writings (Ketuvim Ketuvim (; hbo, כְּתוּבִים Kethūvīm "wri ...
is simply reporting the events in an impartial fashion, leaving any praise or condemnation to be done by the reader. The Babylonian Talmud in
Yevamot Yevamot (יבמות, "Brother's Widow") is a tractate of the Talmud The Talmud (; he, תַּלְמוּד ''Tálmūḏ'') is the central text of and the primary source of Jewish religious law (') and . Until the advent of , in nearly all Jew ...
76B explains that one of the reasons was the Ammonites did not greet the Children of Israel with friendship and the Moabites hired
Balaam Balaam (; , Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrology), an object that bears a defined r ...

Balaam
to curse them. The difference in the responses of the two people led to God allowing the Jewish people to harass the Moabites (but not go to war) but forbade them to even harass the Ammonites (). Ruth adopted the god of Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law. Ruth chose to go back to Naomi's people after her husband, his brother and his father, Naomi's husband, died. Ruth said to Naomi, "Whither thou goest, I will go; whither thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people and thy God my God". The Talmud uses this as the basis for what a convert must do to be converted. There are arguments as to exactly when she was converted and if she had to repeat the statement in front of the court in Bethlehem when they arrived there. According to the Book of Jeremiah, Moab was exiled to
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
for his arrogance and idolatry. According to
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see below), was a medieval French rabbi A rabbi is a spi ...
, it was also due to their gross ingratitude even though
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenan ...

Abraham
, Israel's ancestor, had saved
Lot Lot or LOT may refer to: Common meanings Areas *Land lot, an area of land *Parking lot, for automobiles *Backlot, in movie production Sets of items *Lot number, in batch production *Lot, a set of goods for sale together in an auction; or a quantit ...
, Moab's ancestor from Sodom. Jeremiah prophesies that Moab's captivity will be returned in the
end of daysEnd of days may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * End of Days (film), ''End of Days'' (film), a 1999 supernatural film Music * ''The End of Days'', a 2010 album by Abney Park * End of Days (soundtrack), ''End of Days'' (soundtra ...
.


Explanatory notes


References


Further reading

* * * Many comparisons of
Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroas ...
with the language of the Mêša˓ inscription appear in
Wilhelm Gesenius Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius (3 February 178623 October 1842) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens o ...

Wilhelm Gesenius
' Hebrew grammar, e.g. , , , , , , , , , etc. * Jacobs, Joseph and Louis H. Gray
"Moab"
''
The Jewish Encyclopedia ''The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day'' is an English-language encyclopedia containing over 15,000 articles on the ...
''. Funk and Wagnalls, 1901–1906, which cites to the following bibliography: ** * The most comprehensive treatment of Moab to date.


External links


Gutenberg E-text of ''Patriarchal Palestine''
by Archibald Henry Sayce (1895)
Moab entry
in ''
Smith's Bible Dictionary ''Smith's Bible Dictionary'', originally named ''A Dictionary of the Bible'', is a 19th-century Bible dictionary containing upwards of four thousand entries that became named after its editor, William Smith (lexicographer), William Smith. Its popu ...
'' {{Authority control
Moab Moab ''Mōáb''; Assyrian: 𒈬𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Mu'aba'', 𒈠𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Ma'ba'', 𒈠𒀪𒀊 ''Ma'ab''; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and et ...
Semitic-speaking peoples States and territories established in the 13th century BC States and territories disestablished in the 4th century BC Torah places Vayeira