AMMON (Hebrew : עַמּוֹן, Modern Ammon, Tiberian ʻAmmôn;
"People"; Arabic : عمّون, translit. ʻAmmūn) was an Iron
Age Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the
Jordan River ,
between the torrent valleys of Arnon and
Jabbok , in present-day
Jordan . The chief city of the country was
Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon,
site of the modern city of
Amman , Jordan's capital. Milcom and Molech
(who may be one and the same) are named in the
Hebrew Bible as the
gods of Ammon. The people of this kingdom are called "CHILDREN OF
AMMON" or "AMMONITES".
* 1 History
* 2 Biblical narrative
* 3 Language
* 4 Economy
* 5 Archaeology
* 5.1 Inscription
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
List of rulers of Ammon
The Ammonites occupied the northern Central Trans-Jordanian Plateau
from the latter part of the second millennium B.C. to the middle of
the first millennium B.C.
Ammon maintained its independence from the Assyrian empire through
tribute to the Assyrian king, at a time when nearby kingdoms were
being raided or conquered. Inscriptions describe the Ammonite king
Baasha ben Ruhubi 's army fighting alongside
Ahab of Israel and Syrian
Shalmaneser III at the
Battle of Qarqar in 853 BC,
possibly as vassals of
Hadadezer , the Aramaean king of Damascus . In
734 BC the Ammonite king
Sanipu was a vassal of
Tiglath-Pileser III ,
and Sanipu's successor
Pudu-ilu held the same position under
Esarhaddon . An Assyrian tribute-list exists from
this period, showing that
Ammon paid one-fifth as much tribute as
Somewhat later, the Ammonite king Amminadab I was among the
tributaries who suffered in the course of the great Arabian campaign
Assurbanipal . Other kings attested to in contemporary sources are
Barachel (attested to in several contemporary seals ) and
the latter of whom reigned about 620 BCE.
Hissalel is mentioned in an
inscription on a bottle found at
Tel Siran ,
Jordan along with his
son, King Amminadab II , who reigned around 600 BCE.
Archaeology and history indicate that
Ammon flourished during the
Neo-Babylonian Empire period. This contradicts the view, dominant for
decades, that Transjordan was either destroyed by
Nebuchadnezzar II ,
or suffered a rapid decline following Judah's destruction by that
king. Newer evidence suggests that
Ammon enjoyed continuity from the
Neo-Babylonian to the Persian period.
Little mention is made of the Ammonites through the Persian and early
Hellenistic periods. Their name appears, however, during the time of
Maccabees . The Ammonites, with some of the neighboring tribes,
did their utmost to resist and check the revival of the Jewish power
Judas Maccabaeus . The Hasmonean dynast Hyrcanus founded Qasr
Al Abd , and was a descendant of the Seleucid
Tobiad dynasty of Tobiah
, who is mentioned by
Nehemiah as an Ammonite (ii. 19) from the
The last notice of the Ammonites is in
Justin Martyr 's Dialogue with
Trypho (§ 119), in the second century, where it is affirmed that they
were still a numerous people.
The first mention of the Ammonites in the Bible is in Genesis
19:37-38. It is stated there that they descended from Ben-Ammi, a son
of Lot through incest with his younger daughter. Bén'ámmî,
literally means "son of my people". After the destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah , the daughters of Lot had sexual relations with their
father, resulting in
Ammon and his half brother,
Moab , being
conceived and born. This narrative has traditionally been considered
literal fact, but is now generally interpreted as recording a gross
popular irony by which the Israelites expressed their loathing of the
Moabites and Ammonites, although it is doubtful that the Israelites
would have directed such irony to Lot himself.
The Ammonites settled to the east of the Jordan, invading the Rephaim
lands east of Jordan, between the
Jabbok and Arnon , dispossessing
them and dwelling in their place. Their territory originally
comprising all from the
Jordan to the wilderness, and from the River
Jabbok south to the River Arnon. It was accounted a land of giants;
and that giants formerly dwelt in it, whom the Ammonites called
Shortly before the Israelite Exodus , the Amorites west of Jordan,
Sihon , invaded and occupied a large portion of the
Ammon . The Ammonites were driven from the rich
lands near the
Jordan and retreated to the mountains and valleys to
the east. The invasion of the Amorites created a wedge and separated
the two kingdoms of
Ammon and Moab.
Throughout the Bible, the Ammonites and Israelites are portrayed as
mutual antagonists. During the Exodus, the Israelites were prohibited
by the Ammonites from passing through their lands. The Ammonites soon
allied themselves with Eglon of
Moab in attacking Israel.
The Ammonites maintained their claim to part of Transjordan , after
it was occupied by the Israelites who obtained it from
Sihon . During
the days of
Jephthah , the Ammonites occupied the lands east of the
Jordan and started to invade Israelite lands west of the river.
Jephthah became the leader in resisting these incursions.
The constant harassment of the Israelite communities east of the
Jordan by the Ammonites was the impetus behind the unification of the
Saul . King
Nahash of Ammon (c. 1010 – 990 BC) lay
Jabesh-Gilead . Eventually this led to an alliance with Saul
and The Israelites, led by
Saul relieved the siege and defeated the
Ammonite king, eventually resulting in the formation of the Israelite
During the reign of
King David , the Ammonites humiliated David's
messengers, and hired the Aramean armies to attack Israel. This
eventually ended in a war and a year-long siege of
Rabbah , the
capital of Ammon. The war ended with all the Ammonite cities being
conquered and plundered, and the inhabitants being killed or put to
forced labor at David's command.
Arameans of Damascus city-state deprived the Kingdom of
Israel of their possessions east of the Jordan, the Ammonites became
allies of Ben-hadad , and a contingent of 1,000 of them served as
Syria in the great battle of the
Arameans and Assyrians at
Qarqar in 854 BC in the reign of
Shalmaneser III .
The Ammonites, Moabites and
Meunim formed a coalition against
Jehoshaphat of Judah. The coalition later was thrown to confusion,
with the armies slaughtering one another. They were subdued and paid
tribute to Jotham.
After submitting to Tiglath-pileser they were generally tributary to
Assyria, but have joined in the general uprising that took place under
Sennacherib ; but they submitted and they became tributary in the
Esar-haddon . Their hostility to Judah is shown in their
joining the Chaldeans to destroy it (2 Kings 24:2). Their cruelty is
denounced by the prophet Amos (Amos 1:13), and their destruction (with
their return in the future) by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49:1–6); Ezekiel
(Ezekiel 21:28–32); and Zechariah (Zechariah 2:8, 9). Their murder
of Gedaliah (2 Kings 25:22–26; Jeremiah 40:14) was a dastardly act.
They may have regained their old territory when Tiglath-pileser
carried off the Israelites East of the
Jordan into captivity (2 Kings
15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26).
Tobiah the Ammonite united with Sanballat to oppose Nehemiah
Nehemiah 4), and their opposition to the Jews did not cease with the
establishment of the latter in Judea.
They also joined the Syrians in their wars with the
were defeated by Judas.
According to both 1 Kings 14:21–31 and 2 Chronicles 12:13, Naamah
was an Ammonite. She was the only wife of King
Solomon to be mentioned
by name in the
Tanakh as having borne a child. She was the mother of
The Ammonites presented a serious problem to the
many marriages between Israelite men and Ammonite (and Moabite) women
had taken place in the days of
Nehemiah . The men had married women
of the various nations without conversion, which made the children not
Jewish. The legitimacy of
David 's claim to royalty was disputed on
account of his descent from Ruth, the Moabite.
The few Ammonite names that have been preserved also include Nahash
Hanun , both from the Bible. The Ammonites' language is believed
to be in the Canaanite family , closely related to Hebrew and Moabite
. Ammonite may have incorporated certain Aramaic influences, including
the use of ‘bd, instead of commoner Biblical Hebrew ‘śh, for
"work". The only other notable difference with Biblical Hebrew is the
sporadic retention of feminine singular -t (e.g., ’šħt "cistern",
but ‘lyh "high (fem.)".)
The economy, for the most part, was based on agriculture and herding.
Most people lived in small villages surrounded by farms and pastures.
Like its sister-kingdom of Moab,
Ammon was the source of numerous
natural resources, including sandstone and limestone . It had a
productive agricultural sector and occupied a vital place along the
King\'s Highway , the ancient trade route connecting
Syria , and
Asia Minor . As with the Edomites and
Moabites, trade along this route gave them considerable revenue. Circa
Ammon showed rising prosperity, due to agriculture and trade ,
and built a series of fortresses. Its capital was located in what is
now the Citadel of
In 1972, during the excavations of a site called Tell Siran in
north-west Amman, an inscription on a bronze bottle of about 10 cm
tall was found. Scientific investigation has showed that the
inscription dates back to 600 BC, and later concluded that it was a
lyric poem written in
Ammonite language . The poem talks about a
drinking song, roughly translated to: Gate of
Ammon in Amman
To the vineyard and the orchard! Or shall I be left behind and
He who says this rejoices and be happy That life is long
And shall I inflame myself with it and be ruined? No! It shall make
And bring joy for many days and long years.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to AMMON .
List of rulers of Ammon
Ammon as a name used in the Book of Mormon
Ammon (Book of Mormon explorer)
Ammon (Book of Mormon missionary)
* ^ "Ancient Texts Relating to the Bible:
University of Southern California . Archived from the original on 26
November 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
* ^ LaBianca, Øystein S.; Younker, Randall W. (1995). "The
Kingdoms of Ammon,
Moab and Edom: The Archaeology of Society in Late
Iron Age Transjordan (ca. 1400–500 BCE)". In Levy, Tom. The
Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. A&C Black. p. 399. ISBN
* ^ A B "The Old Testament Kingdoms of Jordan". Archived from the
original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-12.
* ^ A B C D E One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates
text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed.
(1911). "Ammonites". Encyclopædia Britannica . 1 (11th ed.).
Cambridge University Press. pp. 863–864.
* ^ See Schrader, K.A.T. pp. 141 et seq.; Delitzsch, Paradies, p.
294; Winckler, Geschichte Israels, p. 215.
* ^ Barstad, Hans M (18 February 2012). "The City State of
Jerusalem in the Neo-Babylonian Empire: Evidence from the Surrounding
States". In John J. Ahn; Jill Middlemas. By the Irrigation Canals of
Babylon: Approaches to the Study of the Exile. Bloomsbury Publishing.
pp. 42–44. ISBN 978-0-567-19775-7 .
* ^ 1
Maccabees 5:6; cf.
Jewish Antiquities xii. 8. 1.
* ^ St. Justin Martyr. "Dialogue with Trypho". Early Christian
Writings. Peter Kirby. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
* ^ A B C "www.Bibler.org - Dictionary - Ammon". 2012-06-15.
* ^ Mirabeau, Honoré (1867). Erotika Biblion. Chevalier de
Pierrugues. Chez tous les Libraries.
* ^ A B C Fenlon, John Francis. "Ammonites." The Catholic
Encyclopedia Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 14 April
* ^ 2
* ^ 1 Chronicles 20:3
* ^ 2 Chronicles 20:1
* ^ 2 Chronicles 27:5
* ^ "Naama". The Jewish Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on
13 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
* ^ The identity of those particular tribes had been lost during
the mixing of the nations caused by the conquests of
Assyria . As a
result, people from those nations were treated as complete gentiles
and could convert without restriction.
* ^ The Babylonian
Talmud points out that
Doeg the Edomite was the
source of this dispute. He claimed that since
David was descended from
someone who was not allowed to marry into the community, his male
ancestors were no longer part of the tribe of Judah (which was the
tribe the King had to belong to). As a result, he could neither be the
king, nor could he marry any Jewish woman (since he descended from a
Moabite convert). The Prophet
Samuel wrote the Book of Ruth in order
to remind the people of the original law that women from
Ammon were allowed to convert and marry into the Jewish people
* ^ Cohen, D (ed) (1988). "Les Langues Chamito-semitiques". Les
langues dans le monde ancien et modern, part 3. Paris: CNRS . CS1
maint: Extra text: authors list (link )Aufrecht, WE (1989). A Corpus
of Ammonite Inscriptions. Lewiston: E. Mellen Press. ISBN
* ^ Younker, Randall W. (1999). "Review of Archaeological Research
in Ammon". In Burton MacDonald; Randall W. Younker. Ancient Ammon.
BRILL. p. 1–. ISBN 978-90-04-10762-5 .
* ^ "The Tell Siran inscription. Linguistic and historical
implications" (PDF). EJ Smit. Potche£stroom University. Retrieved
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Easton, Matthew George (1897). "Ammon". Easton\'s
Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Singer, Isidore ; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Ammon,
Jewish Encyclopedia . New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
* Hertz J.H. (1936) The Pentateuch and