Friday, September 16, 2016

Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Egyptians: Ancient Kingdoms: Part I What Happened to Them?

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                         

Israel was not alone as a kingdom.  There were others who were most warlike.  There were the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites and of course the only one who survived to this day;  the Egyptians.  Above is a map showing the kingdoms after King Solomon died when Israel divided into Israel and Judah after 920 BCE.

We were told by Moses not to intermarry with these other kingdoms' men.  Interestingly, Ruth, a central figure in our history, was a Moabite.  It's almost as if Moses was told of the Y haplotypes of men, and didn't want his haplotype to intermix with theirs.  The problem was that these kingdoms did not continue to exist forever, and people were moved by the prevailing conquerors.  What would happen to these men was not known then.  Evidently there was more to it than haplotypes.
 The cultures of the others and their knowledge of good and evil acts differed.  They called their ancient god Chemosh, translated as "DESTROYER, or FISH GOD."  The Ammonites worshipped him, too.  "His cult was imported to Jerusalem by King Solomon (1 Kings 11:7).  The Hebrew scorn for his worship was evident in a curse from the scriptures:  "the abomination of Moab."  King Josiah of Judah (637-608 BCE) destroyed the Israelite branch of the cult (2 Kings 23).   

They believed in human sacrifice!  "Rites were commonplace in the various Canaanite religious cults, including those of the Baals and of Moloch.  Mythologists and other scholars suggest that such activity may be due to the fact the Chemosh and other Canaanite gods such as the Baals, Moloch, Thammuz, and Baalzebub were all personifications of the sun, or of the sun's rays.  They represented the fierce, inescapable, and often consuming heat of the summer sun (a necessary but deadly element in life; analogs may be found in Aztec sun worship)." "Goddesses were indeed secondary, and in many cases being dissolved or compounded with male deities."  One wonders what was so appealing to people when human sacrifice is involved in their beliefs.  Most all  the people of that period had a limited viewpoint of G-d and G-d was a national figure then who only helped that group.  Writer Judd H. Burton said, "Thus, it would seem that Semitic regard for respective national deities operated similarly from region to region." 

Moabites and Ammonites became Assyrians
King Abdulah I of Saudi Arabia moved to Jordan for his Arabian tribe which he brought with him.  
The Moabites, as you can see by the map, lived in where Jordan exists today.  The boundaries then were laid out to be in the North by the river Heshbon; The South by the river Zered; the Jordan River and the Dead Sea to the West,  and The Syrian Desert on the East.   They were blood relations to the Israelites because they were also descendants of Lot, Abraham's nephew. So were the Ammonites.   They shared genes with the Israelites.   Even their language was similar to Hebrew.

During  our patriarchal era, they had settled in Moab which had been captured from the Rephaim as told about in Deut. 2:10-11.  The Rephaim lived, we think, south of the Sinai peninsula, or in the North.  It was between the Wilderness of Sin and the Sinai Desert and was a stopping place for the Israelites led by Moses.  They also were an ancient people living in today's Jordan in Abraham's day.  Some had settled near Jerusalem in the "Valley of Rephaim."  I'm going back over 4,000 years now to Abraham's day which would have been about 1948 BCE, otherwise known as the 2nd millennium BCE!!! It's wonderful to find such
bands were recorded for history.

The Moabites during Abraham's life were ruled by a king named Sihon.  He was defeated by the Israelites who occupied the land on their journey back to Canaan.  This of course was a cause of contention then with not only the Moabites but also with Ammonites.  The Moabites themselves were a divided people still in tribes, and this caused the tribes to unite into one kingdom.  Their 2nd ruler turns out to be Balak who called on Balaam to curse the Israelites.  As time went on, they had a king named Eglon, and they extended their territory to the Jericho region until Eglon was killed by Ehud, an Israelite Judge-leader before kings were needed for Israel.  He was from the tribe of Benjamin.  Ehud saved Israel from Eglon, king of Moab and his  oppression.
King David   ruled from 1010 BCE to 970 BCE over Israel.  His ggrandmother was a Moabite, however.  He conquered the Moabites who remained under the rule of  Israel down to the rebellion in the 9th century of  King Mesha of Moab.  At first King Mesha was nice to  Israel's King Omri (887-876 BCE) , but exploited Israel's weakness after the death of Israel's King Ahab (876-853 BCE and threw off Israel's ruling over them.  King Mesha set up the

Mesha Stele, a stone with writing that commemorated his successful revolt against King Joram/Jehoram  (853-843 BCE) of Israel.  This stone was found in the Moabite capital, Dibon, in 1868, and is now in the Louvre.  It tells of Omri's subjection of Moab and Moab's liberation from Israel.  The language is similar to Hebrew.  It almost looks like the  tablet of today, doesn't it?
Assyrians taking Israelites as prisoners
Moab became an Assyrian province when Tiglath-Pileser III ruled.  The Assyrians had attacked Israel in 722 to 721 BCE.   During the Persian period, Arabs penetrated the country and assimilated with the Moabites.   Moab was conquered by the Jewish Hasmoneans and was later incorporated by the Romans into Arabia.
Deut. 23:4 tells us that intermarriage between Jews and Moabites is forbidden, but the Talmud understood this referred only to males, so by the Mishnaic Period, the prohibition was abolished.  They knew Ruth was a Moabite and she was good.  Here's a case where one person made a difference in attitude.
Ruth is famous for being an ancestor of King David, his great grandmother.  Her story took place in the days of the Judges, before King  Saul, first king of Israel in the 11th century BCE.  Being from Moab,  she  had married an Israelite, Mahlon, and when he died after 10 years of marriage, Ruth stayed with his mother, Naomi and went with her back to Bethlehem.   Mahlon's brother, Chilion,   also died young. He had married a Moabite woman, too.    A few years later, Naomi introduced Ruth  to one of her relatives, Boaz, and he married Ruth.  Naomi was an interesting character.  She was also a widow, and had been married to the Israelite, Elimelech.    They had wandered into Moab when famine had hit their own city of Beth-lehem in the southern part of Canaan, later to be Judah.   When he died unexpectedly, she found herself left with only her 2 sons who later married Moabite women.  

Naomi urged her two daughters in law to go back to their own homes, but Ruth was insistent upon staying with her, and said her famous lines  that I repeated in my Confirmation:
   For where you go, I will go;  where you lodge, I will lodge;  your people are my people, and your G-d is my G-d;  where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.  Thus may Hashem do to me, and so may He do more, if anything but death separates me from you."

                                                                              Descendants of Boaz

1   Boaz b: in Bethlehem, cousin of Elimelach, Naomi's husband.
.. +Ruth of Royalty b: in Moab
. 2   Oved Obed Judah b: in 11th century BCE
..... 3   Jesse b: in Bethlehem
......... +Ithra's Daughter
......... 4   Zeruiah
......... 4   [1] King of Israel David b: in 1000 BCE Bethlehem
............. +Bathsheba b: in Giloh, Judah
......... *2nd Wife of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Ahinoam of Jezreel
......... *3rd Wife of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Michal the First, Daughter of Saul
......... *4th Wife of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Abigail b: in Carmelite
......... *5th Wife of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Maachah Fromgeshur
......... *6th Wife of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Merab
......... *7th Wife of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Haggith
......... *Partner of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Abital
......... *8th Wife of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Eglah
......... *9th Wife of [1] King of Israel David:
............. +Maacah

Descendants of Judah-Tribe of Judah came from him-one of the 12 sons of Jacob.

1   [2] Judah
.. +Daughter of Shua
. 2   Boaz b: in Bethlehem
..... +Ruth of Royalty b: in Moab
. 2   Hur
. 2   Er
..... +[1] Tamar
. 2   Onan
..... +[1] Tamar
. 2   Shelah
*2nd Wife of [2] Judah:
.. +Canaanite Woman
. 2   Er
..... +[3] Tamar
. 2   Onan
..... +[3] Tamar
. 2   Shelah b: in Chezib
*3rd Wife of [2] Judah:
.. +[3] Tamar
. 2   Perez
. 2   Zerah

Research:  Tanach;  The Stone Edition
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia


  1. "One wonders what was so appealing to people when human sacrifice is involved in their beliefs. "

    no joke, nadene. our once great land that was founded upon judeo-christian ethics has traded (i'm speaking in the broad sense) belief in what is righteous for an ultimate expression of terror-to terrorize the weakest among us-the unborn---those without a voice. God sees...God hears the cries of the most helpless among us, thrown away for such horrible belief....sacrificed upon the altars of convenience, pleasure, licentiousness and money which is what the pagan altars of long ago were about too-practices that take away the sanctity of life for not just innocents, but for anyone who is not considered useful or worthy-beliefs that go so far as to promote anti-semitism to rage on, rampant today to wipe out a whole people group. the very opposite of the golden rule is their rule of "belief" so the debauchery of those pagan practices are back with a vengeance. what goes around, comes around again does it not?

    i only took the idea and ran it out to compound the thinking and i can easily see the roots of great evil in the micro and the macro of life upon the earth in such terrible ideas that become belief systems in cultures the world over. what is new under the sun? nothing at all.
    God will have the last word about it all someday..(where is the tipping point?).and i believe soon.

    thanks for all the good articles. i always read with interest and share your writings.


  2. I was hoping you'd see this one and comment on it. I'm with you wondering how people ever saw anything in human sacrifice. It was shocking enough to me when Abraham started to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and was so glad when G-d stopped him and put n end to sacrificing people in that way. We Jews don't commemorate that event but the Muslims do with a big holiday, evidently. They use the scene as a time of sacrificing Ishmael, as I remember for the story became a Muslim one. Yes, the Nazis were killing off the Jews and infirmed, mentally deficient, whoever they didn't want around. They must have all closed their eyes and became amoral. How could they? What is sickening today is seeing ISIS get little tiny children indoctrinated into cutting off people's heads. Half the world is in need of psychologists in a part of the world that doesn't believe in psychology--or moralistic behavior known to us. As for me, I was inspired by our weekly reading-in Deuteronomy as I mentioned, so just finished Part IV. Hope you read them all.