Saturday, July 8, 2017

Those Moabites, People of Southern Transjordan, Now Jordan and Connection to Israelites

Nadene Goldfoot                                          
Moab was an ancient county in what became Southern Transjordan.  It was bounded by the Heshbon River in the North and the Zered River in the South, the Jordan River and Dead Sea to the West, and the Syrian Desert on the East.  OMRI was king of Israel from 887 to 876 BCE.  He subdued Moab.  The Assyrians called Israel not by its name, Israel, but Omri.  Omri founded a dynasty.
                                                                         Descendants of Haran

1   Haran
. 2   Lot
..... 3   Ammon
..... 3   Moab
..... 3   Daughter 1
..... 3   Daughter 2
. 2   Iskah
. 2   Milcah b: in Ur of Chaldees d: in Haran
..... +NAHOR II b: in Ur of Chaldees d: in Haran
..... 3   Uz
..... 3   Buz
..... 3   Kemuel
..... 3   Chesed
..... 3   Hazo
..... 3   Pildash
..... 3   Jidlaph
..... 3   Bethuel
. 2   Sarai-Sarah d: in Hebron
..... +Abram-Abraham b: in Ur of the Chalees d: in Hebron
..... 3   Isaac b: in Negev
......... +Rebekah b: in Aram

Moabites of c2,000 BCE were related to the Israelites  by being descended from Lot as told in Genesis 19:37. Moab was Lot's son.   Their language was like biblical Hebrew.  The Israelites were instructed to not engage in conquering or even to battle with the Moabites.  The Torah forbids intermarriage with a Moabite. (Deut.23:4.)  However, the Talmud interpreted this meaning that only males could not marry a Moabite woman, and the prohibition was abolished in the Mishnaic Period.  RUTH WAS A MOABITE.  

 The Ammonites were another people like them from Lot.  Originally, the Moabites were divided into small tribes, and tribes were usually a group of a family male line, like son sons of Jacob were, with each son the leader of his descendants who banded together into one tribe.  The Moabites then united into a single kingdom like Israel.
Tel Heshbon with iron-age pool in Jordan
It lay on the border between Reuben and Gad, the latter tribe seems eventually to have occupied it (Jos 13:26). It was later assigned, as a town of Gad, to the Levites (Jos 21:39; 1 Chr 6:81). The Moabites reconquered the city in the period of the divided kingdom and occupied it in the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah (Is 15:4; 16:8, 9; Jer 48:2, 33, 34). However, during Jeremiah’s lifetime it seems to have changed hands again, since he refers to it as an Ammonite city in one of his later oracles (Jer 49:2, 3). The Ammonites seem to have taken it during an invasion of the Moabite territory referred to in Ezekiel (ch 25:9, 10). It was in the possession of Alexander Jannaeus in the time of the Maccabees, and was later ruled by Herod the Great (Jos. Ant. xiii. 15. 4; xv. 8. 5), who fortified it and made it into a garrison city called Esbus.
In the Patriarchal Era of c2,000 BCE to c1500 BCE, The Moabites  had settled in their land which had been captured from the Rephaim or Emim, told in (Deut. 2:10-11).  These were an ancient people that lived in what had later become Transjordania but was in the time of Abraham as  told in Gen. 14:5.  Some of the Moabites settled near Jerusalem in the Valley of Rephaim.

In the Exodus Period of c1579 BCE to c1539 BCE , part of this territory, between the Jabbok and Arnon Rivers,  came under the rule of the Amorite monarch, King Sihon whose capital was Heshbon.  Sihon had taken much of this area from the Moabites as in Num 21;21, but after his defeat by the Israelites, their land was occupied by Israel and this became the cause of contention between Israel, Moab and Ammon.  Sihon had made the mistake of refusing the Israelites passage across his territory during the Exodus and the Israelites defeated and killed him.  His land was then partitioned between the tribes of Reuben and Gad, 2 of the twelve tribes of Jacob.
Heathen Balaam on his ass that will speak to him
telling him where he was wrong.  
It was during their 2nd ruler, King BALAK, that we have this Shabbat's story to read from the Torah  listed under Numbers 22:2 to 25:9 entitled, BALAK.  Balak had summoned Balaam, a heathen Moabite prophet to curse the Israelites.  He was divinely inspired and instead had uttered blessings instead of curses as in Num 22:5.  Balaam possessed the characteristics of a Mesopotamian priest and soothsayer but as it turned out, also appeared as a faithful servant of G-d.  On the one hand, Balaam had done evil to Israel.  He had told the Midianites to invite the Israelites to worship Baal Peor and then was killed by the Israelites on the battlefield as in Num. 31:16 and Josh 13:22.  He had caused Israel's lapse into immorality.   He had a vision, explained Maimonides, of Balaam's ass who reproofed him in his own language.
King Eglon of Moab, celebrating taking Jericho

Naomi, the Judean and Ruth, the Moabite
Ruth was Naomi's daughter in law
Ruth had just become a widow, and they are gleaning for wheat to make bread.
      King Eglon  of the 12th century BCE was a king of the Moabites.  Under him, they had extended their territory to the Jericho region until Eglon was killed by the Judge, Ehud, of the tribe of Benjamin.  By doing this, Ehud had saved Israel from the oppression of King Eglon  as told in Judges 3.  Talmudic legend shows Eglon as the father of RUTH.

Judges were tribal leaders the Israelites used before they turned to choosing their first king, who would be Saul.  Saul lived in the 11th century BCE and was also from the tribe of Benjamin, being the son of Kish.   The people felt they also needed a king when they were facing the threats of the Philistines and the Ammonites.  The prophet, Samuel, stepped up and chose Saul.  Saul was an organizer and managed to organize an army and trained them and they managed to defeat their enemy.  They had a great victory at Michmash, stopping the Philistines.  Then they took on an expedition against the Moabites that punished their enemy and also took on the Ammonites and Arameans as well.
King David 
King David, born in Bethlehem,son of Jesse from the tribe of Judah, King  of Israel ruled from c1010 BCE to 970 BCE  and conquered the Moabites.  (II Samuel 8:2) The land stayed under the rule of the Northern Kingdom of Israel  down to the rebellion of Mesha of Moab.  David's great grandmother was RUTH, THE MOABITE. David's father was Jesse, son of Oved, son of Boaz, Ruth's 2nd husband, relative of her 1st husband, Mahlon whose mother was Naomi.  Now, Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin and David became Saul's armor-bearer when he was 25 years old,  and was best friends with Saul's son, Jonathan.  He also married Saul's daughter, Michal.   David was from the tribe of Judah.  His mother was Ithra's daughter.  Ithra was his grandfather, an Ishmaelite,   and  father of Amasa, commanding general in the rebel army of Absalom, 3rd son of David. Amasa led a charmed life because David appointed Amasa as his general after Absalom's rising against him.  So Amasa would have been his uncle, an uncle who rebelled against his kingship but who kept his seat of power as a general when it was over.

Another king of Moab was MESHA.  He had the honor of setting up the Mesha Stele (Moabite Stone)  at the Moabite capital, Dibon.  It was a stone that he set up and inscribed the story of his successful revolt against King Joram (Jehoram from 853BCE -843BCE) of Israel as told in II Kings 3:4.  The Israelite king was the son of King Ahab of Israel.  Jehoram had united with King Jehoshaphat (875BCE -851BCE) of Judah against their common enemy, Mesha, .  The outcome was that Moab regained its independence.
In the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III, (745-726 BCE) Moab became an Assyrian province.  Tiglath reformed Assyrian administration and started the policy of exiling hostile people of conquered countries.  He invaded N Syria in 743 BCE and levied tribute on King Menahem of Israel.  In 734 BCE he invaded Philistia, conquered Damascus in 733 BCE and took a large part of the kingdom of Israel and banished the people of Galilee to Transjordania (Moab).  Then he exated tribute from Ahaz of Jodah and from Ammon, Moab and Edom.  Laer he gained control of Babylon and ruled there under the alias of Pul

During the Persian Period,c538 BCE, caused by the Babylonian Empire's Cyrus conquering  Israel.  Arabs entered the country and assimilated with the inhabitants.  Jews were in exile for 2 centuries in Mesopotamia.  The Book of Esther was written about this period.  Moab was conquered by the Hasmoneans and was later incorporated by the Romans in Arabia. The Hasmonians Dynasty was founded by a priestly family, Mattathias of Modiin.  He had 5 sons, Judah, the Maccabee, Jonathan, Simon, John and Eleazar who directed the revolt against the hellenizing policy by the Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes.  from 166 to 164 BCE, the Hasmoneans fought a number of successful battles against the Syrians and Judah captured Jerusalem in 164 BCE and rededicated the Temple (Chanukah).  
Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein has been King of Jordan since the 1999 death of his father, King Hussein. According to Abdullah, he is a 41st-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belongs to the Hashemite family—who have ruled Jordan since 1921
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, former King of TransJordan, born in Mecca, Hejaz, Ottoman Empire, was the second of three sons of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah. He was educated in Constantinople and Hejaz. Today his grandson, Abdullah is king of Jordan.
The population of the land of TransJordan, which was to become the eastern part of Israel according to the League of Nations, was from the  Muslim empires starting in the 7th century, partial crusader control in the mid-Middle Ages (country of Oultrejordain) and finally, Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo) since 13th century and the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century until World War I. The people from these eras were the staff of the empires.  It was never populated by any of them or turned into a separate state.  In 1880 when the first aliyah of Jews came from Russia, they had to deal with the Turkish administrators.  

Black September was a Palestinian terrorist organization.  "The group's name is derived from the Black September conflict which began on 16 September 1970, when King Hussein of Jordan declared military rule in response to fedayeen attempting to seize his kingdom  — resulting in the deaths and expulsion of thousands of Palestinians fighters from Jordan.  Since then, Abdullah II has married a Palestinian girl.  Many Palestinians live in Jordan.  This is why many consider Jordan as Palestine.  They have their state already, almost, but Abdullah II wants to have no part of it.  He will not accept anymore Palestinians in his state.  

Update: 7/9/17 "Consider for a moment, that if Jordan agrees to grant citizenship to all Palestinians, as their law currently provides, and invites the return of all of them to live and work in Jordan, the conflict would soon be ended. While King Abdullah isn’t about to do so, the Jordan Opposition Coalition (JOC) would. This coalition represents all opposition groups in Jordan that back a secular state. The JOC since its creation six years ago has supported good relations with Israel. It does not include groups that support terrorism. This alliance has agreed to work together in order to form the government of Jordan should King Abdullah abdicate. Although at least 75% of Jordanians are Palestinians, the King has disenfranchised them to a great extent in favor of the ethnic Hashemites and Bedouins. " I want to point out that the 1.7 million Palestinians living in Israel are full citizens in every way except compulsary service in the IDF.  That is voluntary for them.  

Again, there is no way to say that Palestinians are Moabites, an extinct people.  Most all were immigrants from surrounding lands, coming in to find work.  They were the poorer of the neighbors.  Those few that had owned land had sold it to the Jews, who found they were only too happy to sell it to them at exorbitant prices and enjoy the fruits of the sale in better places like Damascus or Beirut and Paris.  They had been taken advantage of by the Ottoman Empire as it was, hardly able to stay above water financially, and many hadn't.  
 Resource:  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia*****update


  1. Good one. Very soon I will expert of jewish history due to you Nadene friend.

  2. If you think of something you'd like me to write about, let me know. Glad I could tell you about the Moabites. When I pick a subject to write about, I learn more, too. We're both getting smarter.