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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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This word represents two distinct people, who, in accordance with the original Hebrew, might have been more properly called Sebaeans and Shebaeans.

1. The first denotes the inhabitants of the country called Genesis 10:7 , their ancestor is said to be a son of Cush, the progenitor of the Ethiopians. In Isaiah 43:3 and Psalm 72:10 , Seba is mentioned as a distant and wealthy country; in the former passage, it is connected with Egypt and Ethiopia; and Meroe was one of the most important commercial cities of interior Africa. These Sabeans are described by Herodotus as men of uncommon size. Compare Isaiah 45:14 . A branch of this family, it is thought, located themselves near the head of the Persian Gulf; and the Sabeans mentioned in Job 1:15 were probably Cushites. See CUSH and RAAMAH .

2. The inhabitants of the country called Genesis 10:28 1 Chronicles 1:22 .

The queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, 1 Kings 10:1-29 2 Chronicles 9:1-31 Matthew 12:42 , and made him presents of gold, ivory, and costly spices, was probably the mistress of this region; indeed, the Sabeans were celebrated, on account of their important commerce in these very products, among the Greeks also, Job 6:19 Isaiah 60:6 Jeremiah 6:20 Ezekiel 27:22 38:13 Psalm 72:10,15 Joel 3:8 . The tradition of this visit of the queen of Sheba to Solomon has maintained itself among the Arabs, who call her Balkis, and affirm that she became the wife of Solomon.

Besides the Joktanite Sabaeans, two others of the same name are mentioned in the Bible. 1. A son of Jokshan, and grandson of Abraham and Keturah, Genesis 10:28 2 . A grandson of Cush. It is possible that these descendants of the Ethiopian Sheba may have had their residence in Africa; but the question of these two Shebas is obscure and difficult to determine. The Sebaeans and Shebaeans are both mentioned in the same prophecy, Psalm 72:10 , as coming to lay their offerings at the feet of Christ.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Sabeans'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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