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Ancient Biblical Moabites

Plains of Moab with Mount Nebo in back (Bible Places)

Ancient nation located in the uplands east of the Dead Sea and now a part of Jordan. The area is unprotected from the east hence its history is a chain of raids by the Bedouins. The Moabites were close kin to the Hebrews and the language of the Moabite Stone is practically the same as biblical Hebrew. The relations of Moab with Judah and Israel are continually mentioned in the Bible. As a political entity Moab came to an end after the invasion (circa 733 BC) of Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria. Its people were later absorbed by the Nabataeans. The Moabite religion was much like that of Canaan. Archaeological exploration in Moab has shown that settlements first occurred in the 13th century BC.

The Birth of Moab (Genesis)

19:29 And it came to pass when God destroyed the cities of the plain that God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

19:30 And Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountain and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

19:31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:

19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him that we may preserve seed of our father.

19:33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in and lay with her father and he perceived not when she lay down nor when she arose.

19:34 And it came to pass on the morrow that the firstborn said unto the younger: Behold I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also and go thou in and lie with him that we may preserve seed of our father.

19:35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose and lay with him and he perceived not when she lay down nor when she arose.

19:36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

19:37 And the firstborn bare a son and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day ...

Genesis 19:29-37 / Listen (Real Player)

The Moabite Stone

I am Mesha, son Chemosh[it], King of Moab the Dibonite: So begins one of the most extraordinary ancient documents ever found. Mesha was ruler of the small kingdom of Moab which was east of the Dead Sea in the mid-ninth century BC. He was a contemporary of King Jehoshaphat of the southern kingdom of Judah (870 - 848 BC) and King Joram of the northern kingdom of Israel (852-841 BC). Everything we know about Mesha from the Bible is recorded in the Bible:

2 Kings 3 / Listen (RealPlayer)

But we know a lot more about him from a record he left us which was referred to as the Mesha Stele or Moabite Stone. It was discovered in Dhiban, Jordan in 1868 by a French Anglican medical missionary by the name of F.A. Klein ...

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium