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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Ammon Ammonites Children of Ammon

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Ammon, Ammonites, Children of Ammon (ăm'mon,ăm'mon-îtes), strong people, or, perhaps, the same as Ben-ammi, son of my kindred. A people descended from Ben-ammi, the son of Lot by his younger daughter, Genesis 19:38; comp. Psalms 83:7-8, as Moab was by the elder; and dating from the destruction of Sodom. The near relation between the two peoples indicated in the story of their origin continued throughout their existence. Comp. Judges 10:6; 2 Chronicles 20:1; Zephaniah 2:8, etc. Indeed, so close' was their union, and so near their identity, that each would appear to be occasionally spoken of under the name of the other. Unlike Moab, the precise position of the territory of the Ammonites is not ascertainable. In the earliest mention of them, Deuteronomy 2:20, they are said to have destroyed the Rephaim, whom they called the Zamzummim, and to have dwelt in their place, Jabbok being their border. Numbers 21:24; Deuteronomy 2:37; Deuteronomy 3:16. "Land," or "country," is, however, but rarely ascribed to them, nor is there any reference to those habits and circumstances of civilization, which so constantly recur in the allusions to Moab. Isaiah 15:1-9; Isaiah 16:1-14; Jeremiah 48:1-47. On the contrary, we find everywhere traces of the fierce habits of marauders in their incursions. 1 Samuel 11:2; Amos 1:13. It appears that Moab was the settled and civilized half of the nation of Lot, and that Ammon formed its predatory and Bedouin section. On the west of Jordan they never obtained a footing. The hatred in which the Ammonites were held by Israel is stated to have arisen partly from their opposition, or, rather, their denial of assistance, Deuteronomy 23:4-5, to the Israelites on their approach to Canaan. But whatever its origin the animosity continued in force to the latest date. The tribe was governed by a king, Judges 11:12, etc.; 1 Samuel 12:12; 2 Samuel 10:1; Jeremiah 40:14; and by "princes," 2 Samuel 10:3; 1 Chronicles 19:3. It has been conjectured that Nahash, 1 Samuel 11:1; 2 Samuel 10:2, was the official title of the king as Pharaoh was of the Egyptian monarchs; but this is without any sure foundation. The divinity of the tribe was Molech, generally named in the Old Testament under the altered form of Milcom—"the abomination of the children of Ammon;" and Malcham. Zephaniah 1:5. In more than one passage under the word rendered "their king" in the A. V. an allusion is intended to this idol.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Ammon Ammonites Children of Ammon'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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