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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Hit´tites or children of Heth, one of the tribes of Canaanites which occupied Palestine before the Israelites (;; ). They lived in and about Hebron; and Abraham, when he abode in that neighborhood, was treated by them with respect and consideration (; ). This intimacy led to Esau's marriage with two women of this nation, to the grief and annoyance of his parents (; ). The Hittites are described in , along with the Amorites, as 'dwelling in the mountains,' that is, in what were afterwards called 'the mountains of Judah,' of which Hebron was the chief town. Uriah, who had the high honor of being one of David's thirty 'worthies,' is called a Hittite (;; ). He was, doubtless, a proselyte, and probably descended from several generations of proselytes; but the fact shows that Canaanitish blood was in itself no bar to advancement in the court and army of David. Solomon subjected the remaining Hittites to the same tribute of bond-service as the other remnants of the Canaanite nations (). Of all these the Hittites appear to have been the most important, and to have been under a king of their own: for 'the kings of the Hittites' are, in , coupled with the kings of Syria as purchasers of the chariots which Solomon imported from Egypt. The Hittites were still present in Palestine as a distinct people after the Exile, and are named among the alien tribes with whom the returned Israelites contracted those marriages which Ezra urged, and Nehemiah compelled, them to dissolve (, etc.; comp. ). After this we hear no more of the Hittites, who probably lost their national identity by intermixture with the neighboring tribes or nations.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Hittites'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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