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sa - bē´anz ( שׁבאים , shebhā'ı̄m ( Joel 3:8 the King James Version), סבאים , ṣebhā'ı̄m ; Σαβαείμ , Sabaeı́m , Σεβαείμ , Sebaeı́m (Isaiah 45:14 ); read סובאים , ṣābhā'ı̄m , but rendered as though from ṣābhā' , "to imbibe," hence, "drunkards"; οἰνωμένοι , oinōménoi , "wine-drunken" (Ezekiel 23:42 the King James Version)):

1. Forms of the Word:

"Sabaeans" is also the translation of the name of the country itself ( שׁבא , shebhā' ) in Job 1:15 ; Job 6:19 . This last, which is the root of shebhā'ı̄m , is regarded by Arabists as coming from that root with the meaning of "to take captive," though seba'a , "he raided" (compare Job 1:15 ), has also been suggested.

2. Two Different Races:

As Sheba is said in Genesis 10:7 ; Genesis 10:28 ; and Genesis 25:3 respectively to have been (1) a son of Raamah, the 4th son of Cush; (2) the 10th son of Joktan, son of Eber; (3) the 1st son of Jokshan, 2nd son of Abraham and Keturah, at least two nationalities of this name are implied. The former were identified by Josephus ( Ant. , II, x, 2) with the tall people of Saba in Upper Egypt, described by him as a city of Ethiopia, which Moses, when in the service of the Egyptians, besieged and captured.

3. Semitic Sabeans and Their Commerce:

It is the Semitic Sabeans, however, who are the best known, and the two genealogies attributed to them (Joktan-Eber and Jokshan-Abraham) seem to imply two settlements in the land regarded as that of their origin. As Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:23 ) mentions Haran (Hirran), Canneh (Kannah), and Eden (Aden) as being connected with Sheba, and these three places are known to have been in Southern Arabia, their Semitic parentage is undoubted. The Sabeans are described as being exporters of gold (Isaiah 60:6 ; Psalm 72:15 ), precious stones (Ezekiel 27:23 ), perfumes (Jeremiah 6:20 ; Isaiah and Ezekiel), and if the rendering "Sabaeans" for Joel 3 (4):8 be correct, the Sebaim, "a nation far off," dealt in slaves. See SEBA ; SHEBA ; TABLE OF NATIONS .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Sabaeans'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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