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The Blue Letter Bible

Dictionaries :: Ammonite

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


the usual name of the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot (Gen 19:38). From the very beginning (Deu 2:16-20) of their history till they are lost sight of (Jdg 5:2), this tribe is closely associated with the Moabites (Jdg 10:11; 2Ch 20:1; Zep 2:8). Both of these tribes hired Balaam to curse Israel (Deu 23:4). The Ammonites were probably more of a predatory tribe, moving from place to place, while the Moabites were more settled. They inhabited the country east of the Jordan and north of Moab and the Dead Sea, from which they had expelled the Zamzummims or Zuzims (Deu 2:20; Gen 14:5). They are known as the Beni-ammi (Gen 19:38), Ammi or Ammon being worshipped as their chief god. They were of Semitic origin, and closely related to the Hebrews in blood and language. They showed no kindness to the Israelites when passing through their territory, and therefore they were prohibited from "entering the congregation of the Lord to the tenth generation" (Deu 23:3). They afterwards became hostile to Israel (Jdg 3:13). Jephthah waged war against them, and "took twenty cities with a very great slaughter" (Jdg 11:33). They were again signally defeated by Saul (1Sa 11:11). David also defeated them and their allies the Syrians (2Sa 10:6-14), and took their chief city, Rabbah, with much spoil (2Sa 10:14; 12:26-31). The subsequent events of their history are noted in 2Ch 20:25; 26:8; Jer 49:1; Eze 25:3, 6. One of Solomon's wives was Naamah, an Ammonite. She was the mother of Rehoboam (1Ki 14:31; 2Ch 12:13).

The prophets predicted fearful judgments against the Ammonites because of their hostility to Israel (Zep 2:8; Jer 49:1-6; Eze 25:1-5,10; Amo 1:13-15).

The national idol worshipped by this people was Molech or Milcom, at whose altar they offered human sacrifices (1Ki 11:5,7). The high places built for this idol by Solomon, at the instigation of his Ammonitish wives, were not destroyed till the time of Josiah (2Ki 23:13).

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