Ben-Ammi commonly known as Ammon was the son of an incestuous union of Lot with his younger daughter. He was the brother of Moab, who was also a child of Lot’s incestuous relationship with his eldest daughter. Both were conceived after the destruction of Sodom. Ammon became the ancestor of the Ammonites. He is on the Biblical Timeline around 1900 BC.
Just like the Moabites, Ammonites were usually in conflict with the Israelites. The Bible relates an incident when the Ammonites refused to let the Israelites pass through their land. They were also mentioned as one of the nations who fought against Judas Maccabeus. Another incident was when the Ammonites allied with the Moabites in a war against the Israelites.
King David of Judah had a friendly relationship with the Ammonites until the incident with the servants of King David and the newly succeeded king. The son of Ammonite’s King Nahash who succeeded the throne after Nahash died disgraced the servants sent by King David to console the mourning king by shaving their heads. A war started. It was during this time that King David had an intimate relationship with Bathsheba. Bathsheba was the wife of the Hittite Uriah, a great army officer who died while fighting in Rabbah.
Bathsheba and King David became the parents of Solomon who succeeded as king after David’s death. King Solomon was known to have Ammonite wives. And he also constructed altars as a place to worship the national gods of Ammonites and Canaanites that lasted until the time of Josiah. These two became part of the reasons that triggered the separation of the kingdom into two; the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom.
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The Ammonites were Semitic people who were strongly associated with the Hebrews by lineage and language. They dwelt in the country of Ammon driving out the Zamzummims or Zuzims who inhabited the land until their arrival.
Their chief god was Ammi or Ammon. The Bible mentions Milcom and Molech as the national gods of Ammon to whom they were offering human sacrifices.
The Country of Ammon
The Ammonites inhabited the land situated at the east of the Jordan River, to the north of Moab and the Dead Sea. This area is the modern day country of Jordan. The Ammonites flourished in this land until the invasion of the Arabs.
Its ancient capital city was Rabbah or Rabbath-Ammon which is now the capital of Jordan, the city of Amman. And just like Moab, its location greatly benefited being along the King’s Highway. This important trade route entered good revenues to the Ammonites.
The country of Ammon was abundant with natural resources and became the source of sandstone and limestone. Its lands were fertile enough for agriculture. The country flourished because of agriculture and trade enabling them to construct a number of fortresses.
Ammon mentioned in the Bible
Genesis 19:38. Ben-Ammi as the son of Lot with his younger daughter and the ancestor of the Ammonites.
Deuteronomy 21:24. Ammonites as the descendants of Lot.
Deuteronomy 2:20-21. The Ammonites expelled the Rephaites or the Zamzummites who dwelt in the land before them.
Deuteronomy 3:16, Joshua 12:2. The borders of the land of Ammon.
Deuteronomy 23:3. The people of Ammon and Moab could not enter the assembly of God to the tenth generation.
1 Kings 11:7, 11:33, 2 Kings 23:13. Molek, the god of Ammon.
1 Kings 14:21, 14:31. Naamah, an Ammonite was the mother of Juda’s King Rehoboam.
Ezekiel 25:1-5. Lord’s prophecy against Ammon.
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