According to the Bible, the father of the Arabs was Ishmael, Abraham’s son by his wife’s Egyptian maidservant Hagar. The Arab Nation is recorded on the Bible Timeline with World History starting around 1004 BC. Ishmael and his mother were sent away at the request of Sarah after she caught the young Ishmael mocking his brother Isaac. Ishmael’s sons included Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedema . Ishmael and his family settled in the area of “Havilah to Shur”. Havilah’s possible location is the Hijaz Mountains on the coast of the Red Sea, and Shur is on the northeastern border of Egypt.
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The 12 sons of Ishmael multiplied and formed their own tribes. Kedar, one of his sons, is said to be an ancestor of the prophet Muhammed. They were the famous Kedarites (Qedarites) mentioned in the stele of the Neo-Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III as one of the Arab nations/tribes that paid him tribute. Queen Zabibe, ruler of the Kedarites, was one of Tiglath-Pileser’s vassals during his reign. Queen Zabibe was succeeded by another queen, Samsi, who rebelled against Tiglath-Pileser. She was defeated by the Assyrian king and forced to pay tribute as a result of her rebellion.
The inscription of Tiglath-Pileser mentions the tribes who were descendants of the sons of Ishmael, such as Massa’, Tema’, and Adbeel tribes. The nomadic Sabaeans, as well as the tribe of Ephah (a son of Keturah), were also included. The inscription of Sargon II of Assyria mentions the conquest of Thamud people, who lived in central Arabia.
The Arab tribes were under the Assyrian rule until the empire’s decline. Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal were two of the last Assyrian kings who fought against the Arabs during the height of the Neo-Assyrian empire. Other tribes who lived in the Arabian peninsula during that time include the Dedanites (son of Jokshan), Minaeans, Gerrhans, and possibly Hadhramis (Hazarmaveth, son of Joktan; Genesis 10:26).
Ephʻal, Israel. The Ancient Arabs: Nomads on the Borders of the Fertile Crescent, 9th-5th Centuries B.C. Jerusalem; Leiden: Magnes Press, The Hebrew University; E.J. Brill, 1982. Accessed March 14, 2016
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