Moab: The Place
Moab is an ancient mountainous country situated in the Southern Levant, presently found in Jordan. Its capital city was Kir of Moab, now standing at Kerak. It was also the heart of the country’s government administration. It first appears on the Bible Timeline around 1900 BC
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Moab played an important role on the King’s Highway. The King’s Highway was a trade route joining Egypt to Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia. Its position along this route benefited its people economically.
This hilly country was generally fertile with a mild summer season. Rain was ample along with frequent snow during winter and spring.
Aside from being fertile, its land was a great source of limestone, salt, and balsam. The Moabites settled In this country until the invasion of the nations from northern Arabia, i.e., Kedarites and Nabataeans.
Its most important shrine was Beyt-baal-me’on which may mean the “house of God of On”. The main shrine of On was in the holy city of Heliopolis, Egypt.
Moab: The Person
Moab was the son of Lot from an incestuous union with his eldest daughter after the devastation of Sodom. This incestuous relationship became the Israelites’ reason for declaring the Moabites as a nation of lower standing. The Moabites were the descendant of Moab. They were Semitic and were closely related to the Ammonites as Ammon was the brother of Moab from Lot.
The Moabites were usually at war against the Israelite during the biblical era. Tracing its lineage to Terah, the Israelites and Moabites were related to each other. Terah was the father of Abraham and Haran. Abraham became the ancestor of the Israelites while Haran became the father of Lot, Moab’s father. The Moabite men were not allowed to marry the Israelite women, but Moabite women are allowed to convert and marry Israelite men.
The uplands on the east of the Dead Sea up to the peak of Gilead were traditionally inhabited by Emim. Moabites drove out the gigantic Emim and settled in this area until the arrival of the Amorite nation.
Moabites were mostly polytheists, worshipping Chemosh as their main god. They were practicing human sacrifices just as King Mesha had done, who sacrificed his son and successor to Chemosh. King Solomon erected an altar of Chemosh on a hill just before Jerusalem, which lasted for almost 300 years until the time of Josiah. They had their own priests, sorcerers, and prophets.
The Moabite Stone
The Moabite or Mesha Stone was an inscription of the Moabite King Mesha’s reigning era. Built around 850 BC, it honored King Mesha crediting his victory against Israel to their god, Chemosh.
It was discovered in Dibon in 1868 by a German missionary named Klein. It described the peacefulness of King Mesha’s leadership having added more than a hundred cities to his territory. It also gave details on how he founded Medeba, Beth-diblathen, and Beth-baal-me.
Furthermore, Moabite Stone speaks about the female counterpart of the chief god Chemosh, Ashtar-Chemosh.
Moab in the Bible
Genesis 19:37. Moab from whom the Moabites descended was the son of Lot from his elder daughter.
Genesis 36:35. Moab as a country.
Exodus 15:15. The leaders from the country of Moab will be defeated.
Numbers 21:13-15. The boundaries of Moab.
Numbers 26:3, 26:63, 31:12, 33:48-50, 35:1, 36:13. The plains of Moab.
Deuteronomy 2:8. The desert road of Moab.
Isaiah 15:1-9, Jeremiah 48:20-28. The prophecy against Moab and its people.
Jeremiah 48:13. Chemosh, the god of Moab’s nation.
Ezekiel 25:11, Amos 2:2, Zephaniah 2:9. God’s punishment on Moab.
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