Ammon in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

am'-on, am'-on-its (`ammon; `ammonim): The Hebrew tradition makes this tribe descendants of Lot and hence related to the Israelites (Gen 19:38). This is reflected in the name usually employed in Old Testament to designate them, Ben `Ammi, Bene `Ammon, "son of my people," "children of my people," i.e. relatives. Hence we find that the Israelites are commanded to avoid conflict with them on their march to the Promised Land (Dt 2:19). Their dwelling-place was on the east of the Dead Sea and the Jordan, between the Arnon and the Jabbok, but, before the advance of the Hebrews, they had been dispossessed of a portion of their land by the Amorites, who founded, along the east side of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, the kingdom of Sihon (Nu 21:21-31). We know from the records of Egypt, especially Tell el-Amarna Letters, the approximate date of the Amorite invasion (14th and 13th centuries, BC). They were pressed on the north by the Hittites who forced them upon the tribes of the south, and some of them settled east of the Jordan. Thus, Israel helped Ammonites by destroying their old enemies, and this makes their conduct at a later period the more reprehensible. In the days of Jephthah they oppressed the Israelites east of the Jordan, claiming that the latter had deprived them of their territory when they came from Egypt, whereas it was the possessions of the Amorites they took (Jdg 11:1-28). They were defeated, but their hostility did not cease, and their conduct toward the Israelites was particularly shameful, as in the days of Saul (1 Sam 11) and of David (2 Sam 10). This may account for the cruel treatment meted out to them in the ...

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