Sheba

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Sheba (Arabic: سبأ, Sabaʼ, Hebrew: שבא, Sh'va, Ge'ez, Amharic, Tigrinya: ሳባ, Saba) was a kingdom mentioned in the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament) and the Qur'an. The actual location of the historical kingdom is disputed, with modern evidence tending toward Yemen in southern Arabia,[1][2][3] but other scholars argue for a location in either present-day Eritrea or Ethiopia. Since the two territories are separated by a narrow channel it is possible that at various times the kingdom included territory in both Yemen and Ethiopia, and may be equated with the Sabean kingdom.

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Biblical tradition

Sheba is mentioned several times in the Bible. For instance, in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:7), Sheba, along with Dedan, is listed as a descendant of Noah's son Ham (as sons of Raamah son of Cush). In Genesis 25:3, Sheba and Dedan are listed as names of sons of Jokshan, son of Abraham. Another Sheba is listed in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:28) as a son of Joktan, another descendant of Noah's son Shem. Yet another Sheba is mentioned in 2 Samuel 20:1-22 who rebelled against King David, was beheaded and his head thrown over the wall by the people in the city of Abel in order to save their lives. Isaiah's prophecy, "all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense" (Isaiah 60:6), is understood as a prediction of the Biblical Magi bringing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to the newborn Jesus.

In Ethiopian Orthodox tradition, the third of these Shebas (Joktan's son) is considered the primary ancestor of the original Semitic component in their ethnogenesis, while Sabtah and Sabtecah, sons of Cush, are considered the ancestors of the Cushitic element.

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