Moab

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{war, force, army}
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{language, word, form}
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Moab (Hebrew: מוֹאָב, Modern Mo'av Tiberian Môʼāḇ ; "seed of father"; Greek Μωάβ Mōav; Arabic مؤاب, Assyrian Mu'aba, Ma'ba, Ma'ab ; Egyptian Mu'ab) is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in modern-day Jordan running along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In ancient times, it was home to the kingdom of the Moabites, a people often in conflict with their Israelite neighbors to the west. The Moabites were a historical people, whose existence is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over an unnamed son of King Omri of Israel.[1] Their capital was Dibon, located next to the modern Jordanian town of Dhiban.

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Etymology

The etymology of the word is uncertain. The earliest gloss is found in the Septuagint[3] which explains the name, in obvious allusion to the account of Moab's parentage, as ἐκ τοῦ πατρός μου. Other etymologies which have been proposed regard it as a corruption of "seed of a father," or as a participial form from "to desire," thus connoting "the desirable (land)." Rashi explains the word Mo'ab to mean "from the father", since "ab" in Hebrew and Arabic and the rest of the Semitic languages means "father". He writes that as a result of the immodesty of Moab's name, God didn't command the Jews to refrain from inflicting pain upon the Moabites in the manner in which he did with regards to the Ammonites. Fritz Hommel regards "Moab" as an abbreviation of "Immo-ab" = "his mother is his father."[4]

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