What the scriptures say about
AMMON
a nomadic tribe associated with Moab, especially with the hiring of Balaam
References:
Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference

AMMON in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]   Site search: FreeFind

Select Cross Reference Bible links
Genesis 19:38 descendants of Ben-Ammi
Deuteronomy 2:19-21 descendants of Lot; Israel was not to attempt to take their land
Psalm 83:3-8 part of a conspiracy to destroy Israel as a nation


AMMONITES [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

The usual name of the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot (Genesis 19:38).

From the very beginning (Deuteronomy 2:16-20) of their history till they are lost sight of (Judges 5:2), this tribe is closely associated with the Moabites (Judges 10:11; 2Chr 20:1; Zephaniah 2:8). Both of these tribes hired Balaam to curse Israel (Deuteronomy 23:4). The Ammonites were probably more of a predatory tribe, moving from place to place, while the Moabites were more settled. They inhabited the country east of the Jordan and north of Moab and the Dead Sea, from which they had expelled the Zamzummims or Zuzims (Deuteronomy 2:20; Genesis 14:5). They are known as the Beni-ammi (Genesis 19:38), Ammi or Ammon being worshipped as their chief god. They were of Semitic origin, and closely related to the Hebrews in blood and language. They showed no kindness to the Israelites when passing through their territory, and therefore they were prohibited from "entering the congregation of the Lord to the tenth generation" (Deuteronomy 23:3). They afterwards became hostile to Israel (Judges 3:13). Jephthah waged war against them, and "took twenty cities with a very great slaughter" (Judges 11:33). They were again signally defeated by Saul (1 Samuel 11:11). David also defeated them and their allies the Syrians (2 Samuel 10:6-14), and took their chief city, Rabbah, with much spoil (2 Samuel 10:14; 12:26-31). The subsequent events of their history are noted in 2 Chronicles 20:25; 26:8; Jeremiah 49:1; Ezekiel 25:3,6. One of Solomon's wives was Naamah, an Ammonite. She was the mother of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:31; 2Chr 12:13).

The prophets predicted fearful judgments against the Ammonites because of their hostility to Israel (Zephaniah 2:8; Jeremiah 49:1-6; Ezekiel 25:1-5,10; Amos 1:13-15).

The national idol worshipped by this people was Molech or Milcom, at whose altar they offered human sacrifices (1 Kings 11:5,7). The high places built for this idol by Solomon, at the instigation of his Ammonitish wives, were not destroyed till the time of Josiah (2 Kings 23:13).


AMMON [Smith's Bible Dictionary]

(sons of renown, mountaineers ), Amímonites, Children of Ammon.

A people descended from Ben-ammi, the son of Lot by his younger daughter. (Genesis 19:38) comp Psal 83:7,8 The Ammonites are frequently mentioned with the Moabites (descendants of Ben-ammiís half-brother), and sometimes under the same name. Comp. (Judges 10:6; 2 Chronicles 20:1; Zephaniah 2:8) etc.

The precise position of the territory of the Ammonites is not ascertainable. In the earliest mention of them, ( 2:20) they are said to have dwelt in their place, Jabbok being their border. (Numbers 21:24; 2:37; 3:16) (i.e. Land or country is, however, but rarely ascribed to them. Their capital city was Rabbath, called also Rabbath Ammon on the Jabbok. We find everywhere traces of the fierce habits of maranders in their incursions.) (1 Samuel 11:2; Amos 1:13) and a very high degree of crafty cruelty to their toes. (Jeremiah 41:6,7; Judges 17:11,12)

Moab was the settled and civilized half of the nation of Lot, and Ammon formed its predatory and Bedouin section. On the west of Jordan they never obtained a footing.

The hatred in which the Ammonites were held by Israel is stated to have arisen partly from their denial of assistance, ( 23:4) to the Israelites on their approach to Canaan. But whatever its origin the animosity continued in force to the latest date. The tribe was governed by a king, (Judges 11:12) etc.; (1 Samuel 12:12; 2 Samuel 10:1; Jeremiah 40:14) and by "princes." (2 Samuel 10:3; 1 Chronicles 19:3)

The divinity of the tribe was Molech [MOLECH], and they were gross idolaters.


AMMON [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

am'-on, am'-on-its (`ammon; `ammonim):

The Hebrew tradition makes this tribe descendants of Lot and hence related to the Israelites (Genesis 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 (Deuteronomy 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 (Numbers 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 (Judges 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 Samuel 11) and of David (2 Samuel 10). This may account for the cruel treatment meted out to them in the war that followed (2 Samuel 12:26-31). They seem to have been completely subdued by David and their capital was taken, and we find a better spirit manifested afterward, for Nahash of Rabbah showed kindness to him when a fugitive (2 Samuel 17:27-29). Their country came into the possession of Jeroboam, on the division of the kingdom, and when the Syrians of Damascus deprived the kingdom of Israel of their possessions east of the Jordan, the Ammonites became subjects of Benhadad, and we find a contingent of 1,000 of them serving as allies of that king in the great battle of the Syrians with the Assyrians at Qarqar (854 BC) in the reign of Shalmaneser II. They may have regained their old territory when Tiglath-pileser carried off the Israelites East of the Jordan into captivity (2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26). Their hostility to both kingdoms, Judah and Israel, was often manifested. In the days of Jehoshaphat they joined with the Moabites in an attack upon him, but met with disaster (2 Chronicles 20). They paid tribute to Jotham (2 Chronicles 27:5).

After submitting to Tiglath-pileser they were generally tributary to Assyria, but we have mention of their joining In the general uprising that took place under Sennacherib; but they submitted and we find them tributary in the reign of Esarhaddon.

Their hostility to Judah is shown in their joining the Chaldeans to destroy it (2 Kings 24:2).

Their cruelty is denounced by the prophet Amos (2 Kings 1:13), and their destruction by Jer (49:1-6), Ezek (2 Kings 21:26), Zeph (2 Kings 2:8-9).

Their murder of Gedaliah (2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40:14) was a dastardly act.

Tobiah the Ammonites united with Sanballat to oppose Neh (Nehemiah 4), and their opposition to the Jews did not cease with the establishment of the latter in Judea.

They joined the Syrians in their wars with the Maccabees and were defeated by Judas (1 Mac 5:6).

Their religion was a degrading and cruel superstition. Their chief god was Molech, or Moloch, to whom they offered human sacrifices (1 Kings 11:7) against which Israel was especially warned (Leviticus 20:2-5). This worship was common to other tribes for we find it mentioned among the Phoenicians.

H. Porter


AMMON [Thompson Chain Reference]
    * (descendants of Lot)
    * Genesis 19:38
    * Deuteronomy 2:19
    * Deuteronomy 23:3
    * Judges 10:7
    * 1 Samuel 14:47
    * 2 Samuel 8:12
    * 2 Kings 24:2
    * 2 Chronicles 20:23
    * 2 Chronicles 26:8
    * Nehemiah 4:3 

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