Showing posts from March, 2024

Biblical Nations - Perizzites

Perizzites Key Scripture: Genesis 15:18-20 Figures: Adoni-bezek After getting to know the Kenites last week, I thought it would be interesting to find out more about the inhabitants of the Promised Land prior to its conquest by Israel under the leadership of Joshua.  There are several distinct groups that are mentioned frequently as living in the land that God had promised Abraham, and to lead off the list I've chosen the Perizzites.  Very little is known for sure about this group, but they lived alongside those descended from Canaan in the family of Ham, and are never referenced separately from one or more of their Canaanite co-inhabitants.  Geographically, they occupied some of the areas where the Kenites could also be found, with the book of Joshua pointing out that they occupied some of the hill country areas that would eventually be allotted to Judah and Ephraim.  Culturally, they were associated with the worship of Phoenician deities such as Baal and Ashtoreth.  This people g

Biblical Nations - Kenites

First off, a quick note that the blog has quickly surpassed 120,000 views - thank you all for the continued support and encouragement!  Kenites Key Scripture: Judges 1:16 Figures: Jethro, Jael, Rechab If you read last week's post, you're already acquainted with a group that continually opposed the children of Israel.  This week, let's look at a family that is related to the story of those Amalekites but maintained a long-standing friendship with the Jewish people.  Readers first encounter the Kenite people group during the exile of Moses, when he fled Egypt and stayed in Midian.  While there, he met the family of a man who is referenced by two names in Scripture - Jethro and Reuel - and married his daughter, Zipporah.  Thus the Kenite people became the third separate nation that Moses could legitimately claim as family, being born to a Hebrew couple and raised by the Egyptian princess.  Thus began a relationship that was one of the few mutually beneficial friendships that t

Biblical Nations - Amalekites

Amalekites Key Scripture: Exodus 17:8-16 Figures: Amalek, Agag, Haman One of the earliest people groups the children of Israel encountered after leaving Egypt were not-so-distant relatives.  The Amalekites were a semi-nomadic group that were descendants of Amalek, a grandson of Esau (Israel's twin brother).  They are not specifically associated with the Edomites who settled in the region of Mount Seir, which could mean they maintained a separate identity due to some unknown conflict.  They were not friendly towards Moses and his followers, and earned a series of curses and rebukes over the course of many years for their hostility.  The Negev, an expansive desert at the southern extent of Canaan, was where the Amalekites wandered during the time of the Exodus, and they remained in that area until the time of Israel's first kings. Amalek was the son of Esau's oldest son, Eliphaz, and a concubine named Timna.  He is listed as the seventh in order of the chiefs of Edom (the ter

Biblical Nations - Nephilim

Nephilim Key Scripture: Genesis 6:4 Figures: The Anakim, possibly related to the Rephaim (including Og and Goliath) This week we will explore a people group is mysterious and controversial, simply because of a lack of specific Biblical information.  During the pre-Flood account of history between Adam and Noah, we are introduced to individuals who are famous during their time for being mighty.  They are called the Nephilim, which has been translated as "fallen ones" in English, but their description is enigmatic at best and has resulted in a number of theories and challenges about their true identities.  In this case, the precise wording in Scripture is especially useful, and I will use the NASB translation: "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of mankind, and they bore children to them.  Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown." Genesis 6:4 The first detail that must be det

Biblical Nations - Shem

Shem Key Scripture: Genesis 10:21-31 Figures: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Eber, Peleg, Joktan, and Abram We have arrived at the first of Noah's three sons to be mentioned in the Bible, but the last to be listed in the "Table of Nations" found in Genesis 10.  It is likely because the writer of Genesis was a descendent of Israel who came from the family of Shem, as did many of the important empires that would impact the Middle East throughout the centuries.  From the names of his children and grandchildren, we can determine that the people groups known as the "Semites" filled much of the Arabian Peninsula, Fertile Crescent, and the regions to the south and east.  Obviously many families remained close to Mount Ararat, leading to the incident at the Tower of Babel, and some of Noah's grandchildren seem to have traveled closer to their cousins than their brothers, so the family of Shem has a measure of overlap with both the people of Ham and Japheth. Sh