(Heb. Arabi', עֲרָבַי, Isa 13:20; Jer 3:2; or Arbi', עִרבַּי. 2Ch 17:11; 2Ch 21:16; 2Ch 22:1; 2Ch 26:7; Ne 2:19; Ne 4:7 [1]; 6:1; Gr. ῎Αραψ, 1 Maccabees 5:39; 11:17, 39; 12:31; 2 Maccabees 5:8; 12:10), the national designation of an inhabitant of that general district denominatied Arabia, i.e. the nomadic tribes inhabiting the country to the east and south of Palestine, who in the early times of Hebrew history were known as Ishmaelites and descendants of Keturah. Their roving pastoral life in the desert is alluded to in Isa 13:20; Jer 3:2; Jer 2 Maccabees 12:11; their country is associated with the country of the Dedanim, the travelling merchants (Isa 21:13), with Dedan, Tema, and Buz (Jer 25:24), and with Dedan and Kedar (Ezra 27:21), all of which are supposed to have occupied the northern part of the peninsula later known as Arabia. During the prosperous reign of Jehoshaphat, the Arabians, in conjunction with the Philistines, were tributary to Judah (2 Chronickes 17:11), but in the reign of his successor they revolted, ravaged the country, plundered the royal palace, slew all the king's sons with the exception of the youngest, and carried off the royal harem (2Ch 21:16; 2Ch 22:1). The Arabians of Gur-baal were again subdued by Uzziah (2Ch 26:7). During the Captivity they appear to have spread over the country of Palestine, for on the return from Babylon they were among the foremost in hindering Nehemiah in his work of restoration, and plotted with the Ammonites and others for that end (Ne 4:7). Geshem, or Gashmu, one of the leaders of the opposition, was of this race (Ne 2:19; Ne 7:1). In later times the Arabians served under Timotheus in his struggle with Judas Maccabaeus, but were defeated (1 Maccabees 5:39; 2 Maccabees 12:10). The Zabadeeans, an Arab tribe, were routed by Jonathan, the brother and successor of Judas (1 Maccabees 12:31). The chieftain or king of the Arabians bore the name of Aretas as far back as the time of Antiochus Epiphanes and Jason the highpriest (2 Maccabees 5:8; comp. 2Co 11:32). Zabdiel, the assassin of Alexander Balas (1 Maccabees 11:17), and Simalcue, who brought up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander (1 Maccabees 11:39), afterward Antiochus VI, were both Arabians. In the time of the N.T. the term appears to have been used in the same manner (Ac 2:11). SEE ARABIA.

Bible concordance for ARABIANS.

Definition of arabian

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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