Ma'onite (Heb. same word as MAON, used collectively; Sept. and Vulg. interpret Χαναάν [v. r. Μαδιάμ], Chanaan, Auth. Vers. "Maonites"), an Arabian tribe mentioned in connection with the Amalekites, Sidonians, Philistines, and others as having oppressed the Hebrews (Jg 10:12). They are the same as the MEUNITES (מעוּנַים, Meuinim', the plural of MAON; Sept. Μιναῖοι, confounding them with the Ammonites; Vulg. Ammonitae, and tabernzacult; Auth. Vers. "Mehunims," and "the habitations"), elsewhere mentioned in a similar connection (2Ch 26:23; 1Ch 4:41). SEE MEHUNIM. At the present day there exists a town called Maa'ni, with a castle, in Arabia Petraea, to the south of the Dead Sea (see Seetzen, in Zach's Monatl. Corresp. 18:382; Burckhardt, Travels in Syria, p. 437). Prof. Robinson says, "Ma'an, the well-known town on the route of the Syrian Haj, nearly east of wady Musa, is with good reason assumed as the probable seat of the Maonites mentioned in the Scriptures. Abulfeda (Syr. p. 14) describes Ma'an as inhabited by Ommiades and their vassals" (Researches, 2:572). That the Mincei of Arabia (Diod. Sic. 3:42; Ptol. 6:7, 23; Strabo, 16:768) are a different people has long since been shown by Bochart (Phaleg, 2:23). Traces of the name AMaon are found in several localities besides that of the above passages. It is given to a town in the south of Judah, now identified with the ruins of Tell Main (Porter, Handbook for S. and P. p. 61). In pronouncing a prophetic curse upon Moab, Jeremiah mentions Beth-meon (48:23), which may perhaps be the same as the Beth-baal-meon of Jos 13:17, and the Baal-meon of Nu 32:38, and would thus be identical with the ruin Main, three miles south of Heshbon. SEE BETH-BAAL-MEON. Hence "it is probable that all these names indicate the presence of an ancient and powerful nomad tribe, which was allied to the Phoenicians (or Sidonians), whose earliest settlements were in the vale of Sodom, and with the Amalekites who dwelt in the wilderness south of Palestine. These Mnaonites migrated eastward, leaving their name at Maon in the south of Judah, where they may have had their headquarters for a time, and again at Beth-meon, on the plateau of Moab; and also at the large modern village above described."

Bible concordance for MAON.

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