Mo'ib (Heb. Modb', מוֹאָב, water [i.e., seed] of her father, with allusion to his incestuous origin [see below]; Sept. Μωάβ), the son of Lot and his eldest daughter, and founder of the Moabitish people (Ge 19:30-38). B.C. 2063. Moab is also used for the country or territory of the Moabites (Jer 48:4); and also for the people of Moab (Nu 22:3-14; Jg 3:30; 2Sa 8:2; 2Ki 1:1; Jer 48:11,13). The "Plains of Moal," near Jericho, was the last station of the Hebrews in their journey to Canaan (Nu 21:33; Nu 22:1; Nu 33:48). The proper territory of the Moabites, more fully called the field of Moab (Ru 1:1-2,6; Ru 2:6; Ru 4:3), lay on the east of the Dead Sea and the Jordan, strictly on the south of the torrent Arnon (Nu 21:13,26; Jg 11:18);

but in a wider sense it included also the region anciently occupied by the Amorites over against Jericho, usually called the plains (deserts) of Moab (Nu 22:1; Nu 24:3; Nu 31:12; Nu 33:49-50; Nu 35:1; De 34:1); or elsewhere simply the land of Moab (De 1:5; De 28:68; De 32:49; De 34:5); which latter region was afterwards assigned to the Reubenites, but during the captivity was again occupied by the Moabites (see Isa 15; Isa 16; Jer 48). It is now called the district of Kerak, from the city of that name, anciently Kir-Moab. SEE MOABITE; SEE PAHATH-MOAB.

As to the etymology of the name, various explanations have been proposed.

(1.) The Sept. inserts the words λέγουσα ἐκ τοῦ πατρός μου, saying 'from my father,' as if מֵאָבThis is followed by the old interpreters; as Josephus (Ant. 1:11, 5), Jerome's Quaest. Hebr. in Genesim, the gloss of the Pseudo-Jon. Targum; and in modern times by De Wette (Bibel), Tuch (Genesis page 370), and J.D. Michaelis (B. fiur Ungelehrten).

(2.) By Hiller (Ozom. page 414) and Simon (Onom. page 479) it is derived from מוֹבָא אָב 'ingressus, i.e., coitus, patris.'

(3.) Rosenmuller (see Schumann, Genesis, page 302) 'proposes to treat מוֹ as equivalent for מִיַם, water, in accordance with the figure employed by Balaam in Nu 24:7 (as above adopted). This is countenanced by Jerome — 'aqua paterna' (Comm. in Mic. 6:8) — and has the great authority of Gesenius in its favor (Thesp. 775 a); also of First (Handwb. page 70) and Bunsen (Bibelweork).

(4.) A derivation, probably more correct etymologically than either of the above, is that suggested by Maurer from the root יָאִב, 'to desire' — 'the desirable land' — with reference to the extreme fertility of the region occupied by Moab (see also Furst, Hwb. page 707 b). No hint, however, has yet been discovered in the Bible records of such an origin of the name."

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