To'man (Heb. Teyman, תֵּימָן, the right, also the south, as often; Sept. Θαιμάν v.r. Θεμάν and Θαμάν; Vulg, Theman v.r. Meaidies, Auster), the name of a man, and also of a people and country.
1. The oldest son of Eliphaz the son of Esau (Ge 36:11). B.C. cir. 1960. It would appear that Teman was the first duke or prince (אִלּוּŠ) of the Edomites (Ge 5:15); and that, having founded a tribe, he gave his name to the region in which it settled (Ge 5:32).
2. The country of the Temanites, which formed in after-ages the chief, stronghold of Idumsean power. Hence, when the Lord by the mouth of Ezekiel pronounced the doom of Edom, he said, "I will make it desolate from Teman" (Eze 25:13). The Temanites were celebrated for their courage; hence the force and point of Obadiah's judgment: "Thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed" (Eze 25:9). They were also famous for wisdom; in allusion to which characteristic, and perhaps with special reference to Job's friend Eliphaz the Temanite, Jeremiah mournfully asks, "Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?" (Jer 49:7; Job 2:11; comp. Baruch 3, 22. See Pusey, On Obadiah, ver. 8).
The geographical position of "the land of Teman," or, more literally, the "land of the Temanite," as it is called in Ge 36:34 (מֵאֵרֵ הִתֵּימָנַי; Sept. ἐκ τῆς γῆς θαιμανών, A. V. "Temani"), is nowhere defined in Scripture; but there are several incidental notices which tend to fix it with considerable certainty.
1. It is intimately connected with Edom, and manifestly either formed a province of it, or lay upon its border (Jer 49:7,20). In one passage it is included in the same curse with Bozrah, the capital of Edom: "I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah" (Am 1:12).
2. Habakkuk joins Teman in parallelism with Mount Paran (Hab 3:3); and this might probably indicate that the portion of Edom lying over against Kadesh, besideῥ which rose Mount Paran (q.v.), was called Teman. Perhaps, as the northern section of Edom was called Gebal, the southern section may have got the name Teman.
3. Ezekiel groups Teman in such a way with Edom and Dedan as would lead to the conclusion that it lay between them, and therefore on the south and south-east of the former (Eze 25:13). SEE DANIEL On the whole, it would appear that Teman was the name given by Esau's distinguished grandson to his possessions in the southern part of the mountains of Edom. As the tribe increased in strength and wealth, they spread out over the region extending southward along the shore of the Gulf of Akabah, and eastward into Arabia. This view is confirmed by a passage in the book of Joshua, hitherto considered obscure and difficult, but which the advances recently made in Biblical geography tend to elucidate. The sacred writer-commences his description of the territory of Judah in these words: "This, then, was the lot of the children of Judah; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast" (15, 1). Besides being unintelligible, this is not a literal translation of the Hebrew; and the renderings of the Sept. and Vulg. are still worse. The Hebrew may be translated as follows: Towards (or along, אֶל) the border of Edom, the wilderness of Zin to the Negeb (נֶגבָּה) from the extremity of Teman" (מַקצֵה תֵימָן). The writer is describing the south-eastern section of the territory. It extended along the border of Edom, including the wilderness of Zin from the extreme (north- western) corner of Teman to the Negeb. Teman is unquestionably a proper name, as is shown by the word מקצה being placed before it. So also is Negeb. The wilderness of Zin extended up as far-as Kadesh,-and a part of it was thus allotted to Judah.. Teman included the mountains of Edom as far north as Mount Hor, opposite Kadesh; and thus the territory of Judah reached to its extreme north-western corner. The Negeb included the downs along the southern base of the Judsean hills, and lay between them and the wilderness of Zin. The above translation is found in part in the Arabic version, and is adopted by Houbigant.
The accounts given by Eusebius and Jerome of Teman are not consistent. They describe it as a region of the rulers of Edom in the land of Gebalitis; and they further state that there is a village of that name fifteen (Jerome has five) miles from Petra. But in another notice they appear to distinguish this Teman from one in Arabia (Onomast. s.v. "Theman"). On the map in Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, Theman is identified with the modern village of Maan, east of Petra; but for this there seems to be no authority (Winer, Biblisches Realwörterb. s.v. "Theman." See Porter, Handbook for Syr. and Pal. p. 58). The occupation of the country by the Nabathaeans seems to have obliterated almost all of the traces (always obscure) of the migratory tribes of the desert. SEE EDOM.