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a tribe that dwelt in Arabia Petraea, between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. They were not the descendants of Amalek, the son of Eliphaz, for they existed in the days of Abraham (Gen 14:7). They were probably a tribe that migrated from the shores of the Persian Gulf and settled in Arabia. "They dwelt in the land of the south...from Havilah until thou comest to Shur" (Num 13:29; 1Sam 15:7). They were a pastoral, and hence a nomadic race. Their kings bore the hereditary name of Agag (Num 24:7; 1Sam 15:8). They attempted to stop the Israelites when they marched through their territory (Deut 25:18), attacking them at Rephidim (Ex 17:8-13; comp. Deut 25:17; 1Sam 15:2). They afterwards attacked the Israelites at Hormah (Num 14:45). We read of them subsequently as in league with the Moabites (Jdg 3:13) and the Midianites (Jdg 6:3). Saul finally desolated their territory and destroyed their power (1Sam 14:48; 15:3), and David recovered booty from them (1Sam 30:18-20). In the Babylonian inscriptions they are called Sute, in those of Egypt Sittiu, and the Amarna tablets include them under the general name of Khabbati, or "plunderers."

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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