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Queen of Sheba.

Reader comment on item: Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Jews
in response to reader comment: Who are the historical Arabs and who are the Aramaeans?

Submitted by Reynald de Chatillon (Australia), Jul 2, 2020 at 03:12

Another people I overlooked were the Sabeans. The Israelites had a brief contact with them when their queen visited the kingdom of Solomon. Like the Nabateans, these were a sedentary people, but certainly Arab. They were a wealthy trading power and remained so for long after. Most Arab peoples during Biblical times seem to have been nomadic. I have also seen ancient illustrations of Assyrian cavalry in action against Arab camel nomads. So it appears that these nomadic tribes were powerful enough to sometimes challenge the major powers such as Assyria and Babylonia for a brief period. They were a major threat to the Israelites until they were defeated by Gideon. After the Israelites settled in Canaan on the second occasion, there was little movement of nomadic peoples into this area until the Islamic conquests in the 7th century. According to Sir Steven Runciman (History of the Crusades, Volume 1), there was a small, but steady infiltration of bedouin up until the First Crusade. After the demise of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, this process appears to have accelerated in the following centuries, during the Mameluke and Ottoman periods.

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