Alice C. Linsley
According to Genesis 10:7 and Genesis 25:3, Dedan was descended from Kush and from Abraham by his cousin wife, Keturah. Dedan's father was Abraham's first-born son Joktan. Dedan's brother was Sheba the Younger. Diagrammed, Dedan's immediate family looks like this:
Abraham ∆ = O Keturah
O = ∆ = O
Dedan ∆ ∆ Sheba the Younger
Isaiah 21:13 alludes to the "caravans of Dedanites" in Arabia, and Ezekiel 27:20 speaks of Dedan as supplying Tyre with precious things. Dedan is associated with Uz in the hill country of Edom. Uz was the homeland of Job. One of Job's inquisitors, Elihu, was a descendent of Nahor by Buz. Buz and Uz were Nahor's sons by Milcah (Gen. 22:20). This is Uz the Elder whose grandson (by his daughter) was Uz the son of Dishan (I Chron. 1:42). Dishan was a son of Seir the Horite and the brother-in-law of Esau the Younger. Uz the Younger was Seir's grandson. Here is Seir's Horite family:
When there are two names that are very close, there is usually a third, That third is Huz, so that Uz, Buz and Huz represent another 3-part confederation based on kinship. I Chronicles 5:14 mentions that the son of Buz was Jahdo and Jahdo's son was Yeshishai, the Aramaic form of Yeshua/Jesus. This connects the name of Jesus with the devotees of Horus, who was called "Son of God".
Buz is related to Uz and is grouped with the peoples of Dedan and Tema in Jeremiah 25. This is probably why this Horite confederation is not identified as Uz, Huz and Buz, but rather as Dedan, Tema and Buz. The oldest Arabic script emanated from the Afro-Arabian oases of Tema and Dedan in the Hijaz. Tema is known by Arabs as Taima and lies about 70 miles north-east of Dedan. Tema, Dedan and Dumah were caravan stops along the trade route from Babylon to Sheba.
These peoples shared appearance and life style. They dwelt in hills and built shrines in caves (such as seen at Petra) and the men shaved their heads (Jeremiah 25:23), as did Horite priests. This suggests that this was a confederation of Horite priestly families. Genesis 36 confirms this, listing Uz's grandson Dedan as a Horite ruler. Here we also find reference to Huz or Husham of the land of Tema (Gen. 36:34).
Other 3-part familial confederations are suggested by the names Sab-tah (Gen. 10:6) and Sab-teca (Gen. 10:7), and Le-hab (Gen. 10:13), Le-sha (Gen. 10:19) and Le-tu (Gen. 25:3). Letu was an eighth generation descendent of Noah through his sons Shem and Ham whose lines intermarried.
The prominence of the Horites is attested by the detail of the geneological information provided in Genesis 36 and I Chronicles 1. Here we discover that a people that have been regarded as tangentially related to Abraham were in fact Abraham's people. Isaac married Horite brides. Rebekah (his cousin bride) was a descedent of Na'Hor and Terah, and his half-sister bride (living in Beersheba) was a descendant of Sheba. Jacob also married Horite brides in Rachel and Leah, both descendants of Na'Hor and Terah. Genesis 36 tells us that Esau the Younger married a Oholibamah.
Related reading: Abraham and Job: Horite Rulers; Abraham's Nephews and Niece; Who Were the Horites?