Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Afro-Arabian Dedanites

The oldest mosques are oriented to Dedan
The qiblahs in the oldest mosques in Cairo and in Baghdad point to Dedan, about 500 miles north-northwest of Mecca.

Dedan was home to an industrious Afro-Arabian people who had close association with the Joktanite tribes of Arabia and the people of Raamah and Sheba.

Isaiah 21:13 speaks of the "caravans of Dedanites" and Ezekiel 27:20 speaks of Dedan as supplying Tyre with precious things. They traded in spice, ivory, incense, and textiles with lands as distant as India, Cambodia and China. They probably also traded in horses which were bred in Sheba. They traded in copper from the 4000 B.C. mines in the Air region of Niger where there are rock drawings of chariots, evidence of early copper smelting, and copper weapons.

The highest concentration of Old Arabic texts has been found in the region of Dedan. Genesis 10:7 tell us that Dedan the Elder was a grandson of Kush by his son Raamah. Raamah was Nimrod's brother. Raamah settled in the region to the southeast of Dedan while Nimrod built a kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley. Genesis reveals a kinship connection between the Afro-Arabian Dedanites and the Afro-Asiatic Arameans. The separation of the two groups in the time of Peleg and Joktan was territorial only, as the ruling lines continued to intermarry.

Dedan the Younger was the son of Abraham's first-born son Joktan (Gen. 25:3). Most Arabs are descended from Abraham through Joktan. He is remembered by Arabs as Yaqtan. Josephus knew him as Joctan and his name is preserved in the ancient town of Jectan near Mecca.

1 comment:

AlDahir said...

Minaeans: (Gen 10:7) Known as Dedan in the Bible, the Minaeans were a caravan tribe of incense traders that originated in Hadhramaut and settled along the Western trade route. Their language is known as Madhabic or Minaic. According to the American Journal of Archaeology, Vol XI, 1896, p. 113, Madhabic inscriptions left by the Minaeans date this confederation to 1500 BCE. However, current scholars as Andrey Korotayev, PhD, Manchester University, date the early Madhabic inscriptions to between the 12th & 8th Century BCE. According to Dr. J.A. Montgomery, the Minaean gods were referred to as Elohim, one of the Biblical names of the Hebrew god. The Minaeans also worshiped Yah, a shortened form of YHWH, and their priests were called levites (lawiat). The Minaeans also shared with the Hebrews the sacrificial cart (mekonah), the cauldron (mabsal), a feast (haj), the tithe (ma’ser), the congregation (kahal), the sin-offering (hattath), etc.. Minaean trade routes overlapped that of the Midianites, who shared many of the same beliefs. According to Minaean inscriptions, prior to the collapse of the Minaean kingdom circa 690 BCE, they possessed a colony at Musran located in Midianite territory. Most Biblical historians cite the Midianites as the people who transferred YHWH to the Hebrews.
Yasrabel: The name Yasrabel/Ysrabaal was inscribed by the Minaeans (Arab confederation) at Madain Saleh in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula. Qarnaw in northwest Yemen was the second capital of the Minaean Kingdom founded in the 6th Century BCE. The original capital was Yathil (modern Beraqish), which was also located in Yemen. However, according to inscriptions, the tribal confederation dates to before 1000 BCE. Yasra means to rule, to have power. Baal (Bel) means lord and in early Hebrew history, El was also referred to as Baal. Yasrabal means the Lord rules or the Lord has power just as Israel (Ysrael means El rules or El has power. According to the 1912 edition of the American Journal of Archaeology, Vol XVI, p.566: A Minaean inscription: “In R Sem XX 1912, pp 79-80, J. Schiffer publishes a Minaean inscription from Madain Saleh, now in the museum of Cinquantinaire at Brussels. It contains an account of a sacrifice offered in the honor of the god Yasrabel of Garbat.” Garbat is a transliteration of the word ‘qrb’ which means near or approximate. Garbat refers to a group of Minaean dominated villages located in an 8 mile stretch in Wadi El Qura or the valley of the villages. These villages are located in the Hejaz region of NW Arabia in the region of present day Al Ula. Wadi El Qura was dominated by the Minaeans (Biblical Dedan). The Minaean trade with Tyre is mentioned in Ezekiel 27:15,20 & in Isaiah 21:13. Tyre was connected with the northern kingdom of Israel through a marriage alliance between the Israelite king, Ahab, and the Tyrian princess, Jezebel (1 K 16:31). According to 2 Sam 5:11 & 1 K 5-7, Tyre also established trade relations with the Hebrew tribe of Judah whose capital was Jerusalem, where the Bible locates King Solomon’s legendary temple-palace complex; a construction that lacks archaeological validity.