The Ammonites

See also: Tobiah the ammonite


  1. The Ammonites were descendants of Lot through his daughter: "Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day." Genesis 19:36-38
  2. "the Lord our God delivered all over to us. "Only you did not go near to the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the Lord our God had commanded us." Deuteronomy 2:37
  3. Molech was the idol of the Ammonites.
  4. Rabbah was a walled city: . 2 Samuel 11:20

A. Capital city: Rabbah (Amman, Jordan):

  1. Amman Jordan derives its name from the tribe "Ammon"
  2. Rabbah is probably not the same as the "city of water" but are two different places: "I have fought against Rabbah, I have even captured the city of waters." 2 Samuel 12:27
  3. This was the royal city and center of their power: "Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon and captured the royal city." 2 Samuel 12:26
  4. David slept with Bathsheba while Joab was at Rabbah fighting the Ammonites: 2 Samuel 11:1-6
  5. Rabbah was a walled city: Uriah was killed at Rabbah. Bathsheba's husband was set up to be killed in battle at Rabbah under the direction of David. Joab had Uriah go very close to the city wall and an arrow shot from the wall killed him and several other of David's men. 2 Samuel 11:14-21.

B. David and the city of Rabbah (Ammon, Jordan)

  1. David wore the gold crown of Hanun, king of Rabbah which weighed 1 talent and had precious stones in it. Other crowns from the period have been discovered in Amman, Jordan and are on display in the Archeological Musium in Amman. "Then he took the crown of their king from his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David's head" 2 Samuel 12:30. " Now it happened afterwards that the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son became king in his place." 2 Samuel 10:1
  2. The destruction of Rabbath was the last of David's conquests. The crown of the king of Rabbah became David's crown. His kingdom now reached its farthest limits (2 Sam. 8:1-15; 1 Chr. 18:1-15). The capture of this city is referred to in Amos (1:14), Jeremiah (49:2, 3), and Ezekiel (21:20; 25:5).
  3. ""So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah And it will consume her citadels Amid war cries on the day of battle, And a storm on the day of tempest." Amos 1:14
  4. ""Therefore behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord, "That I will cause a trumpet blast of war to be heard Against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon; And it will become a desolate heap, And her towns will be set on fire. Then Israel will take possession of his possessors," Says the Lord." Jeremiah 49:2
  5. "saying, 'Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever;" Jeremiah 25:5

C. Solomon worshipped Milcom, the idol of the Ammonites:

  1. "For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites." 1 Kings 11:5
  2. "because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did." 1 Kings 11:33

D. Rabbah, to be destroyed:

  1. "Thus says the Lord, "For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead In order to enlarge their borders. "So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah And it will consume her citadels Amid war cries on the day of battle, And a storm on the day of tempest. "Their king will go into exile, He and his princes together," says the Lord." Amos 1:13-15
  2. Judgement for rejoicing when Babylon captured Jerusalem in 586 BC: "say to the sons of Ammon, 'Hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God, "Because you said, 'Aha!' against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into exile, therefore, behold, I am going to give you to the sons of the east for a possession, and they will set their encampments among you and make their dwellings among you; they will eat your fruit and drink your milk. "I will make Rabbah a pasture for camels and the sons of Ammon a resting place for flocks. Thus you will know that I am the Lord." 'For thus says the Lord God, "Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet and rejoiced with all the scorn of your soul against the land of Israel, therefore, behold, I have stretched out My hand against you and I will give you for spoil to the nations. And I will cut you off from the peoples and make you perish from the lands; I will destroy you. Thus you will know that I am the Lord."" Ezekiel 25:3-7
  3. God probably has decreed a similar destruction of those Arab nations who openly rejoiced when the Trade towers fell on 911 in NYC. Remember the Palestinian women and men dancing in the streets in Gaza? These should print Ezekiel 25:3-7 in Arabic and nail it to the door of every mosque as a warning! It is a sin to rejoice when your enemies misfortune. Jesus said to "love your enemies".
  4. Ammon's extinction was predicted in 600 BC: "I have heard the taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon, With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory. "Therefore, as I live," declares the Lord of hosts, The God of Israel, "Surely Moab will be like Sodom. And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah— A place possessed by nettles and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them And the remainder of My nation will inherit them." Zephaniah 2:8-9
  5. Moabs capital city: "Thus they destroyed the cities; and each one threw a stone on every piece of good land and filled it. So they stopped all the springs of water and felled all the good trees, until in Kir-hareseth only they left its stones; however, the slingers went about it and struck it." 2 Kings 3:25

E. Ammonite territory 1406 BC:

  1. "Then Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the sons of Ammon; for the border of the sons of Ammon was Jazer." Numbers 21:24
  2. ""To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even as far as the valley of Arnon, the middle of the valley as a border and as far as the river Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon" Deuteronomy 3:16
  3. "'When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession.'" Deuteronomy 2:19
  4. ""No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the Lord," Deuteronomy 23:3
  5. "Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, both the middle of the valley and half of Gilead, even as far as the brook Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon;" Joshua 12:2
  6. "The king of the sons of Ammon said to the messengers of Jephthah, "Because Israel took away my land when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok and the Jordan; therefore, return them peaceably now."" Judges 11:13
  7. "Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his eleven children, and crossed the ford [passage point, not forks] of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had. Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking." But he said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." He said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed."" Genesis 32:22-28
  8. "Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the sons of Ammon, as far as Aroer which is before Rabbah;" Joshua 13:25
  9. ""Only you did not go near to the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the Lord our God had commanded us." Deuteronomy 2:37
  10. "Recent excavations on Jebel el-Qalah, the citadel of the ancient city, indicate at least sporadic occupation throughout the Bronze Age and a fairly heavily fortified town of about 1750-1550 b.c. Salvage excavations at the old Amman Civil Airport have uncovered a structure believed to be a mortuary dating to the thirteenth century b.c. The citadel excavations reveal tenth-ninth-century b.c. phases of a defense wall, quite possibly related to David's siege of the city and the later rebuilding (2 Sam. 11:1; 12:26-31). Iron Age II remains date to the eighth and seventh centuries b.c., with evidences of destruction that recall the rebukes of Amos (Amos 1:14), Jeremiah (Jer. 49:2, 3), and Ezekiel (Ezek. 25:5) against Rabbah and the Ammonites. " (Harper's Bible dictionary.)

F. Solomon married Ammonite women and started worshipping Molech:

  1. " Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods." Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded. So the Lord said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. "Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. "However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen."" 1 Kings 11:1-13

G. After Babylonian captivity, Tobias the Ammonites opposed to Nehemiah's effort to rebuilt Jerusalem:

  1. "When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel." Nehemiah 2:10
  2. "But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, "What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?" So I answered them and said to them, "The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem."" Nehemiah 2:19-20
  3. "Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, "Even what they are building—if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!"" Nehemiah 4:3
  4. "Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry." Nehemiah 4:7
  5. " On that day they read aloud from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and there was found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing." Nehemiah 13:1-2
  6. "and I came to Jerusalem and learned about the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, by preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God." Nehemiah 13:7

H. Balaam inscription at Tel Deir Alla:

Lemaire says that, even though there are still a few gaps, the first nine lines of Combination I can now be read with considerable certainty:

1. Inscription of [Ba]laam [son of Beo]r, the man who was a seer of the gods. Lo, the gods came to him at night and [spoke to] him

2. According to these wor[ds], and they said to [Balaa]m, son of Beor thus: "There has appeared the last flame, a fire of chastisement has appeared!"

3. And Balaam arose the next day [ ... several?] days [ ... ] and he cou[ld not eat] and he wept

4. Intensely and his people came to him and s[aid] to Balaam, son of Beor: "Why do you fast and why do you weep?" and he

5. Said to them: "Sit down! I shall show you how gre[at is the calamity!] and come, see the deeds of the gods! The gods have gathered

6. And the Mighties [Shaddayin] have fixed a date, and they said to Sha[ma]sh [/the sun]: 'Sew, shut the skies with your cloud! there, let there be darkness and no shi-

7. ning ... ? ... , for you will provoke terror [by a clo]ud of darkness, and do not make noise forever but [in its place?] the swift,

8. The bat, the eagle and the peli[can,] the vultures, the ostrich and the s[tork and] the young falcons, and the owl, the chicks of the heron, the dove, the bird of prey,

9. The pigeon and the sparrow, [every bird of the s]kies, and [on the earth] down, in the place where the [shepherd's] crook was leading the ewes, hares eat

10. [Alto]gether free[ly ... ]

By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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