History

Sheba - is one of two prominent sons of Raamah who founded a South Arabian speaking kingdom believed to be in modern day Yemen mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the Quran.

Raamah (or Rama) was a son of Cush, the eldest son of Ham, who was a son of Noah, the Patriarch of the Flood. His fmaily is listed in the Genesis Table of Nations found in the Holy Bible in Gen. 10 and 1 Chr. 1. Nothing else is known about his family. The name Raamah (Hebrew: רעמה, Ra‛mâh), means "lofty" or "exalted" and also may mean "thunder".

Biblical Mentions

The name is first mentioned as the fourth son of Cush, who is the son of Ham, who is the son of Noah in Gen. 10:7, and later appears as a country that traded with the Phoenician city-state of Tyre, in Ezekiel 27:22. It has been connected with Rhammanitae mentioned by Strabo in the southwest Arabian Peninsula, and with an Arabian city of Regmah at the head of the Persian Gulf.

This country of Raamah is usually assumed to be somewhere in the region of Yemen; Sheba was a son of Raamah, and his descendants are often held to be included among the Sabaeans. Dedan, son of Raamah. Apparently a region of the Medina Province of Saudi Arabia.

Genesis Narrative


6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

Biblical Traditions

The two names Sheba (spelled in Hebrew with shin) and Seba (spelled with samekh) are mentioned several times in the Bible with different genealogy. For instance, in the Generations of Noah Seba, along with Dedan, is listed as a descendant of Noah's son Ham (as sons of Raamah, son of Cush). Later on in the Book of Genesis, Sheba and Dedan are listed as names of sons of Jokshan, son of Abraham. Another Sheba is listed in the Table of Nations as a son of Joktan, another descendant of Noah's son Shem.

There are several possible reasons for this confusion. One theory is that the Sabaean established many colonies to control the trade routes and the variety of their caravan stations confused the ancient Israelites, as their ethnology was based on geographical and political grounds and not necessarily racial. Another theory suggests that the Sabaeans hailed from the southern Levant and established their kingdom on the ruins of the Minaeans. It remains a theory however and cannot be confirmed.

The most famous claim to fame for the Biblical land of Sheba was the story of the Queen of Sheba, who travelled to Jerusalem to question King Solomon, arriving in a large caravan with precious stones, spices and gold (1 Kings 10). The apocryphal Christian Arabic text Kitāb al-Magall ("Book of the Rolls"), considered part of Clementine literature, and the Syriac Cave of Treasures, mention a tradition that after being founded by the children of Saba (son of Joktan), there was a succession of 60 female rulers up until the time of Solomon.


Siblings

References



Footnotes (including sources)

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