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Seba, Sabeans

See´buh, suh-bee´uhnz

A place mentioned four times and a people mentioned three times in the biblical text. (Job 1:15) identifies the destroyers of Job’s family as Sabeans. Isaiah sees the Sabeans as one of several nations God gave as a ransom for Israel (Isa 43:3). They were also a source of wealth (Isa 45:14), together with Egypt and Ethiopia. In Joel 3:8 they are described as a “nation far away” in Joel’s threat that they will buy Phoenician and Philistine slaves from Judah. (Gen 10:7) catalogs Seba as a son of Cush, together with Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca, as does (1Chr 1:9). Kings from Seba were mentioned together with those of Sheba and Tarshish as bringing tribute and gifts (Ps 72:10) to Israel’s king. Their definition as a distant wealthy source of riches seems clear. Their precise location is not evident from biblical sources.

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.