Ammon (Hebrew: עמון, ʼĀmmōn; Arabic: عمّون, Ammūn; "Name means::people") or Benammi (Hebrew: בן עמי, Ben-ʻAmmī; "Name means::son of my people") was the son of Abraham's nephew Lot, by his own (younger) daughter. The name also refers to the nation which descended from him, located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea from the River Jabbok south to the River Arnon (Judges 11:13-22 ) which later fell to the lot of Reuben and Gad, in present-day Jordan.
His descendants, the eponymous Ammonites, caused Israel much grief. He founded the Ammonite nation, and his name is still perpetuated in the Modern city of Amman, Jordan that lies some 25 miles to the north-east of the Dead Sea. The personal name of Benammi is known from certain clan-lists from Ugarit. There also survives from Nimrud an inscription bearing the name of Banu Ammanaia. The Assyrians generally knew the Ammonite nation as Bit-Am-ma-na-aia, that is, the House of Ammon.
We know from the 1 Maccabees that Judas Maccabaeus confronted the Ammonites, and hence that the Ammonites had survived as a distinct nation until at least the 2nd century BC. However, in the 1st century BC their lands were occupied by the Nabataeans and it is here that the Ammonites, as such, disappear from the historical scene.
The Jordanians spring from Ammon and his brother, Moab. They were originally a Europid people, but today have mixed somewhat with the Arabs (today about half of Jordan is Palestinian). Their chief city is Rabbath Ammon (modern Amman) named after Ammon, himself. They settled the plateau east of the Dead Sea and many have spread into Syria and Iraq. According to the Biblical Archaeology Review, they remain in the area to this day:
|“||"So what did happen to the Ammonites? The Babylonians did not destroy them when they wiped out Judah. Instead, Ammonite culture continued unscathed, and the Ammonites prospered right through the sixth century B.C.E. ... Although the Persians no doubt exercised suzerainty over the area, the basic Ammonite culture, including language and pottery techniques, continued just as it had been when Ammon was independent."||”|
A prophecy in Jeremiah compares them to an old bottle of wine which has aged without being disturbed, its "lees" have been allowed to settle at the bottom (Jeremiah 48:11 ). Other prophecies in Isaiah show them still living near Palestine in the end-time (Isaiah 11:14 ) and that they would be a small people.
The Kingdom of Ammon was located in northwestern Arabia, east of Gilead, in what is today the nations of Jordan and Syria. However, the Ammonites also claimed territories east of the Jordan that were occupied by the Israelites. The borders of the Ammonite territory are not uniformly defined in the Old Testament and no doubt fluctuated as the results of warfare over the centuries. The western border of Ammon was often a matter of dispute between Ammon and Israel. In Judges 11:13 , the king of Ammon demanded the restoration of the land "from Arnon even unto Jabbok and unto Jordan." This claim was rejected by Israel on the grounds that the Israel had taken the land not from Ammon but from the Amorites. The other limits of Ammonite territory are even less clear. On the south, it adjoined the land of Moab. On the north, it may have met that of the king of Geshur (Joshua 12:5 ) and later Damascus, while in the east it apparently merged into the desert, being peopled by nomadic Aramaean tribes.
- White, C.M. (2003). In Search of ... The Origin of Nations. Bloomington, IN: 1st Books Library.
- Douglas, J (Ed) (et al) (1972) New Bible Dictionary. Inter-Varsity Press, London, page 30
- Herr, I.G. (1983, December). "The Amman Airport Structure And The Geopolitics Of Ancient Transjordan." Biblical Archaeology Review, 35.
- Mish, FC (1985). "Ammon." Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. 9th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc. ISBN 0877795088