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He founded the nation that was known to later history as the Sabaeans, Strabo writes of their chief town of Sabai and its harbour of Saba, both of which lay on the west coast of the Arabian peninsula.
Bible scholars variously label the Sabaeans as Sheba or Seba (Sabaeans could possibly refer to both Sheba and Seba). Lempriere's Classical Dictionary refers to a town of Saba in Arabia; Sabachus or Sabacon, a king of Ethiopia; Sabaei, a people of Arabia; Sabatha a town of Arabia now known as Sana'a or Sabota; and the town of Sabatra in Syria. These are all clues of where Saba was located originally.
The island of Meroë near Ethiopia was known as Suba; we have the Suab tribe in Sudan; the Isubu Bantu tribe; Wa-Siba eastern Bantu; the Sebunga district and Sebakwe river in southern Africa. In addition we have the Sobat river in Ethiopia and Wabe Shebele stream.
Today, India is heading toward a population of a billion persons. But, even in the time of Herodotus they were a great people and were "more numerous than any other nation with which we are acquainted".
The New Bible Dictionary notes the similarity of the names Seba and Sheba (both descendants of Cush), which indicates a close relationship between them. Strabo mentions a town called Sabai and a harbour called Saba on the Red Sea coast of southern Arabia. The only difference is in the spelling of the two names in Hebrew is Seb a' (Seba), and Seba (Sheba). Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, under "Seba" says: "See also Sabaeans; Sheba". Certain scriptures indicate that some descendants of Seba lived with Raamah's son, Sheba. David writes in the book of Psalms indicating that these two related nations will repent of their national sins like all peoples need to and serve the Messiah:
"The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts." - Psalm 72:10
The prophet Isaiah indicates a location in east Africa:
"I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee." - Isaiah 43:3
"Thus saith the LORD, the labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabaeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee!" - Isaiah 45:14
Seba appears to be a branch of Cushites who fled north to Cappadocia and then east through Iran (the early Iranians worshipped a god called Saba), Pakistan and India and are today known as the Tamils. In fact, the name Tamil may be a corruption of Elam, given that the state that they wish to establish in Sri Lanka they would call Tamil Elam or Tamil Eelam (the Dravidians and pre-Dravidians were originally in Shinar and Elam). They settled in southern India and northern Ceylon, becoming known as Dravidians to anthropologists and historians. Their language groups are: Tamil, Telugu, Karnatika, Malayalam or Malabar, and Tulu and are known for their bitter wars for independence from Sri Lanka to form a state which would preserve their identity.
These Dravidians were originally known as Sibae. Josephus is not very helpful in this matter, only stating that "Sabas founded the Sabaeans". Of more help is Rhy's Atlas of Ancient and Classical Geography. On map 1 he shows the ancient Burmese towns of Saboa and Sabora; also the Sabaracus Sutus (Sea). Further west, in Persia, west of Gedrosia on the coast we have a town called Sabis. To the east of Gedrosia, along the Indus in Pakistan there was a region called Sibae, or Sobii. Indeed, Lempriere's Classical Dictionary published in 1788 notes that at that time a powerful nation within India was known as Sabracae as well as a people known as Sibae in India and the city of Sebastia in Armenia.
Any modern atlas will reveal that the northern-most town in Indonesia is called Sabang. One cannot say whether it is named after Seba directly but, probably indirectly. Similarly, we have have today the district of Sabah and Sabang in Malaysia. In nearby Indonesia lives an interesting tribe. Some time ago, a tribe of "Indian Ichthyophagi" known as the Padaioi or Paday once lived on the sub-continent who were practicing cannibals at that time. Over the course of time they migrated to Sumatra and are known as Batta. Of their eight tribes, one is known as the Batta-Sebalungu. Several books are known to the Batta, two of which are called the Siva-Marangaja and Siva-Jarang-Mundopa, the names of which record something about their origin.
The White Indo-Aryans who settled in north-west India, called the Dravidians, "Dasas" or "Dasyus" ("slaves"), who were their native enemies and of their Vedic gods. In the Rig Veda, a collection of Aryan poems, they are called "the dark ones", while call themselves "rosy forms". Researcher O'Flaherty, assures us that these "dark ones" were the black aboriginal or native peoples of India. As the East African Cushites may be demarcated into two distinct peoples (Eastern Hamites and Nilo-Hamites), so can the Indian Cushites. Those in west and central India are known as Dravidians, while those in the deep south and northern Sri Lanka are darker and are known as pre-Dravidians or Veddoids, directly genetically related to the Australoids (Australian Aboriginals).
The Kurumba Dravidians, especially, are in various ways akin to the Ethiopians and are well known for an adoration of cattle like the East Africans. In fact, Karnow writes that the Veddoids are possibly of African antecedents.
The Gypsy language abounds with Persian and Hindi words. Their blood group is also identical northwest Indians. From genetic data, it seems that the Indian component of Gypsy ancestry is basically southern Indian (Dravidian) rather than northern Indian, thus making them descendants of Seba. They number about 10 million throughout Europe and are known variously as Gitanos in Spain, Manush in France, Sinti in Germany, Cigány in Hungary, Rom in eastern Europe, and Rromane, Rom, Rrom, or Romá in their own language (Romani: rromani ćhib).
- In Search of ... the Origin of Nations by C.M. White. History Research Projects 2003.