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Eth. AMORITES one of the seven Canaanitish tribes (Gen. 10.16) who held possession of the Promised Land, during the times of the Patriarchs, until the coming in of the Children of Israel. It appears to have been one of the most powerful tribes, as the name is used as a general term for all the Canaanites. (Gen. 15.16.) Their original seat was at the south-west of the Dead Sea, between the AMALEKITAE and the Vale of Siddim, and their principal city was Hazezon-Tamar, or Engedi (‘Ain-Jidi). (Gen. 14.7, and 2 Chron. 20.2.) At the time of the exodus, however. they had seized and occupied the country on the east side of the Dead Sea and of the Valley of the Jordan, where they had established two powerful kingdoms, the capitals of which were HESHBON and BASAN. Heshbon, the southern part of this extensive country, had been taken from the Moabites and Ammonites by Sihon, and extended from the Arnon (Mojeb) to the Jabbok (Zerka) (Numb. 21.26), and this was the plea on which the Ammonites grounded their claim to that country in the days of Jephthah. (Judges, xi.) This district comprehended Mount Gilead, and was settled by the Tribes of Reuben and Gad. The northern division of Basan, of which Og was the king, extended from the Jabbok to the northern extremity of the Promised Land to Mount Hermon, which the Ammonites named Shanir. This country was given to the half tribe of Manasseh. (Numb. xxi.; Deut. ii. iii.; 1 Chron. 5.23.) All this region was comprehended in PERAEA The Amorites are also found on the western coast of Palestine, in the vicinity of the Tribe of Dan (Judges, 1.34), and in the borders of the Tribe of Ephraim (5.35). Still the southeastern extremity of Canaan is recognised as their proper seat (5.36; comp. Numb. 34.4, and Joshua, 15.3), and the practice of using this name as a general designation of all the Canaanitish tribes renders it difficult to determine their exact limits.


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