A group of tribes akin to the Hebrews, descended from Ismael, the father of twelve sons. They occupied the wilderness south of Palestine and a large part of central and North Arabia; there are found among them two types of Arabs, the fierce Bedouin and the almost civilized Arab, who engages in commerce. Some were itinerant caravan-traders, and it was to one of these that Joseph was sold by his brethren (Genesis 37).

New Catholic Dictionary

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