Saba; Sabeans

Saba lies in the Southern Arabian Jof, about 200 miles northwest of Aden. The Sabeans are mentioned in the Bible as a distant people (Joel 3); famous traders (Ezechiel 27), who exported gold and frankincense (Isaiah 60), precious stones (Ezechiel 27), and perfumes (Jeremiah 6). The genealogies of Genesis call them sons of Chus and Regma (Genesis 10) and sons of Jecsan (Genesis 25). These details point to two Sabas, one in the south near Hadhramot, one in the north near Taima; the place of their original home cannot be decided, some identify it with the Saba whose queen visited Solomon (3 Kings 10). They were very prosperous, agriculture flourished, gold, silver, and precious stones abounded, but their chief source of wealth was the trade route from India to Egypt and Northern Syria. Their government was feudal and shared by two kings. Recent writers attribute to them the invention of the Semitic alphabet.

New Catholic Dictionary

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