Ammon (Ammonites)
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Ammon (Ammonites)
Bible Meaning: Tribal, inbred
Strong's Concordance #H5983, #H5984

The Ammonites, also called the children of Ammon, were descended from the incestuous child, named Benammi, produced by Lot and his youngest daughter (Genesis 19:36 - 38). Lot and his eldest daughter also produced a child named Moab who would become the founder of the Moabites.

The Moabites lived east of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River. At one time they controlled an area that ran north of the Zered River (Deuteronomy 2:14), past the Arnon River, into the plains of Moab located across from Jericho (Numbers 22:1, Joshua 13:32), and north to the Jabbok River. The Ammonites also lived in the territory north of the Arnon River all the way to the Jabbok.

Amorite King Sihon, sometime before the Israelites came to the area in 1406 B.C., waged war against the Moabites and Ammonites for control of their lands. He was able to dislodge the Moabites from most of their territory and force them to live south of the Arnon River (Numbers 21:21 - 31). He then made the Moabite city of Heshbon his capital.

Sihon's control of the area between the Arnon and Jabbok Rivers also pushed the Ammonites farther east and away from the Jordan River (Deuteronomy 2:37, Joshua 13:10). Their capital became Rabbah (Rabbath in the KJV), which today is the capital of Jordan named Amman (Deuteronomy 3:11, Joshua 13:25, 2Samuel 12:26).

Eastern Promised Land

God commanded ancient Israel not to bother or attempt to take any land that was inhabited by the Ammonites (Deuteronomy 2:19). This was because, due to their connection with Israel (Lot was the son of Abraham's older brother Haran), the Lord set aside land for them to live in (Deuteronomy 2:17, 19).

Map of where Ammonites lived before Israel's Conquests

The Israelites, however, were permitted to conquer any land the Amorites controlled including any territory taken from Ammon or Moab. In a twist of fate, Amorite kings Sihon and Og, whom Israel conquered, made possible their possession of land east of the Jordan River that otherwise would have been unavailable to them.

The Ammonites, left alone by the Israelites during their period of claiming their inheritance from God, would later prove to be troublesome. They not only falsely accused Israel, three hundred years after the fact, that they took their land (see Judges 11), but also fought several wars against God's people (1Samuel 11, 14:47, 2Samuel 10 - 12, 2Chronicles 20:10 - 11, 27:5).

Important Verses

Genesis 19:36, 38
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father . . . And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

Numbers 21:23 - 24
And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon (Ammonites): for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.

Deuteronomy 2:17, 19
That the Lord spake unto me (Moses), saying . . . And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.

1Samuel 14:47
So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon (Ammonites), and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them.

1Kings 11:1
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;

2Chronicles 20:1
It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat (Israel's king) to battle.

Ezekiel 25:2, 4
Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them . . . Behold, therefore I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee: they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk.

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).