Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: A sayer, mountaineer
Strong's Concordance #H567

Amorites are first mentioned in the Bible as descendants of Canaan in Genesis 10:16. They are found in the Biblical chapter commonly referred to as the table of nations.

The Amorites were quite numerous west, and especially east, of the Jordan River in the period before the Israelites came to claim their land inheritance in Canaan.


Amorite King Sihon, sometime before 1406 B.C., waged war against the Moabites and Ammonites for control of their lands. He was able to possess and inhabit territory from the Arnon River north to the Jabbok River (Numbers 21:21 - 31). He even controlled a strip of the Jordan valley, east of the river, that ran from Zaphon all the way north to the Sea of Chinnereth (Sea of Galilee, see Joshua 12:2 - 3, 13:24 - 27)!

King Og of Bashan, also an Amorite (Deuteronomy 4:47), controlled a wide stretched of land east of the Jordan River that contained over 60 cities (Deuteronomy 3:4). His kingdom, which bordered the lands ruled by Sihon, stretched north of the Jabbok River all the way to Mount Hermon (Joshua 12:4 - 5). It included large swathes of area called Gilead and Bashan.

Map of where Amorites lived before Israel's Conquests
Location of Amorites Near Israel

After the Israelites, led by Moses, defeat both Sihon and Og, their kingdoms are divided up and given to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh.

Down But Not Out

Though these people suffered crushing defeats at the hands of Moses and Joshua, including major loses in several battles west of the Jordan River (Joshua 10:8 - 26, 11:1 - 15), enough of them remained to cause trouble.

According to the prophet Ezekiel, Amorite culture laid at the root of Jerusalem's decadence and sins (Ezekiel 16:3, 45). The pagan idolatry of these people polluted both the (northern) Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah (1Kings 21:26, 2Kings 21:11).

Important Verses

Genesis 10:15 - 16
And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite . . .

Exodus 33:1 - 2
And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:

And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite . . .

Deuteronomy 2:17 - 18, 24
That the Lord spake unto me (Moses), saying, Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day . . .

Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.

Deuteronomy 4:46 - 47
On this side Jordan, in the valley over against Bethpeor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel smote, after they were come forth out of Egypt:

And they possessed his land, and the land of Og king of Bashan . . .

1Kings 21:25 - 26
But there was none like unto (King) Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.

2Kings 21:10 - 12
And the Lord spake by his servants the prophets, saying, because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.

Ezekiel 16:3
And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.

Additional Studies

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