A nation sprung from Ben-ammi, Lot's son by his younger daughter (Ge 19:38; Ps 83:7-8), as Moab by his elder, after Lot escaped from Sodom. Ammon and Moab appear continually together; both are said to have hired Balaam (De 13:4), though Moab alone is mentioned in the detailed account (Numbers 22; 23). The land from Arnon river to Jabbok is assigned to both (Jg 11:12-18,25). The Israelites dispossessed the Amorites of land which afterward Ammon occupied, between Arnon and Jabbok, but did not, as Jephthah reasons, dispossess Ammon of it, though now claiming it as theirs (Nu 21:24,26,29). Ammon destroyed the aboriginal Rephaim or giants, named Zamzummim, and occupied their land, Jabbok being their boundary (De 2:20-21,37).
Moab was probably the more civilized half of Lot's descendants; whence we read of the plentiful fields, hay, summer fruits, vineyards, presses, songs of the grape treaders, of Moab (Isaiah 15; 16; Jeremiah 48): Ammon the more fierce, plundering, Bedouin-like half; whence we read of their threat of thrusting out the right eye of all in Jabesh Gilead (1Sa 11:2), ripping up pregnant women in Gilead (Am 1:13), treacherously murdering, as Ishmael, Baalis' agent, did (Jer 40:14; 41:5-7), suspecting and insulting their ally David to their own ruin (2Sa 10:1-5; 12:31). Ammon's one stronghold, Rabbah, "the city of: waters" (20 cities are mentioned Jg 11:33, perhaps some Moabite cities), forms a contrast to Moab's numerous towns with their "high places" (Jeremiah 48); their idol, Moloch, accordingly they worshipped in a tent, the token of nomad life, not a fixed temple or high place, such as was appropriated to the god of the more settled people Moab (Am 5:26; Ac 7:43).
They crossed Jordan and seized Jericho for a time (Jg 3:13). Chephar-ha-Ammonai (the hamlet of the Ammonites), in Benjamin, at the head of the passes from the Jordan westward, marks their having temporarily been in that region. Their unwillingness to help Israel, and their joining Moab in hiring Balaam (De 23:2,25; Ne 13:2), caused their exclusion (like that of a bastard) from the Lord's congregation for ten generations; whereas Edom, who had not hired him, was only excluded for three. The exclusion was from full Israelite citizenship, not from the spiritual privileges of the covenant, if they became proselytes. Previously to David, Jephthah and Saul had sorely punished them (Jg 11:33; 1Sa 11:11; 14:47).
Ammon joined with Moab in the expedition for uprooting Judah from its possession, in Jehoshaphat's reign (2 Chronicles 20; Ps 83:3-7). So utterly were the confederates routed that the Jews spent three days in gathering the spoil. They had to bring gifts to Uzziah (2Ch 26:8). Jotham reduced them to pay 100 talents of silver, 10,000 measures of wheat, and 10,000 of barley. Ammon seized on the cities of Gad from which Tiglath Pileser had carried the Israelites (Jer 49:1-6; Zep 2:8-9). On the return from Jerusalem Tobiah, an Ammonite, joined with Sanballat, of Horonaim of Moab, in opposing Nehemiah's restoration of the city walls (Ne 2:10,19).
Naamah, Solomon's wife, mother of Rehoboam, was an Ammonite. Their idol, Moloch, appears also under the varied form Milcom and Malcham, as the Hebrew for "their king" may be rendered. Compare Zep 1:5; 2Sa 12:30. Solomon's Ammonite wives seduced him to rear an altar to this "abomination," to his own hurt (Jer 49:1,3). Nahash, perhaps a common title of their kings, means a serpent. Shobi, the son of David's friend, followed his father's rather than Hanun his brother's steps, showing kindness to David in adversity (2Sa 17:27).
Am'mon Ammonites, Ammon'ites Children of Ammon.
Ben-ammi was the son of Lot by his youngest daughter. "The same is the father of the children of Ammon." Ge 19:38. His descendants were neighbours to Israel between the Arnon and the Jabbok on the east, and had much to do with Israel. God had bidden Moses not to touch the Ammonites, nor was their land to be possessed by Israel: it had been given to the children of Lot. Their city was Rabbath-ammon, perhaps their only city, as they were a nomadic people. None of the nation were to be allowed to enter the congregation of Israel to the tenth generation, that is, for ever. De 23:3; Ne 13:1. With Amalek they assisted the king of Moab against Israel, and Jericho fell into their hands. Jg 3:13. Israel served their gods, and God gave them up on both sides of the Jordan to serve the Ammonites. On Israel crying to Jehovah the children of Ammon were defeated under Jephthah. In the early days of Saul's reign they besieged Jabesh-gilead, and would only make peace on the condition that the right eyes of the inhabitants should be thrust out, in order that it might be a reproach on Israel; but Saul hastened to their aid, and routed the Ammonites. 1Sa 11:1-11; 12:12. Their gold and silver taken in battle were dedicated by David to Jehovah. Their king insulted David's servants sent to show kindness to him, as the world refuses the kindness of God's king, and brings judgement upon it. 2Sa 10:1-10; 11:1; 12:26-31.
On the other hand, Shobi, of Rabbah, brought provisions when David fled from Absalom, 2Sa 17:27, and Zelek, an Ammonite, was one of David's thirty valiant men. Solomon loved some of their women, and the mother of his son Rehoboam was Naamah an Ammonitess. 1Ki 14:21,31. They molested Israel with varied success until the days of Jehoiakim:2Ki 24:2. Lot being the father of both Moab and Ammon, it is not surprising that the Moabites were often linked with the Ammonites in their attacks upon Israel. Hatred of God's people united them in one common desire to cut them off from being a nation. Ps 83:4-8. Tobiah, an Ammonite, was a troublesome adversary to the Jews on their return from captivity. Ne 2:10,19; 4:3,7. Nevertheless the Jews intermarried with this nation, thus mixing 'the holy seed' with the people of the land. Ezr 9:1-2; Ne 13:23-25.
The whole history supplies us with instruction as to the imperative necessity of keeping separate from the contaminations of the world in order to walk with God, and be blessed by Him.
When the king of the north, in a future day, shall enter into 'the glorious land,' Edom, Moab, and Ammon shall escape his hand, Da 11:41 ; they are reserved to be subdued by Israel, whom they seduced and persecuted in by-gone ages. Isa 11:14.
(sons of renown, mountaineers), Am'monites, Children of Ammon, A people descended from Ben-ammi, the son of Lot by his younger daughter.
comp Psal 83:7,8 The Ammonites are frequently mentioned with the Moabites (descendants of Ben-ammi's half-brother), and sometimes under the same name. Comp.
etc. The precise position of the territory of the Ammonites is not ascertainable. In the earliest mention of them,
they are said to have dwelt in their place, Jabbok being their border.
Nu 21:24; De 2:37; 3:16
(i.e. Land or country is, however, but rarely ascribed to them. Their capital city was Rabbath, called also Rabbath Ammon on the Jabbok. We find everywhere traces of the fierce habits of maranders in their incursions.)
and a very high degree of crafty cruelty to their toes.
Moab was the settled and civilized half of the nation of Lot, and Ammon formed its predatory and Bedouin section. On the west of Jordan they never obtained a footing. The hatred in which the Ammonites were held by Israel is stated to have arisen partly from their denial of assistance,
to the Israelites on their approach to Canaan. But whatever its origin the animosity continued in force to the latest date. The tribe was governed by a king,
and by "princes."
The divinity of the tribe was Molech [MOLECH], and they were gross idolaters.
AMMON, or HAMMON, or JUPITER-AMMON, an epithet given to Jupiter in Lybia, where was a celebrated temple of that deity under the denomination of Jupiter Ammon, which was visited by Alexander the Great.
The word Amoun, which imports "shining," according to Jablonski, denoted the effects produced by the sun on attaining the equator, such as the increase of the days; a more splendid light; and above all, the fortunate presage of the inundation of the Nile, and its consequent abundance.
Ammon is by others derived from Ham, the son of Noah, who first peopled Egypt and Lybia, after the flood; and, when idolatry began to gain ground soon after this period, became the chief deity of those two countries, in which his descendants continued. A temple, it is said, was built to his honour, in the midst of the sandy deserts of Lybia, upon a spot of good ground, about two leagues broad, which formed a kind of island or oasis in a sea of sand. He was esteemed the Zeus of Greece, and the Jupiter of Latium, as well as the Ammon of the Egyptians. In process of time, these two names were joined; and he was called Jupiter Ammon. For this reason the city of Ammon, No-ammon, or the city of Ham, was called by the Greeks Diospolis, or the city of Jupiter. Plutarch says, that of all the Egyptian deities which seemed to have any correspondence with the Zeus of Greece, Amon or Ammon was the most peculiar and appropriate. From Egypt his name and worship were brought into Greece; as indeed were almost all the names of all the deities that were there worshipped. Jupiter Ammon, or the Egyptian Jupiter, was usually represented under the figure of a ram; though in some medals he appears of a human shape, having only two ram's horns growing out beneath his ears. The Egyptians, says Proclus, in the Timaeus of Plato, had a singular veneration for the ram, because the image of Ammon bore its head, and because this first sign of the zodiac was the presage of the fruits of the earth. Eusebius adds, that this symbol marked the conjunction of the sun and moon in the sign of the ram.
2. AMMON, or BEN-AMMI the son of Lot, by his youngest daughter, Ge 19:38. He was the father of the Ammonites, and dwelt on the east side of the Dead Sea, in the mountains of Gilead.