Moab (mōˈăb) [key], ancient nation located in the uplands E of the Dead Sea, now part of Jordan. The area is unprotected from the east, hence its history is a chain of raids by the Bedouin. The Moabites were close kin to the Hebrews, and the language of the Moabite stone is practically the same as biblical Hebrew. The relations of Moab with Judah and Israel are continually mentioned in the Bible. As a political entity, Moab came to an end after the invasion (c.733 B.C.) of Tiglathpileser III. Its people were later absorbed by the Nabataeans. The Moabite religion was much like that of Canaan. Archaeological exploration in Moab has shown that settlements first occurred in the 13th cent. B.C.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.