See also Dedan
DEDAN, DEDANITES de’ dən, dĕd ən īts (דְּדָֽן). The name of two men in the OT and also a term applied to a people. 1. The son of Raamah, son of Cush, the son of Ham (
2. The grandson of Abraham by Keturah. His father was Jokshan and his brother also is called Sheba (
3. As a geographical and ethnic term in several references in the prophets. (a) In the oracle concerning Arabia they are mentioned as lodging in the thickets of Arabia and are referred to as being in caravans (
One can conclude therefore that the Dedanites were a people of Arabia who were closely associated with Sheba. Their exact identity is not known. Extra-Biblical sources of antiquity indicate that Dedan also was an oasis on the trade routes of the peoples of Sheba, Tema and Buz. The oasis of Dedan was known as ed-dağān as late as a.d. 1200 and remains of its buildings still survive.
El-’ulä is to be identified as the most likely site, being located fifty m. SW of Tema and one hundred and fifty m. E of the Red Sea in Central Arabia.
Bibliography J. Simons, The Geographical and Topographical Text of the Old Testament (1959), 21; J. Thompson, The Bible and Archaeology (1962), 201ff.