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DUMAH (dū'ma, Heb. dûmâh, silence)

One of the twelve sons of Ishmael (Gen.25.14-Gen.25.16) and apparently head of one of the twelve tribes of Ishmaelites in Arabia.A place unknown but connected with Seir or Edom (Isa.21.11-Isa.21.12). The designation may be symbolic, applying to all Edom and indicating its coming destruction (cf. Obad.1.15-Obad.1.16).A village in southern Judah and associated with Hebron in Josh.15.52-Josh.15.54.

DUMAH dōō’ mə (דוּמָ֖ה; silence). 1. The sixth son of Ishmael and the presumed founder of an Arab community (Gen 25:14; 1 Chron 1:30). Dumat al Gandal appears to identify with the Biblical Dumah as the capital of a district known as Gawf. The site is an oasis half way between the head of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aqabah. Royal Assyrian and Babylonian inscrs. from the 7th and 6th centuries refer to the destruction of the Adummatu which may be a reference to the descendants of Dumah.

2. A town in the hills of Judah (Josh 15:52). The Onomasticon refers to a town of this name. It is frequently identified with the present ed-Domeh located SW of Hebron.

3. “The oracle concerning Dumah” (מַשָּׂ֖א דּוּמָ֑ה) appears in Isaiah 21:11. The next words mention Seir so perhaps the term is a figure from Edom. The LXX renders the word as “Idumaea.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

This word occurs in the Old Testament with the following significations:

(1) the land of silence or death, the grave (Ps 94:17; 115:17);

(2) a town in the highlands of Judah between Hebron and Beersheba, now ed-Daume (Jos 15:52);

(3) an emblematical designation of Edom in the obscure oracle (Isa 21:11,12);

(4) an Ishmaelite tribe in Arabia (Ge 25:14; 1Ch 1:30). According to the Arabic geographies this son of Ishmael rounded the town of Dumat-el-Jandal, the stone-built Dumah, so called to distinguish it from another Dumah near the Euphrates. The former now bears the name of the Jauf ("belly"), being a depression situated half-way between the head of the Persian Gulf and the head of the gulf of Akaba. Its people in the time of Mohammed were Christians of the tribe of Kelb. It contained a great well from which the palms and crops were irrigated. It has often been visited by European travelers in recent times. See Jour. Royal Geog. Soc., XXIV (1854), 138-58; W. G. Palgrave, Central and Eastern Arabia, chapter ii. It is possible that the oracle in Isa (number 3 above) concerns this place.

Thomas Hunter Weir