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LUD, LUDIM lud, lōō’ dĭm (ל֥וּד, לוּדִ֧ים). Lud was the fourth son of Shem (Gen 10:22) and Ludim was the first son of Mizraim (Gen 10:13). Since the Table of Nations (ch. 10) is basically ethnographic in character and concerned chiefly with the origin and classification of certain of the nations of the ancient world, Lud and Ludim are to be regarded as eponymous ancestors of nations which continued to bear their names. While the two names are similar, they cannot be regarded as the same nations because Lud is classified as a Sem. nation, having Shem as its progenitor, and Ludim is one of the Hamitic nations springing from Mizraim (Egypt).

The identification of Ludim with Lydia is ruled out on the basis of the close geographical and ethnic association of Ludim with Egypt. It is prob. better to regard it as a nation now unknown as are the Anamim and Naphtuhim which also were begotten by Mizraim.

Lud, on the other hand, is almost certainly Lydia in several passages. The Assyrian Inscriptions refer to the Lydians as Lūdu; the same root as the Heb. Lud. Josephus equates Lud in Genesis 10:22 with Lydia (Antiq. I. 6. 4) and Herodotus speaks of Lydus, who was the traditional progenitor of the Lydians.

Lud appears in association with Tarshish, Tubal and Javan (Isa 66:19), nations which were located along the N shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Pul, which occurs in the same v. (KJV) is emended by some to Put, an African nation, but its close identification with the N Mediterranean nations seems to militate against the emendation. Since Lydia was in the same general area as the other nations cited, its identification with Lud in this passage seems to be warranted.

In Ezekiel 30:5 Lud prob. refers to Ludim, the African nation. It occurs in association with Ethiopia and Lydia in an oracle directed against Egypt. Some have suggested that Lud in this context may refer to Lydian mercenaries who were employed in the army of Egypt from the time of Psammetichus I, but the context seems rather to require the name of a place.

In an oracle against Tyre Ezekiel refers to mercenaries from Lud (27:10). The passage is of little help in locating Lud geographically because it is associated with Persia and Put, widely separated nations. It is quite probable, however, that Lydian mercenaries are intended for their prowess in battle was lauded by Herodotus (I:79) and the Assyrian Annals (Ashurbanipal, Rassam Cylinder) speak of Lydian mercenaries. In Jeremiah 46:9 a reference is obviously to the African Ludim because of its association with Ethiopian Put.

Egyp. inscrs. from the 13th to the 15th cent. b.c. refer to a people called Luden located near Mesopotamia. This has led some to infer that the Lydians were displaced from their original home in Mesopotamia by the Assyrians and migrated to Asia Minor. Lydia became a part of the Rom. empire after the defeat of Croesus by Cyrus.


ANET (1955), 306; J. Simons, The Geographical and Topographical Texts of the Old Testament (1959).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

lud, lu’-dim, lood’-im (ludh, ludhim, ludhiyum, "Ludites"; Loud, Loudieim; Targum Onk: ludha’e):

1. Two Different Nationalities:

2. The Semitic Lud:

Coming to the Semitic Lud, it is to be noted that the Assyrians called Lydia Lu(d)du, and that the mythical ancestor of the Lydians, according to Herodotus (i.7), was Lydos, and their first king, Agros, was descended from Ninos and Belos, i.e. Assyria and Babylonia. The apparently Assyrian colony in Cappadocia about 2000 BC, who used the Babylonian script, may be regarded as supporting this statement, and that there were other colonies of the same nationality in the neighborhood is implied by the fact that Assyro-Babylonian was one of the official languages of the Hittite state whose capital was Hattu or Boghaz-keui. On the other hand when Gyges sent an embassy to Assur-bani-apli of Assyria, Lu(d)du is described as a country whose name had never before been heard, and whose language was unknown. As, however, the earlier kings of Assyria certainly warred in that district, this statement has to be taken with caution. Perhaps the name had changed in the interval, owing to an immigration similar to that which brought the Hittites into Asia Minor, and caused change in the language at the same time.

3. Not Recognizable as Semitic Later:

Naturally Lydia was not recognizable as Semitic in classical times. The existence of Lud in the neighborhood of Egypt as well as in Asia Minor finds parallels in the Syrian Mucri of the Assyrian inscriptions by the side of the Mucur which stood for Egypt, and still more in the Cappadocian Cush (Kusu) of certain Assyrian letters relating to horses, by the side of the Cush (Kusu likewise) which stands for Ethiopia.

4. Egyptian Lud Not Recognizable:

Everything points, therefore, to the Semitic Lud and Ludim being Lydia, and the identification may be regarded as satisfactory. It is altogether otherwise with the Egyptian Lud and Ludim, however, about which little can be said at present. The reference to a city which seems to be Putu-yawan in an inscription mentioning the 37th year of Nebuchadrezzar, and apparently referring to an expedition against Amasis, though it may stand for "Grecian Phut," has very little bearing upon the position of the Egyptian Lud, especially as the text in which it occurs is very mutilated. One thing is certain, however: the Hebrews regarded this Lud and Ludim as being Hamitic, and not Semitic.