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MINNI (mĭn'ī, Heb. minnî). Mentioned only in Jer.51.27 as a kingdom associated with Ararat and Ashkenaz as instruments or agents for the destruction of wicked Babylon. It was in what was later called Armenia, and some think that the word “Armenia” is from har-minni, i.e., the mountain of Minni. In 719 b.c., Sargon king of Assyria defeated the Minni. The kingdom is little known, and the known references to it are very scarce.

MINNI mĭn’ ī (מִנִּ֣י, Mannaeans). A people who occupied the area to the S of Lake Urmia in western Iran, from the 9th to the 7th centuries b.c. They are mentioned as a warlike people in the Assyrian inscrs. of Shalmaneser III, Shamshi-Adad V, Sargon, Sennacherib, Esar-haddon and Ashurbanipal, and in the Urartian inscrs. of Menua, Argishti, Sardur III and Rusa II. According to the Babylonian Chronicle they sided with the Assyrians when the Babylonians attacked in 616 b.c., and when in 612 b.c. Nineveh fell to the Babylonians, Medes, and possibly the Scythians, their territory became part of the Median dominion, and they disappear from the record.

Something of the material life of the Mannaeans can prob. be seen from the excavations at Hasanlu S of Lake Urmia, where in Levels IV and III B a fortified citadel, and metal work of some merit was found.

The Mannaeans are mentioned only once in the Bible when Jeremiah (51:27) summons them (minni) with the Urartians (arāraṭ) and the Scythians (’aškenāz) to make war on Babylonia.


R. H. Dyson, “Problems of Protohistoric Iran as Seen from Hasanlu” JNES 24 (1965), 193-217; E. Porada, Ancient Iran (1965), 108-122.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A kingdom mentioned in Jer 51:27, along with Ararat and Ashkenaz, as assailants of Babylon. It is identified with the Minnai of the Assyrian inscriptions, in close relation with, or part of, Armenia.