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Nabataeans

NABATAEANS năb’ ə tē ənz (Ναβαται̂οι). The Nabataeans, a powerful people who occupied the northwestern part of Arabia and Trans-Jordan in the NT period, are not mentioned directly in the OT or NT. Jean Starcky has shown that Biblical Nebayoth (Gen 25:13; 1 Chron 1:29) and the Nabayat of the Assyrian chronicles cannot be identified with the Nabataeans (BA 18 [1955], pp. 85f.). However, non-Biblical sources and archeological evidence indicate that during the inter-testamentary period and esp. in the 1st cent. of the Christian era the Nabataeans were a significant political power in the Near E. The Nabataeans usually are associated with the magnificent ruins of Petra, SE of the Dead Sea, but their political domain extended at times west to the Negev and N as far as Damascus. Their origin seems to be among the Arab tribes inhabiting southern Arabia. Located in the territory of ancient Edom, the Nabataeans controlled some of the rich trade routes linking the major areas of the [[Fertile