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Zamzummim

ZAMZUMMIM zăm zum’ ĭm, the Ammonite name for the people called Rephaim by the Jews in the narrative of the conquest of Canaan. The term appears only in Deuteronomy 2:20, זַמְזֻמִּֽים; LXX Ζουζομμιν. The following v. adds (JPS) “a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim; but the Lord destroyed them before them”; the KJV incorrectly trs. Rephaim as “giants” following a rabbinic tradition. Concerning the Ammonites little is known except that they were prob. Sem. and sufficiently similar in culture and language to be considered kinsman of Israel and the Moabites through their father Lot (Gen 19:38). They lived in the area of central Pal., E of the Jordan River and NE of the Dead Sea around the capitol ’Ammân of modern Jordan. The Ammonite lands had previously belonged to the Rephaim who are mentioned in Ugaritic economic texts from Ras Shamra. Only a speculative etymology can be given for the term Zamzummim, but it is possible that the word is an attempt to imitate the speech of a