ZUZIM, ZUZITES (zū'zĭm, zū'zīts, Heb. zûzîm). A primitive race of giants conquered by Kedorlaomer and his allies at Ham, an unknown place east of the Jordan, in the days of Abraham (Gen.14.5; Zuzites niv; Zuzim jb, mlb, nasb, neb, rsv; Zuzims kjv).
ZUZIM zōō’ zĭm
, a pre-Israelite tribe of Syria-Pal. mentioned in Genesis 14:5
only as one of the nations overthrown by the Elamite king Chedorlaomer. Most authorities equate them with the Zamzummim (q.v.) of Deuteronomy but there are several objections to this assumption. 1. In Genesis 14:5
they are mentioned with the Rephaim while in Deuteronomy 2:20
the Zamzummim are the Rephaim. 2. The temporal span between the two passages is quite large; Chedorlaomer is a contemporary of Abram (c. 1850 b.c.
), while the reference to the Zamzummim is dated by the same chronological scheme at about 1350 b.c.
In the turbulence of this era it is doubtful whether any small tribe would have stayed so long in one place. 3. The Zumim are located in Ham, a place name found nowhere else. Ḥam, Heb. הָ֑ם
, is located SW of Irbid (Beth-Arbel) some twenty m. W of Ramoth-Gilead in the district of ’Ağlun. No other mention of these people or their name is presently known; however, the folk etymologies derive their name זּוּזִ֖ים
from some verb so that it means “strong ones,” “strong giants.” On this evidence the LXX reads, “ἐθνη ἰσχυρὰ
,” “strong nations” and the Latin Fathers, “gentes fortes
,” all of which are specious.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(zuzim; (ethne ischura, "strong nations." So Jerome in Quaest. Hebr.: genres fortes) : A people conquered by Chedorlaomer (Ge 14:5) . They dwelt in Ham, a region not otherwise known but, from the connection, inferred to be East of the Jordan. It may also be inferred that they were a race of giants. They were perhaps to be identified with the Zamzummim.