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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Afro-Arabian Dedanites

The oldest mosques are oriented to Dedan
The qiblahs in the oldest mosques in Cairo and in Baghdad point to Dedan, about 500 miles north-northwest of Mecca.

Dedan was home to an industrious Afro-Arabian people who had close association with the Joktanite tribes of Arabia and the people of Raamah and Sheba.

Isaiah 21:13 speaks of the "caravans of Dedanites" and Ezekiel 27:20 speaks of Dedan as supplying Tyre with precious things. They traded in spice, ivory, incense, and textiles with lands as distant as India, Cambodia and China. They probably also traded in horses which were bred in Sheba. They traded in copper from the 4000 B.C. mines in the Air region of Niger where there are rock drawings of chariots, evidence of early copper smelting, and copper weapons.

The highest concentration of Old Arabic texts has been found in the region of Dedan. Genesis 10:7 tell us that Dedan the Elder was a grandson of Kush by his son Raamah. Raamah was Nimrod's brother. Raamah settled in the region to the southeast of Dedan while Nimrod built a kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley. Genesis reveals a kinship connection between the Afro-Arabian Dedanites and the Afro-Asiatic Arameans. The separation of the two groups in the time of Peleg and Joktan was territorial only, as the ruling lines continued to intermarry.

Dedan the Younger was the son of Abraham's first-born son Joktan (Gen. 25:3). Most Arabs are descended from Abraham through Joktan. He is remembered by Arabs as Yaqtan. Josephus knew him as Joctan and his name is preserved in the ancient town of Jectan near Mecca.

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