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hittites

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hittites


  1  definition  found 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Hittites 
  Palestine  and  Syria  appear  to  have  been  originally  inhabited  by 
  three  different  tribes.  (1.)  The  Semites,  living  on  the  east  of 
  the  isthmus  of  Suez.  They  were  nomadic  and  pastoral  tribes.  (2.) 
  The  Phoenicians,  who  were  merchants  and  traders;  and  (3.)  the 
  Hittites,  who  were  the  warlike  element  of  this  confederation  of 
  tribes.  They  inhabited  the  whole  region  between  the  Euphrates 
  and  Damascus,  their  chief  cities  being  Carchemish  on  the 
  Euphrates,  and  Kadesh,  now  Tell  Neby  Mendeh,  in  the  Orontes 
  valley,  about  six  miles  south  of  the  Lake  of  Homs.  These 
  Hittites  seem  to  have  risen  to  great  power  as  a  nation,  as  for  a 
  long  time  they  were  formidable  rivals  of  the  Egyptian  and 
  Assyrian  empires.  In  the  book  of  Joshua  they  always  appear  as 
  the  dominant  race  to  the  north  of  Galilee. 
 
  Somewhere  about  the  twenty-third  century  B.C.  the  Syrian 
  confederation,  led  probably  by  the  Hittites,  arched  against 
  Lower  Egypt,  which  they  took  possession  of  making  Zoan  their 
  capital.  Their  rulers  were  the  Hyksos,  or  shepherd  kings.  They 
  were  at  length  finally  driven  out  of  Egypt.  Rameses  II  sought 
  vengeance  against  the  "vile  Kheta,"  as  he  called  them  and 
  encountered  and  defeated  them  in  the  great  battle  of  Kadesh, 
  four  centuries  after  Abraham.  (See  {JOSHUA}.) 
 
  They  are  first  referred  to  in  Scripture  in  the  history  of 
  Abraham,  who  bought  from  Ephron  the  Hittite  the  field  and  the 
  cave  of  Machpelah  (Gen.  15:20:  23:3-18).  They  were  then  settled 
  at  Kirjath-arba.  From  this  tribe  Esau  took  his  first  two  wives 
  (26:34;  36:2). 
 
  They  are  afterwards  mentioned  in  the  usual  way  among  the 
  inhabitants  of  the  Promised  Land  (Ex.  23:28).  They  were  closely 
  allied  to  the  Amorites,  and  are  frequently  mentioned  along  with 
  them  as  inhabiting  the  mountains  of  Palestine.  When  the  spies 
  entered  the  land  they  seem  to  have  occupied  with  the  Amorites 
  the  mountain  region  of  Judah  (Num.  13:29).  They  took  part  with 
  the  other  Canaanites  against  the  Israelites  (Josh.  9:1;  11:3). 
 
  After  this  there  are  few  references  to  them  in  Scripture. 
  Mention  is  made  of  "Ahimelech  the  Hittite"  (1  Sam.  26:6),  and  of 
  "Uriah  the  Hittite,"  one  of  David's  chief  officers  (2  Sam. 
  23:39;  1  Chr.  11:41).  In  the  days  of  Solomon  they  were  a 
  powerful  confederation  in  the  north  of  Syria,  and  were  ruled  by 
  "kings."  They  are  met  with  after  the  Exile  still  a  distinct 
  people  (Ezra  9:1;  comp.  Neh.  13:23-28). 
 
  The  Hebrew  merchants  exported  horses  from  Egypt  not  only  for 
  the  kings  of  Israel,  but  also  for  the  Hittites  (1  Kings  10:28, 
  29).  From  the  Egyptian  monuments  we  learn  that  "the  Hittites 
  were  a  people  with  yellow  skins  and  'Mongoloid'  features,  whose 
  receding  foreheads,  oblique  eyes,  and  protruding  upper  jaws  are 
  represented  as  faithfully  on  their  own  monuments  as  they  are  on 
  those  of  Egypt,  so  that  we  cannot  accuse  the  Egyptian  artists  of 
  caricaturing  their  enemies.  The  Amorites,  on  the  contrary,  were 
  a  tall  and  handsome  people.  They  are  depicted  with  white  skins, 
  blue  eyes,  and  reddish  hair,  all  the  characteristics,  in  fact 
  of  the  white  race"  (Sayce's  The  Hittites).  The  original  seat  of 
  the  Hittite  tribes  was  the  mountain  ranges  of  Taurus.  They 
  belonged  to  Asia  Minor,  and  not  to  Syria. 
 




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