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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

 

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East
        

qedem, literally, "before"; for in describing the points of the compass the person faced the E. or sunrise (Greek anatolee, the E.), which was thus before or in front of him; the S. was on his right, and so is called in Hebrew "the right hand"; the N. was on his left, and so is called in Hebrew "the left hand." Job 23:8-9, "forward," i.e. eastward; "backward," i.e. westward; "on the left hand," i.e. to the N.; "on the right hand," i.e. in the S. So the Hindus call the E. para, "before "; the W. apara, "behind "; the S. doschina, "the right hand"; the N. bama, "the left." Mizrach, "the sunrise," is used when the E. is distinguished from the W.
        Qedem is also used to designate the lands lying immediately E. of Israel, namely, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Babylonia. Genesis 25:6; trans. "unto the land of Qedem, for unto the E. country"; Genesis 29:1, Haran. Mizrach is used of the E. more indefinitely. The Greek plural anatolai, "the sunrisings," is used of the E. indefinitely, the eastern point of the compass (Matthew 2:1); but hee anatolee, "the sunrising," singular, is used of a definite locality. So Qedem with the article (Genesis 10:30) expresses the definite country S, Arabia; "Sephara mount of the E.," a seaport on the coast of Hadramaut. More generally said of N. Arabia and Mesopotamia. Job 1:3; "the children of the E." are mentioned with the Midianites and Amalekites (Judges 6:3; Judges 6:33; Judges 7:12).
        Gideon and his servant understood their talk, showing that theirs was a Semitic dialect akin to the Hebrew, before it had greatly diverged from the common parent tongue. In Ezekiel 25:4 "the men of the E." are the wandering Bedouin tribes of Arabia Deserta; "they shall set their palaces in thee" (Ammon); irony; where thy palaces once stood, they shall set up very different "palaces," namely, nomadic encampments and mud-surrounded folds (Jeremiah 49:28-29). Arab is the Old Testament name for "the children of the E." (See ARAM.) Isaiah 2:6, "replenished from the E., i.e., filled with the superstitions of the E., namely, the astrology and sorceries of Chaldea.


Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'East' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

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