Genesis 10:6-8; 1 Chronicles 1:8-10. Oldest son of Ham; his descendants were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, Sabtechah; Raamah's sons, Sheba and Dedan; Nimrod, mentioned after the rest as Cush's son, was probably a more remote descendant: Cush ethnologically includes not only Ethiopia (meaning the sunburnt, Nubia and N. Abyssinia.) in Africa, its chief representative, but the Cush of Asia, watered by the Gihon river of paradise (Genesis 2:13). Isaiah couples it with Elam (Isaiah 40:11), Ezekiel with Persia (Ezekiel 38:5). Also part of Arabia (Genesis 10:7; Isaiah 43:3, especially 2 Chronicles 21:16), Mesopotamia (Genesis 10:8-10), and still further E. Chuzistan in the region of Susiana, in S. Asia, was their first home. Thence the main body crossed over to Ethiopia. Cush's connection with Midian appears in Habakkuk 3:7, where Cush-an is joined to Midi-an.
But the Cushan there may be Israel's first oppressor, (See CHUSHAN RISHATHAIM; the name however shows a Cushite origin. The Babylonian inscriptions of the mounds of Chaldaea proper, the primitive seat of the Babylonian empire close to the Persian gulf, prove there was a Cush on the E. or Asiatic side of the Arabia, gulf, as well as on the W. or African side. So Homer (Odys., 1:23) speaks of the Ethiopians as divided, part towards the E., part toward the W. Nimrod's kingdom began with Babel or Babylon, from whence "he went forth into Assyria and builded Nineveh" (Genesis 10:11 margin). Two streams of Hamitic migration appear to have taken place:
(1) an earlier one of Nigritians through the Malayan region, the Mizraites spreading along the S. and E. coasts of the Mediterranean resembled the modern seafaring Malays.
(2) A later one of Cushites through Arabia, Babylonia, Susiana, eastward to W. of India.
Meroe of Ethiopia is called in the Assyrian inscriptions by the name Nimrod, which must therefore be a Cushite name. The writing and vocabulary at Ur or Umqueir, near the Persian gulf, is Hamitic rather than Semitic. Ideographic rather than phonetic writing characterizes the Turanian races. Massive architectural remains, and a religion of nature worship from the highest to the lowest (fetish) kind, are found in all the Mizraite and Cushite settlements; and the language is partly Turanian, partly Semitic. The 22nd Egyptian dynasty, to which Zerah the Cusbite who invaded Asa belonged, contains names of Babylonian origin, Shishak = Sheshak, Namuret = Nimrod,Tekhit = Tiglath. (See BABEL.)
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