Arabia and the Bible
This page is about the land of Arabia and its role as outlined in the Bible.
The King James version of the Holy Bible will be the primary reference used in quoting scripture.
There are many references to Arabia in the Bible. This site will attempt to list and analyze the role played by Arabia as discovered through Biblical references. The first reference to a country outside of the Garden of Eden in the Bible is the land of Havilah which is mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 2:11. This land is surrounded by the river Pison. Havilah is said to be rich in gold. Bdellium and onyx are also to be found there. Bdellium is a kind of myrrh resin found abundantly in Somalia and Arabia. Large quantities of myrrh were produced by Arabia during Biblical times. It can still be found there today. The country was made rich by this trade alone. The Romans used large amounts of myrrh in their temples.
Havilah is the first country mentioned in the Bible. The river Pison mentioned in Genesis 2:11 has also been discovered in Arabia. It has been located by satellite imagery.
Paran and its wilderness, mentioned in Genesis 21:21, is also located in Arabia. In fact, Arabia covered all the land to the south of Canaan and to the west of the Euphrates river. The northern boundary of Arabia with Canaan was called the wilderness of Paran. The western boundary was the Sinai. The eastern boundary was Shur. Syria was called Shur. Arabia was not considered a single country with the fixed boundaries it has now at that time. Names were given to different parts of it. Parts of Arabia were named after the different ethnic groups living in the area, like the Edomites living in Edom, etc. According to the Bible, Abraham's son, Ishmael, dwelt in Arabia with his mother. He married an Egyptian woman here and had twelve sons, according to Genesis 25:13-15. Ishmael was circumcised according to the covenant between God and Abraham. Ishmael's name was chosen by God as well - refer to Genesis 16:11.
Moses and the Israelites dwelt in the wilderness of Paran in Arabia after leaving Egypt (Numbers 12:16). Moses sent some of the Israelites to spy on Canaan. The rest of the Israelites stayed in Paran until the spies came back 40 days later (Numbers 13:17,25).
Moses blessed the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 33:2-3, saying "the Lord shined forth from Mount Paran. He came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them." Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had ten thousand followers when he returned to Mecca after his emigration from his birthplace because of religious persecution.
Isaiah 62:2 says, "And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name." The only religion named by God is Islam, which was given that name in the Holy Quran as the completion of religion for mankind. Judaism and Christianity were not named by God in their respective scriptures. The followers of Islam are called Muslims.
Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him (PBUH) was born in Mecca, a city of religious pilgrimage in Arabia. His advent is described as the coming of the Lord, the Law and ten thousand righteous followers from Mount Paran in the Old Testament. The prophet Isaiah (PBUH) speaks of Medina in Chapter 21, verses 13 through 17. The emigration of Muhammad (PBUH) and the first Muslims from Mecca to Medina is described in these verses. It also describes the diminishing power of the tribes that forced Muhammad (PBUH) to leave Mecca and their defeat in the battle of Badr. The events of this prophecy were fulfilled in June 622 A.D through March 624 A.D.
Verses in the Bible about Arabia
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Copyright @ 2000 by Ishmail Hashim