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The Amorites (Hebrew: אמרים, ʼEmōrīm; Akkadian: Amurrūm; Sumerian: 𒈥𒌅, MAR.TU) were the descendants of Amori (Hebrew: אמרי, ʼEmōrī; "Name means::a speaker"), the fourth son of son of::Canaan, the son of Ham, according to Genesis 10:16 . They were the smaller groups of Canaanite inhabitants of the mountainous regions of Palestine, rather than the large waves of Amurru, or western Shemites (including the Hebrews and Israelites), who subsequently migrated to and settled the region.


This Human Y-DNA Haplogroup D2 (M55) people who originally lived on the west of the Dead Sea, but were driven out (Genesis 14:7). They lived around Hebron, where they allied with Abraham (Genesis 14:13). They also lived around Shechem (Genesis 48:22). Later, they settled the land on the east bank along the Arnon River, near Moab (Numbers 21:13). They also lived in Gilead (Numbers 32:39). They later invaded the Holy Land again (Judges 1:34). They were completely exterminated by the Israelites and others except for the Gibeonites who accepted the Torah in order to become the Nethinim. As the Nethinim they were eventually attacked by King Saul the Benjaminite and had to escape to join their Sinitic cousins in Tibet. Under their influence, their Sinitic cousins produced the first sovereign Emperor of China Jin Shi Hwang whose followers were exiled to Japan following his demise, to bring about the origins of Shinto religion. They were also responsible for establishing the basics of Sinitic religion, calendar, and stories providing the logic behind many Sinitic pictograms. The Sapanpe of the Ainu comes from the Tefilin worn on the head by orthodox Jews. They gave their name to the Amur river. The cultural stigma of untouchability was attached to Canaanites (Haplogroup D) by the Jews, Hindus, and Japanese.

The Amorites were a wild people, not concerned with the things of civilization, be they houses, towns, grain or government. In the Akkadian language, the name "Amorite" (pl. Amurrūm) was used to refer to Syria-Palestine, before being superseded by the name "Hittite".

The Biblical term Amorite was applied to those descendants of Canaan who resided in a portion of the territory known to the people of the Euphrates basin as Amurru (Sumerian: 𒈥𒌅, MAR.TU, "the land to the West") many centuries before the Israelites entered the Promised Land. But the term Amurru was not used consistently, for a Hebrew resident of Palestine might be called either a Canaanite or an Amorite by a dweller in ancient Babylonia[1], for usage varied with time.

The 'Amorites' so called by modern archaeologists were something far greater than the comparatively small number of the Hamitic people using that name, mentioned in Scripture as sharing Palestine with numerous other tribes. According to modern research, an 'Amorite' race originated in the area of the Middle Euphrates. About the time of Abraham (c. 1900 BC) they had gained control of the whole of Babylonia and had pushed out pioneering colonies over Palestine and even as far as Egypt. Many authorities consider that the Hyksos who controlled Egypt for a period were of this dominant race. It is clear that descendants of Canaan and Amoritic Hebrews had dwelt together in Palestine for centuries.

Prof. R. B. Dixon[2] mentions that in the period 2500 BC - 1500 BC the population of Palestine consisted primarily of 'Mediterranean' and 'Caspian' peoples. It will be recalled that the Ammonites and Moabites, who dwelt to the east of the Jordan, derived from Hebrew parents who moved in from the Euphrates area at the same time as Abraham.

It has been securely established that large sections of a highly civilized people moved westwards and northwards from Babylonia about 2000 BC (Serial No. 4 [222.11]). Some authorities call these migrating people Habiru or Hebrews, other authorities name them Amorites; whilst some writers have used the term Unman-Manda, although this name is usually associated with people of the same race who became prominent in Medo-Persia at a much later date. The language of the Amurru was 'an earlier stage of the Hebrew language'. The Ras Shamra Tablets show that people using archaic Hebrew had lived in southern Palestine as early as 2100 BC (Serial No. 50 [ 222.1 ]).

There was a sharp contrast between the Hamitic Amorites and the Hebrew Amurru, Professor Sayce says that;

the 'Amorites' (the Hebrew Amurru) of Palestine were tall, handsome people, with white skins, blue eyes and reddish hair, having the characteristics of the white race.

His quotes support from Sir Flinders Petrie to the effect that they were fair-haired 'long-headed' people. Professor Sayce states that;

captives taken by Shishak of Egypt, at the time of Rehoboam, from Israelite cities, are depicted on the walls of the temple of Karnak. They are 'Amoritic' as opposed to the so-called 'Jewish' type.

After the Indo-European Hittites from Anatolia invaded their land, many of the dark-skinned Hamitic Amorites moved westwards in North Africa, becoming known as "Moors" named after Amor. The Moors' tradition have them descending from a certain Tidrarin which means "man of the mountain". Others stayed behind in the Middle East, intermarrying with some of the Hittites. As Robert Gayre says, indications are that the Amorites split into two sections.

The Romans called the Moors, 'Mauri' (there is no connection here with the Maori of the South Pacific, just a similar word) from where we get the name of the country, Mauritania. Although Berbers are sometimes called Moors, the "true" Moor lives in Mauritania (comprising three quarters of the population) and some in Mali and Rio De Oro, south of the River Senegal and along the 15° North Latitude to Niger.

Many Moors have blurred their original racial characteristics through intermarriage with Berbers and black Africans. Thus some Moors claim descent from the Berbers who came to Mauritania from Morocco and Algeria in the 12th and 13th centuries AD while many other Moors descend from the Arabs.

See Also

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  1. vide Cambridge Ancient History, Vol 1, 1929, p. 230
  2. Racial History of Man (1923), p. 172

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