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The Hamathites (Hebrew: חמתי, Khāmāthīm) were the descendants of Hamath (Hebrew: חמת, Khāmāth; "Name means::fortress"), the eleventh son of Canaan according to Genesis 10:18 .


The city where this people settled lay on Orontes, and was named after their forebear, Hamath. Sargon II of Assyria tells us how he conquered the city, and it was at Hamath that Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian armies. The Greeks and Romans subsequently knew the city as Epiphaneia, althongh today it has reverted to its ancient name, Hamath. In 853 BC the men of Hamath were able to successfully check Assyrian ambitions in the west by mobilizing an army of no less than 63,000 foot, 2,000 light horse, 4,000 battle chariots, and l,000 camels.

Later, they migrated to the region of northern Greece and Macedonia, becoming known as the Emathians. The territory they settled became known as Emathia. Josephus wrote:

Amathus inhabited in Amathine, which is even now called Amathe by the inhabitants, although the Macedonians named it Epiphania from one of his posterity.

Epiphanea was a town in Cilicia in Asia Minor, later called Urzin. This may represent the intermediate stage of the Hamathite migration towards Greece.

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