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The word Dedan (Hebrew: דְּדָןDəḏān) (Arabic: دودان/دادانDudan, Dadan, Daedan in Brenton's Septuagint Translation [1]) means "low ground". The people are called Dedanim or Dedanites.

In the Hebrew Bible, the name Dedan is assigned to two different men:

Dedan or Lihyan is also the name of a city (state) of north-western Arabia, modern Al-'Ula.

Isaiah 21:13 and Ezekiel 27:15 identify the Dedanim or Dedanites as a trading people.[2]


Dedan is mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel, (Chapters 27 and 38). Chapter 27 is a roster of the trading partners of the city of Tyre (today in modern Lebanon), where Dedan is noted as a nation or kingdom which traded in saddle blankets (Ezekiel 27:20).

The oasis kingdom is also mentioned in the prophetic vision of the war of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38; see also, Revelation 20:8), and appears to be a nation of significance in this end-times prophecy of Ezekiel.

In Ezekiel 38:13, Dedan is joined with Sheba and "Tarshish and all her strong lions": all these nations joining together to inquire of the advancing armies of Gog: "Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?"

Now known as Al Ula in northern Saudi Arabia, known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Hijra, Hegra or Egra, the former is about the same distance, about 250 miles north from Medina as Medina is north of Mecca. The location where the extinct tribe of Thamud used to dwell.

In the ruins of the old city there are inscriptions that indicate the Dedanites were preceded by a Minean settlement.[citation needed] The Mineans established a center at this desert oasis in order to protect the incense trade.


The first Dedan is a son of Raamah, son of Cush, son of Ham, son of Noah (Genesis 10:7). The second Dedan is a son of Jokshan. This Dedan is the ancestor of the Asshurim, the Letushim and the Leummim (Genesis 25:3).

The name Dedan comes possibly from the Hebrew noun (dd), meaning breast or nipple, or the Hebrew verb (dada), meaning move slowly, lead slowly (Psalm 42:5, Isaiah 38:15).[3] It may be connected with (dwd) the root for beloved (aunt, uncle, even the name David).

Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names goes with (dada) and reads Leading Forward, i.e. great increase of family. The NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Low, for no discernible reason. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brenton's Septuagint Translation: Isaiah 21
  2. ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Isaiah 21, accessed 7 April 2018
  3. ^ Abarim Publications, The name Dedan in the Bible, accessed 7 April 2018

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