Semitic people who lived in the highlands east of the Dead Sea (now in W-central Jordan). The Moabites' culture dates from the late 14th century BC to 582 BC, when they were conquered by the Babylonians. According to the Old Testament, they were descended from Moab, a son of Lot. Though their language, religion, and culture were closely related to those of the Israelites, the Moabites were not part of the Israelite community. David's great-grandmother Ruth was a Moabite. The Moabite Stone, a stela discovered in 1868, is the only written document of any length that survives from Moab; it tells of King Omri of Israel's reconquest of Moabite lands, which the Moabites ascribed to the anger of their god, Chemosh. See also Dibon.
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