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Who and what is…
Cush

Hebrew: כּוּשׁ —transliteration: Kuwsh —meaning is not known

also known as: Kush

This is the name of 2 biblical men and an ancient land associated with the earlier man.

  1. Cush, a son of Ham

    He is probably the eldest son of Ham, and is the father of Nimrod (Genesis 10:8; 1 Chronicles 1:10).

    From him the land of Cush seems to have derived its name.

    Relatives of Cush, son of Ham

  2. Cush, the land

    In the Old Testament, the term Cush is generally applied to the countries south of the Israelites. It was the southern limit of Egypt (Ezek. 29:10, King James Version “Ethiopia,” Hebrew: Cush), with which it is generally associated (Psalm 68:31; Isaiah 18:1; Jeremiah 46:9, etc.).

    It is also associated with Elam (Isaiah 11:11), with Persia (Ezek. 38:5), and with the Sabeans (Isaiah 45:14).

    From these facts it has been inferred that Cush included Arabia and the country on the west coast of the Red Sea. Rawlinson takes it to be the country still known as Khuzi-stan, on the east side of the Lower Tigris. There was also a Cush in Africa, which is today known by the Greek name Αιθιοπία (Ethiopia) which translates as “burnt-face” (Liddell-Scott Jones Greek-English Lexicon).

    Thus, the name Cush was applied to tracts of land on both sides of the Red Sea, in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) and Northeast Africa.

    Additionally, the ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote,

    For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Cush; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Cushites. —Herotodus, Antiquities of the Jews 1.6)

    Kushim in the Old Testament meant Ethiopians. In modern Hebrew, the name כּוּשִׁי‎ ( Cushi or Kushi ) refers to any person of dark-skinned African descent.

    For many years, Ethiopia was known as Abyssinia which is a Latinized derivation of Habash which is an ancient name for the northern highlands of modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia.

    Ezekiel speaks (29:10; compare 30:4-6) of Cush as lying south of Egypt. It was the country now later known as Nubia (today central Sudan and southern Egypt) and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) (Isaiah 18:1; Zeph. 3:10, Hebrew: Cush). In ancient Egyptian inscriptions, Ethiopia is termed Kesh.

    The Cushites appear to have spread along extensive tracts, stretching from the Upper Nile to the Euphrates and Tigris. At an early period there was a stream of migration of Cushites “from Ethiopia, properly so called, through Arabia, Babylonia, and Persia, to Western India.”

    The Hamite races, soon after their arrival in Africa, began to spread north, east, and west. Three branches of the Cushite or Ethiopian stock, moving from Western Asia, settled in the regions contiguous to the Persian Gulf.

    One branch, called the Cossaeans, settled in the mountainous district on the east of the Tigris, known afterwards as Susiana; another occupied the lower regions of the Euphrates and the Tigris; while a third colonized the southern shores and islands of the gulf, whence they afterwards emigrated to the Mediterranean and settled on the coast of Israel as the Phoenicians.

    Nimrod was a powerful Cushite chief. He conquered the Accadians, a Tauranian race, already settled in Mesopotamia, and founded his kingdom, the Cushites mingling with the Accads, and so forming the Chaldean nation.

  3. Cushitic languages

    Modern Cushitic languages are spoken by many millions of people and include:

    • Oromo (Ethiopia, Kenya)
    • Somali (Somalia, Republic of Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya)
    • Beja (Sudan, Eritrea, Egypt)
    • Sidamo (Ethiopia)
    • Afar (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia)
  4. Cush, a Benjamite

    He is mentioned in the title of Psalm 7.

    “Cush was probably a follower of [King] Saul, the head of his tribe, and had sought the friendship of David for the purpose of ‘rewarding evil to him that was at peace with him’.”

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Article Version: July 12, 2021