The Historical Significance of the Arabian Peninsula

The History of the People of the Arabian Peninsula begins in Genesis 10 where the beginnings of nations are described. The bulk of the population of Arabia are descendants of Shem (ie. Semitic peoples - the Hebrews, Arabs, Arameans). There were two primary peoples who inhabited Arabia. One was largely nomadic, wandering with their flocks over the great deserts, which lie, between the river Euphrates and the center of the peninsula. The other group was the inhabitants of the rain-fed uplands of Yemen. Camels were domesticated in Arabia between 1500-1200BC.

The Arabs were the nomadic peoples of the central northern part of Arabia. The word itself is probably derived from a Semitic root related to nomadism. It was the Romans who used the term Arabia to cover the whole of the peninsula. It was with these nomadic peopIes that Ishmael and his twelve sons - together with the children of Esau - joined. There are still Bedoum tribes in Northern Arabia named after two of the sons of Ishmael,

Bahrain
Bahrain consists of a group of islands located in the Arabian Gulf northeast of the Arabian Penninsula. A causeway links the largest island (also known as Bahrain) to mainland Saudi Arabia. The islands are flat and hot, mainly sand covered limestone; with generally poor and infertile soil.
The southern peoples of Arabia are also basically Semitic peopIes, descendants of Joktan and Cush. The source of their wealth in earlier times was their position on trade routes from India, East Africa, South East Asia and China, as well as their supplies of frankincense. Later in the 4th century BC, Himyaritic peoples from the Horn of Africa dominated the area. Navigation of the Red Sea was difficult and dangerous owing to coral reefs and pirates. Most of the goods traded were carried by camel from South Yemen up to the Mediterranean Sea. This lucrative trade produced a wealthy and civilized community in Yemen. The Queen of Sheba, who paid a very famous visit to Solomon, was a Queen of Yemen. Halfway between Yemen and the Mediterranean cultures lies a small desert settlement called Mecca. Mecca was a staging past for this caravan trade.

Judaism, and to a lesser extent Chnstianity, had penetrated into the area by the 6th century AD. But most of the peoples of northern Arabia were worshippers of spirits. They made pilgrimages to sacred stones. These places were thought to be residences of spirits, jinn or afrit. Slowly monotheism was beginning to be increasingly accepted.

Unreached People Groups


Yemeni Arab
  Yemen, Gulf States
Hijazi Arab
  Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arab
  Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait
Bedouin Arab
  Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait
Omani Arab
  Oman, UAE
Bahraini Arab
  Bahrain
Egyptian Arag
  Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, Yemem
Sudanese Arab
  Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Gulf States
Socotran
  Yemen
Mahra
  Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia
Persian
  Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Urdu
  Gulf States, Saudi Arabia
Somali
  Yemen, Saudi Arabia
Bengali
  Gulf States, Saudi Arabia
Southern Baluch
  Oman, UAE
Pathan
  UAE

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