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The word Dedan means "low ground". The people are called Dedanim or Dedanites.
In the Bible, it can refer to either:
Dedan, in the latter meaning, is first 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. The Mineans established a center at this desert oasis in order to protect the incense trade.
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