MEUNITES (Heb. מְעוּנִים), an Arab tribe which lived on the border of the kingdom of Judah. Along with "the Philistines … and the Arabians that dwelt in Gur-Baal" (II Chron. 26:7), the Meunites paid a tax to *Uzziah king of Judah. At about the time of Hezekiah, the Meunites were attacked by the tribe of Simeon, which reached "to the entrance of Gedor, even unto the east side of the valley" (I Chron. 4:39–41). An inscription of the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III indicates that at about this time (eighth century B.C.E.) the Meunites lived near the Egyptian border, which extended to the "Brook of Egypt" (Wadi el-Arish). There is no basis for J.A. Montgomery's identification of the Meunites of Chronicles with the Mineans, one of the south Arabian kingdoms whose economic activities and settlements reached as far as the oases in northern Arabia, or for A. Musil's location of them in the region of Ma'an in southern Transjordan. These theories are based upon references to the Μ(ε)ινᾶιοι in the Septuagint and in works of the classical historiographers of the third century B.C.E. and later; the conditions reflected in these sources are later and do not conform to those of the eighth century B.C.E.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.