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Refers to the peoples, languages, and cultures of the descendants of Noah’s son Shem, who are known as Semites.—Ge 10:21-31.

The early Semites included various Arabian tribes, as well as the Aramaeans (or, Syrians), the Assyrians, the early Chaldeans, the Elamites, the Hebrews, and others. They inhabited much of the southwestern corner of the Asiatic continent, including most of the Fertile Crescent and a large portion of the Arabian Peninsula.

In Bible times, Semitic languages included Akkadian (spoken in Assyria and Babylon), Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, and the languages of the neighboring nations of Israel, such as the Ammonites and the Moabites. (Ge 11:27; 19:30, 37, 38) No other language family has a longer recorded history.

When a word, name, or idiom is termed “Semitic,” it means that its origin is from a Semitic language or that it has characteristics that can be found in a Semitic language.