Who Are the Moabites Today?

The nation of Moab was located within the modern-day country of Jordan. The descendants of Moab who have remained in the same geographical area as their forefathers now call themselves Jordanians. Though politicians have altered ancient borderlines and names originally assigned to ancient properties in the Middle East, the ancestors of those who currently live in those locations cannot be changed.

The Moabites were descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who was removed from Sodom along with his two daughters before its sudden destruction (Genesis 19). According to the Old Testament account, Lot and his daughters became cave dwellers immediately after their escape.

Believing that the fiery leveling of Sodom and Gomorrah had likely happened worldwide, the two young women plotted to repopulate the earth. They got their father drunk and slept with him in order to become pregnant and continue the family line; both gave birth to sons. The older sister named her baby boy Moab, and he became the father of the Moabite people.

The geographical area that was populated by the Moabites is described as “the field of Moab” (bordered by natural fortifications), “the land of Moab” (open area from Arnon north to Gilead) and “the plains of Moab” (in the tropical depths of the Jordan River valley.