Land of Cush—The term Cush is in the Old Testament generally applied to the countries south of the Israelites. It was the southern limit of Egypt (Ezek. 29:10, King James Version “Ethiopia,” Hebrew: Cush), with which it is generally associated (Psalms 68:31; Isaiah 18:1; Jeremiah 46:9, etc.).
It stands also associated with Elam (Isaiah 11:11), with Persia (Ezek. 38:5), and with the Sabeans (Isaiah 45:14).
From these facts it has been inferred that Cush included Arabia and the country on the west coast of the Red Sea. Rawlinson takes it to be the country still known as Khuzi-stan, on the east side of the Lower Tigris. But there are intimations which warrant the conclusion that there was also a Cush in Africa, the Ethiopia (so called by the Greeks) of Africa.
The ancient historian Herodotus wrote,
For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Cush; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Cushites. —Herotodus, Antiquities of the Jews 1.6)
Ezekiel speaks (29:10; compare 30:4-6) of Cush as lying south of Egypt. It was the country now later known as Nubia (today central Sudan and southern Egypt) and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) (Isaiah 18:1; Zeph. 3:10, Hebrew: Cush). In ancient Egyptian inscriptions, Ethiopia is termed Kesh.
The Cushites appear to have spread along extensive tracts, stretching from the Upper Nile to the Euphrates and Tigris. At an early period there was a stream of migration of Cushites “from Ethiopia, properly so called, through Arabia, Babylonia, and Persia, to Western India.”
The Hamite races, soon after their arrival in Africa, began to spread north, east, and west. Three branches of the Cushite or Ethiopian stock, moving from Western Asia, settled in the regions contiguous to the Persian Gulf.
One branch, called the Cossaeans, settled in the mountainous district on the east of the Tigris, known afterwards as Susiana; another occupied the lower regions of the Euphrates and the Tigris; while a third colonized the southern shores and islands of the gulf, whence they afterwards emigrated to the Mediterranean and settled on the coast of Israel as the Phoenicians.
Nimrod was a great Cushite chief. He conquered the Accadians, a Tauranian race, already settled in Mesopotamia, and founded his kingdom, the Cushites mingling with the Accads, and so forming the Chaldean nation.