1. A son, probably the eldest, of Ham, and the father of Nimrod
(Genesis 10:8; 1 Chronicles 1:10) From him the land of Cush seems to have
derived its name. The question of the precise locality of the
land of Cush has given rise to not a little controversy. The
second river of Paradise surrounded the whole land of Cush
(Genesis 2:13) R.V. The term Cush is in the Old Testament
generally applied to the countries south of the Israelites. It
was the southern limit of Egypt
(Ezekiel 29:10) A.V. "Ethiopia,"
Heb. Cush), with which it is generally associated
(Isaiah 18:1; Jeremiah 46:9) etc. It stands also associated with Elam
(Isaiah 11:11) with Persia
(Ezekiel 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. Ezekiel speaks
(Ezekiel 29:10) comp.
(Ezekiel 30:4-6) of
it as lying south of Egypt. It was the country now known to us
as Nubia and Abyssinia
(Isaiah 18:1; Zephaniah 3:10) Heb. 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
Palestine 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.
2. A Benjamite of this name is mentioned in the title of
"Cush was probably a follower of Saul, the head of his tribe,
and had sought the friendship of David for the purpose of
'rewarding evil to him that was at peace with him.'"