(Cushʹite) [Of (Belonging to) Cush (Ethiopia)].
The term “Cushite” may refer to inhabitants of the land of Cush in Africa or it may in some instances apply to people residing on the Arabian Peninsula. The latter identification evidently applies to Moses’ wife Zipporah. (Ex 18:1-5; Nu 12:1) Zipporah was a Kenite whose ancestry cannot be determined. (Ge 15:18, 19; Jg 4:11) The expression at 2 Chronicles 21:16 “by the side of the Ethiopians [Cushites]” as applying to certain Arabs may also mean “under the control of the Ethiopians,” and this might indicate one basis for applying the name “Cushite” to persons not descended from Cush. Several of Cush’s sons are believed to have settled on the Arabian Peninsula.—See HAVILAH No. 3; SABTAH.
Basically, however, “Cushite” refers to Africans residing in the region anciently called Ethiopia. In addition to “Zerah the Ethiopian [Cushite]” and “Tirhakah the king of Ethiopia” (2Ch 14:9; 2Ki 19:9), other Cushites mentioned in the Bible are Ebed-melech (Jer 38:7-12; 39:16-18), the Ethiopian eunuch who became a convert to Christianity, and the queen he served, Candace. (Ac 8:26, 27) General Joab selected an unnamed Cushite runner (called Cushi in KJ) rather than an Israelite to deliver the news to David of his son Absalom’s defeat and death.—2Sa 18:19-32; see CUSH No. 2.