The firstborn of Ishmael’s 12 sons and founder of one of the prominent Arabian tribes. (Ge 25:13-16; 1Ch 1:29-31) Nebaioth’s sister Mahalath (or possibly Basemath) married their cousin Esau. (Ge 28:9; 36:2, 3) The descendants of Nebaioth are not identified as living in any definite locality; they were probably nomads, moving about as Bedouin with their flocks. In the time of Isaiah, “the flocks of Kedar” (Kedar was Nebaioth’s brother) and “the rams of Nebaioth” were associated together in a prophecy foretelling how such animals would serve as approved sacrifices on Jehovah’s altar.—Isa 60:7.
Some scholars have attempted to equate the descendants of Nebaioth with the Nabataeans of later times, but the evidence in support of such a suggestion is inconclusive.