The populace of those lands viewed by Hebrew writers as “the East.” This area was beyond the boundary of Israel not only to the east but also well up to the northeast and to the southeast into Arabia. (Ge 25:6; Jer 49:28) Thus, when Jacob went to Laban’s household at Haran, he went “to the land of the Orientals,” NE of Canaan.—Ge 29:1.
Job is called “the greatest of all the Orientals [literally, sons of the East].” (Job 1:3, ftn) The forces that oppressed Israel before Gideon rose up and vanquished them were comprised of Amalekites and Midianites in addition to “the Easterners,” otherwise unidentified. (Jg 6:3, 33; 7:12; 8:10) The Orientals, noted for their wisdom, were, however, surpassed in this respect by Solomon. (1Ki 4:30) The so-called wise men, or Magi, who visited the young child Jesus were “astrologers from eastern parts.”—Mt 2:1, 2, 11.