2. A land of E Africa. At Isaiah 43:3 Seba is linked with Egypt and Ethiopia (Cush), in being given as a ransom in place of Jacob. In a similar listing, Isaiah 45:14 has “Sabeans” in place of “Seba,” indicating that the people of Seba were called Sabeans. These verses suggest that Seba bordered on or was included in Ethiopia. This is supported by Josephus, who says that “Saba” applied to the city of Meroë on the Nile and to the large section (Isle of Meroë) between the Nile, Blue Nile, and Atbara rivers. (Jewish Antiquities, II, 249 [x, 2]) The reference to these Sabeans as “tall men” (Isa 45:14) is borne out by Herodotus (III, 20), who speaks of the Ethiopians as “the tallest and fairest of all men.”—See CUSH Nos. 1 and 2.
Meroë was long an important trading place. Among the distant places mentioned in Psalm 72 in describing the dominion and influence of the one Jehovah would appoint as King, Seba and Sheba are named as places whose kings would present a gift.—Ps 72:10; Joe 3:8.