2. A people of E Africa. At Isaiah 43:3 Seba is linked with Egypt and more particularly with Ethiopia (Cush), as 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 the name applied to the city of Meroe on the Nile and to the large section (Isle of Meroe) between the Nile, Blue Nile and Atabara Rivers. The reference to these Sabeans as “tall men” (Isa. 45:14) is borne out by Herodotus, who speaks of the Ethiopians as “the tallest and handsomest men in the whole world.”—See CUSH Nos. 1 and 2.
Meroe was long an important trading place. Among the distant places mentioned in Psalm 72 in describing the dominion and influence of Jehovah’s king, Seba and Sheba are named as places whose kings would present a gift.—Ps. 72:10; Joel 3:8.