Ezekiel 25:10: I will give it [Moab] along with Ammon to the people of the east as a possession, so that Ammon will not be remembered among the nations.

But by recording this judgement against Ammon in the scriptures, hasn't God ensured that Ammon would be remembered? The scriptures record and preserve many interactions between Israel and Ammon. So in what sense can we understand Ammon not being remembered?

  • 1
    Who remembers Ammon, except those who read of this judgment which the Lord pronounced against it ?
    – Nigel J
    Dec 11 '19 at 16:16
  • @NigelJ Well there are lots of references to Ammon elsewhere in the Bible, and several extra-Biblical records as well. I can't see how this verse could literally have come to pass, so it must mean something else.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 11 '19 at 22:22
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    ““Take a harp, go about the city, You forgotten harlot; Make sweet melody, sing many songs, That you may be remembered.”” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭23:16‬ A forgotten people that no longer exist, cannot do anything to help themselves be remembered. Essentially God is saying they will not exist among the nations. We generally only remember those we have once known. We don’t remember the Sumerians we simply remember what we learned about them from archeology. Same with the Ammonites, they will never be met to be remembered because they will not number among the nations as a people. Dec 12 '19 at 0:36
  • They seem to have ceased to be a kingdom in 580 B.C. List of Kings of Ammon.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 12 '19 at 4:25

זָכַר / zakar is used here for 'remember', but does have overlap with a few different English words. We tend to use the word 'remember' in a sort of lazy, reminiscing way - I remember something that happened in the past and recall that it happened - whereas in Hebrew it tends to have a stronger connotation of present acknowledgement or importance. Often it doubles as an announcement or declaration of the verb's subject, or an acknowledgement of its continuing importance.

In Eastern contexts, the past is an important indicator of the present and future, and so the 'norm' is that people and nations esteemed in the past are still presently esteemed and important - think of the high esteem held in the Bible for patriarchs and kings and prophets of the past. And so we have to consider 'remembering' in that present-continuous sense, that it's not merely the simple acknowledgement that something once happened, but rather that it continues to be an important characterisation.

  • In Ezekiel 16:60 for example, the Lord uses the word in saying "I will remember my covenant" - not that he forgot it, but rather it will continue to be considered in a real and present way.
  • Similarly, the Lord says in Ezekiel 18:24 of a righteous man who turns from him: "none of the righteous deeds he has done shall be remembered." Not that God would literally forget the righteous things he had done, but that those things would no longer be considered present or defining of him.

I think the key here is that the sons of Ammon will not be remembered 'among the nations'. This isn't to say that the nations themselves (or us) won't recall their existence, but rather that the Ammonites will no longer be counted as a nation in their own right. As Nigel pointed out above, they ceased to be a kingdom in 580BCE, and from that moment onward would no longer be remembered or counted as a nation in their own right.

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