ne-ba'-yoth, ne-bi'-oth (nabhayoth; Septuagint Nabaioth): Firstborn of Ishmael (Ge 25:13; 28:9; 36:3; 1Ch 1:29). Isa 60:7 mentions the tribe Nebaioth with Kedar, with an allusion to its pastoral nature: "the rams of Nebaioth" are to serve the ideal Zion as sacrificial victims. Again associated with Kedar, the name occurs frequently in Assyrian inscriptions. The tribe must have had a conspicuous place among the northern Arabs. Josephus, followed by Jerome, regarded Nebaioth as identical with the Nabateans, the great trading community and ally of Rome, whose capital and stronghold was Petra. This view is widely accepted, but the name "Nabatean" is spelled with a "T" (teth), and the interchange of "T" (teth) and "t" (taw), although not unparalleled, is unusual. If the name is Arabic, it is probably a feminine plural, and in that ease could have no connection with the Nabateans.
A. S. Fulton