du'-ma (dumah, "silence"): This word occurs in the Old Testament with the following significations: (1) the land of silence or death, the grave (Ps 94:17; 115:17); (2) a town in the highlands of Judah between Hebron and Beersheba, now ed-Daume (Jos 15:52); (3) an emblematical designation of Edom in the obscure oracle (Isa 21:11-12); (4) an Ishmaelite tribe in Arabia (Ge 25:14; 1Ch 1:30). According to the Arabic geographies this son of Ishmael rounded the town of Dumat-el-Jandal, the stone-built Dumah, so called to distinguish it from another Dumah near the Euphrates. The former now bears the name of the Jauf ("belly"), being a depression situated half-way between the head of the Persian Gulf and the head of the gulf of Akaba. Its people in the time of Mohammed were Christians of the tribe of Kelb. It contained a great well from which the palms and crops were irrigated. It has often been visited by European travelers in recent times. See Jour. Royal Geog. Soc., XXIV (1854), 138-58; W. G. Palgrave, Central and Eastern Arabia, chapter ii. It is possible that the oracle in Isa (number 3 above) concerns this place.
Thomas Hunter Weir