Cush or Kush (kŭsh, kŏsh) [key]. 1 Son of Ham and father of the Asian nation of the same name, perhaps the same nation as one of similar name in E Mesopotamia. Gen. 10.8; 1 Chron. 1.10. 2 Benjamite opposed to David. Ps. 7, title.

3 Ancient kingdom of Nubia, in the present Sudan, which flourished from the 11th cent. B.C. to the 4th cent. A.D. The rulers of Cush overran Upper Egypt (mid-8th cent. B.C.) as far as Thebes. Piankhi conquered the rest of Egypt (Lower Egypt) from Tefnakhte. Taharka was defeated in the Delta by the Assyrians, and the Cushites lost control of Egypt. The Cushite capital was transferred from Napata to Meroë; Meroë was a prosperous state until the 4th cent. A.D., when it fell to the Ethiopians and was abandoned.

See A. J. Arkell, A History of the Sudan to A.D. 1821 (1955, repr. 1974).

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