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Yet another view is held by al-Masudi that the word "Arabs" was initially applied to the Ishmaelites of the "Arabah" valley.
In Biblical etymology, "Arab" (in Hebrew Arvi ) comes both from the desert origin of the Bedouins it originally described (Arava means wilderness).
The root ʿ-r-b has several additional meanings in Semitic languages—including "west/sunset," "desert," "mingle," "mixed," "merchant," and "raven"—and are "comprehensible" with all of these having varying degrees of relevance to the emergence of the name.
It is also possible that some forms were metathetical from Pre-Islamic Arabia refers to the Arabian Peninsula prior to the rise of Islam in the 630s.
The Hebrew Bible occasionally refers to Aravi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as "Arab" or "Arabian." The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic tribes in the Syrian Desert and Arabia.
Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia (along the Euphrates), in Egypt (the Sinai and the Red Sea), southern Jordan (the Nabataeans), the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia (the people of Gerrha).
Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab".
Sources for these civilizations are not extensive, and are limited to archaeological evidence, accounts written outside of Arabia, and Arab oral traditions later recorded by Islamic scholars.
Among the most prominent civilizations was Dilmun, which arose around the 4th millennium BC and lasted to 538 BC, and Thamud, which arose around the 1st millennium BC and lasted to about 300 CE.