From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

("desert land".) Ishmael's ninth son ( Genesis 25:15). Founder of an Arab tribe in the northern Arabia Deserta, on the border of the Syrian desert ( Job 6:19); "the troops of Tema" are the caravans on the direct road anxiously "looking for" the return of their companions gone to look for water; the failure of it in the wady and the disappointment depict Job's disappointment at not finding comfort from his friends whose professions promised so much ( Isaiah 21:14;  Jeremiah 25:23).

Teyma, a small town, preserves the name (Themme in Ptolemy 5:19, section 6); commanded by the castle El Ablak of a Jew Samuel (A.D. 550), attributed by tradition to Solomon, now in ruins; originally meant to protect the caravan route on the N. of Arabia. Compare  Genesis 25:15, "sons of Ishmael, by their towns and castles." The Hebrew however for "castles" may mean "hamlets"; see Speaker's Commentary,  Numbers 31:10; from Tor "a row," namely, of rude dwellings, of stones piled one on another and covered with tent cloths, like the Devars in Algeria.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

TEMA . In   Genesis 25:15 (  1 Chronicles 1:30 ), a son of Ishmael. The country and people meant are still represented by the same name the modern Taima , a large oasis about 200 miles S.E. of the head of the Gulf of ‘Akabah, and the same distance due N. of Medina in W. Arabia. It was an important community in ancient times, mentioned in Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] annals of the 8th cent. b.c., and later inhabited in part by Aramæans, who have left inscriptions. It was noted for its caravan traffic (  Job 6:19 ,   Isaiah 21:14 ), as might be expected from its position on the great trade routes.

J. F. McCurdy.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Te'ma. (A Desert). The ninth son of Ishmael,  Genesis 25:15;  1 Chronicles 1:30, whence, the tribe called after him, mentioned in  Job 6:19;  Jeremiah 25:23, and, also, the land occupied by this tribe.  Isaiah 21:13-14. (B.C. after 1850). The name is identified with Teyma , a small town on the confines of Syria.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

Son of Ishmael, and father of a tribe of the same name; also the territory occupied by the tribe.  Genesis 25:15;  1 Chronicles 1:30;  Job 6:19;  Isaiah 21:14;  Jeremiah 25:23 . Probably the same as Teima , 32 52' N, 36 46' E .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

An Ishmaelite tribe and district, in the north of Arabia Deserta towards Damascus,  Genesis 25:15 . It is associated with Dedan,  Isaiah 21:14;  Jeremiah 25:23 , and was famous for its caravans,  Job 6:19 . The region is still called Tema by the Arabs.

Holman Bible Dictionary [6]

 Genesis 25:15 1 Chronicles 1:30 Job 6:19  Isaiah 21:14  Jeremiah 25:23  Daniel 5:1

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 Genesis 25:15 1 Chronicles 1:30 Job 6:19 Isaiah 21:14 Jeremiah 25:23

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

(Heb. Teyma', תֵּימָא [in  Job 6:19 more concisely Tema', תֵּמָא ] = the Arab. Teyma, "a Deser-T" [but Gesen.=Teman, i.e. the South]; Sept. Θαιμάν , Vulg. Thema [but in Isaiah Auster ]), the name of a person and of a tribe or district.

1. The ninth son of Ishmael ( Genesis 25:15; 1 Chronicles i,30). B.C. post 2020.

2. The tribe descended from him mentioned in  Job 6:19, "The troops of Tema looked, the companies-of Sheba waited for them," and by Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 25:23), "Dedan, Tema, and Buz;" and also the land occupied by this tribe: "The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye traveling companies of Dedanim. The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled" ( Isaiah 21:13-14).

The name and the tribe appear to have been known to classic writers. Ptolemy mentions the city of Themme ( Θέμμη ) among those of Arabia Deserta, and apparently in the centre of the country ( Geogr. 5, 19). Pliny states that "to the Nabataei the ancients joined the Thimanei" (Hist. Nat. 6:32). It may be questioned, however, whether he refers to the Biblical Teman or Tema.

There can be little doubt that the Themme of Ptolemy is identical with the modern Teima, an Arab town of some five hundred inhabitants, situated on the western border of the province of Nejd. Wallin, who visited it in 1848, thus describes it: "Teima stands on a mass of crystalline limestone, very slightly raised above the surrounding level. Patches of sand, which have encroached upon the rock, are the only spots which can be cultivated. The inhabitants, however, have considerable date plantations, which yield a great variety of the fruit, of which one kind is esteemed the best flavored in all Arabia. Grain is also cultivated, especially oats of a remarkably good quality, but the produce is never sufficient for the wants of the inhabitants. The greater portion of the gardens are watered from a copious well in the middle of the village. The hydraulic contrivance by which water is raised for distribution through channels among the plantations is the same as is used through Mesopotamia as well as in Nejd, viz. a bucket of camel-skin hung to the end of a long lever moving upon an upright pole fixed in the ground" (Journal R. G. S. 20:332). Arab writers state of Teima that "it is a town in the Syrian desert, and that it is commanded by the castle called El- Ablalk [or El-Ablak el-Fard], of Es-Semawal [Samuel] Ibn-'Adiya the Jew, a contemporary of Imra-el-Keys" (A.D. cir. 550); but according to a tradition it was built by Solomon, which points at any rate to its antiquity (comp. El-Bekri, in Mardsid. 4:23). Wallin says no remains of the castle now exist, nor does even the name "live in the memory of the present inhabitants. A small ruined building, constructed of hewn stone, and half buried in sand and rubbish, appeared to me to be too inconsiderable to admit of its being identified with the celebrated old castle" (ut sup. p. 333). This fortress seems, like that of Dumat-el-Jendel, to be one of the strongholds that must have protected the caravan route along the northern frontier of Arabia- and they recall the passage following the enumeration of the sons of Ishmael; "These [are] the sons of Ishmael, and these [are] their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations" ( Genesis 25:16).

It seems probable that the ancient Arab tribe of BeniTeim of whom Abulfeda speaks (Hist. Anteislam. ed. Fleischer, p. 198), were connected with this place, and were the more recent representatives of the children of Tema. Forster would further identify the tribe of Tema with the Beni- Temim, who had their chief stations on the shores of the Persian Gulf; but his proof does not seem satisfactory (Geog. of Arabia, 1, 289 sq.). It is interesting to find memorials of the nation founded by this son of Ishmael, not merely referred to by classic and Arab geographers, but existing to the present day, in the very region where we naturally look for them (see D'Anville, Geog. Ancienne, 2, 250; Abulfeda, Descript. Arab. p. 6 sq.; Seetzen, in Zach, Monatl. Correspondenz, 18:374). Like other Arab tribes, the children of Tema had probably a nucleus at the town of Teima, while their pasture-grounds extended westward to the borders of Edom, and eastward to the Euphrates, just as those of the Beni Shummar do at the present time.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [9]

tē´ma ( תּימא , tēmā' , "south country"; Θαιμάν , Thaimán ): The name of a son of Ishmael (  Genesis 25:15;  1 Chronicles 1:30 ), of the tribe descended from him ( Jeremiah 25:23 ), and of the place where they dwelt ( Job 6:19;  Isaiah 21:14 ). This last was a locality in Arabia which probably corresponds to the modern Teimā' (or Taymā' (see Doughty, Arabia Deserta , I, 285)), an oasis which lies about 200 miles North of el - Medina , and some 40 miles South of Dūmat el - Jandal (Dumah), now known as el - Jauf . It is on the ancient caravan road connecting the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Aḳaba  ; and doubtless the people took a share in the carrying trade ( Job 6:19 ). The wells of the oasis still attract the wanderers from the parched wastes ( Isaiah 21:14 ). Doughty (loc. cit.) describes the ruins of the old city wall, some 3 miles in circuit. An Aramaic stele recently discovered, belonging to the 6th century BC, shows the influence of Assyrian article The place is mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions (Schrader, KAT2 , 149).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [10]

Te´ma, a tract and people in the northern part of the Arabian desert, adjacent to the Syrian desert, so called from Tema, the son of Ishmael . This tract is still called Tema by the Arabs [ARABIA].