Genesis 10:28 makes him a son of Yoktan, descended from Shem (cf 1 Chronicles 1:22), which places him in southern Arabia. Strabo noted a nomadic tribe called the Minoi in the region of Mecca, and identified them with the Mani of Greece, but this seems too far away in letters, even if not in geography, for the Ma-El. It is thought by some scholars that this is the same tribe, though the absence of any clear connection between the names leaves this requiring more evidence. I am inclined to think it unlikely, but less unlikely than the Mani theory, that Avi-Ma-El meant "my father is from El", something in parallel with Avi-Da.
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