(hav' ih luh) Place name meaning, “sandy stretch.” Biblical name for the sand-dominated region to the south covering what we call Arabia without necessarily designating a particular geographical or political area. The river from Eden is described as flowing “around the whole land of Havilah” (Genesis 2:11
NAS), a land noted for gold and other precious stones. The Table of Nations lists Havilah as a son of Cush or Ethiopia, showing Havilah's political ties ( Genesis 10:7
). Some Bible students think the name is preserved in modern Haulan in southwest Arabia. Havilah is also mentioned in the Table of Nations as a son of Joktan, the grandson of Shem (Genesis 10:29
). The descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's son, lived in Havilah (Genesis 25:18
). Saul defeated the Amalekites from “Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt” (1 Samuel 15:7
NAS), a description whose meaning Bible students continue to debate. Some seek to change the Hebrew text slightly. Others look for a Havilah further north and west than Havilah is usually located. Others talk of the fluid boundaries of the area. Thus Havilah refers to an area or areas in Arabia, but the precise location is not known.