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INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 10
This chapter gives an account of the posterity of the three sons of Noah, by whom the world was peopled after the flood, Genesis 10:1 of the posterity of Japheth, Genesis 10:2 of the posterity of Ham,
Genesis 10:6 and of the posterity of Shem, Genesis 10:21.
Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah,.... The genealogy of them, and which is of great use to show the original of the several nations of the world, from whence they sprung, and by whom they were founded; and to confute the pretended antiquity of some nations, as the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Chinese, and others; and to point out the particular people, which were to be the seat of the church of God for many ages, and from whom the Messiah was to spring; which seems to be the principal view of the history of Moses, and of this genealogy, with which should be compared 1 Chronicles 1:1 Shem, Ham, and Japheth; see Genesis 5:32
and unto them were sons born after the flood; for they had none born to them either before the flood or in it; they were married before the flood, for their wives went into the ark with them; but it does not appear they had any children before, though they then were near an hundred years old; and if they had, they were not in the ark, and therefore must perish with the rest, which is not likely: Shem's son Arphaxad was born two years after the flood, Genesis 11:10 when the rest were born, either his or his brethren's, is not said; however they were all born after the flood; though some pretend that Canaan was born in the ark y, during the flood, for which there is no authority; yea, it is confuted in this chapter, where Canaan stands among the sons of Ham, born to him after the flood.
y See Bayle's Dictionary, vol. 10. art. "Ham", p. 587.
The sons of Japheth,.... Who though mentioned last, the genealogy begins with him, by a figure which rhetoricians call a "chiasm". The posterity of Japheth are those whom Hesiod z often calls ιαπετιονιδης, "Iapetionides", and him ιαπετος, "Iapetus". According to Josephus a, the sons of Japheth inhabited the earth, beginning from the mountains Taurus and Amanus, and then went on in Asia unto the river Tanais, and in Europe unto Gadira. Seven of his sons are mentioned, and the first is Gomer; from whom, according to the same writer b, came the Gomareans or Gomerites, in his time called by the Greeks Galatians, that is, the Gauls of Asia minor, who inhabited Phrygia; both Gomer and Phrygia signifying the same, as Bochart c observes, and the country looking as if it was torrified or burnt; and Pliny d makes mention of a town in Phrygia, called Cimmeris; and the Cimmerians and Cimbri are derived by some from this Gomer, whom Herodotus e makes mention of as in Asia and Scythia, and speaks of a country called Cimmerius, and of the Cimmerian Bosphorus; and these seem to be the Gauls before mentioned, under a different name; and it is to be observed, that the Welsh, who sprung from the Gauls, call themselves to this day Cumero, or Cymro and Cumeri. It is plain from
Ezekiel 38:6 that Gomer and his people lay to the north of Judea, and the posterity of Japheth went first into the northern parts of Asia, and then spread themselves into Europe: six more of his sons follow, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras; the first of these, Magog, was the father of a northern people which bore his name, see Ezekiel 38:2 and according to Josephus f, who is generally followed, are the same that were called Scythians; from Madai came the Medes, often spoken of in Scripture, along with the Persians; so Josephus g says, from him came the nation of Madaeans, whom the Greeks call Medes; and very frequently in Scripture the Medes go by the name of Madai, their original ancestor; see Daniel 5:28 but Mr. Mede h is of opinion, that Macedonia was the seat of this Madai, which was formerly called Aemathia; that is, as he gives the etymology of it, αια, "Madai", the country of Madai; but the former sense is generally received. Javan is by all agreed to be the father of the Grecians; hence Alexander, king of Grecia, is in Daniel 8:21 called king of Javan; and one part of Greece bore the name of Ionia; and the sea that washed it is called the Ionian sea. And his posterity are
ιαονες, "Iaonians", in Homer i and Aristophanes k; and the scholiast of the latter says, that the Barbarians call all Greeks Iaonians. The next son of Japheth is Tubal or Thobel, as Josephus calls him, who says l the Thobelians in his time were called Iberians, a people in Asia, that dwelt near the Euxine sea; and in Albania was a place called Thabilaca, as may be seen in Ptolemy m, and another called Thilbis, from whom might spring the Iberians in Europe, now called Spaniards; but Bochart n thinks that the Tibarenes are the descendants of Tubal, a people that dwelt between the Trapezuntii and Armenia the less; and he wonders that this never was thought of by any; but in that he is mistaken, for our countryman Mr. Broughton o makes the Tibarenes to spring from Tubal; and Epiphanius p many hundreds of years before him. Meshech, his next son, is mentioned along with Tubal in Ezekiel 27:13 from him came the Mosocheni, as Josephus q, who in his time were called Cappadocians, with whom there was a city then named Mazaca, since Caesarea r; and these seem to be the same that Pliny s calls Moscheni, who inhabited the mountains Moschici, which were at the north east of Cappadocia. Some derive the Muscovites from them, which is not improbable: the last of Japheth's sons is Tiras or Thiras, which Jarchi interprets very wrongly by Paras, or Persia; much better the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, and so a Jewish chronologer t, by Thracia; for the descendants of Thiras, as Josephus u observes, the Greeks call Thracians; and in Thrace was a river called Atyras w, which has in it a trace of this man's name; and Odrysus, whom the Thracians worshipped, is the same with Tiras, which god sometimes goes by the name of Thuras; and is one of the names of Mars, the god of the Thracians.
z In Theogonia. a Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1. b Ib. c Phaleg. l. 3. c. 8. col. 171, 172. d Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 30. e Clio sive, l. 1. c. 16, 103. & Melpomene sive, l. 4. c. 11, 12, 13. f Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) g Ib. h Dissert. 48. i Iliad. 13. ver. 685. k Acharneus. act. 1. scen. 3. p. 376. l Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1. m Geograph. l. 5. c. 12. n Phaleg. l. 3. c. 12. col. 180. o See his Works, p. 2, 58. p Ancorat. p. 546. q Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) r Vid. Ammian. Marcellin. l. 20. p. 170. Ed. Vales. s Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 9, 10. t Sepher Juchasin, fol. 145. 1. Vid. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 10. 1. u Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) w Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 11.
And the sons of Gomer,.... Who was the first of the sons of Japheth, three of whose sons are mentioned, and they are as follow:
Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah; the first of these seated himself in the lesser Asia, in Pontus and Bithynia, where were some traces of his name in the river Ascanius, and in the Ascanian lake or bay; and also in the lesser Phrygia or Troas, where was a city called Ascania, and where were the Ascanian isles x, and the Euxine Pontus, or Axeine y, as it was first called, which is the sea that separates Asia and Europe, and is no other than a corruption of the sea of Ashkenaz. It seems to have been near Armenia, by its being mentioned along with Minni or Armenia, in Jeremiah 51:27. Germany is by the Jews commonly called Ashkenaz; perhaps some of the posterity of Ashkenaz in Asia might pass into Europe, and Germany might be a colony of them; so Mr. Broughton z observes of the sons of Gomer, that they first took their seat in Asia, and then came north and west into Muscovy and Germany. The next son of Gomer was Riphath. Josephus a says, that the Riphathaeans which came from him are the Paphlagonians, a people of Asia Minor, near Pontus, so that he settled near his brother Ashkenaz; perhaps his posterity are the Arimphaei of Pliny b, and the Riphaeans of Mela c, who inhabited near the Riphaean mountains, which might have their name from this son of Gomer, who in 1 Chronicles 1:6 is called Diphath, the letters ר and ד being very similar. His third son is called Togarmah, who had his seat in the north of Judea, see
Ezekiel 38:6 his posterity are the Phrygians, according to Josephus d; but some place them in Galatia and Cappadocia; and Strabo e makes mention of a people called Trocmi, on the borders of Pontus and Cappadocia; and Cicero f of the Trogmi or Trogini, who may have their name from hence; for the Greek interpreters always call him Torgama or Thorgana. The Jews make the Turks to be the posterity of Togarmah. Elias Levita says g, there are some that say that Togarmah is the land of Turkey; and Benjamin of Tudela h calls a Turkish sultan king of the Togarmans, that is, the Turks; and among the ten families of Togarmah, which Josephus ben Gorion i speaks of, the Turks are one; and perhaps this notion may not be amiss, since the company of Togarmah is mentioned with Gog, or the Turk, Ezekiel 38:6- :. The Armenians pretend to be the descendants of Togarmah, who, with them, is the son of Tiras, the son of Gomer, by his son Haik, from whom they and their country, from all antiquity, have bore the name of Haik k.
x Strabo Geograph. l. 12. p. 387, 388. & l. 14. p. 468. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. 12. & 5. 30, 31, 32. y Vid. Orphei Argonautic, ver. 84. z See his Works, p. 2, 58. a Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) b Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 2. c De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 2. d Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) e Geograph. l. 4. p. 130. & l. 12. p. 390. f De Divinatione, l. 2. g In Tishbi, p. 259. h ltinerarium, p. 27, 54. i Hist. Heb. l. 1. c. 1. p. 3. k See the Universal History, vol. 1. p. 377.
And the sons of Javan,.... Another son of Japheth; four sons of Javan are mentioned, which gave names to countries, and are as follow:
Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim; the first of these, Elishah, gave name to the Elysaeans, now called Aeoles, as Josephus l says; hence the country Aeolia, and the Aeolic dialect, all from this name; and there are many traces of it in the several parts of Greece. Hellas, a large country in it, has its name from him; so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem interpret Elishah by Allas. Elis in Peloponnesus, Eleusis in Attica, the river Elissus, or Ilissus, and the Elysian fields, are so called from him. Tarshish, second son of Javan, gave name to Tarsus, by which Cilicia was formerly called, as Josephus says m, of which the city named Tarsus was the metropolis, the birth place of the Apostle Paul, Acts 22:3. Hence the Mediterranean sea is called Tarshish, because the Cicilians were masters of it; and Tartessus in Spain might be a colony from them, as Broughton observes; and so Eusebius says, from the Tarsinns are the Iberians, or Spaniards; and which Bochart n approves of, and confirms by various evidences; and Hillerus, o makes Tarshish to be the author of the Celtae, that is, of the Spanish, French, and German nations. The third son of Javan is Kittim, whom Josephus p places in the island of Cyprus, a city there being called Citium, from whence was Zeno the Citian: but rather the people that sprung from him are those whom Homer q calls Cetii; and are placed by Strabo r to the west of Cilicia, in the western parts of which are two provinces, mentioned by Ptolemy s, the one called Cetis, the other Citis: likewise this Kittim seems to be the father both of the Macedonians and the Latines; for Alexander the great is said to come from Cittim, and Perseus king of Macedon is called king of Cittim,
"And it happened, after that Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,'' (1 Maccabees 1:1)
"Beside this, how they had discomfited in battle Philip, and Perseus, king of the Citims, with others that lifted up themselves against them, and had overcome them:'' (1 Maccabees 8:5)
and Macedonia is sometimes called Macetia, as it is in Gellius t, which has something of the name of Cittim or Cetim in it; and also the Latines or Romans seem to spring from hence, who may be thought to be meant by Cittim in Numbers 24:24 Daniel 11:30 and Eusebius says the Citians are a people from whom came the Sabines, who also are Romans; and in Latium was a city called Cetia, as says Halicarnassensis u; and Bochart w has shown, that Latium and Cethem signify the same, and both have their names from words that signify to hide; "latium a latendo", and "celhem", from כתם, "to hide", see Jeremiah 2:22 in which sense the word is frequently used in the Arabic language; and Cittim in the Jerusalem Targum is here called Italy. The last son of Javan mentioned is Dodanim; he is omitted by Josephus: his country is by the Targum of Jonathan called Dordania; and by the Jerusalem Targum Dodonia; and he and his posterity are placed by Mr. Mede in part of Peloponnessus and Epirus, in which was the city of Dodona, where were the famous temple and oracle of Jupiter Dodonaeus, under which name this man was worshipped. In 1 Chronicles 1:7 he is called Rodanim, and in the Samaritan version here; and the word is by the Septuagint translated Rodians; which have led some to think of the island of Rhodes as the seat, and the inhabitants of it as the posterity of this man; but Bochart x is of opinion, that they settled in the country now called France, gave the name to the river Rhodanus, and called the adjacent country Rhodanusia, and where formerly was a city of that name, much about the same tract where now stands Marseilles; but this seems too remote for a son of Javan.
l Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) m Ib. n Phaleg. l. 3. c. 7. o Onomastic. Saer. p. 944. p Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) q Odyss. 11. ver. 520. r Geograph. l. 13. p. 423. s Ibid. l. 5. c. 8. t Attic. Noct. l. 9. c. 3. u Hist. l. 8. p. 376. w Phaleg. l. 3. c. 5. col. 159, 160. x Phaleg. l. 3. c. 6. col. 163, 164.
By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands,.... That is, by those sons of Japheth before mentioned; and by "isles" are meant, not countries surrounded with water, for the isles in this sense would not have been sufficient for the posterity of Japheth; nor can it be thought they would leave the continent, where there was room enough for them, and go into islands; and besides must have found it difficult to get there, when shipping and navigation were little known: but it is usual with the Hebrews, of whom Moses, the writer of this history, was, to call all places beyond the Mediterranean sea, or whatsoever they went to by sea, or that were upon the sea coasts, islands, as Greece, Italy, c. Moreover, the word sometimes signifies countries, as it does in Job 22:30 and so should be rendered here, as it is by some y, "the countries of the Gentiles" so called, because in the times of Moses, and at the writing of this history, those countries were inhabited by Heathens and idolaters, strangers to the true religion: and this division was not made at random, and at the pleasure of a rude company of men, but in an orderly regular manner, with the consent, and by the advice and direction of the principal men of those times; and especially it was directed by the wise providence of the most High, who divided to the nations their inheritance, and set the bounds of the people,
everyone after his tongue, after their families, in their nations; this shows, that what is said concerning the division of countries to the sons of Japheth is by way of anticipation; and that, though thus related, was not done till after the confusion of languages, since the partition was made according to the different languages of men; those that were of the same language went and dwelt together, the several nations of them, and the several families in those nations; by which it appears that this was done by consultation, with great care and wisdom, ranging the people according to their tongues; of which nations were formed, and with them were taken the several families they consisted of.
y איי הגוים "regiones gentium", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Patrick.
And the sons of Ham,.... Next to the sons of Japheth, the sons of Ham are reckoned; these, Josephus z says, possessed the land from Syria, and the mountains of Amanus and Lebanon; laying hold on whatever was towards the sea, claiming to themselves the countries unto the ocean, whose names, some of them, are entirely lost, and others so greatly changed and deflected into other tongues, that they can scarcely be known, and few whose names are preserved entire; and the same observation will hold good of others. Four of the sons of Ham are mentioned,
Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan; the first of these, Cush, Josephus a says, has suffered no loss by time; for the Ethiopians, whose prince he was, are to this day by themselves, and all in Asia, called Chusaeans: but though this word Cush, as used in Scripture, is generally rendered by us Ethiopia, this must not be understood of Ethiopia in Africa, but in Arabia; and indeed is always to be understood of one part of Arabia, and which was near to the land of Judea; so Moses's wife is called an Ethiopian, when she was an Arabian, or of Midian, Numbers 12:1 and Chusan and Midian are mentioned together, Habakkuk 3:7 see 2Ki 19:9 2Ch 14:9 and Bochart b has shown, by various arguments, that the land of Cush was Arabia; and so the Targum of Jonathan interprets it here Arabia. There was a city called Cutha in Erac, a province in the country of Babylon c, where Nimrod the son of Cush settled, which probably was called so from his father's name. Here the eastern writers say d Abraham was born, and is the same place mentioned in 2 Kings 17:24. The second son of Ham was Mizraim, the same with the Misor of Sanchoniatho e, and the Menes of Herodotus f, the first king of Egypt, and the builder of the city of Memphis in Egypt, called by the Turks to this day Mitzir g. Mitzraim is a name by which Egypt is frequently called in Scripture, and this man was the father of the Egyptians; and because Egypt was inhabited by a son of Ham, it is sometimes called the land of Ham,
Psalms 105:23. The word is of the dual number, and serves to express Egypt by, which was divided into two parts, lower and upper Egypt. Josephus says h, we call Egypt, Mestres, and all the Egyptians that inhabit it, Mestraeans; so the country is called by Cedrenus i, Mestre; and Kairo, a principal city in it, is to this day by the Arabians called Al-messer, as Dr. Shaw k relates. The third son of Ham is Phut; of whom Josephus l says, that he founded Libya, calling the inhabitants of it after his name, Phuteans; and observes, that there is a river in the country of the Moors of his name; and that many of the Greek historians, who make mention of this river, also make mention of a country adjacent to it, called Phute: mention is made of this river as in Mauritania, both by Pliny m and Ptolemy n and by the latter of a city called Putea: this Phut is the Apollo Pythius of the Heathens, as some think. The last son of Ham is Canaan, the father of the Canaanites, a people well known in Scripture. Concerning these sons of Ham, there is a famous fragment of Eupolemus preserved in Eusebius o; and is this;
"the Babylonians say, that the first was Belus, called Cronus or Saturn (that is, Noah), and of him was begotten another Belus and Chanaan (it should be read Cham), and he (i.e. Ham) begat Chanaan, the father of the Phoenicians; and of him another son, Chus, was begotten, whom the Greeks call Asbolos, the father of the Ethiopians, and the brother of Mestraim, the father of the Egyptians.''
z Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect 1.) a Ibid. b Phaleg. l. 4. c. 2. c Vid. Hyde Hist. Relig. Pers. c. 2. p. 39, 40. d Vid. Hyde Hist. Relig. Pers. c. 2. p. 72. e Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 1. p. 36. f Enterpe sive, l. 2. c. 4. 99. g See Cumberland's Sanchoniatho, p. 59. h Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect 1.) i Apud Grotium de vera Christ. Relig. l. 1. p. 8. & Ainsworth in loc. k Travels, ch. 3. p. 294. Ed. 2. l Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect 1.) m Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 1. n Geograph. l. 4. c. 1, 3. o Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 17. p. 419.
And the sons of Cush,.... The first born of Ham, who had five sons, next mentioned, besides Nimrod, spoken of afterwards by himself:
Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha; the first of these is Seba, the founder of the Sabaeans, according to Josephus p, a people seated in Arabia Deserta, which seem to be the Sabaeans brought from the wilderness, Ezekiel 23:42 and very probably the same that plundered Job of his cattle, Job 1:14. The second son is Havilah, who, as Josephus q says, was the father of the Evilaeans, now called Getuli; but the posterity of Havilah seem to be the same whom Strabo r calls Chaulotaeans, and whom he speaks of along with the Nabataeans and Agraeans, a people near Arabia Felix; and by Pliny s they are called Chavelaeans, and whom he speaks of as Arabians, and places them to the east of the Arabian Scenites. The third son is Sabtah; from him, Josephus t says, came the Sabathenes, who, by the Greeks, are called Astabari; the posterity of this man seemed to have settled in some part of Arabia Felix, since Ptolemy u makes mention of Sabbatha as the metropolis of that country, called by Pliny w Sabotale, or rather Sabota, as it should be read; Ptolemy places another city in this country he calls Saphtha, which seems to have its name from this man. The fourth son is Raamah or Ragmas, as Josephus calls x him, from whom sprung the Ragmaeans he says; and most of the ancients call him Rhegmah, the letter ע being pronounced as a "G", as in Gaza and Gomorrah: his posterity were also seated in Arabia Felix, near the Persian Gulf, where Ptolemy y places the city Rhegama, or as it is in the Greek text, Regma. The fifth son is Sabtecha, whom some make to be the father of a people in the same country, Arabia Felix, near the Persian Gulf, called Sachalitae; but Dr. Wells z thinks, that the descendants of this man might be from him regularly enough styled at first by the Greeks, Sabtaceni, which name might be afterwards softened into Saraceni, by which name it is well known the people of the northern parts of Arabia, where he places the descendants of this man, were formerly denominated; though Bochart a carries them into Carmania in Persia, there being a short cut over the straits of the Persian Gulf, out of Arabia thither, where he finds a city called Samydace, and a river, Samydachus, which he thinks may come from Sabtecha, the letters "B" and "M" being frequently changed, as Berodach is called Merodach, and Abana, Amana, and so in other names.
And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan; no account is given of any of the posterity of the other sons of Cush, only of this his fourth son Raamah, who is said to have two sons; the first is called Sheba, from whom came the Sabaeans, according to Josephus b; not the Sabaeans before mentioned in Arabia Deserta, but those in Arabia Felix, where Pomponius Mela c and Strabo d seat a people called Sabaeans, and whose country abounded with frankincense, myrrh, and cinnamon; the latter makes mention of a city of theirs called Mariaba, and seems to be the same that is now called Mareb, and formerly Saba e, very likely from this man. The other son, Dedan, is called by Josephus f Judadas, whom he makes to be founder of the Judadaeans, a nation of the western Ethiopians; but the posterity of this man most probably settled in Arabia, and yet are to be distinguished from the Dedanim in
Isaiah 21:13 who were Arabians also, but descended from Dedan the son of Jokshan, a son of Abraham by Keturah, Genesis 25:3 as well as from the inhabitants of Dedan in Edom, Jeremiah 25:23 it is observed, that near the city Regma before mentioned, on the same coast eastward, was another city called Dedan; and to this day Daden, from which the neighbouring country also takes its name, as Bochart g has observed, from Barboza, an Italian writer, in his description of the kingdom of Ormus: so that we need not doubt, says Dr. Wells h, but that here was the settlement of Dedan the son of Raamah or Rhegma, and brother of Sheba.
p Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) q Ibid. r Geograph. l. 16. p. 528. s Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 11. t Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) u Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. w Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. x Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) y Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) z Geography of the Old Testament, vol. 1. p. 198. a Phaleg l. 4. c. 4. col. 218. b Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) c De Situ Orbis, l. 3. c. 8. d Geograph. l. 16. p. 536. e Via. Pocock. Specimen Arab. Hist p. 57. f Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) g Phaleg. l. 4. c. 6. col. 219. h Ut supra, (Geography of the Old Testament, vol. 1.) p. 197.
And Cush begat Nimrod,.... Besides the other five sons before mentioned; and probably this was his youngest son, being mentioned last; or however he is reserved to this place, because more was to be spoken of him than of any of the rest. Sir Walter Raleigh i thinks that Nimrod was begotten by Cush after his other children were become fathers, and of a later time than some of his grandchildren and nephews: and indeed the sons of Raamah, the fourth son of Cush, are taken notice of before him: however, the Arabic writers k must be wrong, who make him to be the son of Canaan, whereas it is so clear and express from hence that he was the son of Cush. In the Greek version he is called Nebrod, and by Josephus, Nebrodes, which is a name of Bacchus; and indeed Nimrod is the same with the Bacchus of the Heathens, for Bacchus is no other than Barchus, the son of Cush; and Jacchus, which is another of his names in Jah of Cush, or the god the son of Cush; and it is with respect to his original name Nebrod, or Nebrodes, that Bacchus is represented as clothed with the skin of
νεβρις, "nebris", or a young hind, as were also his priests; and so in his name Nimrod there may be an allusion to נמרא, "Nimra", which, in the Chaldee language, signifies a tiger, and which kind of creatures, with others, he might hunt; tigers drew in the chariot of Bacchus, and he was sometimes clothed with the skin of one; though the name of Nimrod is usually derived from מרד, "to rebel", because he was a rebel against God, as is generally said; and because, as Jarchi observes, he caused all the world to rebel against God, by the advice he gave to the generation of the division, or confusion of languages, the builders of Babel: he seems to be the same with Belus, the founder of Babel and of the Babylonian empire, whom Diodorus Siculus l confounds with Ninus his son:
he began to be a mighty man in the earth: that is, he was the first that formed a plan of government, and brought men into subjection to it; and so the Jews m make him to be the first king after God; for of the ten kings they speak of in the world, God is the first, and Nimrod the second; and so the Arabic writers n say, he was the first of the kings that were in the land of Babylon; and that, seeing the figure of a crown in the heaven, he got a golden one made like it, and put it on his head; hence it was commonly reported, that the crown descended to him from heaven; for this refers not to his gigantic stature, as if he was a giant, as the Septuagint render it; or a strong robust man, as Onkelos; nor to his moral character, as the Targum of Jonathan, which is,
"he began to be mighty in sin, and to rebel before the Lord in the earth;''
but to his civil character, as a ruler and governor: he was the first that reduced bodies of people and various cities into one form of government, and became the head of them; either by force and usurpation, or it may be with the consent of the people, through his persuasion of them, and on account of the mighty and heroic actions done by him.
i History of the World, B. 1. ch. 10. sect. 1. p. 109. k Elmacinus, p. 29. apud Hottinger. Smegma, p. 270. See the Universal History, vol. 1. p. 276. l Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 90. m Pirke Eliezer, c. 11. n Elmacinus, p. 29. Patricides, p. 16. apud Hottinger. Smegma, p. 271, 272. Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 18.
He was a mighty hunter before the Lord,.... Which might be literally true; for, from the time of the flood to his days, wild beasts might increase very much, and greatly annoy men who dwelt very likely for the most part in tents scattered up and down in divers places: so that he did a good office in hunting and destroying them. An Arabic writer o, of some authority in the eastern parts, says, that by hunting he got food sufficient for the builders of Babel, while they were employed therein; and Aben Ezra interprets it in his favour, that he built altars, and the creatures he took in hunting he offered them on them a burnt offering to God. But neither of these is probable; however, it may be observed, that in this way by hunting he arrived to the power and dominion over men he afterwards had; for not only he ingratiated himself into their favour by hunting down and destroying the wild beasts which molested them, but by these means he might gather together a large number of young men, strong and robust, to join him in hunting; whereby they were inured to hardships, and trained up to military exercises, and were taught the way of destroying men as well as beasts; and by whose help and assistance he might arrive to the government he had over men; and hunting, according to Aristotle p, is a part of the military art, which is to be used both on beasts, and on such men who are made to be ruled, but are not willing; and it appears, from Xenophon q, that the kings of Persia were fitted for war and government by hunting, and which is still reckoned in many countries a part of royal education. And it may be remarked, that, as Nimrod and Bacchus are the same, as before observed, one of the titles of Bacchus is ζαγρευς, "an hunter". Cedrenus r says, that the Assyrians deified Nebrod, or Nimrod, and placed him among the constellations of heaven, and called him Orion; the same first discovered the art of hunting, therefore they joined to Orion the star called the dog star. However, besides his being in a literal sense an hunter, he was in a figurative sense one, a tyrannical ruler and governor of men. The Targum of Jonathan is;
"he was a powerful rebel before the Lord;''
and that of Jerusalem,
"he was powerful in hunting in sin before the Lord,''
and another Jewish writer s says, he was called a mighty hunter, because he was all his days taking provinces by force, and spoiling others of their substance; and that he was "before the Lord", truly so, and he seeing and taking notice of it, openly and publicly, and without fear of him, and in a bold and impudent manner, in despite of him, see Genesis 6:11. The Septuagint render it, "against the Lord"; he intended, as Jarchi's note is, to provoke him to his face:
wherefore it is said; in a proverbial way, when any man is grown mighty and powerful, or is notoriously wicked, or is become a tyrant and an oppressor of the people, that he is
even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. This was a proverb used in the times of Moses, as it is common now with us to call a hunter Nimrod.
o Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 18. p Politic. l. 1. c. 8. q Cyropaed. l. 1. c. 5. r Apud Abrami Pharum, l. 5. sect. 6. p. 128. s R. Gedaliah, Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 76. 2.
And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel,.... The city of Babel, or Babylon, which was built by his direction; for though Babylon is by some writers said to be built by Semiramis, the wife of Ninus, and others by Ninus himself, yet the truest account is, that it was built by Belus, the same with Nimrod. Curtius t says, Semiramis built it; or, as most believe, adds he, Belus, whose royal palace is shown: and Berosus u, the Chaldean, blames the Greek writers for ascribing it to Semiramis; and Abydenus w, out of Megasthenes, affirms, that Belus surrounded Babylon with a wall: however, this was the head of the kingdom of Nimrod, as Onkelos renders it, or his chief city, or where he first began to reign. Here he set up his kingdom, which he enlarged and extended afterwards to other places; and from hence it appears, that what is related in this context, concerning Nimrod, is by way of anticipation; for it was not a fact that he was a mighty man, or a powerful prince possessed of a kingdom, until after the building of Babel, and the confusion of languages there; when those that continued on the spot either chose him for their ruler, or he, by power or policy, got the dominion over them. Artapanus x, an Heathen writer, relates, that the giants which inhabited Babylon being taken away by the gods for their impiety, one of them, Belus, escaped death and dwelt in Babylon, and took up his abode in the tower which he had raised up, and which, from him the founder of it, was called Belus; so that this, as Moses says, was the beginning of his kingdom, together with
Erech, and Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar, where the city and tower of Babel were built: for of these four cities, which were all in the same country, did the kingdom of Nimrod consist; they all, either by force or by consent, were brought into subjection to him, and were under one form of government, and is the first kingdom known to be set up in the world. Erech, according to the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, is Hades, or Edessa, a city in Mesopotamia; but it is rather thought to be the name with the Aracca of Ptolemy y, and the Arecha of Marcellinus z, placed by them both in Susiana; though one would think it should be that city in Chaldea which took its present Arabic name of Erak from Erech: the Arabic writers say a, when Irac or Erac is absolutely put, it denotes Babylonia, or Chaldea, in the land of Shinar; and they say that Shinar is in Al-Erac. The next city, Accad, according to the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, is Netzibin, or Nisibis, a city in Mesopotamia; in the Septuagint version it is called Archad; and Ctesias b relates, that at the Persian Sittace was a river called Argad, which Bochart c thinks carries in it a manifest trace of this name; and observes, from Strabo d, that that part of Babylon nearest to Susa was called Sitacena. And the other city, Calneh, according to the above Targums, is Ctesiphon, and is generally thought to be the place intended, and was a town upon the Tigris, near to Seleucia in Babylon; it was first called Chalone, and its name was changed to Ctesiphon by Pacorus, king of the Persians. It is in
Isaiah 10:9 called Calno, and by the Septuagint version there the Chalane, which adds,
"where the tower was built;''
and from whence the country called the Chalonitis by Pliny e had its name, the chief city of which was Ctesiphon; and who says f Chalonitis is joined with Ctesiphon. Thus far goes the account of Nimrod; and, though no mention is made of his death, yet some writers are not silent about it. Abulpharagius g, an Arabic writer, says he died in the tower of Babel, it being blown down by stormy winds; the Jewish writers say h he was killed by Esau for the sake of his coat, which was Adam's, and came to Noah, and from him to Ham, and so to Nimrod. When he began his reign, and how long he reigned, is not certain; we have only some fabulous accounts: according to Berosus i, he began to reign one hundred and thirty one years after the flood, and reigned fifty six years, and then disappeared, being translated by the gods: and, indeed, the authors of the Universal History place the beginning of his reign in the year of the flood one hundred and thirty one, and thirty years after the dispersion at Babylon k; and who relate, that the eastern writers speak of his reign as very long: a Persian writer gives his name a Persian derivation, as if it was Nemurd, that is, "immortal", on account of his long reign of above one hundred and fifty years: and some of the Mahometan historians say he reigned in Al-Sowad, that is, the "black country", four hundred years l.
t Hist. l. 5. c. 1. u Apud Joseph. contra Apion. l. 1. c. 20. w Apud. Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 41. p. 457. x Apud. Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 18. p. 420. y Geograph. l. 6. c. 3. z Lib. 23. a Vid. Hyde in notis ad Peritsol. Itinera Mundi, p. 65. b Apud Aelian. Hist. Animal. l. 16. c. 42. c Phaleg. l. 4. c. 17. d Geograph. l. 15. p. 503. e Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 26. f Ibid. c. 27. g Hist. Dynast. p. 12. h In Pirke Eliezer, c. 24. i Antiqu. l. 4. p. 28, 29. k Vol. 1. p. 282. and vol. 21. p. 2. l Apud Hyde's Hist. Relig. Pers. c. 2. p. 43.
Out of that land went forth Ashur,.... It is a question whether Ashur is the name of a man or of a country; some take it in the latter sense, and render the words, "and out of that land he went forth into Assyria"; so Onkelos; and in this way go Junius and Tremellius, Piscator, Bochart, Cocceius, and others, and the margin of our Bible, and interpret it of Nimrod; and the Targum of Jonathan is express for him, which is this:
"out of that land went forth Nimrod, and reigned in Assyria, because he would not be in the council of the generation of the division, and he left four cities; and the Lord gave him therefore a place (or Assyria), and he built four other cities, Nineveh, c.''
so Theophilus of Antioch says m, that Nebroth (Nimrod) built the same but then the generality of interpreters which take this way give another and better reason for Nimrod's going out of Shinar or Babylon into Assyria than the Targumist gives; which is, that not content with his own dominions, and willing to enlarge them, he went out and made war upon Assyria, and seized upon it, and built cities in it, and added them to his former ones; in favour of this sense it is urged, that Moses is speaking of what Nimrod the son of Cush did, of the line of Ham, and not of the sons of Shem, among whom Ashur was; and that it is not probable he should introduce a passage relating to a branch of Shem, when he is professedly writing about that of Ham; nor is it agreeable to the history to speak of what Ashur did, before any mention of his birth, which is in Genesis 10:22 nor was it peculiar to him to go out of the land of Shinar, since almost all were dispersed from thence; add to which, that Assyria is called the land of Nimrod, Micah 5:6 to which it may be replied, that parentheses of this sort are frequent in Scripture, see 2 Samuel 4:4 besides, it seems appropriate enough, when treating of Nimrod's dominion and power, in order to show his intolerable tyranny, to remark, that it was such, that Ashur, a son of Shem, could not bear it, and therefore went out from a country he had a right unto; and as for the text in Micah 5:6 the land of Nimrod and the land of Assyria are manifestly distinguished from one another: add to this, that, if Nimrod so early made a conquest of Assyria, it would rather have been called by his own name than his uncle's; and it is allowed by all that the country of Assyria had its name from Ashur, the son of Shem; and who so likely to have founded Nineveh, and other cities, as himself? Besides these, interpreters are obliged to force the text, and insert the particle "into", which is not in it; and the order and construction of the words are more natural and agreeable to the original, as in our version and others, which make Ashur the name of a man, than this, which makes it a country: but then it is not agreed on who this Ashur was; some will have him to be of the posterity of Ham, and a son of Nimrod, as Epiphanius n and Chrysostom o; but this is not probable, nor can any proof be given of it; Josephus p is express for it, that Ashur, the son of Shem, built Nineveh, and gave the name of Assyrians to those that were subject to him. The reason of his going out from Shinar, as given by Jarchi, is, when he saw his sons hearkening to Nimrod, and rebelling against the Lord, by building a tower, he went out from them; or it may be, he was drove out by Nimrod by force, or he could not bear his tyrannical government, or live where such a wicked man ruled: and as Nimrod built cities and set up an empire, Ashur did the same in his own defence and that of his posterity:
and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah. The first of these cities, Nineveh, the Greeks commonly call Ninus, is placed by Strabo q in Atyria, the Chaldee name of Assyria, who generally suppose it had its name from Ninus, whom Diodorus Siculus r makes the first king of the Assyrians, and to whom he ascribes the building of this city; and who, one would think, should be Ashur, and that Ninus was another name of him, or however by which he went among the Greeks; and so this city was called after him; or rather it had its name from the beauty of it, the word signifying a beautiful habitation, as Cocceius s and Hillerus t give the etymology of it; or perhaps, when it was first built by him, it had another name, but afterwards was called Nineveh, from Ninus, who lived many years after him, who might repair, adorn, and beautify it. It was destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians, as foretold by Nahum, and it is difficult now to say where it stood; the place where it is supposed to have been is now called Mosul; of which place Rauwolff u says, who was there in 1574, that
"there are some very good buildings and streets in it, and it is pretty large, but very ill provided with walls and ditches;--besides this, I also saw, (says he,) just without the town, a little hill, that was almost quite dug through, and inhabited by poor people, where I saw them several times creep in and out as pismires in ant hills: in this place, or thereabouts, stood formerly the potent town of Nineveh, built by Ashur, which was the metropolis of Assyria;--at this time there is nothing of antiquities to be seen in it, save only the fort that lieth upon the hill, and some few villages, which the inhabitants say did also belong to it in former days. This town lieth on the confines of Armenia, in a large plain:''
Micah 5:6- : Micah 5:6- : Micah 5:6- : Micah 5:6- : Micah 5:6- : The next city, Rehoboth, signifies "streets", and so it is rendered in the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem; and, because in the Chaldee language streets are called "Beritha", Bochart w thinks that this Rehoboth is the city which Ptolemy x calls Birtha, on the west of Tigris, at the mouth of the river Lycus, though he places it by Euphrates; wherefore it should rather be Oroba, he places at the river Tigris y, near to Nineveh also. The last city, Calah, or Calach, was a principal city in the country, by Ptolemy z called Calacine, and by Strabo a Calachene, and mentioned by both along with Adiabene, a country in Assyria.
m Ad Autolycum, l. 2. p. 106. n Contra Haeres. l. 1. p. 3. o In Genes. Homil. 29. p Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. q Geograph. l. 16. p. 507. r Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 90, 91. s In Jonam, 1, 2. t Onomast. Sacr. p. 304, 431. u Travels, part 2. c. 9. p. 166. w Phaleg. l. 4. c. 21. col. 256. x Geograph. l. 5. c. 19. y Ibid. l. 6. c. 1. z Ibid. a Geograph. l. 11. p. 347, 365. & l. 16. p. 507.
And Resen, between Nineveh and Calah,.... This was another city built by Ashur, situated between those two cities mentioned: the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call it Talsar, or Thalassar, see Isaiah 37:12 The conjecture of Bochart b is more probable, that it is the Larissa of Xenophon, situated on the Tigris; though Junius thinks it is either Bassora, or Belcina, which Ptolemy c places on the Tigris, near Nineveh:
the same is a great city: which Jarchi interprets of Nineveh, called a great city, and was indeed one, being sixty miles in circumference, Jonah 1:2 but the construction of the words carries it to Resen, which might be the greatest city when first built; and, if understood of Larissa, was a great city, the walls of it being one hundred feet high, and the breadth twenty five, and the compass of it eight miles. Benjamin of Tudela says d, that in his time Resen was called Gehidagan, and was a great city, in which were 5000 Israelites; but according to Schmidt, this refers to all the cities in a coalition, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen, which all made that great city Nineveh; or were a Tetrapolis, as Tripoli was anciently three cities, built by the joint interest of the Aradians, Sidonians, and Tyrians, as Diodorus Siculus e relates.
b Phaleg. l. 4. c. 23. c Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 5. c. 19.) d Itinerarium, p. 75. e Bibliothec. l. 16. p. 439.
And Mizraim begat Ludim,.... Mizraim was the second son of Ham, of whom :-. Ludim he is said to beget, the word being plural, is not the name of a man, but of his posterity; and the sense is, that Mizraim begat the father of the Ludim, whose name very probably was Lud, which name is preserved in Isaiah 66:19. These Ludim are the same with the Lydians, Jeremiah 46:9 and whose country is called Lydia, Ezekiel 30:5 but to be distinguished from Lydia in Asia Minor, and the Lydians there who sprung from Lud, a son of Shem, Genesis 10:22 for, as these sprung from Mizraim, the founder of Egypt, they must be somewhere thereabout; and Bochart f has proved, by various arguments, that they are the Ethiopians in Africa, now called Abyssines, whose country lies to the south of Egypt, a people formerly famous for archery, as Lud and the Lydians are said to be, Isaiah 66:19 and whoever reads the accounts Diodorus Siculus g gives of the Egyptians and Ethiopians, will easily discern a likeness between them, and that the one sprung from the other; both deifying their kings; showing a like carefulness about their funerals; both using hieroglyphics; having the like order of priests, who used shaving; and circumcision was common to them both, as Herodotus observes h:
and Ananzim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim: the name of the father of the Anamim very probably was Anam, though we have no account of him elsewhere: according to Hillerus i, the Anamim were called so from the pastoral life they led; and, by a transposition of letters, were the same with the Maeonians, who inhabited that tract of land in Asia which was washed by the river Maeonia, or Maeander, and bordered on Lydia; but, as these were the descendants of Mizraim, they must be sought for somewhere about Egypt: much better therefore does Mr. Broughton k take them to be the Nubians and Numidians, which were near both Egypt and Ethiopia; though Bochart l seems to be most correct, in making them to be the Ammonians, who, Herodotus says, were a colony of the Egyptians and Ethiopians; these lived about Ammon and Nasamonitis, and in that part of Lybia in which the temple of Jupiter Ammon stood, and are the Nomades, that lived a pastoral life; and Bochart m thinks they are called Anamim, from Anam, which, in the Arabic language, signifies a "sheep", because they fed sheep, and lived upon them, and clothed themselves with their skins. The word Lehabim, the name of another people from Mizraim, signifies "flames"; and were so called, as Jarchi observes, because their faces were like flames, see Isaiah 13:8 burnt with the heat of the sun, living near the torrid zone; and therefore could not be the Lycians, as Hillerus n thinks, the inhabitants of a country in Asia, between Caria and Pamphylia, formerly called Lycia, now Aidimelli, which he observes abounds with places that have their names from fire and flames, as Mount Chimaera, the cities Hephaestium, Myra, Lemyra, Habessus, Telmessus, Balbura, and Sirbis; but these were too far from Egypt, near which it is more probable the Lehabim were, and seem to be the same with the Lubim, which came with Shishak out of Egypt to invade Judea,
2 Chronicles 12:3 and who were called Lybians, Jeremiah 46:9 and their country Lybia, Ezekiel 30:5 of which Leo Africanus a says, that it is a desert, dry and sandy, having neither fountains nor springs; which was near Egypt as well as Ethiopia, with which it is joined in the above place, see Acts 2:10. The word Naphtuhim, the name of another people that sprung from Mizraim, according to Hillerus o, signifies "open"; and he thinks they are the Pamphylians, who used to admit promiscuously all into their ports and towns, which were open to all strangers, and even robbers, for the sake of commerce; but, as these were a people in lesser Asia, they cannot be the people here meant. Bochart p observes, from Plutarch, that the Egyptians used to call the extreme parts of a country, and abrupt places and mountains adjoining to the sea, Nepthys, the same with Nephthuah; and therefore he is of opinion, that these Naphtuhim dwelt on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, near Egypt, in Marmorica; not far from whence was the temple of Aptuchus, mentioned by Ptolemy q, and placed by him in Cyrene, which carries in it some trace of the name of Naphtuhim; and he suspects that Neptune had his name from hence; he being a Lybian god, as Herodotus r says; for none ever used his name before the Lybians, who always honoured him as a god: and it may be observed, from Strabo s, that many of the temples of Neptune were on the sea shore. Some place these people about Memphis, the name of which was Noph,
Isaiah 19:13 but perhaps it may be much better to place them in the country of Nepate, between Syene and Meroc, where Candace, queen of Ethiopia, had her royal palace in the times of Strabo t.
f Phaleg. l. 4. c. 26. g Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 143, &c. h Euterpe sive, l. 2. c. 104. i Onomastic. Sacr. p. 283. k See his Works, p. 4, 60. l Phaleg. l. 4. c. 30. col. 284. m Ib. c. 42. n Onomastic. Sacr. p. 281, 583. a Descriptio Africae, l. 1. p. 74. o Onomastic Sacr. p. 161, 178, 283, 421. p Phaleg. l. 4. c. 26. q Geograph. l. 4. c. 4. r Herodot. Thalia, sive, l. 3. c. 21. Euterpe sive, l. 2. c. 50. s Geograph, l. 8. p. 237. t Geograph. l. 17. p. 564.
And Pathrusim,.... These are other descendants of Mizraim, the name of whose father very probably was Pathros, from whom the country of Pathros was called, and which is not only spoken of in Scripture along with Egypt, but as a part of it, Isaiah 11:11 and these Pathrusim were doubtless the inhabitants of it; which, as Bochart u has shown, is no other than Thebais, or the upper Egypt. Hillerus w takes the word to be compounded of פאת and רוסים, and renders it the corner of the Rosians, and makes it to be the same with the bay of Issus, where was a colony of Egypt, called Cilicians; but the former is more probable.
And Casluhim; these also were the posterity of Mizraim, by another son of his, from whence they had their name: according to Hillerus x, they are the Solymi, a people near the Lycians and Pisidians, that came out of Egypt, and settled in those parts; but it is much more likely that they were, as Junius y observes, the inhabitants of Casiotis, a country mentioned by Ptolemy z in lower Egypt, at the entrance of it, where stood Mount Casius: but Bochart a is of opinion that they are the Colchi, the inhabitants of the country now called Mingrelia, and which, though at a distance from Egypt, the ancient inhabitants came from thence, as appears from several ancient authors of good credit, as the above learned writer shows.
Out of whom came Philistim, or the Philistines, a people often spoken of in Scripture: these sprung from the Casluhim, or were a branch of that people; according to Ben Melech they sprung both from them and from the Pathrusim; for Jarchi says they changed wives with one another, and so the Philistines sprung from them both; or these were a colony that departed from them, and settled elsewhere, as the Philistines did in the land of Canaan, from whence that part of it which they inhabited was called Palestine: and, if the Casluhim dwelt in Casiotis, at the entrance of Egypt, as before observed, they lay near the land of Canaan, and could easily pass into it. Some think this clause refers not to what goes before, but to what follows after,
and Caphtorim, and read the whole verse thus: "and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, and Caphtorim, out of whom came Philistim"; that is, they came out of the Caphtorim. What has led to such a transposition of the words in the text is Amos 9:7 "and the Philistines from Caphtor": but though they are said to he brought from a place called Caphtor, yet did not spring from the Caphtorim: to me it rather seems, that the two latter were brothers, and both sprung from the Casluhim; since the words may be rendered without a parenthesis: "and Caluhim, out of whom came Philistim and Caphtorim"; though perhaps it may be best of all to consider the two last as the same, and the words may be read, "out of whom came Philistim, even", or that is, "the Caphtorim"; for the Philistines, in the times of Jeremiah, are said to be the remnant of the country of Caphtor, Jeremiah 47:4 and as in Amos the Philistines are said to come out of Caphtor, in Deuteronomy 2:23 they are called Caphtorim, that came out of Caphtor, who destroyed the Avim, which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, or Gaza, afterwards a principal city of the Philistines: for then, and not before their settlement in the land of Canaan, were they so called; for the word Philistim signifies strangers, people of another country; and the Septuagint version always so renders the word: their true original name seems to be Caphtorim. Bochart b indeed will have the Caphtorim to be the Cappadocians, that dwelt near Colchis, about Trapezunt, where he finds a place called Side, which in Greek signifies a pomegranate, as Caphtor does in Hebrew; and so Hillerus c takes it for a name of the Cappadocians, who inhabited כפת הור "Cappath Hor", or the side of Mount Hor, or
כף התור, the side of Mount Taurus; and in this they both follow the Jewish Targumists, who everywhere render Caphtorim by Cappadocians, as the three Targums do here, and Caphtor by Cappadocia, and as Jonathan on Deuteronomy 2:23 but then thereby they understood a people and place in Egypt, even Damietta, the same they suppose with Pelusium; for other Jewish writers say d, Caphutkia, or Cappadocia, is Caphtor, and in the Arabic language Damietta: so Benjamin of Tudela says e, in two days I came to Damietta, this is Caphtor; and it seems pretty plain that Caphtor must be some place in Egypt, as Coptus, or some other, and that the Caphtorim, or Philistines, were originally Egyptians, since they descended from Mizraim.
u Phaleg. l. 4. c. 31. w Onomastic. Sacr. p. 161, 585. x Ibid. p. 161, 583, 777. y In loc. z Geograph. l. 4. c. 5. a Phaleg. l. 4. c. 31. b Phaleg. l. 4. c. 32. c Onamastic. Sacr. p. 160, 282. d Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Cetubot, c. 13, p. 11. e ltinerarium, p. 125.
And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn,.... Canaan is the fourth son of Ham; the posterity of Phut, his third son, are omitted: the firstborn of Canaan was Sidon, from whom the city of Sidon had its name, being either built by himself, who called it after his own name, or by some of his posterity, who called it so in memory of their ancestor: it was a very ancient city, more ancient than Tyre, for that was built by the Sidonians; Homer makes mention of it, but not of Tyre: it is now called Said, as it was in the times of Benjamin of Tudela f. Justin g says it had its name from the plenty of fish on its coasts; but, since Canaan had a son of this name, it was no doubt so called from him.
And Heth; the father of the Hittites, who dwelt about Hebron, on the south of the land of Canaan; for when Sarah died, the sons of Heth were in possession of it, Genesis 23:2 of this race were the Anakim, or giants, drove out from hence by Caleb, Numbers 13:22 and these Hittites became terrible to men in later times, as appears from 2 Kings 7:6 hence חתה signifies to terrify, affright, and throw into a consternation.
f Itinerarium. p. 34. g E. Trogo, l. 18. c. 3.
And the Jebusite,.... Who had their name from Jebus, a third son of Canaan, and from whom Jerusalem was called Jebus,
Judges 19:10 and where his posterity continued to dwell when the land of Canaan was possessed by the Israelites; for they were so strong and powerful, that the men of Judah could not drive them out from thence, and here they remained until the times of David, who dispossessed them of it, Joshua 15:63. There is an island near Spain, formerly called Ebusus, now Ibissa, where was one of the colonies of the Phoenicians, in which, Bochart g observes, the name of the Jebusites is thought to remain.
And the Emorite; so called from Emor, the fourth son of Canaan, commonly called the Amorite, a people so strong and mighty, that they are compared to cedars for height, and to oaks for strength, Amos 2:9 they dwelt both on this and the other side Jordan: Sihon, one of their kings, made war on the king of Moab, and took all his country from him unto Arnon, Numbers 21:26 and in the times of Joshua there were several kings of the Amorites, which dwelt on the side of Jordan westward, Joshua 5:1 hence it may be Amor, in the Arabic tongue signifying to command, and Emir, a commander.
And the Girgasite; the same with the Gergesene in Matthew 8:28 who, in the times of Christ, lived about Gerasa, or Gadara: a Jewish writer h says, that when they left their country to Israel, being forced to it by Joshua, they went into a country which to this day is called Gurgestan.
g Phaleg. l. 4. c. 36. fol. 304. h R. Zacuth. Sepher. Jachasin, fol. 135. 2.
And the Hivite,.... These dwelt in Hermon, a part of Mount Lebanon from Mount Baal Hermon unto the entering in of Hamath,
Joshua 11:3 to the east of the land of Canaan; hence they were sometimes called Kadmonites, or Easterlings, Genesis 15:19 and are thought to have their name from dwelling in holes and caves like serpents; hence Cadmus the Phoenician, and his wife Hermonia, who seem to have their names from hence, are reported to be turned into serpents, they being Hivites, which this word signifies, as Bochart i observes.
And the Arkite; the same with the Aruceans, or Arcaeans, Josephus k speaks of in Phoenicia about Sidon, and from whom the city Arce had its name, which he places in Lebanon; and is mentioned by Menander l as revolting to the king of Assyria, with Sidon and old Tyre; and which is reckoned by Ptolemy m a city of Phoenicia, and placed by him near old Byblus; and hence Bothart n thinks Venus had the name of Venus Architis, said by Macrobius o to be worshipped by the Assyrians and Phoenicians.
And the Sinite: either the inhabitants of the wilderness of Sin, who dwelt in the northern part of the desert of Arabia, or the Pelusiotae, as Bochart p thinks, the inhabitants of Pelusium, which was called Sin, Ezekiel 30:15 the former being its Greek name, the latter its Chaldee or Syriac name, and both signify "clay", it being a clayey place; but Canaan or Phoenicia seems not to have reached so far; Jerom speaks of a city not far from Arca called Sin, where rather these people may be thought to dwell.
i Ut supra. (Phaleg. l. 4. c. 36. fol. 304.) k Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 2. & l. 5. c. 1. sect. 23. l Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 9. c. 14. sect. 2. m Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. n Ut supra. (Phaleg. l. 4. c. 36. fol. 304.) o Saturnal. l. 1. c. 21. p Ut supra. (Phaleg. l. 4. c. 36. fol. 304.)
And the Arvadite,.... The inhabitants of Arvad, or Aradus, an island in the Phoenician sea; it is mentioned with Sidon,
Ezekiel 27:8 so Josephus says q, the Arudaeans possessed the island Aradus: it is about a league distant from the shore; Strabo r says it is twenty furlongs from land, and about seven in circumference, and is said to be built by the Sidonians; it is now, as Mr. Maundrel s says, by the Turks called Ru-ad, or, as Dr. Shaw says t, Rou-wadde;
Ezekiel 27:8- :.
And the Zemarite; who perhaps built and inhabited Simyra, a place mentioned by Pliny u, not far from Lebanon, and along with Marathos, and Antarados, which lay on the continent, right against the island Aradus, or Arvad, and near the country of the Aradians. Strabo w makes mention of a place called Taxymira, which Casaubon observes should be Ximyra, or Simyra; and Mela x speaks of the castle of Simyra as in Phoenicia. There was a city called Zemaraim in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:22 which Bishop Patrick suggests, and Ainsworth before him, that Zemarus, the son of Canaan, might be the founder of; and there is also a mountain of the same name in Mount Ephraim, 2 Chronicles 13:4.
And the Hamathite: who dwelt in Amathine, as Josephus y, and was in his time called by the inhabitants Amathe; but the Macedonians called it, from one of their race, Epiphania, which seems to have been the country called Amathite,
He removed from Jerusalem, and met them in the land of Amathis: for he gave them no respite to enter his country. (1 Maccabees 12:25)
there was another Hamath, called Antiochia, but cannot be meant, since Hamath was the northern border of the land of Israel, then called the entrance of Hamath, which border was pretty near to Epiphania, but not so far as Antioch; this is the Amathus of Syria, twice mentioned by Herodotus, as Hillerus z observes: but both Reland a and Vitringa b are of opinion, that the Hamath so often mentioned in Scripture, which doubtless had its name from the Hamathite, is neither Antiochia nor Epiphania, but the city Emesa, or Emissa, which lay below Epiphania, upon the Orontes, nearer Damascus and the land of Canaan; and Hamath is mentioned with Damascus and Arpad, or Arvad, Isaiah 10:9 and, according to Ezekiel 47:16. Hamath must lie between Damascus and the Mediterranean sea.
And afterwards were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad; not only these eleven, but two more which are not mentioned, the Canaanites properly so called, and the Perizzites; these families at first dwelt in one place, or within narrow limits; but, as they increased, they spread themselves further every way, and in process of time possessed all the country from Idumea and Palestine to the mouth of the Orontes, and which they held about seven hundred years, when five of these families, with the two other above mentioned, were cast out of the land for their sins, and to make way for the people of Israel.
q Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 2. r Geograph. l. 16. p. 518. s Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 19. Ed. 7. t Travels, p. 267. Ed. 2. u Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 20. w Geograph. l. 16. p. 518. x De situ orbis, l. 1. c. 12. y Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 2.) z Onomastic. Sacr. p. 780. a Palestina Illustrata, tom. 1. l. 1. p. 121, 123, 317. b Comment. in Jesaiam, c. 10, 9.
And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon,.... This is to be understood, not of the Canaanites, properly so called, but of them in general; and is a description of the bounds of the land of Canaan, as possessed by the people of Israel: the northern or north west border of it was Sidon, see Genesis 10:15 and is to be understood of the country which reached from that city towards the east almost as far as Jordan:
as thou comest from Gerar unto Gaza; two cities of the Philistines, well known in Scripture, the former for being the place where Abraham and Isaac sometimes sojourned, and the latter for Samson's exploits in it; these were the southern or south west border of the land of Canaan:
as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboim; four cities destroyed by fire from heaven, as is after related in this book; these lay to the south or south east part of the land:
even unto Lashah; which, according to the Targum of Jonathan, is Callirrhoe, a place famous for hot waters, which run into the Dead sea, and who in this is followed by Jerom; but since it was not in the southern part of Judea, as Lashah was, Bochart proposes a Lusa, as being more likely to be the place, a city of the Arabs, which Ptolemy b puts in the midway between the Mediterranean and the Red sea; but this is objected to by Reland c, since the southern borders of the land of Canaan were from the extremity of the Dead sea unto the Mediterranean sea, from which Lusa was at a great distance: the Samaritan version of this verse is very different from the Hebrew, and is this,
"and the border of the Canaanites was from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates, and unto the hinder sea:''
i.e. the western or Mediterranean.
a Phaleg. l. 4. c. 37. col. 309. b Geograph. l. 5. c. 17. c Palestina Illustrata, tom. 2. p. 871.
These are the sons of Ham,.... His sons and grandsons, which some reckon to be thirty, others thirty one, if the Philistines are taken in:
after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, [and] in their nations: families of the same language joined together and dwelt in the same country, :- all Africa and a considerable part of Asia were possessed by the four sons of Ham and their posterity; Mizraim had Egypt, and Phut all the rest of Africa; and Cush and Canaan had a large portion in Asia.
Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber,.... And for the sake of those Shem is particularly said to be the father of, is this genealogy given, and indeed the whole book of Genesis wrote: Eber was the great-grandson of Shem, and is here spoken of by anticipation, and Shem is called not the father of either of his immediate sons, but of the posterity of this man; because the Hebrews sprung from him in his line, among whom the church of God and the true religion were preserved, and from whom the Messiah was to come, as he did: the word Eber, Jarchi interprets, "beyond the river, Euphrates" or "Tigris", or both, as describing the seat of the posterity of Shem; but as this too much straitens them, since they inhabited on both sides, Dr. Hyde d has shown that the word used may refer to both, to those beyond these rivers, and to those on this side; see Numbers 24:24
the brother of Japheth the elder; he was the brother of Ham too, but he is not mentioned because of the behaviour towards his father, and because of the curse that was upon him and his; but Shem's relation to Japheth is expressed to show that they were alike in their disposition; and it may be to signify, that in times to come their posterity would unite in spiritual things, which has been fulfilled already in part, and will be more fully by the coalition of the Jews, the posterity of Shem, and of the Gentiles, the posterity of Japheth, in the Christian church state: and from hence we learn that Japheth was the eldest of Noah's sons, though some render the words, "the elder brother of Japheth" e; and so make Shem to be the eldest; but as this is contrary to the accents, so to the history: for Noah was five hundred years old when he began to beget sons, Genesis 5:32 he was six hundred when he went into the ark, Genesis 7:11 two years after the flood Shem begat Arphaxad, when he was one hundred years old, and Noah six hundred and two, Genesis 11:10 so that Shem must be born when Noah was five hundred and two years old; and since he begot children, there must be one two years older than Shem, which can be no other than Japheth, since Ham is called his younger son, Genesis 9:24.
even to him were [children] born, who are reckoned as follow.
d Hist. Relig. Pers. c. 2. p. 47, 48. e אחי יפת הגדול "fratre Japheth majore". V. L. Samar. Syr. Ar. "frater major natu ipsius Japheth", Tigurine version; "fratri Japheti majori", Cocceius; so some in Vatablus.
The children of Shem,.... Whose names are
Elam and Ashur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram; and who, as Josephus f says, inhabited Asia, from Euphrates to the Indian ocean: his first born, Elam, was the father of the Elymaeans, from whom sprung the Persians, as the same writer observes, and his posterity are called Elamites, Acts 2:10 their country Elam, and is sometimes mentioned with Media, when the Persians and Medes are intended, Isaiah 21:2 see also Isaiah 22:6, c. in Daniel's time, Shushan, in the province of Elam, was the seat of the kings of Persia: the country of Elymais, so called from this man, is said by Pliny g to be divided from Susiane by the river Eulaeus, and to join with Persia and the famous city of Elymais, the metropolis of the country, is placed by Josephus h in Persia. Ashur, the second son of Shem, gives name to Assyria, a country frequently mentioned in Scripture; and which, according to Ptolemy i, was bounded on the north by part of Armenia the great, and the mountain Niphates, on the west by Mesopotamia and the river Tigris, on the south by Susiane, and on the east by part of Media. Strabo says k they call Babylonia, and great part of the country about it, Assyria, in which was Ninus or Nineveh, the chief city of the Assyrian empire; and which was built by Ashur, as Josephus l affirms, and says he gave the name of Assyrians to his subjects: Arphaxad, the third son of Shem, from him that part of Assyria, which lay northward next to Armenia, was called Arphaxitis, as it is probable that was its original name, though corruptly called by Ptolemy m Arrapachitis: Josephus says n, he gave name to the Arphaxadaeans, whom he ruled over, now called Chaldeans; and indeed the name of the Chaldeans may as well be derived from the latter part of Arphaxad's name, כשד, "Chashad", as from Chesed, the son of Nahor, and brother of Abraham, as it more commonly is; since the Chaldeans were called Chasdim before Chesed was born, and were a nation when Abraham came out of Ur, before Chesed could be old or considerable enough to build towns and found a nation; see Genesis 11:31 though Bochart treats this as a mere dream, yet he is obliged to have recourse to the usual refuge, that Ur was called Ur of the Chaldees, by anticipation. The fourth son of Shem was Lud, from whom sprung the Lydians, a people of Asia minor, and whose country is called Lydia, including Mysia and Caria, which all lay by the river Maeander; and Lud, in the Phoenician language, signifies bending and crooked, as that river was, being full of windings and turnings: some think that the posterity of Lud are carried too far off from those of his brethren, but know not where else to fix them. From Aram, the last son of Shem, sprung the Aramaeans, called by the Greeks Syrians, as Josephus o observes; and by Homer p and Hesiod q αριμοι, and so says Strabo r; some by the Arimi understand the Syrians, now called Arami; and elsewhere s he observes, that they who are by us called Syrians, are by the Syrians themselves called Aramaeans, and this is the name they give to themselves to this day: the country inhabited by them included Mesopotamia and Syria, and particularly all those places that have the name of Aram added to them, as Padan Aram, and Aram Naharaim (which is Mesopotamia), Aram of Damascus, Aram Zobah, Aram Maacha, and Aram Beth Rehob, Genesis 28:2 and the title of Psalms 60:1: the Septuagint version here adds, "and Cainan", but without any authority.
f Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. g Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 27. h Antiqu. l. 12. c. 8. sect. 1. i Geograph. l. 6. c. 1. k Ib. l. 16. p. 507. l Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. m Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 1.) n Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.). So R. Gedaliah, in Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 76. 2. o Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.) p Iliad. 2. q Theogonia. r Geograph. l. 13. p. 431. l. 16. p. 540. s Ib. l. 1. p. 28.
And the children of Aram,.... The four following persons are called the sons of Shem, 1 Chronicles 1:17 being his grandsons, which is not unusual in Scripture,
Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash: the first of these sons of Aram, Uz, is generally thought to be the founder of Damascus; so Josephus t says. Usus founded Trachonitis and Damascus, which lies between Palestine and Coelesyria: there was a place called Uz in Idumea, Lamentations 4:21 and another in Arabia, where Job dwelt, Job 1:1 but neither of them seems to be the seat of this man and his posterity, who, in all probability, settled in Syria: his second son Hul, whom Josephus u calls Ulus, according to him, founded Armenia; which notion may be strengthened by observing that Cholobotene is reckoned a part of Armenia by Stephanus w; which is no other than Cholbeth, that is, the house or seat of Chol, the same with Hul; and there are several places in Armenia, as appears from Ptolemy x, which begin with Chol or Col, as Cholus, Cholua, Choluata, Cholima, Colsa, Colana, Colchis: but perhaps it may be better to place him in Syria, in the deserts of Palmyrene, as Junius and Grotius; since among the cities of Palmyrene, there is one called Cholle, according to Ptolemy y. Gether, the third son, is made by Josephus z to be the father of the Bactrians; but these were too far off to come from this man, and were not in the lot of Shem: Bochart a finds the river Getri, which the Greeks call Centrites, between Armenia and the Carduchi, whereabout, he conjectures, might be the seat of this man; but perhaps it may be more probable, with Grotius and Junius, to place him in Coelesyria, where are the city Gindarus of Ptolemy b, and a people called Gindareni, by Pliny c; though Bishop Patrick thinks it probable that Gadara, the chief city of Peraea, placed by Ptolemy d in the Decapolis of Coelesyria, had its name from this man: Mr. Broughton derives Atergate and Derceto, names of a Syrian goddess, from him, which was worshipped at Hierapolis in Coelesyria, as Pliny says e. The last of the sons of Aram, Mash, is called Meshech, in 1 Chronicles 1:17 and here the Septuagint version calls him Masoch; his posterity are supposed to settle in Armenia, about the mountain Masius, thought to be the same with Ararat, and which the Armenians call Masis; perhaps the people named Moscheni, mentioned by Pliny f, as dwelling near Armenia and Adiabene, might spring from this man.
t Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.) u Ibid. w Apud Bochart. Phaleg. l. 2. c. 9. col. 81. x Geograph. l. 5. c. 13. y Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. z Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.) a Phaleg. l. 2. c. 10. b Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. c Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 23. d Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 5. c. 15.) e Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 23. f Ib. l. 6. c. 9.
And Arphaxad begat Salah,.... Or Shelach which signifies "a sending forth"; that is, of waters: it is part of the name of Methuselah, given him by his father, as prophetic of the flood, see Genesis 5:21 and Arphaxad, who was born two years after the flood, gives this name to his first born, as commemorative of it: according to some, from him are the Susians g; and in Susiana is found a city called Sele, by Ptolemy h; but this seems not to be a sufficient proof:
and Salah begat Eber; from whom, Josephus i says, the Jews were called Hebrews from the beginning; and which, perhaps, is as good a derivation of their name as can be given, and seems to be confirmed by
Numbers 24:24 though some derive it from Abraham's passing over the rivers in his way from Chaldea into Syria; but be it so, why might not this name be given to Eber, as prophetic of that passage, or of the passage of his posterity over the Euphrates into Canaan, as well as Eber gave to his son Peleg his name, as a prediction of the division of the earth in his time? the Septuagint version of this text inserts a Cainan between Arphaxad and Salah, but is not to be found in any Hebrew copy, nor in the Samaritan, Syriac, and Arabic versions, nor in Josephus, see Luke 3:36.
g Vid. Bochart. Phaleg. l. 2. c. 13. col. 92. h Geograph. l. 6. c. 3. i Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.)
And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg,.... Bochart k thinks, that either Peleg, or one of his posterity, in memory of him, gave the name of Phalga to a town situated on the Euphrates; though the reason of the name, as given by Arrianus, as he himself observes, was because it divided between the two Seleucias, as the reason of Peleg's name was;
for in his days was the earth divided; among the three sons of Noah, and their respective posterities; their language was divided, and that obliged them to divide and separate in bodies which understood one another; hence that age, in which was this event, was usually called by the Jews the age of division; whether this was done about the time of his birth, and so this name was given him to perpetuate the memory of it, or in some after part of his life, and so was given by a spirit of prophecy, is a question: Josephus, Jarchi, and the Jewish writers, generally go the latter way; if it was at the time of his birth, which is the sense of many, then this affair happened in the one hundred and first year after the flood, for in that year Peleg was born, as appears from Genesis 11:11
and his brother's name was Joktan, whom the Arabs call Cahtan, and claim him as their parent, at least, of their principal tribes; and say he was the first that reigned in Yaman, and put a diadem on his head l; and there is a city in the territory of Mecca, about seven furlongs or a mile to the south of it, and one station from the Red sea, called Baisath Jektan, the seat of Jektan m, which manifestly retains his name; and there are a people called Catanitae, placed by Ptolemy n in Arabia Felix.
k Phaleg. l. 2. c. 14. col. 93. l Vid. Pocock. Specimen. Arab. Hist. p. 39. 55. m Arab. Geograph. apud Bochart. Phaleg: l. 2. c. 15. col. 98. n Geograph, l. 6. c. 7.
And Joktan begat Almodad,.... And twelve more mentioned later: the Arabic writers o say be had thirty one sons by one woman, but all, excepting two, left Arabia, and settled in India; the Targum of Jonathan adds,
"who measured the earth with ropes,''
as if he was the first inventor and practiser of geometry: from him are thought to spring the Allumaeotae, a people whom Ptolemy p places in Arabia Felix, called so by the Greeks, instead of Almodaei: Mr. Broughton q sets Eldimaei over against this man's name, as if they were a people that sprung from him; whereas this word is wrongly put in Ptolemy r for Elymaeans, as it is in the Greek text, a people joining to the Persians:
[and] Sheleph and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah: to the first of these, Sheleph, the Targum of Jonathan adds,
"who drew out the water of the rivers;''
his people are supposed by Bochart s, to be the Alapeni of Ptolemy t, which should be read Salapeni, who were, he says, more remote from the rest, almost as far as the neck of Arabia, and not far from the spring of the river Betius. The next son, Hazarmaveth, or Hasermoth, as in the Vulgate Latin, is thought to give name to a people in Arabia, called by Pliny u Chatramotitae, and by Ptolemy Cathramonitae, whose country, Strabo says w, produces myrrh; according to Ptolemy x they reached from the mountain Climax to the Sabaeans, among whom were a people, called, by Pliny y, Atramitae, who inhabited a place of the same name, and which Theophrastus calls Adramyta, which comes nearer the name of this man, and signifies the court or country of death: and in those parts might be places so called, partly from the unwholesomeness of the air, being thick and foggy, and partly from the frankincense which grew there, which was fatal to those that gathered it, and therefore only the king's slaves, and such as were condemned to die, were employed in it, as Bochart z has observed from Arrianus; as also because of the multitude of serpents, with which those odoriferous countries abounded, as the same writer relates from Agatharcides and Pliny. The next son of Joktan is Jerah, which signifies the moon, as Hilal does in Arabic; and Alilat with the Arabians, according to Herodotus a, is "Urania", or the moon; hence Bochart b thinks, that the Jeracheans, the posterity of Jerah, are the Alilaeans of Diodorus Siculus c, and others, a people of the Arabs; and the Arabic geographer, as he observes, makes mention of a people near Mecca called Bene Hilal, or the children of Jerah; and he is of opinion that the island Hieracon, which the Greeks call the island of the Hawks placed by Ptolemy d, in Arabia Felix, adjoining to the country which lies upon the Arabian Gulf, is no other than the island of the Jeracheans, the posterity of this man: the Arabs e speak of a son of Joktan or Cahtan, they call Jareb, who succeeded his father, which perhaps may be a corruption of Jerah; and another, called by them Jorham.
o Apud Pocock. Specimen. Arab. Hist., p. 40. p Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. q See his Works, p. 3. 59. r Ut supra, (Geograph. l. 6.) c. 5. s Phaleg. l. 2. c. 16. col. 99. t Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) u Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. w Geograph. l. 16. p. 528. x Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) y Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 14. z Phaleg. l. 2. c. 17. col. 102. a Thalia sive, l. 3. c. 8. b Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 19. c Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 179. d Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) e Apud Pocock. Specimem. Arab. Hist. p. 40.
And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah. The posterity of Hadoram, from the likeness of the name and sound, might seem to be the Adramitae of Ptolemy f, but Bochart g thinks they are the Drimati of Pliny h, who dwelt in the extreme corner of Arabia, to the east, near the Macae, who were at the straits of the Persian Gulf; and he observes, that the extreme promontory of that country was called Corodamum, by transposition of the letters "D" and "R": Uzal gave name to a city which is still so called; for R. Zacuth i says, the Jews which dwelt in Yaman, the kingdom of Sheba, call Samea, which is the capital of the kingdom of Yaman, Uzal; and who also relates, that there is a place called Hazarmaveth unto this day, of which see Genesis 10:26 the kingdom in which Uzal is said by him to be was the south part of Arabia Felix, as Yaman signifies, from whence came the queen of the south,
Matthew 12:42 and Uzal or Auzal, as the Arabs pronounce it, is the same the Greeks call Ausar, changing "L" into "R"; hence mention is made by Pliny k of myrrh of Ausar, in the kingdom of the Gebanites, a people of the Arabs, where was a port by him called Ocila l, by Ptolemy, Ocelis m, and by Artemidorus in Strabo, Acila n, and perhaps was the port of the city Uzal, to the name of which it bears some resemblance: Diklah signifies a palm tree, in the Chaldee or Syriac language, with which kind of trees Arabia abounded, especially the country of the Minaei, as Pliny o relates; wherefore Bochart p thinks the posterity of Diklah had their seat among them, rather than at Phaenicon or Diklah, so called from the abundance of palm trees that grew there, which was at the entrance into Arabia Felix at the Red sea, of which Diodorus Siculus q makes mention; and so Artemidorus in Strabo r speaks of a place called Posidium, opposite to the Troglodytes, and where the Arabian Gulf ends, where palm trees grew in a wonderful manner, on the fruit of which people lived, where was a Phaenicon, or continued grove of palm trees; and here is placed by Ptolemy s a village called Phaenicon, the same with Diklah.
f Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) g Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 20. h Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. i Juchasin, fol. 135. 2. k Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 16. l lb. c. 19. m Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5). So Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 23. n Geograph. l. 16. p. 529. o Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. p Ut supra. (Phaleg. l. 2. c. 22.) q Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 175. r Geograph. l. 16. p. 34. s Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.)
And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba. The first of these, Obal, or Aubal, as the Arabs pronounce, Bochart t is obliged to make his posterity pass over the straits of the Arabian Gulf out of Arabia Felix into Arabia Troglodytice; where he finds a bay, called by Pliny u the Abalite bay, which carries in it some trace of this man's name, and by Ptolemy v the Avalite bay; and where was not only an emporium of this name, but a people called Avalites and also Adulites, which Bishop Patrick believes should be read "Abulites", more agreeably to the name of this man, but Pliny w speaks of a town of the Adulites also: Abimael is supposed by Bochart x to be the father of Mali, or the Malitae, as his name may be thought to signify, Theophrastus y making mention of a place called Mali along with Saba, Adramyta, and Citibaena, in spicy Arabia, which is the only foundation there is for this conjecture: Sheba gave name to the Sabaeans, a numerous people in Arabia; their country was famous for frankincense; the nations of them, according to Pliny z, reached both seas, that is, extended from the Arabian to the Persian Gulf; one part of them, as he says a, was called Atramitae, and the capital of their kingdom Sabota, on a high mountain, eight mansions from which was their frankincense country, called Saba; elsewhere he says b, their capital was called Sobotale, including sixty temples within its walls; but the royal seat was Mariabe; and so Eratosthenes in Strabo c says, the metropolis of the Sabaeans was Mariaba, or, as others call it, Merab, and which, it seems, is the same with Saba; for Diodorus Siculus d and Philostorgius e say, the metropolis of the Sabaeans is Saba; and which the former represents as built on a mountain, as the Sabota of Pliny is said to be,
t Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 23. u Nat. Hist. l. 26. c. 29. v Geograph. l. 4. c. 7, 8. w Nat. Hist. l. 26. c. 29. x Ut supra. (Phaleg. l. 2. c. 24.) y Ut supra, (Hist. Plant. l. 9.) c.4. z Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. a Ib. l. 12. c. 14. b Ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28.) c Geograph. l. 16. p. 528. d Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 180. e Hist. Ecclesiast. l. 3. p. 477.
And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab,.... If several of the sons of Joktan went into India, as the Arabs say, one would be tempted to think that Ophir in India, whither Solomon sent his ships once in three years, had its name from the first of these;
:- but as this would be carrying him too far from the rest of his brethren, who appear to have settled in Arabia, some place must be found for him there; and yet there is none in which there is any likeness of the name, unless Coper can be thought to be, a village in the country of the Cinaedocolpites, on the Arabian Gulf, as in Ptolemy f, or Ogyris, an island in the same sea, Pliny g makes mention of the same with the Organa of Ptolemy h, placed by him on the Sachalite bay; wherefore Bochart i looks out elsewhere for a seat for this Ophir, or "Oupheir", as in the Septuagint version, and finding in a fragment of Eupolemus, preserved by Eusebius k, mention made of the island of Ourphe, which he thinks should be Ouphre, or Uphre, situated in the Red sea, seems willing to have it to be the seat of this man and his posterity, and that it had its name from him; or that their seat was among the Cassanites or Gassandae, the same perhaps with the tribe of Ghassan, Aupher and Chasan signifying much the same, even great abundance and treasure: Havilah, next mentioned, is different from Havilah, the son of Cush, Genesis 10:7 and so his country; but it is difficult where to fix him; one would rather think that the Avalite bay, emporium, and people, should take their name from him than from Obal, Genesis 10:28 but Bochart l chooses to place him and his posterity in Chaulan, a country in Arabia Felix, in the extreme part of Cassanitis, near the Sabaeans: and Jobab, the last of Joktan's sons, was the father of the Jobabites, called by Ptolemy m Jobarites, corruptly for Jobabites, as Salmasius and Bochart think; and who are placed by the above geographer near the Sachalites in Arabia Felix, whose country was full of deserts, as Jobab in Arabic signifies, so Bochart n observes, as the countries above the Sachalite bay were, by which these Jobabites are placed:
all these were the sons of Joktan; the thirteen before mentioned, all which had their dwelling in Arabia or near it, and which is further described in the following verse.
f Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. g Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. h Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) i Phaleg. l. 2. c. 27. k Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 30. p. 457. l Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 20. m Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) n Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 29.
And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Zephar, a mount of the east. Mesha, which is thought to be the Muza of Ptolemy and Pliny, was a famous port in the Red sea, frequented by the merchants of Egypt and Ethiopia, from which the Sappharites lay directly eastward; to whose country they used to go for myrrh and frankincense, and the like, of which Saphar was the metropolis, and which was at the foot of Climax, a range of mountains, which perhaps might be formerly called Saphar, from the city at the bottom of it, the same with Zephar here: by inspecting Ptolemy's tables o, the way from one to the other is easily discerned, where you first meet with Muza, a port in the Red sea, then Ocelis, then the mart Arabia, then Cane, and so on to Sapphar or Sapphara; and so Pliny says p, there is a third port which is called Muza, which the navigation to India does not put into, only the merchants of frankincense and Arabian odours: the towns in the inland are the royal seat Saphar; and another called Sabe; now the sons of Joktan had their habitations all from this part in the west unto Zephar or Saphar eastward, and those were reckoned the genuine Arabs: Hillerus q gives a different account of the situation of the children of Joktan, as he thinks, agreeably to these words of Moses; understanding by Kedem, rendered the east, the mountains of Kedem, or the Kedemites, which sprung from Kedem or Kedomah, the youngest son of Ishmael, Genesis 25:15 and Zephar, the seat of the Sepharites, as between Mesha and Kedem; for, says he, Mesha is not Muza, a mart of the Red sea, but Moscha, a famous port of the Indian sea, of which Arrian and Ptolemy make mention; and from hence the dwelling of the Joktanites was extended, in the way you go through the Sepharites to the mountainous places of Kedem or Cadmus: perhaps nearer the truth may be the Arabic paraphrase of Saadiah r, which is
"from Mecca till you come to the city of the eastern mountain, or (as in a manuscript) to the eastern city,''
meaning perhaps Medina, situate to the east; so that the sense is, according to this paraphrase, that the sons of Joktan had their dwelling from Mecca to Medina; and so R. Zacuth s says, Mesha in the Arabic tongue is called Mecca; and it is a point agreed upon by the Arabs that Mesha was one of the most ancient names of Mecca; they believe that all the mountainous part of the region producing frankincense went in the earliest times by the name of Sephar; from whence Golius concludes this tract to be the Mount Zephar of Moses, a strong presumption of the truth of which is that Dhafar, the same with the modern Arabs as the ancient Saphar, is the name of a town in Shihr, the only province in Arabia bearing frankincense on the coast of the Indian ocean t.
o Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. p Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 23. q Onomastic. Sacr. p. 116. r In Pocock. Specimen Hist. Arab. p. 34. s In Juchasin, fol. 135. 2. t Universal History, vol. 18. p. 353.
These are the sons of Shem,.... His sons, and grandsons, and great grandsons, in all twenty six, no doubt but there were many more, but these are only mentioned; for none of the sons of Elam, Ashur, and Lud, are named, and but one of Arphaxad's, and one of Salah's, and two of Eber's, and none of Peleg's; when it is not to be questioned but they had many, as is certain of Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, and Peleg, Genesis 11:13
after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations: from hence sprung various families at first, and these of different languages upon the confusion of Babel, which thenceforward formed different nations, dwelt in different lands; which have been pointed at as near as we can at this distance, and with the little helps and advantages we have: it seems from hence that Shem's posterity were of different languages as well as those of Ham and Japheth.
These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations,.... This is the account of their families, from whom the several nations of the earth sprung:
and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood; not immediately, not till they were so increased as to form distinct nations; not till Peleg's time, when the division was made; not until the building of the city and tower of Babel, for unto that time these families were together, and then and not before were they dispersed abroad upon the face of the earth; and by degrees peopled all the known parts of the world, Asia, Africa, and Europe, and no doubt America, though the way of their passage thither is unknown to us; and to this partition of the earth by the three sons of Noah, Pindar u seems to have respect, when he says,
"according to the ancients, Jupiter and the immortal ones parted the earth;''
and he speaks of one man having three sons, who dwelt separate, the earth being divided into three parts.
u Olymp. Ode 7.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 10". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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