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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Riphath

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(Heb. Riphath', רַיפִת, perhaps spoken; Sept. ῾Ριφάθ v.r. ῾Ριφαε; Vulg. Riphath), the second son of Gomer and the brother of Ashkenaz and Togarmah (Genesis 10:3). B.C. cir. 2450. The Hebrew text in 1 Chronicles 1:6 gives the form Diphath (q.v.); but this arises out of a clerical error similar to that which gives the forms Rodanim and Hadad for Dodanim and Hadar (vers. 7:50; Genesis 36:39). The name Riphath occurs only in the genealogical table, and hence there is little to guide us to the locality which it indicates. The name itself has been variously identified with that of the Rhipaean Mountains (Knobel); the river Rhebas, in Bithynia (Bochart); the Rhibii, a people living eastward of the Caspian Sea (Schulthess); and the Riphaeans the ancient name of the Paphlagonians (Joseph Ant. 1, 6, 1). This last view is certainly favored by the contiguity of Ashkenaz and Togarmah. The weight of opinion is, however, in favor of the Rhipaean Mountains, which Knobel (Volkert. p. 44) identifies etymologically and geographically with the Carpathian range in the northeast of Dacia. The attempt of that writer to identify Riphath with the Celts or Gauls is evidently based on the assumption that so important a race ought to be mentioned in the table, and that there is no other name to apply to them; but we have no evidence that the Gauls were for any lengthened period settled in the neighborhood of the Carpathian range. The Rhipaean Mountains themselves existed more in the imagination of the Greeks than in reality; and if the received etymology of that name (from ῥιπαί, "blasts") be correct, the coincidence in sound with Riphath is merely accidental, and no connection can be held to exist between the names. The later geographers, Ptolemy (3, 5, § 15, 19) and others, placed the Rhipaean range where no range really exists, viz. about the elevated ground that separates the basins of the Euixine and Baltic seas. (See ETHNOLOGY).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Riphath'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/r/riphath.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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