Japhetites

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This T and O map, from the first printed version of Isidoor's Etymologiae , identifies the three known continents as populated by descendants of Sem (Shem), Iafeth (Japheth) and Cham (Ham). T and O map Guntherus Ziner 1472.jpg
This T and O map, from the first printed version of Isidoor's Etymologiae , identifies the three known continents as populated by descendants of Sem (Shem), Iafeth (Japheth) and Cham (Ham).

Japhetite (in adjective form Japhethitic or Japhetic) in Abrahamic religions is an obsolete historical term for the peoples supposedly descended from Japheth, one of the three sons of Noah in the Bible. The other two sons of Noah, Shem and Ham, are the eponymous ancestors of the Semites and the Hamites, respectively.

The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as Abrahamism, are a group of Semitic-originated religious communities of faith that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Israelites and the worship of the God of Abraham. The Abrahamic religions are monotheistic, with the term deriving from the patriarch Abraham.

Japheth Biblical figure, son of Noah

Japheth, is one of the three sons of Noah in the Book of Genesis, where he plays a role in the story of Noah's drunkenness and the curse of Ham, and subsequently in the Table of Nations as the ancestor of the peoples of the Aegean, Anatolia, and elsewhere. In medieval and early modern European tradition he was considered to be the progenitor of European and, later, East Asian peoples.

Bible Collection of religious texts in Judaism and Christianity

The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.

Contents

In medieval ethnography, the world was believed to have been divided into three large-scale racial groupings, corresponding to the three classical continents: the Semitic peoples of Asia, the Hamitic peoples of Africa and the Japhetic peoples of Europe.

Ethnography is the systematic study of people and cultures. It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study. An ethnography is a means to represent graphically and in writing the culture of a group. The word can thus be said to have a double meaning, which partly depends on whether it is used as a count noun or uncountable. The resulting field study or a case report reflects the knowledge and the system of meanings in the lives of a cultural group.

The Near East is a geographical term that roughly encompasses a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Despite having varying definitions within different academic circles, the term was originally applied to the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire. The term has fallen into disuse in English and has been replaced by the terms Middle East, which includes Egypt, and West Asia, which includes the Transcaucasus.

Ancient Libya region west of the Nile Valley

The Latin name Libya referred to the region west of the Nile generally corresponding to the Atlantic Mountains according to Diodorus. Its people were ancestors of the modern Libyan. They occupied the area for thousands of years before the beginning of human records in ancient Egypt. Climate changes affected the locations of the settlements.

The term has been used in modern times as a designation in physical anthropology, ethnography and comparative linguistics. In anthropology, it was used in a racial sense for "white people" (the Caucasian race). In linguistics it was used as a term for the Indo-European languages. These uses are now mostly obsolete. In a linguistic sense, only the Semitic peoples form a well-defined family. The Indo-European group is no longer known as "Japhetite", and the Hamitic group is now recognized as paraphyletic within the Afro-Asiatic family.

Comparative linguistics is a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages to establish their historical relatedness.

White people is a racial classification specifier, used mostly and often exclusively for people of European descent; depending on context, nationality, and point of view. The term has at times been expanded to encompass persons of Middle Eastern and North African descent, persons who are often considered non-white in other contexts. The usage of "white people" or a "white race" for a large group of mainly or exclusively European populations, defined by their light skin, among other physical characteristics, and contrasting with "black people", Amerindians, and other "colored" people or "persons of color", originated in the 17th century. It was only during the 19th century that this vague category was transformed in a quasi-scientific system of race and skin color relations. The term "Caucasian" is sometimes used as a synonym for "white" in its racial sense and sometimes to refer to a larger racial category that includes white people among other groups.

Caucasian race grouping of human beings

The Caucasian race is a grouping of human beings historically regarded as a biological taxon, which, depending on which of the historical race classifications used, have usually included some or all of the ancient and modern populations of Europe, Western Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa.

Among Muslim historians, Japheth is usually regarded as the ancestor of the Gog and Magog tribes, and, at times, of the Turks, Khazars, and Slavs. [1]

Gog and Magog pair of apocalyptic figures in the Bible (Ezek. 38:2–21; Rev. 20:8)

Gog and Magog appear in the Hebrew Bible as individuals, peoples, or lands. In Ezekiel 38, Gog is an individual and Magog is his land; in Genesis 10 Magog is a man, but no Gog is mentioned; and centuries later Jewish tradition changed Ezekiel's Gog from Magog into Gog and Magog, which is the form in which they appear in the Book of Revelation, although there they are peoples rather than individuals.

Turkic peoples collection of ethnic groups

The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethno-linguistic groups of Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa. They speak related languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits, common ancestry and historical backgrounds. In time, different Turkic groups came in contact with other ethnicities, absorbing them, leaving some Turkic groups more diverse than the others. Many vastly differing ethnic groups have throughout history become part of the Turkic peoples through language shift, acculturation, intermixing, adoption and religious conversion. In their genetic compositions, therefore, most Turkic groups differ significantly in origins from one group to the next. Despite this, many do share, to varying degrees, non-linguistic characteristics, including certain cultural traits, some ancestry from a common gene pool, and historical experiences. The most notable modern Turkic-speaking ethnic groups include Turkish people, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Turkmen and Kyrgyz people.

Khazars Historical semi-nomadic Turkic ethnic group

The Khazars were a semi-nomadic Turkic people with a confederation of Turkic-speaking tribes that in the late 6th century CE established a major commercial empire covering the southeastern section of modern European Russia. The Khazars created what for its duration was the most powerful polity to emerge from the break-up of the Western Turkic Khaganate. Astride a major artery of commerce between Eastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, Khazaria became one of the foremost trading emporia of the medieval world, commanding the western marches of the Silk Road and playing a key commercial role as a crossroad between China, the Middle East and Kievan Rus'. For some three centuries the Khazars dominated the vast area extending from the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea and the northern Caucasus.

Biblical genealogy

It is written in Genesis : "The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. and the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the Isles of the Gentile divided in their lands everyone after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." (Gen 10:2-5)

Book of Genesis The first book of the Christian, and Hebrew Bibles

The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament. It is divisible into two parts, the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world which is good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. The Ancestral History tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people. At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the God-given land of Canaan, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, and through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, and God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of Moses and the Exodus. The narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind to a special relationship with one people alone.

In the Bible, Japheth is ascribed seven sons and seven named grandsons:

The intended ethnic identity of these 'descendants of Japheth' is not certain; however, over history, they have been identified by Biblical scholars with various historical nations who were deemed to be descendants of Japheth and his sons a practice dating back at least to the classical encounters of Jew with Hellene, for example in Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, I.VI.122 (Whiston). Josephus wrote:

Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons: they inhabited so, that, beginning at the mountains Taurus and Amanus, they proceeded along Asia, as far as the river Tanais (Don), and along Europe to Cadiz; and settling themselves on the lands which they light upon, which none had inhabited before, they called the nations by their own names.

Josephus detailed the nations supposed to have descended from the seven sons of Japheth.

Ancient and medieval ethnography

Pseudo-Philo

An ancient, relatively obscure text known as Pseudo-Philo and thought to have been originally written ca. 70 AD, contains an expanded genealogy that is seemingly garbled from that of Genesis, and also different from the much later one found in Jasher: [2]

Later writers

Among the nations that various later writers (including Jerome and Isidore of Seville, as well as other traditional accounts) have attempted to assign to them, are as follows:

Irish and Armeniano-Caucas has many different origins, also Italy was populated by many peoples.

Renaissance to Early Modern ethnography

Book of Jasher

The "Book of Jasher", a midrash (elaboration of the biblical text) first printed in 1625, ostensibly based on an earlier edition of 1552, provides some new names for Japheth's grandchildren.

Anthropology

The term Caucasian as a racial label for Europeans derives in part from the assumption that the tribe of Japheth developed its distinctive racial characteristics in the Caucasus area, having migrated there from Mount Ararat before populating Europe.[ citation needed ] In the same vein, Georgian nationalist histories associated Japheth's sons with certain ancient tribes of the Caucasus area, called Tubals (Tabals, Tibarenoi in Greek) and Meshechs (Meshekhs/Mosokhs, Moschoi in Greek), who they claimed represented ancient pre-Indo-European and non-Semitic, possibly "Proto-Iberian", tribes of Asia Minor of the 3rd-1st millennia BC. This theory influenced the use of the term Japhetic in the linguistic theories of Nikolai Marr (see below).

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Biblical statement attributed to Noah that "God shall enlarge Japheth" (Genesis 9:27) was used by some preachers [9] as a justification for the "enlargement" of European territories through imperialism, which they interpreted as part of God's plan for the world. [10] The subjugation of Africans was similarly justified by the curse of Ham. [10]

Linguistics

The term Japhetic was also applied by William Jones, Rasmus Rask and others to what is now known as the Indo-European language group.

The term was used in a different sense by the Soviet linguist Nicholas Marr, in his Japhetic theory, which was intended to demonstrate that the languages of the Caucasus formed part of a once-widespread pre-Indo-European language group.

See also

Related Research Articles

Tarshish occurs in the Hebrew Bible with several uncertain meanings, most frequently as a place far across the sea from the Land of Israel and Phoenicia. Tarshish was said to have exported vast quantities of important metals to Israel and Phoenicia. The same place-name occurs in the Akkadian inscriptions of Esarhaddon and also on the Phoenician inscription on the Nora Stone; its precise location was never commonly known, and was eventually lost in antiquity. Legends grew up around it over time so that its identity has been the subject of scholarly research and commentary for more than two thousand years. Its importance stems in part from the fact that Hebrew biblical passages tend to understand Tarshish as a source of King Solomon's great wealth in metals - especially silver, but also gold, tin and iron. The metals were reportedly obtained in partnership with King Hiram of Phoenician Tyre, and the fleets of Tarshish-ships. However, Solomon's Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, thus archaeological evidence has been difficult to uncover.

Generations of Noah genealogy of the sons of Noah and their dispersion into many lands after the Flood

The Generations of Noah or Table of Nations is a genealogy of the sons of Noah and their dispersion into many lands after the Flood, focusing on the major known societies. The term nations to describe the descendants is a standard English translation of the Hebrew word "goy", following the c. 400 CE Latin Vulgate's "nationes", and does not have the same political connotations that the word entails today.

Sefer haYashar (midrash) midrash, named after the Book of Jasher mentioned twice in the Bible; covers biblical history from the creation of Adam and Eve up to the conquest of Canaan

The Sefer haYashar is a Hebrew midrash also known as the Toledot Adam and Dibre ha-Yamim be-'Aruk. The Hebrew title may be translated Sefer haYashar - "Book of the Correct Record" - but it is known in English translation mostly as The Book of Jasher following English tradition. The book is named after the Book of Jasher mentioned in Joshua and 2 Samuel.

Tubal, in Genesis 10, was the name of a son of Japheth, son of Noah.

Meshech biblical figure

In the Bible, Meshech or Mosoch is named as a son of Japheth in Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5.

Mushki

The Mushki were an Iron Age people of Anatolia who appear in sources from Assyria but not from the Hittites. Several authors have connected them with the Moschoi (Μόσχοι) of Greek sources and the Georgian tribe of the Meskhi. Josephus Flavius identified the Moschoi with the Biblical Meshech. Two different groups are called Muški in Assyrian sources, one from the 12th to the 9th centuries near the confluence of the Arsanias and the Euphrates and the other from the 8th to the 7th centuries in Cappadocia and Cilicia. Earlier Assyrian sources clearly identify the Western Mushki with the Phrygians, but later Greek sources then distinguish between the Phrygians and the Moschoi.

In linguistics, the Japhetic theory of Soviet linguist Nikolay Yakovlevich Marr (1864–1934) postulated that the Kartvelian languages of the Caucasus area are related to the Semitic languages of the Middle East. The theory gained favor among Soviet linguists for ideological reasons, as it was thought to represent "proletarian science" as opposed to "bourgeois science".

Togarmah Son of Gomer and Biblical nation

Togarmah is a figure in the "table of nations" in Genesis 10, the list of descendants of Noah that represents the peoples known to the ancient Hebrews. Togarmah is among the descendants of Japheth and is thought to represent some people located in Anatolia. Medieval traditions variously claimed Togarmah as the mythical ancestor of peoples in the Caucasus and western Asia, including the Georgians, the Armenians and some Turkic peoples.

Javan Biblical character, son of Japheth

Javan was the fourth son of Noah's son Japheth according to the "Generations of Noah" in the Hebrew Bible. Josephus states the traditional belief that this individual was the ancestor of the Greeks.

Kittim Biblical figure

Kittim was a settlement in present-day Larnaca on the east coast of Cyprus, known in ancient times as Kition, or Citium. On this basis, the whole island became known as "Kittim" in Hebrew, including the Hebrew Bible. However the name seems to have been employed with some flexibility in Hebrew literature. It was often applied to all the Aegean islands and even to "the W[est] in general, but esp[ecially] the seafaring W[est]". Flavius Josephus records in his Antiquities of the Jews that

Gomer is the name of two people in the Hebrew Bible:

Elishah, or Eliseus was the son of Javan according to the Book of Genesis (10:4) in the Masoretic Text. The Greek Septuagint of Genesis 10 lists Elisa not only as the son of Javan, but also a grandson of Japheth.

Riphath was great-grandson of Noah, grandson of Japeth, son of Gomer, younger brother of Ashkenaz, and older brother of Togarmah according to the Table of Nations in the Hebrew Bible. The name appears in some copies of 1 Chronicles as "Diphath", due to the similarities of the characters resh and dalet in the Hebrew and Aramaic alphabets.

Wives aboard Noahs Ark

The Wives aboard Noah's Ark were part of the family that survived the Deluge in the biblical Genesis flood narrative. They are the wife of Noah, and the wives of each of his three sons. Although the Bible only notes the existence of these women, there are extra-Biblical mentions regarding them and their names.

Dodanim or Rodanim, was, in the Book of Genesis, a son of Javan. Dodanim's brothers, according to Genesis 10:4, were Elishah, Tarshish and Chittim. He is usually associated with the people of the island of Rhodes as their progenitor. "-im" is a plural suffix in Hebrew, and the name may refer to the inhabitants of Rhodes. Traditional Hebrew manuscripts are split between the spellings Dodanim and Rodanim — one of which is probably a copyist's error, as the Hebrew letters for R and D are quite similar graphically. The Samaritan Pentateuch, as well as 1 Chronicles 1:7, have Rodanim, while the Septuagint has Rodioi. The Dodanim were considered either kin to the Greeks or simply Greeks.

Ashkenaz descendant of Noah in the Hebrew Bible. Also, a geographic region associated with Germany

Ashkenaz in the Hebrew Bible is one of the descendants of Noah. Ashkenaz is the first son of Gomer, and a Japhetic patriarch in the Table of Nations. In rabbinic literature, the kingdom of Ashkenaz was first associated with the Scythian region, then later with the Slavic territories, and, from the 11th century onwards, with Germany and northern Europe.

Naamah (Genesis) Biblical figure

Naamah is an individual mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis 4:22. A descendant of Cain, she was the only mentioned daughter of Lamech and Zillah and their youngest mentioned child; her brother was Tubal-cain, while Jabal and Jubal were her half-brothers, sons of Lamech's other wife Adah.

Baath mac Magog

Baath or Baath mac Magog is a figure in Irish legendary history. He was a son of Magog, son of Japheth, the progenitor of the Scythians, son of Noah, and the father of Fénius Farsaid, according to a version "M" of Lebor Gabála Érenn, also known as the Great Book of Lecan. He is described as being from Scythia, and the Goths, or the Gaedil. According to the same version of the story, he had four brothers, Ibath, Barachan, Emoth, and Aithechta. But the story further states that "...Feinius Farrsaid was son of Baath, son of Ibath, son of Gomer, and son of Iafeth (Japheth)".

References

  1. Encyclopedia of Islam, Yafith, 236
  2. Pseudo-Philo
  3. Parry, J. H. (ed.). "7:3". Book of Jasher. Translated by Moses, Samuel.
  4. Parry, J. H. (ed.). "7:4". Book of Jasher. Translated by Moses, Samuel.
  5. Parry, J. H. (ed.). "7:6". Book of Jasher. Translated by Moses, Samuel.
  6. Parry, J. H. (ed.). "7:7". Book of Jasher. Translated by Moses, Samuel.
  7. Parry, J. H. (ed.). "7:8". Book of Jasher. Translated by Moses, Samuel.
  8. Parry, J. H. (ed.). "7:9". Book of Jasher. Translated by Moses, Samuel.
  9. Meagher, James L. "The Bread, Wine, Water, Oil, and Incense in the Temple" How Christ Said The First Mass. New York: Christian Press Association, 1908. 95-96. Internet Archive. Web. 4 Jun. 2017
  10. 1 2 John N. Swift and Gigen Mammoser, "'Out of the Realm of Superstition: Chesnutt's 'Dave's Neckliss' and the Curse of Ham'", American Literary Realism, vol. 42 no. 1, Fall 2009, 3

Further reading