The descendents of Japheth (1 Chr 1:5-1:7)

“The descendents of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The descendents of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Diphath, and Togarmah. The descendents of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.”

Now the main reference point will be chapter 10 of Genesis, explicitly explaining how the earth was populated. Here they are called the descendents of each one, not just their names. Who are these people? Japheth is usually listed as the 3rd or youngest son of Noah, but here he comes first, as in Genesis, chapter 10. Generally speaking, he is considered the father of the Indo-Europeans, the Japhetic race, as if all Europeans were the same. He had 7 sons but the children of only 2 are given here, Gomer and Javan, as in Genesis, chapter 10. The eldest son Gomer has 3 mentioned children, while Javan has 4 mentioned children. According to Josephus (37-100 CE) and Isidore of Seville (560-636 CE), who tried to pinpoint these peoples, Gomer was the source of the Galatians, Gauls, and Celts. Among Gomer’s 3 sons, the Ashkenaz have been associated with Armenian, Slavic, and Germanic roots. Also the Jewish group of central Europe had this name of Ashkenaz. Diphath was named Riphath in Genesis, chapter 10, a possible confusion between the Hebrew dalet (d) and resh (r).  He has been associated with the Greeks and the Celtics. Togarmah, the 3rd son of Gomer is usually associated with Anatolia, the Turks, or the Caucasus. Magog, the 2nd son of Japheth, has been associated with the Scythians around the Black Sea, as well as the Goths and the Celtics. No children are listed for him or Madai, the 3rd son. He is usually linked to Iran and Medes, the Persian area. More information about these children can be found in the Book of Jubilees (160-150 BCE) a 50 chapter work that combines Genesis with Moses, recently found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The 4th son Javan lists 4 children. Javan is considered to be the source of the Greek people or the Ionians. His sons have a variety of sources along the Mediterranean Sea. Elishah and Kittim have been associated with Cyprus, while Tarshish with southern Spain, and Rodanim with the island of Rhodes. Tubal has been associated with the Basques or the Iberians in Spain. Meshech has been associated with the Cappadocians or the Muscovites. Tiras has been identified with the Etruscans of Rome and Greece. Although many people have tried to identify where the ancestors of people have come from, the ancient sources, such as the Book of Jubilees, Josephus, and Isidore of Seville, seem as reliable as any in developing the perceived folklore about these people.

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