The descendents of Joktan (1 Chr 1:19-1:23)

“The name of Peleg’s brother was Joktan. Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the descendents of Joktan.”

Joktan seems important as he apparently had an Arab connection. The 13 sons of Joktan are mentioned here. 7 of them, (1) Almodad, (2) Sheleph, (3) Hazarmaveth, (4) Jerah, (5) Diklah, (6) Obal, and (7) Abimael are only mentioned here and in Genesis, chapter 10. They may be the founders of Arabian tribes or southern Arab towns. However, the other 6 names are mentioned elsewhere in the biblical literature. (8) Hadoram is the name of 2 other biblical persons. (9) Uzal is clearly in Yemen. (10) Sheba and (11) Havilah are the same names as descendents of Cush. (12) Ophir was a place of gold mines at the time of Solomon. (13) Jobab was the name of 3 other people. All these groups probably lived in the land near the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Somehow the biblical authors of 2500-3000 years ago felt that this explained the world in which they lived, their world of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. They had no idea about people in eastern Asia, India, Southern Africa, and Northern Europe or of course the Americas.

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