Uzal (Ezek 27:19-27:19)

“Vedan

With Javan

From Uzal

Entered into trade

For your wares.

Wrought iron,

Cassia,

Sweet cane

Were bartered

For your merchandise.”

Uzal was in modern day Yemen, in the southern Arabian Peninsula. Vedan and Javan may have been cities next to the city of Uzal, which is modern day Sana with over a million people. Tyre traded with Uzal and its neighboring towns because of their wrought iron pieces, their cassia wood, and their sweet sugar cane.

Trading humans (Ezek 27:13-27:13)

“Javan,

Tubal,

Meshech

Traded with you.

They exchanged

Human beings,

As well as vessels of bronze

For your merchandise.”

Ezekiel mentioned 3 other trading partners of Tyre. Javan, the Ionians or the Greeks was one partner. Tubal seems to be the Assyrians who had settled in today’s southern Turkey. Meshech were the Assyrians in the mountain country of present day Turkey. They all traded with Tyre. Interesting enough there must have been a slave trade, since there was a mention of exchanging human beings. They also traded bronze vessels for all the great things that Tyre had.

The gathering from the whole world (Isa 66:19-66:19)

“I will set a sign among them.

From them,

I will send survivors to the nations,

To Tarshish,

To Put,

To Lud,

To those who draw the bow,

To Tubal

To Javan,

To the coastlands far away.

They have not heard of my fame.

They have not seen my glory.

They shall declare my glory

Among the nations.”

How were they going to get all these people into Jerusalem? Some people would go out to various places and have people from there come to Jerusalem to see the glory of Yahweh. Tarshish was the place that had the famous sailing ships. Perhaps it was some place in Spain or on the Mediterranean Sea. Put or Pul may have been in Somalia. Lud refers to some place in Libya or Asia Minor. Tubal and Javan were probably wealthy places in Asia Minor that would send ships to Tyre on the Mediterranean coast. Obviously all the coastal cities on the great sea were to be included. They had no idea about the fame and glory of Yahweh. They would all like to see the fame and glory of Jerusalem. The glory of Yahweh was to be declared to all these nations.

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.