Genesis 10:26
And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
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(26-31) Joktan.—“The little one,” as being a younger son. Of the thirteen divisions of his family, few are of any importance, though several of the names are curious from their connection with the Arabic language. The Joktanite country was Arabia Felix, or Yemen, and as the people led a pastoral life without founding cities, the traces of their tribal names are insignificant. Those worth noting are Almodad, because it has the full form of the article, retained as Al in Arabic, but shortened in Hebrew into Ha. Hazarmaveth, “the court of death,” so called because of the unhealthiness of its climate, is now Hadramaut. Abimael means “the father of Mael.” While in Hebrew and Syriac men took the name of their father, in Arabic they often take the name of a son, with Abu or Abi (“father of”) prefixed. Sheba, the region afterwards famous for its commerce and its wealth of spices and precious stones. A Sheba also occurs among the race of Ham (see Genesis 10:7). Opbir: the name, probably, at first of a district of Oman in Arabia, but afterwards given to some port in India or Ceylon, from some fancied similarity. Havilah: some commentators consider that this is the same district as that previously occupied by the Cushites (Genesis 10:7); others argue that the two Havilahs are distinct, and that this is the region called Chawlân, in Northern Yemen. It is, however, certain that the Hamites possessed this country prior to its being occupied by the Joktanites.

10:15-32 The posterity of Canaan were numerous, rich, and pleasantly seated; yet Canaan was under a Divine curse, and not a curse causeless. Those that are under the curse of God, may, perhaps, thrive and prosper in this world; for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us. The curse of God always works really, and always terribly. Perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work so that others can see it; or a slow curse, and does not work soon; but sinners are reserved by it for a day of wrath Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing. Abram and his seed, God's covenant people, descended from Eber, and from him were called Hebrews. How much better it is to be like Eber, the father of a family of saints and honest men, than the father of a family of hunters after power, worldly wealth, or vanities. Goodness is true greatness.The thirteen tribes of the Joctanites or primitive Arabs are enumerated here in Genesis 10:26-29.

(58) Almodad is usually referred to Yemen. The first syllable may be the Arabic article. Mudad is the name of one celebrated in Arab story as the stepfather of Ishmael and chief of the Jurhum tribe of Joctanites. The Ἀλλουμαιῶται Alloumaiōtai of Ptolemy belonged to the interior of Arabia Felix.

(59) Sheleph is traced in the Σαλαπηνοὶ Salapeenoi of Ptolemy (vi. 7), belonging to the interior.

(60) Hazarmaveth gives name to a district on the Indian Ocean, abounding in spices, now called Hadramaut. This tribe is the Chatramitae of Greek writers.

(61) Jerah occupied a district where are the coast and mountain of the moon, near Hadramaut.

(62) Hadoram is preserved in the tribe called Ἀδραμῖται Adamitai Atramitae, placed by Pliny (vi. 28) between the Homerites and the Sachalites on the south coast of Arabia.

(63) Uzal perhaps gave the ancient name of Azal to Sana, the capital of Yemen, a place still celebrated for the manufacture of beautiful stuffs.

(64) Diclah settled possibly in the palm-bearing region of the Minaei in Hejaz.

(65) Obal is otherwise unknown.

(66) Abimael is equally obscure. Bochart supposes there is a trace of the name in Μάλι Mali, a place in Arabia Aromatifera.

(67) Sheba is the progenitor of the Sabaei in Arabia Felix, celebrated for spices, gold, and precious stones, and noted for the prosperity arising from traffic in these commodities. A queen of Sheba visited Solomon. The dominant family among the Sabaeans was that of Himjar, from whom the Himjarites (Homeritae) of a later period descended.

(68) Ophir gave name to a country celebrated for gold, precious stones, and almug wood, which seems to have lain on the south side of Arabia, where these products may be found. What kind of tree the almug is has not been clearly ascertained. Some suppose it to be the sandal wood which grows in Persia and India; others, a species of pine. If this wood was not native, it may have been imported from more distant countries to Ophir, which was evidently a great emporium. Others, however, have supposed Ophir to be in India, or Eastern Africa. The chief argument for a more distant locality arises from the supposed three years' voyage to it from Ezion-geber, and the products obtained in the country so reached. But the three years' voyage 1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles 9:21 seems to be in reality to Tarshish, a very different region.

(69) Havilah here is the founder of a Joctanite tribe of Arabs, and therefore his territory must be sought somewhere in the extensive country which was occupied by these wandering tribes. A trace of the name is probably preserved in Khawlan, a district lying in the northwest of Yemen, between Sana and Mecca, though the tribe may have originally settled or extended further north.

(70) Jobab has been compared with the Ἰωβαρῖται Iōbaritai of Ptolemy (vi. 7). Bochart finds the name in the Arabic: yobab, a desert.

25. Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided—After the flood (Ge 11:10-16) the descendants of Noah settled at pleasure and enjoyed the produce of the undivided soil. But according to divine instruction, made probably through Eber, who seems to have been distinguished for piety or a prophetic character, the earth was divided and his son's name, "Peleg," was given in memory of that event (see De 32:8; Ac 17:26). From

Almodad and the rest of Joktan’s sons here mentioned, come either,

1. The various nations of India, as most think; or rather,

2. The several people that live in the innermost parts of Arabia, who profess themselves the posterity of Joktan, and have a city near Mecca called Jectan. And the Homerites, one sort of them, are deduced from him by divers writers. And Joktan begat Almodad,.... And twelve more mentioned later: the Arabic writers (o) say be had thirty one sons by one woman, but all, excepting two, left Arabia, and settled in India; the Targum of Jonathan adds,"who measured the earth with ropes,''as if he was the first inventor and practiser of geometry: from him are thought to spring the Allumaeotae, a people whom Ptolemy (p) places in Arabia Felix, called so by the Greeks, instead of Almodaei: Mr. Broughton (q) sets Eldimaei over against this man's name, as if they were a people that sprung from him; whereas this word is wrongly put in Ptolemy (r) for Elymaeans, as it is in the Greek text, a people joining to the Persians:

and Sheleph and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah: to the first of these, Sheleph, the Targum of Jonathan adds,"who drew out the water of the rivers;''his people are supposed by Bochart (s), to be the Alapeni of Ptolemy (t), which should be read Salapeni, who were, he says, more remote from the rest, almost as far as the neck of Arabia, and not far from the spring of the river Betius. The next son, Hazarmaveth, or Hasermoth, as in the Vulgate Latin, is thought to give name to a people in Arabia, called by Pliny (u) Chatramotitae, and by Ptolemy Cathramonitae, whose country, Strabo says (w), produces myrrh; according to Ptolemy (x) they reached from the mountain Climax to the Sabaeans, among whom were a people, called, by Pliny (y), Atramitae, who inhabited a place of the same name, and which Theophrastus calls Adramyta, which comes nearer the name of this man, and signifies the court or country of death: and in those parts might be places so called, partly from the unwholesomeness of the air, being thick and foggy, and partly from the frankincense which grew there, which was fatal to those that gathered it, and therefore only the king's slaves, and such as were condemned to die, were employed in it, as Bochart (z) has observed from Arrianus; as also because of the multitude of serpents, with which those odoriferous countries abounded, as the same writer relates from Agatharcides and Pliny. The next son of Joktan is Jerah, which signifies the moon, as Hilal does in Arabic; and Alilat with the Arabians, according to Herodotus (a), is "Urania", or the moon; hence Bochart (b) thinks, that the Jeracheans, the posterity of Jerah, are the Alilaeans of Diodorus Siculus (c), and others, a people of the Arabs; and the Arabic geographer, as he observes, makes mention of a people near Mecca called Bene Hilal, or the children of Jerah; and he is of opinion that the island Hieracon, which the Greeks call the island of the Hawks placed by Ptolemy (d), in Arabia Felix, adjoining to the country which lies upon the Arabian Gulf, is no other than the island of the Jeracheans, the posterity of this man: the Arabs (e) speak of a son of Joktan or Cahtan, they call Jareb, who succeeded his father, which perhaps may be a corruption of Jerah; and another, called by them Jorham.

(o) Apud Pocock. Specimen. Arab. Hist., p. 40. (p) Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. (q) See his Works, p. 3. 59. (r) Ut supra, (Geograph. l. 6.) c. 5. (s) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 16. Colossians 99. (t) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) (u) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. (w) Geograph. l. 16. p. 528. (x) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) (y) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 14. (z) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 17. Colossians 102. (a) Thalia sive, l. 3. c. 8. (b) Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 19. (c) Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 179. (d) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) (e) Apud Pocock. Specimem. Arab. Hist. p. 40.

And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
26. Hazarmaveth] This name is very probably reproduced in the district of S. E. Arabia called the Ḥadramaut.Verses 26-30. - And Joktan begat Almodad. Usually said to be Yemen. And Sheleph. The Salapenoi of Ptolemy, belonging to the interior of Arabia. And Hazarmaveth. Hadramaut, southeast of Arabia (Bochart, Michaelis). And Jerah. Contiguous to Hadramaut. And Hadoram. Adramitae of Ptolemy, or the Atramitae of Pliny (Bochart) And Uzal. Awzal, the capital of Yemen (Bochart). And Diklah. The palm-bearing region of Arabia Felix (Bochart); a tribe between the mouth of the Tiber and the Persian Gulf (Michaelis). And Obal, and Abimael, whose settlements are not known. And Sheba. Vide supra, ver. 7. And Ophir. In Arabia; probably in Oman, on the Persian Gulf (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Keil), though it has also been located in India (Josephus, Vitringa, Gesenius, Delitzsch). The gold of Ophir celebrated (1 Kings 9:27, 28; 2 Chronicles 9:10, 13, 21). And Havilah. The Chaulan in Arabia Felix, but vide supra, ver. 7. And Jobab. The Jobabitae of Ptolemy, near the Indian Sea (Michaelis, Rosenmüller); but more probably a tribe in Arabia Deserta if Jobab - Arabic jebab, a desert (Bochart, Gesenius, Kalisch). All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesha. The seaport of Muza (Bochart); Messene, at the mouth of the Tigris (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch). As thou goest into Zephar. Zafar or Dhafari, on the coast of the Hadramut. The difficulty of identifying a seaport town with a mountain is got over (Kalisch) by reading "to the" instead of a mount of the east - the thunderous range of hills in the vicinity. Among the descendants of Arphaxad, Eber's eldest son received the name of Peleg, because in his days the earth, i.e., the population of the earth, was divided, in consequence of the building of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:8). His brother Joktan is called Kachtan by the Arabians, and is regarded as the father of all the primitive tribes of Arabia. The names of his sons are given in Genesis 10:26-29. There are thirteen of them, some of which are still retained in places and districts of Arabia, whilst others are not yet discovered, or are entirely extinct. Nothing certain has been ascertained about Almodad, Jerah, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, and Jobab. Of the rest, Sheleph is identical with Salif or Sulaf (in Ptl. 6, 7, Σαλαπηνοί), an old Arabian tribe, also a district of Yemen. Hazarmaveth (i.e., forecourt of death) is the Arabian Hadhramaut in South-eastern Arabia on the Indian Ocean, whose name Jauhari is derived from the unhealthiness of the climate. Hadoram: the Ἀδραμῖται of Ptol. 6, 7, Atramitae of Plin. 6, 28, on the southern coast of Arabia. Uzal: one of the most important towns of Yemen, south-west of Mareb. Sheba: the Sabaeans, with the capital Saba or Mareb, Mariaba regia (Plin.), whose connection with the Cushite (Genesis 10:7) and Abrahamite Sabaeans (Genesis 25:3) is quite in obscurity. Ophir has not yet been discovered in Arabia; it is probably to be sought on the Persian Gulf, even if the Ophir of Solomon was not situated there. Havilah appears to answer to Chaulaw of Edrisi, a district between Sanaa and Mecca. But this district, which lies in the heart of Yemen, does not fit the account in 1 Samuel 15:7, nor the statement in Genesis 25:18, that Havilah formed the boundary of the territory of the Ishmaelites. These two passages point rather to Χαυλοταῖοι, a place on the border of Arabia Petraea towards Yemen, between the Nabataeans and Hagrites, which Strabo describes as habitable.
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