Genesis 10:29
And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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 situation of Mesha is uncertain. But it is obviously the western boundary of the settlement, and may have been in the neighborhood of Mecca and Medina. Sephar is perhaps the Arabic Zaphari, called by the natives Isfor, a town on the south coast near Mirbat. It seems, however, to be, in the present passage, the "mount of the east" itself, a thuriferous range of hills, adjacent, it may be, to the seaport so-called. Gesenius and others fix upon Mesene, an island at the head of the Persian Gulf, as the Mesha of the text. But this island may have had no existence at the time of the Joctanite settlement. These boundaries include the greater part of the west and south coast of the peninsula, and are therefore sufficient to embrace the provinces of Hejaz (in part), Yemen, and Hadramaut, and afford space for the settlements of the thirteen sons of Joctan. The limits thus marked out determine that all these settlers, Ophir among the rest, were at first to be found in Arabia, how far soever they may have wandered from it afterward.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). Ophir; either that in India, of which see 1 Kings 9:28 10:11 22:48; or the other in Arabia, of which see Job 22:24 28:16. See also Psalm 45:9 Isaiah 13:12.

Havilah, a distinct person from him Genesis 10:7. And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab,.... If several of the sons of Joktan went into India, as the Arabs say, one would be tempted to think that Ophir in India, whither Solomon sent his ships once in three years, had its name from the first of these; See Gill on Genesis 10:26 but as this would be carrying him too far from the rest of his brethren, who appear to have settled in Arabia, some place must be found for him there; and yet there is none in which there is any likeness of the name, unless Coper can be thought to be, a village in the country of the Cinaedocolpites, on the Arabian Gulf, as in Ptolemy (f), or Ogyris, an island in the same sea, Pliny (g) makes mention of the same with the Organa of Ptolemy (h), placed by him on the Sachalite bay; wherefore Bochart (i) looks out elsewhere for a seat for this Ophir, or "Oupheir", as in the Septuagint version, and finding in a fragment of Eupolemus, preserved by Eusebius (k), mention made of the island of Ourphe, which he thinks should be Ouphre, or Uphre, situated in the Red sea, seems willing to have it to be the seat of this man and his posterity, and that it had its name from him; or that their seat was among the Cassanites or Gassandae, the same perhaps with the tribe of Ghassan, Aupher and Chasan signifying much the same, even great abundance and treasure: Havilah, next mentioned, is different from Havilah, the son of Cush, Genesis 10:7 and so his country; but it is difficult where to fix him; one would rather think that the Avalite bay, emporium, and people, should take their name from him than from Obal, Genesis 10:28 but Bochart (l) chooses to place him and his posterity in Chaulan, a country in Arabia Felix, in the extreme part of Cassanitis, near the Sabaeans: and Jobab, the last of Joktan's sons, was the father of the Jobabites, called by Ptolemy (m) Jobarites, corruptly for Jobabites, as Salmasius and Bochart think; and who are placed by the above geographer near the Sachalites in Arabia Felix, whose country was full of deserts, as Jobab in Arabic signifies, so Bochart (n) observes, as the countries above the Sachalite bay were, by which these Jobabites are placed:

all these were the sons of Joktan; the thirteen before mentioned, all which had their dwelling in Arabia or near it, and which is further described in the following verse.

(f) Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. (g) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. (h) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) (i) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 27. (k) Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 30. p. 457. (l) Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 20. (m) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) (n) Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 29.

And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. Ophir] Famous for its trade in the days of Solomon, 1 Kings 9:28; 1 Kings 10:11; 1 Kings 22:48, and for its gold of especial purity. Cf. Job 22:24; Job 28:16; Psalm 45:9; Isaiah 13:12. Its locality has been much disputed; it has been identified, at different times, with regions in India, East Africa, and the south coast of Arabia. In the present context it is evidently connected with Arabia.

Havilah] See Genesis 2:11 and Genesis 25:18. Possibly a district in north-east Arabia.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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