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Genesis Chapter 10
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Descendants of Yefeth and Ham
10:1 These are the chronicles of Noah's sons, Shem, Ham and Yefeth. Children were born to them after the flood.
10:2 The sons of Yefeth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Yavan, Tuval, Meshekh, and Tiras.
10:3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
10:4 The sons of Yavan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
10:5 From these the isolated nations branched out into their lands. Each had its own language for its families in its nations.
10:6 The sons of Ham were Cush, Mitzraim, Put, and Canaan.
10:7 The sons of Cush were S'bha, Havila, Sabhta, Raamah and Sabht'ka.

The sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

10:8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who was the first to amass power in the world.
10:9 He was a mighty trapper before God. There is thus a saying, 'Like Nimrod, a mighty trapper before God!'
10:10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babylon, along with Erekh, Akkad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
10:11 Asshur left that land, and he built Nineveh, Rechovoth Ir and Calach,
10:12 as well as Resen, between Nineveh and Calach. [Nineveh] is a great city.
10:13 Mitzraim fathered the Ludim, the Anamim, the Lehabhim, the Naftuchim,
10:14 the Pathrusim and the Casluchim (from whom the Philistines descended) and the Caphtorim.

Descendants of Canaan
10:15 Canaan fathered Sidon (his firstborn) and Heth,
10:16 as well as the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites,
10:17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites,
10:18 the Arvadites, the Tzemarites, and the Chamathites. Later the families of the Canaanites became scattered.
10:19 The Canaanite borders extended from Sidon toward Gerar until Gaza, and toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Tzevoyim, until Lasha.
10:20 These are the descendants of Ham, according to their families and languages, by their lands and nations.

Descendants of Shem
10:21 Sons were also born to Shem. He was the ancestor of the Hebrews, [and] the brother of Yefeth, the eldest.
10:22 The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram.
10:23 The sons of Aram were Utz, Chul, Gether, and Mash.
10:24 Arpachshad had a son Shelach. Shelach had a son Eber.
10:25 Eber had two sons. The name of the first was Peleg, because the world became divided in his days. His brother's name was Yoktan.
10:26 Yoktan was the father of Almodad, Shelef, Chatzarmaveth, Yerach,
10:27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,
10:28 Obhal, Abhimael, Sh'bha,
10:29 Ophir, Havilah, and Yovav. All these were the sons of Yoktan.
10:30 Their settlements extended from Meshah toward Sepher, the eastern mountain.
10:31 These are the descendants of Shem, according to their families and languages, by their lands and nations.
10:32 Such were the families of Noah's sons, according to their chronicles in their nations. From these, the nations spread over the earth after the flood.



Commentary:

Yefeth
  All the following nations belong to the Indo-European language group. Some have identified Yefeth with the Greek Iapetus.

Gomer
  Most probably the Celts (cf. Herodotus 2:33), the Franks, or the Gauls, all of whom were closely related. Early sources translate this as Afrikey (Targum Yonathan. Cf. Targum on 1 Kings 20:22, 22:49, where this is the translation of Tarshish; see Genesis 10:4). This Afrikey, however, is not Africa, but Frikia or Phrygia (Arukh HaShalem; Buber on Pesikta Zutratha 26a. See note on Genesis 10:3, 'Togarma'). The Phrygians were an ancient nation who lived to the south of the Black Sea (cf. Iliad 2:862; Herodotus 7:30,31). They were originally known as Brigians (Herodotus 7:73). Linguistically, the Phrygians were related to the Armenians, but they may have also been related to the Franks, since there is a resemblance between the two names. Indeed, there are some ancient sources that identify Gomer with the Franks (Sefer HaYashar, p.26; Tol'doth Yitzchak).

The Phrygians were pushed out of their general land in the 8th century b.c.e. by the Cimerians, a people who originally lived in southern Russia (Crimea), to the north of the Black Sea (cf. Herodotus 4:11, 1:16, 1:103). It is therefore significant that the Talmud identifies Gomer with Germamia (Yoma 10a; Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9). Germamia denotes Cimeria rather than Germany (cf. Arukh HaShalem). In ancient Assyrian, the Cimerians were indeed known as the Gimerrai, cognate to Gomer (in other places, however this is the translation of Togarma, see Targum on Ezekiel 27:14, 38:6). The Cimerians were seen as originally having been a Nordic people (Odyssey 11:12-19). Some sources identify them with the Cimbri of Jutland (around Denmark), a nation of Teutonized Celts.

Josephus writes that Gomer was the founder of the nation known as the Galatians (Antiquities 16:1; cf. Abarbanel). Galatia was in the same area as Phrygia and Cimeria, but it was renamed Galatia (from Gaul) when it was conquered by the Celts of Gaul.

Other ancient sources agree with this, writing that Gomer lived to the east of the Tina (Halys, cf. Herodotus 1:6) River (Sefer HaYov'loth 9:8).

Magog
  Most probably a Teutonic people, living to the north of the Holy Land (cf. Ezekiel 38:2). Some sources identify Magog with Germania (Targum Yonathan; Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:5; Pesikta Zutratha). Others identify them with the Goths (Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9). These were a Teutonic people who migrated to Scythia, in what is now southern Russia.

It is therefore not contradictory when some sources identify Magog with Scythia (Josephus; Yoma 10a, according to Rabbenu Chananel; Arukh s.v. Germamia). Ancient histories state that the Scythians came from Asia, driven by the Massagetae (cf. Meshekh), and settling near the Cimerians (Herodotus 4:11; see note on Genesis 10:2, 'Gomer'). Linguistically, the Scythians were related to the Iranians, and hence, to the Persians and the Medes. It is therefore significant that there was a Persian tribe known as the Germanians (Herodotus 1:125).

Other sources note that Magog may denote the Mongols, whose very name may be a corruption of Magog. Indeed, Arab writers referred to the Great Wall of China as the 'wall of al Magog' (Rabbi Aaron Marcus, Kesseth HaSofer, p. 112a).

Other ancient sources agree with the identification of Magog as living to the north of the Black Sea (Yov'loth 9:8).

Madai
  Ancestor of Medes (Josephus; Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9). This is also the opinion of the Talmud (Yoma 10a, cf. Hagahoth Beth Chadash, Rabbenu Chananel ad loc; Eyn Yaakov ibid.). Another source translates Madai as Chamadai (Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:5), possibly referring to Hamadan, an ancient Medean capital. An ancient source states that Madai is to the west of Gomer and Magog, on the shores and the islands (Yov'loth 9:9). (See Herodotus 7:62).

Yavan
  Yawan in ancient Hebrew, denoting Ionia (cf. Josephus. Also see Herodotus 7:94). Other sources state that Yavan is Macedonia (Targum Yonathan; Yoma 10a, see note on Genesis 10:2, 'Madai'). Others translate it as Ovisos (Yerushalmi, Megilla 1:9), denoting Ephisus, an ancient Greek city in Lydia, founded by the Ionians around 1050 b.c.e. An ancient source states that Yavan lived on the islands and the shore of Lydia (Yov'loth 9:10), where indeed the Ionians lived.

Tuval
  A northern country, see Ezekiel 38:2, 27:13. This is usually identified with Bithynia (Targum Yonathan; Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:5; Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9). The Talmud also refers to it as Beth-unyaki, which is the Talmudic term for Bithynia (Yoma 10a). This is in the area to the east of the Bospherus (Yov'loth 9:11). Josephus, however, says that the Tuvalites were the Ibers. Some say that these were the people of the Iberian Peninsula, and hence they were the original Spaniards. Indeed, one source says that this is why the Spanish refer to themselves as cen-tuvales (gentualla), literally 'people of Tuval' (Abarbanel). However, there was also an Iberian people who lived to the east of the Black Sea.

Meshekh
  A northern kingdom; cf. Ezekiel 38:2, 27:13; Psalms 120:5. Most Talmudic sources identify Meshekh with Mysia (see Targum Yonathan; Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:5; Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9; Yoma 10a; Buber on Pesikta Zutratha 26a). This was the land to the west of Bithynia, along the Dardanelles (Hellespont) and Marmara Sea (cf. Yov'loth 9:12; Herodotus 7:42,74). They might possibly be associated with Mycenae, an ancient city in Greece. Josephus, however, associates Meshekh with Cappadocia, whose capital is Mazaka, in what is now central Turkey (see Herodotus 1:72). It is very close to Galatia (see Gomer). Another possibility would be to identify Meshekh with the Massagatae, an ancient people who lived in Russia to the east of the Aral Sea (cf. Herodotus 1:201). It was these people who drove the Scythians into Cimeria (Ibid. 4:11). It is also possible to identify Meshekh with the Moschians mentioned in ancient sources (Herodotus 7:78). The name may be related to the Muskeva River, and hence to Moscow. Indeed, there are sources that say the Meshekh was the forerunner of the Slavs (Kesseth HaSofer).

Tiras
  The Targum identifies this as Tarkey (Targum Yonathan), which is identified as Thrace. Josephus likewise states that Tiras is Thrace. This is a people who lived in the Balkans, in what is now European Turkey and Bulgaria. Indeed (as we see in the Targum) Turkey derives its name from Thrace. Linguistically Thracian is related to Albanian. There is also a possible relationship with the Etruscans. It is notable that there was a Tearus (Tiras) River going through Thrace (Herodotus 4:89).

In the Talmud, however, there is a dispute as to the identity of Tiras, with some saying that it is Thrace, while others say that it is Persia (Yoma 10a; Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9). The Persians, however, received their name from Perseus, whose kingdom was originally Tiryns (Herodotus 7:61). Moreover, one of the original Persian tribes was the Terusieans or Derusieans (Ibid. 1:125).

Another ancient source identifies Tiras with the larger Mediterranean islands (Yov'loth 9:14).

Ashkenaz
  This is a nation associated with the Ararat area; Jeremiah 51:27. In Talmudic sources, it is rendered as Asia (Targum Yonathan; Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:6; Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9). In ancient times, besides denoting the entire continent, Asia also referred to what is now the western part of Asiatic Turkey, bordering on the Aegean Sea. However, there was also a tribe of Asies living in the area of Sardis (the modern Sart), the capital of Lydia (Herodotus 4:45). Both are the same area.

Josephus, on the other hand, says that the Ashkenazites are the Reginians. Some associate this with Rhegium (the modern Regga), on the tip of the Italian peninsula (cf. Herodotus 1:167). However, there was also a Rhagae or Rages that was a major city in Medea (cf. Tobit 4:1). This was a bit south of the present Teheran, due south of the Caspean sea (cf. Arukh HaShalem, s.v. Asia). The Medes indeed were known to descend from the race of the Achemenids (Herodotus 7:61).

More logical, however, would be to associate the 'Reginia' of Josephus with Regnum Polemonis, to the south-east of the Black Sea, immediately in the Ararat area. The 'Asia' mentioned in Talmudic sources could then be Amasia, a city in that area.

By the tenth century, the term Ashkenaz was used to refer to Germany (Siddur Rav Amram Gaon). This may be because, as we have seen, Gomer, the father of Ashkenaz, was associated with 'Germania.' But according to this, the 'Reginia' mentioned in Josephus may have been the Rennus or Rhine area. There are other sources that relate Ashkenaz to the Ashkuza mentioned in ancient writings, or to the Scythians.

Riphath
  In 1 Chronicles 1:6, however, the reading is Diphath (cf. Rashi ad loc.). Josephus identifies these people with the Paphlagonians, an ancient people who lived on the Rifas River (see Kesseth HaSofer 113a. Cf. Herodotus 7:72; Iliad 2:851). Other sources identify it with Parkhvan, Parkvi or Parsvey (Targum Yonathan; Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:6), most probably Parkvi, a country in Northern Ariana (in Persia). Still others identify it with Chadiv or Hadiath (Yerushalmi, Megilla 1:9; Bereshith Rabbah 37). The correct reading is most probably Hadiyv, which is identified with Adiebena, a district in Assyria between the Lycus and Caprus rivers. Abarbanel identifies these people with the Etruscans, who settled in Italy, Venice and France.

Togarmah
  A northern people; See Ezekiel 27:14, 38:6. Josephus identifies these people with the Phrygians (see Gomer). Other sources have Barberia (Targum Yonathan; Targum on Chronicles 1:6), which some identify as Germania, Barbara, or Britannia. Indeed there are sources that render Togarmah as Germaniki or Germania (Yerushalmi, Megilla 1:9; Bereshith Rabbah 37; Targum on Ezekiel 38:6). There are other sources that identify Togarmah with the Armenians (Keseth HaSofer) or Turks (Abarbanel). Indeed, in a modern sense, Togarmah is used for Turkey. The name Togarmah corresponds to Tegarma, found in cuneiform inscriptions, referring to an area near Carchemish in Armenia.

Elisha
  This is seen as an island; see Ezekiel 27:7. Josephus identifies it with the Aeolians (Antiquities 1:6:1), who were known to have inhabited the island of Lesbos (Herodotus 1:151). Others, however, identify it with Sicily (Abarbanel). This is supported by the Targum which renders it Italia (Targum on Ezekiel 27:7).

Talmudic sources identify Elisha with Alsu or Elis (Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9; Bereshith Rabbah 37). This may be identified with Elis, an ancient land in Peloponnesus (southern Greece) along the Ionian Sea (see Iliad 2:615). A small village, Ilis or Eleis, currently remains on the site of the city of Elis. In the interior of the country was the sanctuary and valley of Olympia, where the quadrennial Olympic games were held for over 1000 years.

Others identify this Talmudic source with Hellas, since the Greeks called themselves Hellas or Ellis (Kesseth HaSofer). This was indeed an ancient appelation for a Greek tribe (cf. Iliad 2:681; but see Thucydides 1:3). It may also be associated with the Halys River, which separated the Greek-dominated area from the Asiatic. The name Helles is also found in the Hellespont, the channel that currently separates Europe from Asia (the modern Dardanelles).

Tarshish
  In 1 Chronicles 1:7, it is Tarshishah. It was famed for its ships, see 1 Kings 10:22, 22:49, etc. Also see Isaiah 23;10, 66:19, Ezekiel 38:13, Jonah 1:3. Josephus identifies it with Cilicia, whose capital was Tarsus. The identification with Tarsus is also upheld in Talmudic sources (Targum Yonathan; Yerushalmi, Megilla 1:9). Some associate it with Tuscany, Lombardi, Florence and Milan (Abarbanel. Cf. Sefer HaYashar).

Kittim
  An island people; cf. Jeremiah 2:10, Ezekiel 27:6. Also see Numbers 24:24, Isaiah 23:1, 23:12, Daniel 11:30. Josephus identifies it with Cyprus, whose main city was Citius (cf. Abarbanel). The Targum, however identifies it with Italy (Italion, Italia), and hence, it is seen as the source of the Italian and Romans (cf. Targum on Numbers 24:24).

Dodanim
  In 1 Chronicles 1:7 it is Rodanim (cf. Bereshith Rabbah 37:1). The Dodonians were known to be an ancient people (cf. Iliad 2:748; Herodotus 2:52-57). The Targum renders it as Dardania, a city on the Dardanelles, after which the strait was named (cf. Herodotus 1:189, 7:43; Iliad 2:819). The Targum (Yonathan) also adds Ridos, Chamen and Antioch. Ridos is identified with Rhodes (Abarbanel). Others identify the Dodanim with the Bohemians (Tol'doth Yitzchak; cf. Sefer HaYashar).

isolated nations
  (Cf. Hirsch; Kesseth HaSofer). Literally 'islands.'

Cush
  See note on Genesis 2:13. There was also an ancient city of Kish 8 miles east of Babylon. Other ancient sources also indicate that it was to the east of the Holy Land (cf. Yov'loth 9:1). The Targum however, renders it as Arabia (Targum Yonathan; Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:8). This, however, may also have referred to an area in Africa on the upper Nile (cf. Herodotus 2:19). Josephus identifies Cush here with Ethiopia.

Mitzraim
  The Hebrew name for Egypt. Regarding the origin of the name 'Egypt,' see Josephus, Contra Apion 1:15.

Put
  See Jeremiah 46:9, Ezekiel 27:10, 38:5, Nahum 3:9. Josephus identifies it with Lybyos or Lybia in North Africa. In Coptic (ancient Egyptian), Lybia is also known as Phiait. The Targum, however, renders it as Alichrok, possibly Heracleotes. Other ancient sources state that it is to the east of the Holy Land (Yov'loth 9:1).

Canaan
  Aborigine tribe of the Holy Land. See Genesis 10:15-19.

S'bha
  Usually transliterated as Seba. Cf. Isaiah 43:3, 45:14, Psalms 72:10. Josephus identifies this with the Sabeans, a people living in southern Arabia. The name may still be preserved in the town of As Sabya. The Targum renders it Sinirai or Sinidai. In the Talmud, this nation is identified with Sakistan or Sagistan (Yoma 10a). Sagistan is a district in Drangonia in the Persian Empire, occupied by Scythians.

Havila
  See note on Genesis 2:11. The Targum has India. Josephus, however, has Getuli.

Sabhta
  Usually transliterated Sabta. Josephus identifies this nation with the Astaborans. The Talmud identifies it with outer Takistan, see S'bha. The Targum renders it S'midai, Smadai or Samrai, a Cushite tribe, possibly the Sabrata of North Africa.

Raamah
  They were traders in spices, precious stones and gold; Ezekiel 27:22. Here the Targum has Lubai, the Lybians. The second time Raamah is mentioned in this verse, however, the Targum (Yonathan) has Mavryatinos, which is Mauretania, a district in northwest Africa. (cf. Yevamoth 63a; Sifri, Deuteronomy 3:20).

Sabht'ka
  Usually transliterated as Sabteca. The Targum renders it Zingain, possibly the African Zeugis.

Sheba
  Actually Sh'bha. See 1 Kings 10:1, Genesis 10:28, 25:3. Josephus identifies these with the Sabeans, as he does to S'bha. The Targum renders it Zamdugad, Zamrugad (on Genesis) or Zmargad and Dmargad (on Chronicles).

Dedan
  Josephus identifies this nation with the Judadeans of western Ethiopia. The Targum has M'zag, perhaps the Mazices of northern Africa.

Nimrod
  See Micah 5:5. He is credited as being the first Babylonian king and the builder of the Tower, see Genesis 11:1-9 (Sefer HaYashar; Josephus 1:4:3. Cf. Targum Yonathan on Genesis 10:11). See note on Genesis 14:1, 25:29.

Babylon
  Babel or Babhel in Hebrew. See Genesis 11:9.

Erekh
  See Ezra 4:9, Rashi ad loc. This was a city near Ur, on the lower Euphrates River. The Talmud (Yoma 10a) identifies it with Urikhuth, or Arkhath. This is identified with Uruk, an ancient name for Erekh. The Targum had Hadas, which may be identified with Edessa. The Midrash identifies it with Charan (Bereshith Rabbah 37).

Akkad
  This was the royal city of Accad, which was the capital of northern Babylonia. The exact site of the city is unknown, although it was near Sippar, and about 30 miles north of Babylon. The Targum renders this as Netzivim (Targum Yonathan; Bereshith Rabbah 37). This was a city in the northeast end of Mesopotamia (cf. Shabbath 32b).

Calneh
  The Talmud identifies this as Nofar-Ninfi (Yoma 10a). This is Nippur, midway between Erekh and Babylon on the Euphrates River. It is the modern Niffer. Other sources identify it with Ctesphon, a city on the eastern bank of the Tigris (Targum Yonathan; Bereshith Rabbah 37).

Shinar
  Usually identified with Sumer. The Targum calls it the land of Pontus (Targum Yonathan). This is obviously not Pontus, which was a land to the south of the Black Sea. Rather, it is the Latin word pontus, meaning sea. Hence, Pontus was the 'land of the sea,' that is the land toward the Persian Gulf. See note on Genesis 14:1.

Asshur
  See Genesis 10:22. Hebrew for Assyria. It also denotes a city on the Tigris River, some 50 miles south of Nineveh. The Talmud (Yoma 10a) identifies it with Selik, that is Seleucia. See Genesis 2:14.

Nineveh
  The ancient capital of Assyria, on the Tigris River. See Jonah 1:2, 2 Kings 19:36.

Rechovoth Ir
  Literally 'broad places of the city,' or 'avenues of the city.' The Talmud says that it is Euphrates of Mishan (Yoma 10a). Meshan or Mesene is the island formed by Euphrates, the Tigris and the Royal Canal. The Targum, however, translates it, 'avenues of the city.' Thus, it would not be a place name, but would denote the fact that Asshur built Nineveh as a city with avenues.

Calach
  This is a city a few miles south of Nineveh. Its modern name is Nimrud! The Talmud states that it is 'Borsof on the Euphrates' (Yoma 10a). This is Borsif or Borsippa, some 20 miles south of Babylon on the Euphrates. It is, however, a long distance from Nineveh. The Targum renders it Pariyoth of Charyoth, probably denoting Chadiyath in Assyria.

Resen
  The Talmud identifies Resen with Aktispon or Ctesphon (Yoma 10a; cf. Tosafoth, Gittin 6a, s.v. U'MiBhey). See comment on Calneh. The Targum renders it Talsar or Talasar, see Targum on Isaiah 37:12, 2 Kings 19:12.

great city
  This refers to Nineveh (Yoma 10a; Rashi).

Ludim
  The Targum renders this Givatai. This appears to be related to the name Gipt or Egypt, and also to the word Coptic, which denotes the ancient language of Egypt (cf. Megillah 18a, Sanhedrin 115a). Josephus, however, states that all the nations in this verse are unidentifiable.

Anamim
  The Targum renders this Martiorti or Mariotai. These are the people of Mareotis, a district in lower Egypt containing the town of Marea.

Lehabhim
  Literally 'fire people,' since their faces are like fire (Rashi). The Targum translates this name as Livvakai or Livkai, possibly a Lybian tribe. Josephus states that they are Lybians. See note on Genesis 10:6 regarding Put.

Naftuchim
  The Targum translates this as Pontsikhnai or Pantsekhyaanaei, probably denoting Pentaschoinos. This is a district in Egypt later referred to as Dodekaschoinos.

Pathrusim
  See Isaiah 11:11, Jeremiah 44:1, 44:15, Ezekiel 29:14, 30:14. The Targum translates it as Nasyotai or Gasyotai, denoting Casiotis, the district surrounding Mount Casius, east of Pelusium in Egypt. The Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:12 reverses the definition of Pathrusim and Casluchim. In the Midrash it is rendered as Parvitoth (Bereshith Rabbah 37).

Casluchim
  The Targum renders this as Pentpoletai, most probably Pentapolis, an Egyptian district also called Cyrenaica. In the Midrash it is rendered Pekosim (Bereshith Rabbah 37). Saadia Gaon identifies it with Sa'id on the upper Nile.

Philistines
  Pelishtim in Hebrew. These people lived on the shore of the Mediterranean between the Holy Land and Egypt (cf. Exodus 13:17).

Caphtorim
  See Deuteronomy 2:23, Amos 9:7. It is identified as an island, Jeremiah 47:4. From the context, it appears to be an island on the Nile Delta. However, the Septuagint, and the Targum (Yonathan) translate it as Cappadocia, Kaputkai or Kapudka. This was an area south of the Black Sea (see note on Genesis 10:2 regarding Meshekh). This does not seem to be a possible explanation, since from the context, these are an Egyptian people. Saadia Gaon identifies it with Damyat or Shafchu, to the west of Port Sa'id (Cf. Masa'oth Rabbi Binyamin 24). According to the Midrash, the Caphtorim were pygmies, and were descendants of the Pathrusim and the Casluchim (Bereshith Rabbah 37). Accordingly, this verse should be, 'and the Pathrusim and Casluchim, from whom there descended the Philistines and Caphtorim.'

Sidon
  Tzidon in Hebrew, to the north of the Holy Land, see Genesis 10:19. This was the capital of Phoenicia. However, according to the Targum (on 1 Chronicles 1:13), Canaan's first-born was Bothnias (or Cothnias), who was the founder of Sidon.

Heth
  Cheth in Hebrew, father of the Hittites, one of the tribes living in the Holy Land; cf. Genesis 15:20. They lived to the west of the Dead Sea around Hebron; Genesis 23:5. Both the Hittites and Amorites were associated with the Jerusalem area; Ezekiel 16:3,45.

Jebusites
  Yebhusi in Hebrew. Jebus (Yebhus) is identified with Jerusalem; Judges 19:10, 1 Chronicles 11:4; Joshua 15:63, Judges 1:21. The Jebusites therefore lived in the Jerusalem area. Later, however, this area was settled by the Hittites (Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 36; Rashi on Deuteronomy 12:17).

Amorites
  A people who originally lived on the west of the Dead Sea, but were driven out (Genesis 14:7). They lived around Hebron, where they allied with Abraham (Genesis 14:13). They also lived around Shechem (Genesis 48:22). Later, they settled the land on the east bank along the Arnon River, near Moab (Numbers 21:13). They also lived in Gilead (Numbers 32:39). They later invaded the Holy Land again (Judges 1:34).

Girgashites
  Inhabitants of the Holy Land (Genesis 15:21). According to tradition, they left the Holy Land before the Israelite invasion and settled in Africa (Yerushalmi, Shabbath 6:31; Rashi on Exodus 33:2, 34:11).

Hivites
  Chivi in Hebrew. They lived in the central part of the Holy Land near Shechem (Genesis 34:2). They also lived in Gibeon, and survived the conquest of the Holy Land (Joshua 9:3,7, 11:19). They lived in the north, near Mount Lebanon, from Hermon to Chamath (Judges 3:3). Some identify them with the people of Tripoli (Targum Yerushalmi). The Midrash apparently notes that they were cave dwellers (Chaldun; Bereshith Rabbah 37). They were also adept at testing soil by taste (Shabbath 85a, but see Tosefoth ad loc. s.v. Chivi). See note on Genesis 36:3.

Arkites
  They are identified as the residents of Arce, a city at the northwest foot of Mount Lebanon (Josephus; Bereshith Rabbah 37. Cf. Bekhoroth 57b).

Sinites
  (cf. Isaiah 49:12, Radak ad loc.). Josephus states that their identity is unknown. Others, however identify them with the Antusai (Targum Onkelos; Targum Yonathan; Bereshith Rabbah 37). This is most probably associated with the city of Orhosia, a Phoenician seaport, south of the Eleutheros River. Other sources identify the Sinites with the Kafruseans (Targum Yerushalmi).

Arvadites
  These are identified as the inhabitants of the island of Aradus on the Phoenician coast (Josephus; Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9, Bereshith Rabbah 37). Others identify them with the town of Antridanai, that is, Antarados, a town opposite the island of Arados (Targum Yerushalmi). Another source identifies them with the Lutsai, probably the inhabitants of Arethusia, between Epiphania and Emasa.

Tzemarites
  Literally 'wool people,' possibly because they sold or worked with wool (Bereshith Rabbah 37). Talmudic sources render their area as Chametz, Chomtzia, Chamitai and Chumtzai (Targum Yonathan; Yerushalmi, Megillah 1:9, Bereshith Rabbah 37). This is identified with Emasa (the modern Hums) a city of Syria on the eastern bank of the Orontes River. See note on Genesis 36:36.

Chamathites
  This is to the north near Mount Hermon; Judges 3:3. Also see Numbers 13:21, 34:8, Amos 6:14, Ezekiel 47:17. It is on the Orontes River. Josephus states that it is the place called Amathe, although the Macedonians call it Ephania (cf. Bereshith Rabbah 37). It is also identified with Antioch (Targum Yonathan).

Gerar
  Capital of the Philistine nation, toward the south of the Holy Land, near the coast (Genesis 20:1, 26:1).

Gaza
  Aza in Hebrew. City on the south of Holy Land along the Mediterranean shore.

Gomorrah
  Amorah in Hebrew.

Tzevoyim
  These four cities were in what is now the southern end of the Dead Sea (Genesis 14:2,3). They were destroyed by God for their wickedness (Genesis 19:24,25). These cities formed the southeast border of the Canaanite territory.

Lasha
  Or Lesha. This is identified with Caldahi (Targum Yonathan; Bereshith Rabbah 37). This is most probably Callirohoe, a resort city on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea.

Hebrews
  (Cf. Targum Yonathan; Ibn Ezra). Literally, 'the sons of Eber' (see Genesis 10:24, 11:14). In Hebrew, 'Hebrews' are Ivri'im, literally, 'Eberites,' or 'Sons of Eber.' Others, however, translate this verse, 'sons of all who live on the other side of the river' (Rashi; Ramban).

the eldest
  This refers to Yefeth (see note on Genesis 9:24). However, according to those who maintain that Shem was the eldest, the verse should be translated, 'the older brother of Yefeth.'

Elam
  See Genesis 14:19. It is associated with Media (Isaiah 21:2, Jeremiah 25:25). We thus find that the capital city of Shushan (Susa) was in the province of Elam on the Ulai River (Daniel 8:2). Josephus thus writes that Elam was the ancestor of the Persians. It is thus described as the territory between Shushan and Media (Saadia Gaon). Other sources identify it with the area between the Tigris and India (Yov'loth 9:2).

Asshur
  Identified with Assyria (cf. Josephus). See Genesis 2:14, 10:11. Their territory was basically east of the Tigris.

Arpachshad
  He was the ancestor of Abraham (see Genesis 11:10). Josephus states that he was the ancestor of the Chaldeans, who lived on the lower Euphrates. In Hebrew, the Chaldeans were known as Casdim (see note on Genesis 11:28). They lived near the Persian Gulf (Yov'loth 9:4). The Targum translates the name as Arphasdai (Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:17,18). See Herodotus 6:5.

Lud
  Josephus identifies this with Lydia, south of the Black Sea (see Herodotus 7:74).

Aram
  Ancestor of Aramaea (from where the language Aramaic comes), to the northeast of the Holy Land, approximately where Syria is now. Josephus states that the Greeks called the Aramaeans Syrians. Its capital was Damascus (Isaiah 7:8). It also included the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (Yov'loth 9:5). Laban was thus called an Aramaean (Genesis 22:20, 24:4, cf. Deuteronomy 26:5). Aram was important because of its association with Abraham's family.

Utz
  Cf. Jeremiah 25:20, Job 1:1. Josephus writes that Utz founded the cities of Trachnitis and Damascus, and settled the lands between the Holy Land and Celesyria (Antiquities 1:6:4). Other sources identify Utz with Armatyai (Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:17), which is most probably the modern Armannia (Romania, near Constantinople). See Targum on Lamentations 4:21, 1 Chronicles 1:42, Job 1:1. See note on Genesis 10:23 'Chul'.

Chul
  Josephus states that Chul founded Armenia, a land to the south of the eastern Black Sea. See Herodotus 7:73.

Gether
  According to Josephus, the founder of the Bactrian nation.

Mash
  In 1 Chronicles 1:17 it is Meshekh (see Genesis 10:2). Josephus identifies it with Charax Spanisi. Other sources state that it is the land in the area of Mount Mash in Mesopotamia, north of Netzivim (Kesseth HaSofer).

Eber
  Ancestor of the Hebrews. See note on Genesis 10:21. He was a prophet (Rashi).

world became divided...
  This refers to the split occurring after the destruction of the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 11:8). This took place in the year that Peleg died (Seder Olam; Rashi). According to the chronologies (see Genesis 11:19), this was in the year 1996, when Abraham was 48 years old.

Yoktan
  Josephus states that he and his children lived near the Cophon River in India. In Arabian traditions, he is Kochton, the founder of Yemen (see Kesseth HaSofer, 123a).

Almodad
  Some identify him with the founder of Morad in Yemen (Kesseth HaSofer). Others say that it is Allumaeoltae mentioned in Ptolemy's Geography.

Shelef
  Possibly Shalepynoi mentioned by Ptolemy (Geography 6:7, p. 154).

Chatzarmaveth
  Literally, 'Courtyard of Death.' Some identify this with Hadarmaveth in southern Arabia (Kesseth HaSofer 122a).

Yerach
  To the west of Hadarmaveth, there is a Mount Varach (Kesseth HaSofer).

Hadarom
  Some interpret this as denoting 'the south.' This was a fortress to the south of San'a (Kesseth HaSofer). See 1 Chronicles 18:10; Zechariah 12:11.

Uzal
  This was the ancient Arabic name for San'a, the capital of Yemen (Kesseth HaSofer).

Diklah
  Literally a palm tree. Some say that it is an area in Mina, abundant in palm trees (cf. Pliny 6:28).

Obhal
  Some identify this with Avalitae on the Ethiopian Coast.

Abhimael
  Literally 'Father of Mael.' Some identify this with the Mali, a tribe living in the Mecca area, described by Theophrastus (Enquiry into Plants 9:4). This is the Minaei described by Strabo.

Sh'bha
  Or Sheba. See Genesis 10:7, 25:3.

Ophir
  The place from which King Solomon brought gold; 1 Kings 9:28, 10:11. Cf. Psalms 45:9, Isaiah 13:12. From the context, it is a place on the Arabian peninsula. Some identify it with El Ophir, a town in Oman. Josephus, however, identifies Ophir with Aurea Chersonesus, belonging to India (Antiquities 8:6:4). The Septuagint translates Ophir as Sophia, which is Coptic for India. There was indeed an ancient city known as Soupara or Ouppara in the vicinity of Goa on the western coast of India. Later authors identified Ophir with the New World (Rabbi Azzaria de Rossi, Meor Eynaim, Imrey Binah 11; David Gans, Nechmad VeNaim 3:75; Tzemach David 2:1533; Seder HaDoroth 5254).

Havilah
  See notes on Genesis 10:7, 2:11. Some identify this with Chavlotai, an area on the Persian Gulf described in ancient geographies (Strabo 16:728. This is Huvaila in Bahrein. Others state that it is Avalitae on the Avalite Bay (now Zeila), a city on the Sea of Adan south of Bab el Mandeb. There is also a Nagar Havili in India, on the Arabian Sea, some 80 miles north of Bombay. There is also a town Chwala on the Caspian Sea, and therefore in Russian the Caspian Sea is called Chwalinskoje More. The name Havilah in the Torah may refer to more than one place.

Yovav
  This is identified as Yovevitai or Yoveritai mentioned by Ptolemy, along the Salachitis Gulf (Gulf of Oman).

Their settlements
  This refers to the children of Yoktan. According to some authorities, however, it refers to all the children of Shem (Cf. Ramban on Genesis 11:12).

Meshah
  This is identified with Mecca (Saadia). Others say that it is Mocha (Al Mukha) in Yemen (cf. Ptolemy, Geography 6:7, 14a, 74b). Others identify it with Mesene (Khowr-e Musa) at the mouth of the Tigris, where it flows into the Persian Gulf.

Sepher
  Some sources identify this with Medina (Saadia Gaon). The Midrash states that it is T'phari or Taphar (Bereshith Rabbah 37). Others identify it with Isfor in southern Arabia.

eastern mountain
  Some identify this with Alakdar in eastern Arabia, on the Indian Ocean (Kesseth HaSofer).

Shem
  The descendants of Shem are known as the Semites. Theirs is the Semitic language group.

nations
  There are seventy nations mentioned in this chapter. These are the seventy nations or seventy languages often mentioned in Talmudic literature.





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