The meaning of the name Japheth is disputable. There are two possible sources to the meaning of the name. Japheth first appears in the Book of Genesis as one of the three sons of Noah, saved through the Ark. They are always in the order "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" when all three are listed Genesis , and ,  but Genesis calls Ham the youngest,  and Genesis refers ambiguously to Shem as "brother of Japheth the elder," which could mean that either is the eldest.
Following the Flood he features in the story of Noah's drunkenness. Ham sees Noah drunk and naked in his tent and tells his brothers, who then cover their father with a cloak while avoiding the sight; when Noah awakes he curses Canaan , the son of Ham, and blesses Shem and Japheth: "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem and may Canaan be his slave; and may God enlarge Japheth and may he dwell in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave!
Chapter 10 of Genesis, the Table of Nations , tells how the entire Earth was populated by the sons of Noah following the Flood, beginning with the descendants of Japheth:. The Book of Genesis is the first of the five books of the Torah , that contains the account of Israel's origins as a people. Japheth in Hebrew, Yafet is a transliteration of the Greek Iapetos , the ancestor of the Hellenic peoples.
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From the 19th century until the late 20th century it was usual to see Japheth as a reference to the Philistines , who shared dominion over Canaan during the pre-monarchic and early monarchic period of Israel's history. However, Genesis identifies their ancestor as Ham rather than Japheth. For those who take the genealogies of Genesis to be historically accurate , Japheth is commonly believed to be the father of Europeans.
The link between Japheth and the Europeans stems from Genesis , which states:. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands. According to that book, Japheth and his two brothers formed the three major races :. Prince Hal notes of such people,. According to Josephus Antiquities of the Jews I. Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons: they inhabited so, that, beginning at the mountains Taurus and Amanus , they proceeded along Asia, as far as the river Tanais Don , and along Europe to Cadiz ; and settling themselves on the lands which they light upon, which none had inhabited before, they called the nations by their own names.
Josephus subsequently detailed the nations supposed to have descended from the seven sons of Japheth. The " Book of Jasher ", published by Talmudic rabbis in the 17th century, provides some new names for Japheth's grandchildren not found in the Bible, and provided a much more detailed genealogy see Japhetic. In the seventh century, Isidore of Seville published his noted history, in which he traces the origins of most of the nations of Europe back to Japheth.
In the Polish tradition of Sarmatism , the Sarmatians, an Iranic people , were said to be descended from Japheth, son of Noah , enabling the Polish nobility to imagine themselves able to trace their ancestry directly to Noah. In Scotland, histories tracing the Scottish people to Japheth were published as late as George Chalmers ' well-received Caledonia, published in 3 volumes from to Japheth is not mentioned by name in the Qur'an but is referred to indirectly in the narrative of Noah , , , , Muslim exegesis , however, names all of Noah's sons, and these include Japheth.
Some traditions narrated that 36 languages of the world could be traced back to Japheth.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Japheth disambiguation. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Sons of Noah. Main article: Japhetic. Jewish Encyclopedia Retrieved Retrieved 10 August Suzanne Bailey and Christopher Doody, reviewed by medrie purdham. Michael Fox and Manish Sharma, eds.
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