Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Man Jared and His Brother – Part IV

Continuing with the connection between Jerah and Ophir, Joktan’s sons of the Old Testament, and Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer, leaders of the Jaredites, in the Book of Mormon. In this  post, the history of Joktan’s thirteen sons is traced.
It is interesting to note that what is found as the record relating to Joktan’s thirteen sons, two sons are notably different than the others. It seems that we know of all but these two, including where they settled and who were their descendants.
    First of all, Joktan was the brother of Peleg and son of Eber, the latter being the father of saints and honest men. As to his thirteen sons, it is interesting that all are listed (Genesis 10:26-29), yet only the lineage son of Peleg, Sorug, is shown (Genesis 11:20). It is also interesting, that the names of Joktan’s sons were more prominent in the day in which the record was written than they have been in later times—in fact, other than some map locations, nothing at all is known of these sons from the Biblical record.
    Joktan, a name meaning “he will be made small,” with all uses of the word (qaton, qatan, qeton) meaning small or insignificant, young or little (possibly “younger son”).
    His was the last mentioned Shemite generation before the tower of Babel was built, and in some circles believed to be the forefather of the Chinese people, who are sometimes known as the Oriental Hebrews, and were monotheistic for about 2000 years (before the arrival of Confucius in 551 B.C., and his contemporary Lao-tze who founded Taoism, and Gautama who founded Buddhism which came to China in 67 B.C.), and worshipped Shang-Ti, the "Heavenly Emperor. Neither did they have towers or pagodas until the arrival of Buddhism presumably because they had no need for edifices like the Tower of Babel, though they knew of it based on their pictographs.
However, according to Albert Schultens, History of Joctanidarum in Arabia Felix (van Kasteel, 1786); Pococke Assemani and Bochart, Jocktan was called Kahtan by the Arabians, and assert that from him the eight original residents of Yemen sprang, a land the Egyptians once called Pun. He also claims that Mt. Sephar is well established as being the same as Zafari, the seaport town on the east of the modern Yemen, and a great center of trade. 
    Several of Joktan’s sons are considered to be the forefather’s of the so-called “pure Arabs” and refer to other Arabs as Musta rabs, or pretended Arabs. They also consider the Ishmaelite (Abraham’s son) Arabs to be just another type of mixed or pretended Arab. Joktan’s descendants are linked to the area referred to as Arabia Felix—“Happy Arabia” (a Roman classification of Arabia: Arabia Petraea [Jordan, southern Levant, Sinai Peninsula and northwestern Arabian Peninsula]; Arabia Deserta [deserted—desert]; and Arabia Felix, the latter being the southern end of the Peninsula). It is interesting, though they are linked to the origin of the Arabs, there is no Biblical evidence that Koktan went to Arabia—instead it claims they went to the east: “And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto sephar a mount of the east” (Genesis 10: 30). This Mesha might be Mashad in northeast Iran, with Sephar, the mountain in the east, some (such as Paul Phelps, Oriental Origins in the Bible, 2000) claim to be the mountains of China and Tibet
Yet, Joktan’s first four sons were Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, all of which, we are told became Arabian tribes. The first, or oldest, Almodad—who Josephus claimed was Elmodad, meaning “he who measured or lined the earth with lines”—was the father of a south Arabian people of the tribe al-Mudad, and traced to the Almodaei, a central people of southern Arabia according to Ptolemy. His son, Sheba (Makeda/Bilqis), identified with Saba in southern Arabia, which stretched to Aqaba; and Havilah is identified in central Yemen.
    Joktan’s second son was Sheleph, meaning “who draws out” or “a drawing forth,” led forth the waters of rivers, and whose descendants were also a south Arabian people of the tribe of Sulaf in Yemen, named on Sabean inscriptions and also by Arabian geographers. They have always been called the children of EsSulaf, son of Yuktan, who is Kahtan.
    The third son was Hazarmaveth (Chatsarmaveth), meaning “the court or village of death,” actually Hadramaut and his descendants located in southeast coast of Arabia, probably in the modern province of Hadramaut, situated on the coast east of Yemen with several trading ports.
    His name is preserved in the term Hadhramautic, which is one of the most important dialects of the South Arabic language.
According to several writers (Tuch, Halle, Knobel, Ritter, Ley, etc.), these three tribes, along with the name Joktan, held pre-eminence in the area of modern-day Yemen, all closely related, and maintained a position of independence and a direct line of rulers from Kahtan.
    The fourth son is Jerah. It is interesting that while the first three sons, and eight of the next nine sons, are all known to have settled in southwest Arabia, this fourth, and the eleventh, son are curiously absent from that understanding. (More on Jerah the fourth son in the next post)
Continuing then, the fifth son was Hadoram (Adoram), meaning “to be exalted,” and had a fortress in “the south,” Sabbatha, Yemen. His descendants were located in the Adramitae, district of Chatramotitis in southern Arabia. A later king of this people brought tribute to king David.
    The sixth son was Uzal (“going to and fro”), which is an old name of Auzal, modern Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, where he settled—today one of the most imposing cities of Arabia.
    The seventh son was Diklah, which means date-palm grove, which Pliny located in the Minaei, and Strabo names them first of four great nations situated in the area of Yemen, bordering on the Red Sea. Ptolemy mentioned them as a mighty people in an exceedingly rich country, which traded in both Frankincense and Myrrh. The eighth son was Obal (Ebal), meaning “bald” or “bare.” Dillmann places them in the Joktanite area of southern Arabia, with his descendants settling in Yemen. The ninth son was Abimael, meaning “God is father,” the father of Mael, a tribe found in southern Arabia. The tenth son was Sheba, and his descendants were the Sabians (from Saba) of southwest Arabia, the area of Sheba, a most powerful country in the area of Yemen.
When it comes to the eleventh son, like Jerah earlier, the information is scarce and conflicting. (See the next post for the answer to this so-called “mystery” of Ophir.)
    The twelfth son was Havilah, meaning “circular,” and also spelled Evilas or Evilath. This name was mentioned in connection with the Garden of Eden regarding the rivers there: “The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold” (Genesis 2:11). In extra-biblical literature (Works of Philo; Book of Biblical Antiquities), the land of Havilah is mentioned as the source of the precious jewels that the Amorites used in fashioning their idols in the days after Joshua, when Kenas was judge over the Israelites.
    Another extra-biblical tradition found in the Kitab al-Magall (Clementine literature), and the Cave of Treasures, holds that in the early days after the Tower of Babel, the children of Havilah, son of Joktan built a city and kingdom, which was near to those of his brothers, Sheba and Ophir, and tradition has it that Havilah settled on the west coast of Arabia, north of Yemen.
    The thirteenth son was Jobab or Yobab (“Dweller in the desert”), who settled in southwest Arabia. It is also the town of Juhaibab in the area of Mecca. Thus, eleven of the thirteen sons of Joktan are describted sufficiently to place their settlement area, with descendants long living there. Only two, Jerah and Ophir are not so clearly stated.
(See the next post, “The Man Jared and His Brother—Pt V,” for the last of this series on Jared and his brother, including the lack of settlement information in Arabia for two of Joktan’s thirteen sons and where they eventually settled)

No comments:

Post a Comment