Glossary of Terms



Harper’s Bible Dictionary

edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)

You are strongly recommended to add to your library the excellent revised edition of Harper's Bible Dictionary titled, The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised Edition [book review], edited by Paul J. Achtemeier, with the Society of Biblical Literature (NY: Harper Collins, 1996). It is currently the best one-volume Bible dictionary in English, and it is available at Border's Books, Christian Science Reading Rooms,, or

Japheth, one of the three sons of Noah (Gen. 5:32; 6:10; 7:13; 9:18, 23, 27; 1 Chron. 1:4), evidently either the youngest (he is normally listed third) or the second son (cf. Gen. 9:22, 24). According to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10, Japheth was the ancestor of a number of widespread ethnic groups known to ancient Israel, including: Gomer (the Cimmerians, who inhabited the Black Sea region, and later, Asia Minor; perhaps related to the Scythians); Magog (possibly the Scythians); Madai (the Medes of the Iranian Plateau); Javan (the Ionians, representing the Hellenic group); Tubal and Meshech (in Akkadian, Tabal and Mushku, two peoples of Asia Minor); Tiras (often identified with the Etruscans, but this is uncertain); Ashkenaz (the Ashguza of Assyrian inscriptions, a Scythian country); Riphath (unknown); Togarmah (Hittite Tagarma, between Asia Minor and the Upper Euphrates); Elishah (Cyprus); Tarshish (the identification of this famous toponym is disputed); Kittim (the Cretians, or a Hellenic people on Cyprus); and the Dodamin (possibly to be read ‘Rodanim,’ referring to the inhabitants of Rhodes).


Topical index of terms
Edited for by Robert Nguyen Cramer
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