top of page

Poole on 1 Chronicles 1:4-7: The Sons of Japheth

Verse 4:[1] Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

[Noah, Shem, etc.] Understand, Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Mariana,[2] Tirinus,[3] similarly Vatablus): and thus this verse ought to be expounded differently than the former verses. He had to make mention only of the one son, etc., from whom Abraham and David descended: but, because of their nobility, and because after the flood they occupied and replenished the three parts of the world, he lists all those three and their generation (Vatablus).

Shem, Ham, and Japheth: Formerly he mentions only one son, but here he names and treats of Noah’s three sons, partly because they were all the founders of the new world, and partly because the accomplishment of Noah’s famous prophecy, Genesis 9:25-27, could not otherwise appear, but by the account of their several posterities.

Verse 5:[4] (Gen. 10:2, etc.) The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

[The sons of Japheth; Gomer] He proceeds in reverse order: for he begins with the third son of Noah (Vatablus). See on Genesis 10:2 (Piscator[5]).

Verse 6:[6] And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath (or, Diphath, as it is in some copies), and Togarmah.

[Riphath] Thus it is found in Genesis 10:3[7] (Menochius, Mariana), and here in the Septuagint, Jerome, and in the book of the Masorah[8] (Mariana). Hebrew: דִּיפַת/Diphath. The ד/d and ר/r, because of their great similarity, are easily exchanged, as we shall see below in verses 7, 41, 46, 50 (Malvenda,[9] thus Mariana, Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals[10] 2:2:8:191).

Riphath, or Diphath; for those two Hebrew letters which answer to our D (ד) and R (ר), being very like, are oft confounded and exchanged, as 1 Chronicles 1:7, 41, 46, 50.

Verse 7:[11] And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim (or, Rodanim, according to some copies).

[Dodanim]Thus the Latin reads both here and in Genesis;[12] so also the Jerusalem interpreter.To me, the Greek reading here, which is the same as the Hebrew in this place (רוֹדָנִים/Rodanim), is better attested:the Septuagint translates it Ῥόδιοι/Rodioi with sufficient probability (Grotius).[The Most Illustrious Bochart thinks otherwise; concerning which see our excerpts on Genesis 10:4.]

[1] Hebrew: נֹ֥חַ שֵׁ֖ם חָ֥ם וָיָֽפֶת׃ [2] John Mariana (c. 1536-1624) was a Spanish Jesuit priest and scholar. While teaching theology in Rome, Robert Bellarmine was among his pupils. His magnum opus was the thirty-book history of Spain, Historiæ de Rebus Hispaniæ. [3] James Tirinus (1580-1636) was a Flemish Jesuit priest. His abilities as a commentator are displayed in his Commentaria in Sacram Scripturam. [4] Hebrew: בְּנֵ֣י יֶ֔פֶת גֹּ֣מֶר וּמָג֔וֹג וּמָדַ֖י וְיָוָ֣ן וְתֻבָ֑ל וּמֶ֖שֶׁךְ וְתִירָֽס׃ [5] John Piscator (1546-1626) was a learned Protestant divine. He held the position of Professor of Divinity at Herborn (1584). His German version was the first, complete and independent, since that of Martin Luther. Through the course of his career, his views changed from those of the Lutherans to those of the Calvinists, and from those of the Calvinists to those of the Arminians. He remains widely regarded for his abilities as a commentator. [6] Hebrew: וּבְנֵ֖י גֹּ֑מֶר אַשְׁכֲּנַ֥ז וְדִיפַ֖ת וְתוֹגַרְמָֽה׃ [7] Genesis 10:3: “And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath (וְרִיפַת), and Togarmah.” [8] The Masorah is the accumulated tradition of the Jews establishing the correct text of the Old Testament. This tradition is preserved in the text itself, and the marginal notes of the Masoretes. [9] Thomas Malvenda (1566-1628) was a Spanish Dominican. Within his order, he was widely regarded for his abilities in philosophy and divinity. [10] Samuel Bochart (1599-1667) was a French Protestant pastor and scholar with a wide variety of interests, including philology, theology, geography, and zoology. Indeed his works on Biblical geography (Geographia Sacra) and zoology (Hierozoicon, sive Bipertitum Opus de Animalibus Scripturæ) became standard reference works for generations. He was on familiar terms with many of the greatest men of his age. [11] Hebrew: וּבְנֵ֥י יָוָ֖ן אֱלִישָׁ֣ה וְתַרְשִׁ֑ישָׁה כִּתִּ֖ים וְרוֹדָנִֽים׃ [12] Genesis 10:4: “And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim (וְדֹדָנִים).”

bottom of page