Origins: The Generations of Noah: The Sons of Japheth

Shalom, everyone! The following is a diagram of the generations of Noah (Noach), from his son Japheth to his grandson Kittim, the progenitor of the Romim (Romans), based upon the accounts of the Book of Genesis (Bereshith) in the Tanakh, the Book of Jasher, the Book of Jubilees and Josephus’The Antiquities of the Jews.” The descendants of Japheth, also known as “Japhetites,” are “Indo-Europeans” or Caucasians today. According to Genesis 10:5, it is the sons of Japheth who are the “Gentiles.” Contrary to the erroneous teaching of some rabbis, most Europeans are not Edomites. The vast majority of Europeans are descendants of Noah‘s eldest son Japheth. Please click twice on the diagram to expand to full size:

The Generations of Noah: The Sons of Japheth

Japheth was the eldest son of Noah though he is mentioned third and last in the Book of Genesis. The Japhethites migrated from Mesopotamia to Europe, West Asia (Anatolia (Turkey), the Caucasus and northern Iran), Central Asia and North Asia. Japheth married Adataneses (Jubilees 7:15) daughter of Eliakim (Jasher 5:35), and had issue:

  • Seven sons Gomer, Magog, Madai, Tubal, Meshech, Tiras and Javan (Genesis 10:2).

Japheth is the ancestor of both the Greeks and Romans through his son Javan. The original name for Greece was “Javan.” The Greeks were also the progenitors of the Romans (Romim), who were descended from Javan‘s son Kittim. Also included in the Japhetic family tree are the Horites with whom they intermarried when the Horites migrated into Anatolia, Europe, Central Asia, and North Asia after being driven out of Mount Seir by the Edomites.

Japheth is also the ancestor of the five nations leading the invasion of the Land of Israel in the last days. This end-time event is often called the “Gog-Magog” war. Ezekiel 38 names these five nations as follows: GomerMagog, Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah.

Gomer had three sons, AshkenazRiphath, and TogarmahAshkenaz was the progenitor of the Germanic peoples. Riphath was the progenitor of the Venetian peoples of Northern ItalyTogarmah was the progenitor of the Turkic peoples. Togarmah is also an ancestor of the Armenian people, together with his brother Ashkenaz. The descendants of Ashkenaz and Togarmah frequently intermarried with each other.

A much overlooked historical event of great significance occurred in the House of Togormah, Gomer‘s third son. Buzar (Khazar) was the progenitor of the Khazars, a semi-nomadic Turkic people who controlled a large territory, Khazaria, which covered parts of Eastern Europe, Southern Russia, the Caucasus, and Southwestern Asia. Khazaria was a formidable and feared military and economic superpower in the region. The Khazars, whose native religion was Tengrism, converted en masse to Judaism around 740 CE. When Khazaria was destroyed after successive invasions by the Rus people (progenitors of the Russians), the Arabs, and the Mongols, the Khazars fled to Central and Eastern Europe including Russia, UkrainePoland, LithuaniaGermany, AustriaHungary, and Romania. Their descendants integrated into the Northern and Eastern European Jewish communities collectively known as the Ashkenazim.

Noah‘s blessing upon Japheth in Genesis 9:27, “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem…” came to fruition when his descendants dwelt the Land of Yisrael as follows:

  1. The Greeks and Romans conquered and occupied the Land of Israel;
  2. The European Crusaders and the successive Kurdish (Medes) Ayyubid, Turkic Mamluk and Ottoman Empires conquered and occupied the Land of Israel from 1099 to 1918;
  3. The British, controlled the Land of Israel from 1918 to 1948;
  4. The many descendants of Japheth who have embraced Torah, converted to Judaism, and made aliyah to the Land of Israel.

Indeed, Japheth has dwelt in the tents of Shem for more than 2,300 years.

Regardless of origin, The Almighty has a special love for anyone who chooses to sincerely follow Him and keep His Torah. All who keep the Torah, whether natural-born or proselyte, are Bnei Yisrael.

Map of Asia Minor/Anatolia during Greco-Roman times (332 BCE – 395 CE). Image credit: Wikipedia.
Son of Japheth Descendants
Gomer Gomer, according to Josephus‘ “The Antiquities of the Jews: Book 1,” was the progenitor of the people originally called “Gomerites” however; the Greeks called them “Galls/Gauls” or “Galatians.” They originally settled a region in west-central Turkey and called it Galatia.” From Galatia, Gomer‘s descendants migrated further into Europe, West Asia, Central Asia, and North Asia. 

Gomer had issue, three sons Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah (Genesis 10:3).

  • Ashkenaz was the founder of the people called “Azkanians/Ashkenazians,” later called “Rheginians” by the Greeks. These people were the ancestors of the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe and Western Europe. Ashkenaz is also said to be an ancestor of the Armenian people:
  • Riphath, according to Josephus, was the progenitor of the “Ripheans,” later called “Paphlagonians” by the Greeks. The Paphlagonians settled in north-central Anatolia (Turkey) on the shores of the Black Sea. They were bound by Galatia in the south, Bithynia in the west and Pontus in the east. The Paphlagonians later migrated to the Adriatic coast where they merged with the Euganei people and settled in a region of Northern Italy known today as Veneto“/”Venetia.” Riphath had issue, one son Bartonim (Jasher 10:9);
  • Togarmah, according to Josephus, was the progenitor of peoples originally called “Thrugammeans” but later called “Phrygians” by the Greeks. The Phrygians settled in central Anatolia (Turkey) and became the ancestors of the Turkic and Armenian peoples. They then migrated further into Western Asia and Central Asia. Togarmah had issue, ten sons Buzar (Khazar), Parzunac, Balgar (Bulgar), Elicanum, Ragbib, Tarki, Bid, Zebuc, Ongal, and Tilmaz  (Jasher 10:10).
    • Buzar (Khazar) was the progenitor of the Khazars, a semi-nomadic Turkic people who converted en masse to Judaism around 740 CE. Their descendants form a part of the Ashkenazim, and settled largely in Russia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe;
    • Parzunac was the progenitor of the Pechenegs, ancestors of the Poles (Perzenica/Poland), a confederation of both Turkic and Slavic peoples;
    • Bulgar was the ancestor of a Turkic people known as the Bulgars who settled the Volga region, the area around the Volga river in present-day Russia. The Bulgars also settled in the region around the Danube river, in present-day Bulgaria. Modern-day Bulgarians, however, are descended from a confederation of Bulgars and Slavic peoples;
    • Elicanum (Aliqanosz) was the ancestor of an Indo-Iranian people known as the Alans, who settled in the Caucasus.
    • Ragbib (Ragbina/Ranbona/Kanbina/Janur/Zagur);
    • Tarki was the progenitor of the Göktürks or “Celestial”/”Blue” Turks, ancestors of the Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group living in present-day China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey;
    • Bid (Oghuz) was the ancestor of a western Turkic people known as the Oghuz who settled in Central Asia in present-day Kazakhstan;
    • Zebuc (Zabuk/Zabub/Zakhukh);
    • Ongal (Ungari) first settled in the region around the Danube river in present-day Romania. Ongal is also believed to be the progenitor of the Avars, ancestors of the Hungarians, a confederation of Turkic and Slavic peoples;
    • Tilmaz (Tauri/Tilmac/Yilmaz) was the ancestor of a Turkic people who settled in the Crimean mountains.
 Magog Magog had issue, two sons Elichanaf and Lubal (Jasher 7:4). 

Magog, according to Josephus, was the progenitor of the people originally called “Magogites” however; the Greeks referred to them as “Scythians.” The Scythians lived north of the Black Sea in regions known to today as Moldova, Ukraine, the Crimea. and southeastern Russia. Magog was also the progenitor of the Samartians, the ancestors of the Slavic peoples in Eastern Europe including Russia.

 Madai Madai married an unnamed daughter of Shem (Jubilees 10:35-36), and had issue, four sons AchonZeeloChazoni and Lot (Jasher 7:5).

Madai is the progenitor of the Medes, ancestors of the Kurdish people, a fusion of Japhetic and Shemitic peoples.

 Tubal Tubal had issue, three sons AriphiKesed, and Taari (Jasher 7:7).

Tubal, according to Josephus, was the progenitor of the Thobelites, who were later called the Iberes/Iberians by the Greeks. The Iberians were divided into two groups: Eastern Iberians and Western Iberians. The Eastern Iberians settled in the Caucasus region and established the Kingdom of Iberia in what is present-day eastern Georgia. The Western Iberians settled in a region of Western Europe known today as the Iberian Peninsula, where the nations of Spain and Portugal are located. The Western Iberians inhabited the Iberian Peninsula prior to the arrival of the Romans, and later, the Germanic Celts and Visigoths.

 Meshech Meshech had issue, three sons DedonZaron, and Shebashni (Jasher 7:8).

Meshech, according to Josephus, was the progenitor of the Mosocheni later called “Cappadocians” by the Greeks. The Cappadocians settled in west Central Anatolia (Turkey). Cappadocia was bound to the north by Pontus, the south by Cilicia, the west by Lycaonia and Galatia, and east by the Upper Euphrates and Armenia.

 Tiras Tiras had issue, four sons BenibGeraLupirion, and Gilak (Jasher 7:9), from whom were descended RushashCushni, and Ongolis (Jasher 10:14).

Tiras, according to Josephus, was the progenitor of the Thirasians, later called “Thracians” by the Greeks. The Thracians settled a region of southeastern Europe called “Thrace/Thracia” located in present-day southeastern Bulgaria, northeastern Greece, and the European part of Turkey, which is separated from mainland Turkey by the Bosporus Strait. This region is bound by three bodies of water: The Aegean Sea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Tiras is also the ancestor of non-Greek peoples of the Balkans including the Illyrians and Macedonians. The Macedonians later conquered the Greeks and the Thracians to form a Hellenist Greek state and empire

 Javan  Javan had issue, four sons ElishahTarshish (Tharsus)Kittim, and Dodanim (Genesis 10:4, Jasher 7:6)Javan is the progenitor of the Greeks, who were formed from four major tribes – the Ionians (Javan)Aeolians (Elishah), Achaeans and Dorians (Dodanim):   

  • Elishah had issue the Almanim (Jasher 10:15). Elishah, according to Josephus, was the progenitor of the Eliseans, later called “Aeolians” by the Greeks. The Aeolians settled the region of Greece called “Thessaly,” and were the ancestors of the people known later as the “Thessalonians.” The word “Hellas” is possibly derived from “Elishah,” and became an alternative name for Greece as a whole during ancient times. The people from “Hellas,” that is, ancient Greece would come to be known as the “Hellenes.
  • Tarshish (Tharsus) was the progenitor of the Tharsians, who settled the southeastern region of Anatolia (Turkey) known in ancient times as Cilicia. They established the city of Tarsus, the birthplace of the “Apostle” Paul.
  • Kittim had issue the Romim (Romans) (Jasher 10:16). Kittim settled the island of Cethima (Kittim), known today as Cyprus.
  • Dodanim, also written as “Rodanim,” first settled on the island of Rhodes and other islands and regions around the Aegean Sea. Dodanim is also believed to be the progenitor of the Trojans.

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