"God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem." Genesis 9:27
Tent dweller in Turkey
Alice C. Linsley
The three sons of Noah who are named in the Bible are Shem, Ham and Yaphet/Japheth. We are given a great deal of information about Shem and Ham, whose lines intermarried, but not much about Yaphet. It is widely held that he represents Noah's non-Jewish descendants or that he is the progenitor of the Gentile peoples. Let's explore this.
These three sons formed a 3-clan confederation. That was how alliances for mutual defense were formed before the time of the first Temple. Other 3-clan confederations include Jubal, Jabal and Tubal; Abraham, Nahor and Haran; Moses, Korah and Aaron, and Uz, Buz and Huz. One of the more revealing confederations involves these names: Og, Gog and Magog.
The Hungarian poet, Endre Ady, begins one of his poems: "I am the son of Góg and Magóg..." and there is a linguistic relationship between ancient Akkadian words and Hungarian words. Akkadian was the script of Nimrod's kingdom. Abraham was a descendant of Nimrod, a son of Kush (Gen. 10).
The name Og appears in Scottish history. There was a ruler called Angus Og (1299-1330). During the 1200's the Star of David appeared on Scottish coins. The Scotch-Irish term for son - Mac/Mc - is the equivalent of the Hungarian mag.
The names of these three sons tells us a great deal about them. SHM is related to the word for Sun (Hebrew - shemesh; Arabic - shams). HM refers to dark color, skin burnt by the Sun, and his name in the Masoretic text is Cham which is related to the feminine word for the Sun in Hebrew: chammah. Yaphet has the initial Canaanite Y, a solar cradle. All three are thereby identified with the solar symbolism of the Proto-Gospel. The Sun was the symbol of the Creator (Ra/Anu) and his son (Horus/Enki). So, it appears that the three sons shared a common religion and an aspect of that religion was the belief in a Father God who shares his glory with his son.
In Genesis 9:27, we are told that "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem." This doesn't support the view that Japheth and Shem were separated by great distances. It appears that the two lineages dwelt together and intermingled. The descendants of both Japheth and Shem are found in Europe, Turkey (ancient Anatolia), Pakistan, Bactria, Mongolia and the Upper Nile. This explains the linguistic similarity between some Afro-Asiatic/Semitic names and names/titles in Turkish, Pashtun and Mongolian, including Jochi (Joktan/Yaqtan), Beri, Malik and Khan. Khan was originally a title, meaning king. Today it is a common surname in Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Mongolia. The biblical equivalent is Cain or Qayan. Some of the Pashtun tribes adopted Malik as the ruler's title instead of Khan. Malik is equivalent to the Afro-Asiatic/Semitic Melek, meaning king.
Is this a descendant of Japheth on a Bactrian camel?
Another look at the peoples listed in Genesis 10 reveals that the conception of Japheth as the progenitor of the Gentile nations is erroneous. Genesis 10:2-5 tells us that the sons of Japheth were:
"Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations."Here the Ashkenazi are listed and they are regarded as Jews. Riphath is mentioned in reference to Og, the king of Bashan, who the Deuteronomist describes as the last of the rulers of Riphath (called Rephaites in some texts). All of these peoples are in Haplogroup R1a which dispersed widely across Eurasia and Central Europe between 5000 and 1000 years ago.
Before that, their ancestors in Haplogroup R1b widely dispersed, and this before the time of Noah (c. 4000 BC). Among the R1 rulers were the "mighty men of old" who dispersed into southern Europe, the Tarim Valley of China, and eventually into the British Isles.
The dark red spot in Central Africa is Noah's homeland near Lake Chad.The density there (60-100%) is about the same as in the British Isles. About 70% of native British men are in Haplogroup R1b and share an genetic ancestry with the Proto-Saharan ruler Noah.
I suggest that the movement of Noah's sons is to be associated with one of the later movements out of Africa associated with the Kushites. The term is anachronistic, since the first Kush we encounter in the Bible is Noah's grandson, the father of Nimrod, and this ruler would have lived after his Proto-Saharan ancestors had already begun to move out of central Africa into the Nile and the Levant.
It also appears that it was the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Proto-Saharan and Kushite rulers that drove their expansion out of Africa.
Earlier movements out of Africa can be explained by the presence of genetically related peoples in Europe long before Noah's time. Between 20–50 thousand years ago there appears to have been "a robust recovery of non-Africans from extremely low values of male effective population size during the OA bottleneck (Lippold et al. 2014)." This from a study of the Human Y chromosome flow which states:
Consistent with generally higher genetic diversity in African populations, the highest number of deeply splitting branches of human Y chromosome tree can be found in African populations (Cruciani et al. 2011; Mendez et al. 2013; Poznik et al. 2013; Wei et al. 2013). The extant variation in other continents is mainly restricted to three branches of the M168 clade: D, C and F (Hallast et al. 2015; Karmin et al. 2015; Poznik et al. 2013, 2016; Scozzari et al. 2014; Wei et al. 2013). Genetic variation within each of these three clades coalesces to a single founding lineage within 40–60 KYA time depth, consistent with the Out of Africa (OOA) dispersal model (Stringer 2002). In addition to these three clades, the populations of Near East and Europe also show the presence of young sub-clades of haplogroup E which are likely to reflect recent episodic gene flow from Africa within the last 25 KYA and a range expansion of a sub-clade E2a1-V13 in Europe within the last few thousand years (Cruciani et al. 2007)
A closer look at the biblical data explains why Japheth is thought of as the “Father of the Europeans” or the founder of the "Japhetic" nations. However, he and his offspring are relatively late comers to Eurasia and Central Europe. The peoples who come to be called "Gentiles" were already in Europe about 70,000 years ago. Genesis 9:27 refers to the later spreading out of the territory of Japheth in the tents of Shem. The relationship of the lines of Japheth and Shem reflects the complex and intricate connection between the earlier history of the R1b and R1a peoples. And it should not be forgotten that the lines of Shem and Ham also dwelt together and intermarried.
Related reading: Three-Clan Confederations; Cain as Ruler; Sub-Saharan DNA of Modern Jews; The Lines of Ham and Shem Intermarried; Noah's Descendants