Friday, June 12, 2015

Shem, Ham and Japheth

Tradition has usually worked under an assumption that Japheth = Europe, Ham = Africa and Shem = Asia.

Today there is a growing trend to line them up instead with modern "racial" classifications as Japheth = Mongoloid, Ham = Negroid and Shem = Caucazoid.  This happens to be attractive to British Israelism and similar theories since Semites and and Indo-Europeans aka White people are both Caucazoid it can make the idea of Israelites becoming European seem less absurd then it does at face value.

I consider both those assumptions equally flawed.  Regardless however of what may or may not determine descent from Ham there is nothing wrong with being descended from Ham.

Before I elaborate I want to recommend everyone familiarize themselves with Ken Ham's explanation for how all the different "races" of people we see today could have all came from Noah and his sons.  His and other Creationists discussions of the subject are why I don't even like to use the word "race" we are all the Human Race, I prefer ethnicity when referring to these kinds of distinctions.  (I of course disagree with his hints at disapproving of Homosexuality but that's not the point of those discussions).

Everyone on the Ark and at the building of Babel I believe looked about the same (probably like Arabs) and had the same Genetic variability.

After they dispersed what determined the kinds of features they developed was mostly the climates of the regions they traveled to.  The darkest skinned people were those who first settled in the heart of Africa where it's the hottest.  The lightest skinned people come from those who settled in the north in the coldest regions.  I don't know why the climate and conditions in East Asia (and to a lesser extent the Americas possibly) would be where almond shaped eyes developed, but I'm sure there is a reason.

From the Biblical clues we have it was mostly Ham's offspring who went to Africa.  But if some Semites and Japhethites had went with them they'd have developed the exact same dark skinned features.  And likewise and Hamites who settled in cold regions would have developed light skin.

Now over time loss of genetic information made it so it wouldn't be so easy for those features to change after migrating to a different region.  That is why today we have ethnically diverse populations living in the same locations.  But some groups might have maintained more genetic variability then others, especially those who are Medium Brown, and that can help explain why descendants of various Israelite Diasporas look so different from each other.

I said before that I don't believe Genesis 10 and 11 name all Noah's grandsons.  It just names the founders of various early tribes.  I also want to suggest that even the early groups those leaders lead were maybe not made up only of descendants of that one of Noah's sons and that they may even have included some people who's pater-lineal ancestry did not go back the same one of Noah's sons.

This is also important to understand when it comes to the desire of evolutionists to label Neanderthals or Homo-Floresiensis and other fossils as Non-Humans.  They clearly seem basically human but Evolutionists insist that have so many differences that don't fit our modern scientific definition of Human.  Any examples that are petrified fossils were probably Pre-Flood and descendants of Adam and Eve but possibly not through Seth and Enosh.  But even ones that aren't petrified and so probably are from Noah might be people who developed distinct features that Noah's genetic potential had. But because they were not well known to enlightenment and Victorian era scientists who defined our modern "racial" distinctions were thus excluded from the modern definition of Human.  The fact remains that those people weren't "Ape like" either.

The problem with either simplistic way of defining descent from Shem, Ham and Japheth is that the Canaanites and probably also the Philistines are labeled by secular "racial" scientists as Semitic even though Biblically they are from Ham.  Likewise the primary nation identified with Shem's son Lud is classical Lydia which is not considered Semitic.

I think the early descendants of Aram's son Gether were the Gutians who some have argued became the Goths or at least some of the Goths.  I'm also open to theories about Edom and Dam contributing to the European gene pool (But I also think many Africans are descended from Dan in Ethiopia, and other Africans like the Lemba and Igbo from other Israelites).  But mostly I think the Lost Tribes went East. And I overall see the Indo-Europeans as mostly coming from Japhethite tribes, and very much recommend Bill Cooper's research in After The Flood.  In addition I recommend material out there about how Ashkenaz became the Aseir.

I definitely think Japheth also contributed greatly to Asia.  The Mongols and Huns seem to be among the descendants of Magog like the Scythians.

But let's look at the arguments for denying Japheth's traditional association with Europe/"White" people.

The association between Javan and Greece is the foundation of the traditional association of Japheth with Europe.  Greeks and other Mediterraneans are often not considered to be "white" under the strictest definition today, but regardless they are definitely Indo-European.  Yavan was and still is the Hebrew name for Greece.  The Bible uses it in passages about Alexander The Great (Daniel 8 and 10-11) leaving no dispute the Aegean world is what's meant by it, not just the Ionians.

This new view argues that the original inhabitants of Greece were of Javan but that Semites displaced them eventually, Javan's name remained associated with the geographical region even though his offspring were no longer there.  The argument for that can be compelling when you have a thorough knowledge of Greek history and their myths about their pre-history and how they developed.  But not when they try to make it sound like one simple invasion or migration.

The Greeks themselves believed other people lived in their lands first.  Pelesgian was a name for one of the pre-Hellenic tribes that became a general term for all of them.  I've argued before that Pelesgians could have came from Pelegian, meaning of Peleg son of Heber of Shem.  But I also think the Arcadians could have came from the Arkite tribe of the Canaanites and the Sintians from the Sinite tribe of the Canaanites.

That however makes it look like the non-Japhethites were the ones who came first.  Well it gets more complicated.  The Javanites no doubt came after these people but before the proper "Heroic Age" of Greek mythology.  Which conventionally correlates with the Mycenaean age Archaeologically.  But we believe the Mycenaean age should be moved down, and that the myths associated with the Heroic age had when they took place confused by Homer and Hesiod and others re-imagining them during the Classical period.

The Heroic Age can be said to begin with Cecrops founding or refunding Athens.  That event being dated to 1556 BC I don't think should change because that's based on the ancient chronology of the Kings and Archons of Athens which is pretty solid and unbroken.  This means I place Theseus (a later king of Athens) during the Minoan rather then Mycenaean period.  This makes perfect sense with the context of the myth (the origin story part of it at least).  It is about Greece being subject to a Cretan tyrant.  In some versions Cecrops came from Egypt but not always, in my chronology this was likely during the Hycsos period of Egypt.  Since I lean towards dating the death of Joshua to 1557 BC.

I have seen two references to placing Theseus in the 800s BC, neither gave a reason and I suspect they were just pure fiction.  But both were in the context of specifically Theseus interactions with the Amazons.

Later between 1490-1450 BC Cadmus and Dannus lead what I think were likely Edomite migrations into Greece.  Whether or not those dates should be changed I'm unsure.  But all those were isolated to specific parts and clearly were always mingling with those already there.  Ultimately Italy is where Edom mainly settled.

Some people think Rhodes is the only Greek location the Dodonim should be linked to.  I disagree with identifying Dodonim with Dardanus, but there is a location on the Greek Peninsula called Dodona.

Madai is the ancestor of the Medes and the Medes are indeed Indo-European, they seem to be the root of the Indo half.  But British Israelists may be inclined to argue that they became "Indo-European" because the Cities of the Medes were where many Northern Israelites were taken in II Kings 17.  However that their language was Indo-Eurpean seems to be pretty firmly established well before that.

The new theory will try to argue for connecting Javan to Eastern peoples by linking Javan to names like Yuan.  Or even arguing that Japan came from Javan via the V becoming a B (which does happen) and the B later becoming a P.  There is also the Javanese People to consider.  One could also try to use the Yavanas of the Mahabarata as evidence of Javan in India, but the Mahabarata is not as old as Ancient Aliens says it is, it's post Alexander The Great.

I agree entirely with Bill Cooper that the name Iapetos/Iapetus/Japetus in Greek mythology comes from Japheth.  Iapetos was an ancestral deity, but Greek mythology as we know it has confused things and he is made an ancestor of the Flood survivor rather then his son.  Iapetos is also a Titan, and it is believed by many scholars that the Titans were the gods of the Pre-Hellenic inhabitants of the Aegean and that the Olympians overthrowing The Titans is a myth that allegorises the change in pantheon.  Iapetos wife in some myths was named Asia.

So the argument can become very compelling.  The problem is it begins with the flawed assumption that what we label Oriental ethnic features is the sign of descent from Japheth.  And no ancient depictions I know of can justify saying that Ancient Greece was ever inhabited by people with Almond shaped eyes.  Whether or not there is a kinship between some of the early tribes of Ancient Greece and many Far Eastern peoples, it would still say nothing about what Ethnic features prove.

While I believe Japheth contributed to the Asiatic gene pool, so did the other two.  The Early Chinese I believe likely have a connection to the Sinite tribe, one Psalm calls the Chinese the Sinim.  I also think there was a major Semtic contribution, I don't think Joktan's sons were limited to Arabia, I agree that the name Yucatan could come from Joktan.  But not how that argument is used by Mormons and people wanting to put Ophir in Peru.

Tarshish is interesting.  I agree largley with the argument that Tarshish is Britan, Chuck Missler makes a good argument there, Herodtus says Tarshish was beyond the Pillars of Herakles (Straight of Gibraltar).  I think the cities in Spain and Turkey people like to point to were merely outposts.

Some insist that the Tarshish in Solomon and Jehoshaphat's times were in the East rather then West because of leaving for it via the Red Sea.  It could be because this was an unusual Tarshish linked mission involving Ophir in Arabia that they circumnavigated Africa.

Arguing that Tarshsish is Japan doesn't work because even Japan's possibly exaggerated mythological history doesn't have their Nation being founded until the 7th Century BC.  Well after both Solomon and Jehoshaphat.

It could also be this early British sea faring nation had outposts in South Africa or Madagascar.

Advocates of this modern theory will say that Genesis 9 foretells Japheth being enlarged and thus we should identify him with the world's largest populations.  Enlarged there could also mean Geo-Political influence however.  In that context Genesis 9 was abused to support European Imperialism and Slavery.

When it comes to being foretold that the number of individuals descended from you would be a large number, that's mainly Abraham and his Decedents.  Genesis 12 and 15 talk about his Seed being as the stars in Heaven, which is in turn compared to the sands of the seashore.  In Genesis 35 Jacob is told a company of Nations would come out of him.  In Genesis 48 Ephraim also was told a "multitude of nations" would come out of him. In Deuteronomy 33, Reuben's blessing says "Let not his men be few" and God promises to bless them that enlarge Gad.

So this factors into my view I already linked to that the Lost Tribes went East.

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