Genesis 10:26

And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

And Joktan begat Almodad,.... And twelve more mentioned later: the Arabic writers {o} say be had thirty one sons by one woman, but all, excepting two, left Arabia, and settled in India; the Targum of Jonathan adds,

"who measured the earth with ropes,''

as if he was the first inventor and practiser of geometry: from him are thought to spring the Allumaeotae, a people whom Ptolemy {p} places in Arabia Felix, called so by the Greeks, instead of Almodaei: Mr. Broughton {q} sets Eldimaei over against this man's name, as if they were a people that sprung from him; whereas this word is wrongly put in Ptolemy {r} for Elymaeans, as it is in the Greek text, a people joining to the Persians:

and Sheleph and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah: to the first of these, Sheleph, the Targum of Jonathan adds,

"who drew out the water of the rivers;''

his people are supposed by Bochart {s}, to be the Alapeni of Ptolemy {t}, which should be read Salapeni, who were, he says, more remote from the rest, almost as far as the neck of Arabia, and not far from the spring of the river Betius. The next son, Hazarmaveth, or Hasermoth, as in the Vulgate Latin, is thought to give name to a people in Arabia, called by Pliny {u} Chatramotitae, and by Ptolemy Cathramonitae, whose country, Strabo says {w}, produces myrrh; according to Ptolemy {x} they reached from the mountain Climax to the Sabaeans, among whom were a people, called, by Pliny {y}, Atramitae, who inhabited a place of the same name, and which Theophrastus calls Adramyta, which comes nearer the name of this man, and signifies the court or country of death: and in those parts might be places so called, partly from the unwholesomeness of the air, being thick and foggy, and partly from the frankincense which grew there, which was fatal to those that gathered it, and therefore only the king's slaves, and such as were condemned to die, were employed in it, as Bochart {z} has observed from Arrianus; as also because of the multitude of serpents, with which those odoriferous countries abounded, as the same writer relates from Agatharcides and Pliny. The next son of Joktan is Jerah, which signifies the moon, as Hilal does in Arabic; and Alilat with the Arabians, according to Herodotus {a}, is "Urania", or the moon; hence Bochart {b} thinks, that the Jeracheans, the posterity of Jerah, are the Alilaeans of Diodorus Siculus {c}, and others, a people of the Arabs; and the Arabic geographer, as he observes, makes mention of a people near Mecca called Bene Hilal, or the children of Jerah; and he is of opinion that the island Hieracon, which the Greeks call the island of the Hawks placed by Ptolemy {d}, in Arabia Felix, adjoining to the country which lies upon the Arabian Gulf, is no other than the island of the Jeracheans, the posterity of this man: the Arabs {e} speak of a son of Joktan or Cahtan, they call Jareb, who succeeded his father, which perhaps may be a corruption of Jerah; and another, called by them Jorham.

{o} Apud Pocock. Specimen. Arab. Hist., p. 40.
{p} Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.
{q} See his Works, p. 3. 59.
{r} Ut supra, (Geograph. l. 6.) c. 5.
{s} Phaleg. l. 2. c. 16. col. 99.
{t} Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.)
{u} Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28.
{w} Geograph. l. 16. p. 528.
{x} Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.)
{y} Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 14.
{z} Phaleg. l. 2. c. 17. col. 102.
{a} Thalia sive, l. 3. c. 8.
{b} Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 19.
{c} Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 179.
{d} Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.)
{e} Apud Pocock. Specimem. Arab. Hist. p. 40.