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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

1. Son of Japheth, father of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim ( Genesis 10:2;  Genesis 10:4). The same as Ionia, the branch of the Greek race best known in the East, so expressing the Greeks generally. Yavnan is the Assyrian designation in cuneiform inscriptions of Sargon's time. Yuna is their Persian designation in Persepolitan inscriptions. In  Isaiah 66:19 James is one representative of the Gentile world. Its commerce in "the persons of men (slaves) and vessels of brass" with Tyre is mentioned  Ezekiel 27:13. In  Joel 3:3;  Joel 3:6, God reproves the nations because "they have given a boy for (as price for prostitution of) an harlot, and sold a girl for wine," especially Tyre and Sidon; "the children of Judah and Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians (sons of Javan), that ye might remove them far from their border." Others from the mention of "Sabeans" ( Joel 3:8) think Javan in Arabia is meant. (See 2).

Some germs of civilization probably passed into Greece through Jewish slaves imported from Phoenicia. Greece, and her king Alexander, is prophetically mentioned ( Daniel 8:21;  Daniel 10:20;  Daniel 11:2). God in retribution for the enslaving of Judah's children ( Zechariah 9:13) declares He will fill His bow with Judah and Ephraim as His arrows, and "raise up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece"; fulfilled partly in His raising up the Jewish Maccabees against Antiochus Epiphanes the representative of Greece; hereafter to be exhaustively consummated in Israel being made victorious over the last antichrist, Antiochus' antitype.

2. In  Ezekiel 27:19 Javan is a Greek settlement in Arabia. Then instead of "going to and fro" translated "from Uzal." the capital of Arabia Felix or Yemen, Sanaa. However KJV yields good sense: all peoples, whether near as the Israelite "Dan" on the sea coast, or far off as" Javan," or the Greeks who "go to and fro," frequented thy fairs with "iron, cassia," etc. brought from various quarters.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

JAVAN , the Heb. rendering of the Gr. Iaôn , ‘Ionian, is a general term in the Bible for Ionians or Greeks; very similar forms of the name occur in the Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions. In the genealogical table in Gn (  Genesis 10:2;   Genesis 10:4 ) and 1 Ch (  1 Chronicles 1:5;   1 Chronicles 1:7 ) Javan is described as a son of Japheth and the father of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim (or better, Rodanim, i.e. Rhodes); from the reference to Kittim (Kition) as his son, it is possible that the passage refers particularly to Cyprus. In   Isaiah 66:19 Javan is included among the distant countries that will hear of Jahweh’s glory; in   Joel 3:6 the sons of the Javanites are referred to as trading in Jewish captives with the PhÅ“nicians and Philistines; in   Ezekiel 27:13 Javan, with Tubal and Meshech, is described as trading with Tyre in slaves and vessels of brass. In all three passages the references are to the Ionian colonies on the coast of Asia Minor. In   Ezekiel 27:19 Javan appears a second time among the nations that traded with Tyre; clearly the Ionians are not intended, and, unless the text is corrupt (as is very probable), the reference may be to an Arab tribe, or perhaps to a Greek colony in Arabia. In   Daniel 8:21;   Daniel 10:20;   Daniel 11:2 , where ‘the king,’ ‘the prince,’ and ‘the kingdom’ of Javan are mentioned, the passages have reference to the Græco-Macedonian empire.

L. W. King.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

or ION, (for the Hebrew word, differently pointed, forms both names,) was the fourth son of Japheth, and the father of all those nations which were included under the name of Grecians, or Ionians, as they were invariably called in the east. Javan had four sons, by whom the different portions of Greece Proper were peopled: Elisha, Tharsis, Chittim, and Dodanim. Elisha, Eliza, or Ellas, as it is written in the Chaldee, and from whom the Greeks took the name of ‘Ελληνες , settled in the Peloponnesus; where, in the Elysian fields and the river Ilissus, his name is still preserved. Tharsis settled in Achai; Chittim, in Macedonia; and Dodanim, in Thessaly and Epirus; where the city of Dodona gave ample proof of the origin of its name. But the Greeks did not remain pure Javanim. It appears from history that, at a very early age, they were invaded and subjugated by the Pelasgi, a Cuthite race from the east, and by colonies of Phenicians and Egyptians from the south: so that the Greeks, so famous in history, were a compound of all these people. The aboriginal Greeks were called Jaones, or Jonim; from which similarity of sound, the Jonim and the Javanim, although belonging to two essentially different families, have been confounded together. Javan is the name used in the Old Testament for Greece and the Greeks. See Division Of The Earth .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

Fourth son of Japheth, and father of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. "From these came the distribution of the isles of the nations."  Genesis 10:2,4;  1 Chronicles 1:5,7 . Corresponding to this is  Isaiah 66:19 , where God sends His messengers to Javan, to the isles afar off, where His glory shall be made known. In  Daniel 8:21 , where the Hebrew is the same, Alexander the Great is king of Javan, agreeing with  Daniel 10:20;  Daniel 11:2; ,  Zechariah 9:13 that Javan refers to Greece. In   Ezekiel 27:13 the Javan that traded with Tyre doubtless also refers to Greece; but in   Ezekiel 27:19 it is supposed to point to southern Arabia, the verse being better translated "Vedan and Javan of Uzal traded in thy markets," etc.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Javan ( Jâ'Van ), Day. 1. A son of Japheth.  Genesis 10:2;  Genesis 10:4;  Isaiah 66:19;  Ezekiel 27:13. Javan was regarded as the representative of the Greek race. The name was probably introduced into Asia by the Phœnicians, to whom the Ionians were naturally better known than any other of the Hellenic races, on account of their commercial activity and the high prosperity of their towns on the western coast of Asia Minor. 2. A town in the southern part of Arabia (Yemen), whither the Phœnicians traded.  Ezekiel 27:19.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Ja'van. (Clay).

1. A son of Japheth.  Genesis 10:2;  Genesis 10:4. Javan was regarded as the representative of the Greek race. The name was, probably, introduced into Asia by the Phoenicians, to whom the Ionians were naturally better known than any other of the Hellenic races, on account of their commercial activity, and the high prosperity of their towns, on the western coast of Asia Minor.

2. A town in the southern part of Arabia (Yemen ), whither the Phoenicians traded.  Ezekiel 27:19.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

  • A town or district of Arabia Felix, from which the Syrians obtained iron, cassia, and calamus ( Ezekiel 27:19 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Javan'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [8]

    The fourth son of Japheth,  Genesis 10:2,4 . This name is the same as the Greek Ion, whence comes Ionia, and it is understood that Javan was the ancestor of the Greeks. See Greece .

    Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

     Genesis 10:2 Genesis 10:4GreeceTable Of Nations

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

    (Hebrew Yavan', יָוָן , of foreign origin), the name of a person (borrowed from that of his descendants) and also of a city.

    1. (Sept. Ι᾿Αύαν in  Genesis 10:2;  Genesis 10:4; Ι᾿Αϋάν in  1 Chronicles 1:5;  1 Chronicles 1:7; ῞Ελλάς in  Isaiah 66:19 and  Ezekiel 27:13; elsewhere Οἱ ῞Ελληνες ) The fourth son of Japheth,-and the father of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim ( Genesis 10:2;  Genesis 10:4;  1 Chronicles 1:5;  1 Chronicles 1:7). B.C. post 2514. Hence for the country settled by his posterity, supposed to be Greece, i.e. Ionia (whence the Heb. name), which province, settled by colonists from the mother country, was better known to the Orientals, as lying nearer to them, than Hellas itself (see Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 587). It is mentioned among the places where the Syrians obtained articles of traffic (comp. Bochart, Phaleg, 3, 3), namely, brass and slaves ( Ezekiel 27:13), as a distant country among the "isles of the sea" ( Isaiah 66:19). Alexander the Great is styled king of Javan.("Graeca,"  Daniel 8:21;  Daniel 10:20;  Daniel 11:2;  Zechariah 9:13). In  Joel 3:6, the patronymic occurs בְּנֵיאּהִיְּוָנֵים , sons of "the Grecians," like the poetic Υιες Ἀχαίων . (See Ethnology).

    This name, or its analogue, is found as a designation of Greece not only in all the Shemitic dialects, but also in the Sanskrit, the Old Persic, and the Egyptian (Knobel. Volkertafel. p. 78 sq.), and the form Ι᾿Άονες appears in Homer as the designation of the early inhabitants of Attica (Iliad, 13, 685), while Aeschylus and Aristophanes make their Persian interlocutors call the Greeks Ι᾿Άονες (Aeschylus, Pers. 174, 055, 911, etc.; Aristoph. Acharn. 104, 106), and the Scholiast on the latter of these passages from Aristophanes expressly says, Πάντας Τοὺς ῞Ελληνας Ι᾿Άονας Οἱ Βάρβαροι Ἐκάλουν . "The occurrence of the name in the cuneiform inscriptions of the time of Sargon (about B.C. 709), in the form of Yavnan or Yunan, as descriptive of the isle of Cyprus, where the Assyrians first came in contact with the power of the Greeks further shows that its use was not confined to the Hebrews, but was widely spread throughout the East. The name was probably introduced into Asia by the Phoenicians, to whom the Ionians were naturally better known than any other of the Hellenic races on account of their commercial activity and the high prosperity of their towns on the western coast of Asia Minor. The extension of the name westward to the general body of the Greeks, as they became known to the Hebrews through the Phoenicians, was but a natural process, analogous to that which we have already had to notice in the case of Chittim. It can hardly be imagined that the early Hebrews themselves had any actual acquaintance with the Greeks; it is, however, worth mentioning, as illustrative of the communication which existed between the Greeks and the East, that, amongst the artists who contributed to the ornamentation of Esarhaddon's palaces, the names of several Greek artists appear in one of the inscriptions (Rawlinson's Herod. 1, 483). At a later period the Hebrews must have gained considerable knowledge of the Greeks through the Egyptians. Psammetichus (B.C. 6.64-610) employed Ionians and Carians as mercenaries, and showed them so much favor that the war-caste of Egypt forsook him in a body: the Greeks were settled near Bubastis, in a part- of the country with which the Jews were familiar (Herod. 2, 154). The same policy was followed by the succeeding monarchs, especially Amasis (B.C. 571-525),who gave the Greeks Naucratis as a commercial emporium. It is tolerably certain that any information which the Hebrews acquired in relation to the Greeks must have been through the indirect means to which we have adverted; the Greeks themselves were very slightly acquainted with the southern coast of Syria until the invasion of Alexander the Great. The earliest notices of Palestine occur in the works of Hecataeus (B.C. 594-486), who mentions only the two towns Canytis and Cardytts; the next are in Herodotus, who describes the country as Syria Palestina, and notices incidentally the towns Ascalon, Azotus, Ecbatama. (Batannea?), and Cadytis, the same as the Canytis of Hecateus, probably Gaza. These towns were on the border of Egypt, with the exception of the uncertain Ecbatana, and it is' therefore highly probable that no Greek had, down to this late period, travelled through Palestine" (See Greece).

    2. (Sept. Οινος ''V. R Ι᾿Ωνάν , Ι᾿Αουάν ) A region or town of Arabia Felix, whence' the Syrians' procured manufactures of iron, cassia, and calamus ( Ezekiel 27:19); probably the Javan mentioned in the Cam '''''Û''''' S'' (p. 1817) as" a town of Yemen," and "a port of Ispahan." Some confound this with the preceding name (Credner and Hitzig, On  Joel 3:6; see Meier On Joel, p. 166), but Tuch (On Genesis p. 210) suggests that it may have been so named as having been founded by a colony of Greeks. By a change of reading (see Havernick, ad loc.) in an associated word ( מֵאוּזָל .,from Uzal, for מְאוּזִּל , Spun, i.e. thread), some critics have thought they find another place mentioned in the same vicinity (see Bochart, Phaleg, I, 2, 21; Rosenm Ü ller, Bibl. Geog. 3: 296-305). Javelin is the rendering in the Auth. Vers. of two Heb. terms: חֲנַית (chanith', so called from its Flexibility), a lance ( 1 Samuel 18:10-11;  1 Samuel 19:9-10;  1 Samuel 20:33; elsewhere "spear"); and רֹמִח (ro'mach, from its Piercing), a lance for heavy-armed troops ( Numbers 25:7; "lancet," i.e. spear-head,  1 Kings 18:28; "bucklder," incorrectly,  1 Chronicles 12:8; elsewhere "spear"). (See Armor).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

    jā´van ( יון , yāwān , meaning unknown):

    (1) In  Genesis 10:2 ,  Genesis 10:4 =   1 Chronicles 1:5 ,  1 Chronicles 1:7 Septuagint Ἰωυάν , Iōuán  ;  Isaiah 66:19;  Ezekiel 27:13 Septuagint Ἑλλάς , Hellás , Greece);  Daniel 8:21 m;   Daniel 10:20;  Daniel 11:2;  Zechariah 9:13;  Joel 3:6 (Hebrew 4:6) Septuagint ὁι Ἑλληνες , hoi Héllēnes , i.e. "Greeks"), "son" of Japheth, and "father" of Elisha, Tars, Kittim, and Rodarim, i.e. Rhodes (incorrectly "Dodanim" in  Genesis 10:4 ). Javan is the Greek Ἰάων , Iáōn or Ἰάων , ( v ) ōn , and in Gen and 1 Ch = the Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor, probably here = Cyprus. The reference in  Ezekiel 27:13 (from which that in   Isaiah 66:19 is copied) is the country personified. In Joel the plural יונים , yewānı̄m , is found. In Dan the name is extended to the Greeks generally. Corroboration of the name is found in Assyrian (Schrader, editor, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek , II, 43). "The Persian Yauna occurs in the same double reference from the time of Darius; compare Aesch. Pers ., 176, 562" (Skinner, Gen , 198). In Egyptian the word is said to be yevan - ‛n' a  ; in the Tell el-Amarna Letters Yivana is mentioned as being in the land of Tyre. See HDB , II, 552b.

    (2) Place ( Ezekiel 27:19 ); the name is missing in Septuagint.

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

    Ja´van, the fourth son of Japhet. The interest connected with his name arises from his being the supposed progenitor of the original settlers in Greece and its isles [[[Nations, Dispersion Of]]]