The Geography of the Seventy Nations
- Main article Seventy nations
- 1 Rabbinical designations
- 2 Modern Quasi-Scientific Attempts at designations
- 3 Conclusion
A table of Biblical versus Rabbinical names of the seventy nations as listed in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
The Sons of Japheth (Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C)
- Gomer identified with Carthagena (; according to some sources, Gothia).
- Magog identified with Germania. Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-V20
- Madai identified with Media. Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M356
- Yavan identified with Macedonia (according to some sources, Ephesus).
- Tuval identified with Bithynia.
- Meshekh identified with Mysia.
- Tiras identified with Thracia.
The Sons of Gomer (Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M217)
- Ashkenaz identified with Asia (preconsuiaris).
- Rifath identified with Adiabene.
- Togarmah identified with Germanicia (city in the province of Commagene).
The Sons of Yavan
- Elishah identified with ?olis (in Asia Minor).
- Tarshish identified with Tarsus (city in Asia Minor).
- Kittim identified with Italy (southern; according to some sources, Hellas).
- Dodanim identified with Dardania (a district in the southwestern part of Moesia).
The Sons of Cham (Y-chromosomal Haplogroup DE)
- Khush identified with Arabia.
- Mitzraim identified with Egypt.
- Put identified with Marmarica (between Egypt and Cyrenaica).
- Canaan identified with Canaan. Y-chromosomal Haplogroup D
The Sons of Khush and Ra'amah
- Seva identified with Syene (the frontier town of Egypt to the south).
- Chavila identified with India (in Africa, south of Egypt).
- Savtah identified with Lembrit? (to the south of Meroe").
- Savtekha identified with Region on the eastern coast of Africa.
- Ra'amah identified with Sudan (between Egypt and Ethiopia).
Nimrod's Kingdom and His Foundations
- Erekh identified with Warka (on the left bank of the Euphrates; according to some sources, Charon in Media).
- Akkad identified with Cascara (on the Tigris; according to some sources, Nisibin).
- Khalneh identified with Nippur (unidentified by the Midrash; according to some sources, Ctesiphon).
- Rehovoth Ir identified with Probably a suburb of Nineveh.
- Khalach identified with Edessa.
- Resen identified with Ctesiphon.
The Sons of Mitzraim
- Ludim identified with Nomos Neut.
- 'Anamim identified with Mareot?.
- Lehavim identified with Nomos in North Egypt.
- Naftuchim identified with Pentascoimen.
- Pathrusim identified with Unidentified.
- Kasluchim identified with Pentapolis (Cyrenaica).
- Kaftorim identified with Cappadocia.
Modern Quasi-Scientific Attempts at designations
Here are two reconstructions of the traditional geographical location of the Biblical nations around the time of First Temple.
Japheth, literally means "opened" or "expanded". Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C*.
- Gomer, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M217. The Cimmerian nation (Κιμμέριοι) that roamed from the Eurasian Steppes.
- Ashkenaz, Scythians of central Eurasia. Their noble name was adopted by the Germano-Celtic farmers (Scands & Scots) they ruled over.
- Rifath, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-MP39 Found in several indigenous peoples of North America, including some Na-Dené-, Algonquian-, or Siouan-speaking populations.
- Magog, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-V20. The nation that originally came from Georgia, a region between the Black and Caspian Seas south of the Caucasus Mountains.
- Meshekh, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-P55 New Guinea, Massagetae.
- Tubal, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M347, Australia, not to be confused with the Tubal-Qenites.
- Tiras, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M8, Yonaguni, who established Yayoi by 300BC.
- Madai, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M356, not to be confused with the Medes of Mittanni.
- Javan, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M38, Java.
- Elishah Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M38, Paradisical Austronesian islands.
- Tarshish, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M38 eastern land where peacocks and apes abound.
- Dodanim Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M38. An ancient nation who brought about the post-diluvian division among mankind. Not to be confused with the Dedanites of Jokshan.
- Kittim, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup C-M38 Cathay of the Far East, preserved through the centuries in the more familiar Chinese term, Cathay. The Cathay were Mongoloids and considered a part of early Chinese stock. It seems the remnants of the Kittim, after the destruction of their empire, traveled towards the east and settled among the Sinites, contributing to their civilization, and thus becoming the ancestors of many Asian people groups including the Khazar or Ashkenazim "Jews". Still others migrated throughout the region and beyond, making up the present-day Mongoloid races in Asia and the Americas. What the Chinese call "Hsiung-nu" However are the Y-Haplogroup N Turko-Mogul nomad tribes we know as "Huns".
Ham, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup DE*, literally means "warm" or "passionate". Although Ham first established himself in Sumer, the land of Ham is Africa; more particularly Egypt (Psalms 78:51; 105:23; 106:22). His descendants, however, were first to leave the territory assigned them, emigrating from Asia to the Pacific. The Shemites were still in the area at the time of Abram. It is the Canaanites who were "spread abroad" or driven out and scattered (Genesis 10:18) in the days of Peleg and later "divided" by the Gentiles or Japhethites when God "enlarged" them (Genesis 9:27; 10:5, 25).
- Khush, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup DE*. Etymologically related to the Sanskrit word Krishna, both words meaning "dark/black". The earliest world empire mentioned in the Bible, as well as Sumerian and Hindu traditions which was replaced by the empire of Ashur. The Cushites drifted into Africa from the east, settling first in Shinar, thence south Arabia, southern Egypt, the Sudan and finally around Ethiopia.
- Seva, Y-Haplogroup E2* (سبأ) Nation that settled the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula, founding the nation of the Sabaeans, nowadays called Yemen.
- Savtah, Y-Haplogroup E2* Nation that settled on the east coast of southern Arabia.
- Savtekha, Y-Haplogroup E2* Nation that settled in Yemen.
- Chavila, Y-Haplogroup E2a Nation that settled on the eastern coast of northern Arabia near present-day Kuwait.
- Ra'amah, Y-Haplogroup E2b Nation that settled on the east coast of southern Arabia, possibly in present-day Oman.
- Sheva, Nation that settled north of Yemen in a fertile land known as the "Spice Kingdom" whence the queen brought oil of spikenard as a gift to king Solomon.
- Dedan, Nation that settled in the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf.
- Mitzraim, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup E1b. Nation that settled in upper and lower Egypt in North Africa.
- Ludim, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup E1b1b1b. Nation that settled Lybia on the northern coast of Africa.
- 'Anamim, Nation that settled in the Nile Delta but as little is known of this tribe they may have been devastated by the Ethiopic War.
- Lehavim, Nation perhaps this tribe was destroyed in the Ethiopic War.
- Naftuchim, Nation that settled in the Nile Delta and the western parts of Egypt. Early records refer to them as "they of the delta" or "marshland". Josephus says they were destroyed in the Ethiopic War.
- Caphtorim, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup E-M34. They also migrated to the lower part of the Mediterranean coast belonging to Shem and are the Palestinians. The Greco-Roman ancestors which they deified in their pantheons were mainly Caphtorim. They are also referred to by some ancient Egyptian Heiroglyphic inscriptions as the Shemau.
- Put, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup E1a. Nation that settled Libya and are the Cyrenaeans and North Africans, possibly also connected to the Olmecs.
- Canaan Y-chromosomal Haplogroup D once settled in the land of Canaan but has long since been wiped out in the west. The Hamitic origin of his name means, "belonging to the land of red purple" after the murex sea shells from which this dye was extracted. In Akkadian it meant "red-colored wool". The Greeks renamed them "phoenicians" from the Greek "Phoniki" which means dark red. The Romans transcribed the Greek "phoenix" to "poenus", thus calling the emigres to Carthage "punic". In Hebrew it means "merchant", or "trafficer" -- "to bend the knee", "humiliate", "bring down low", or "vanquish". Genesis 10:18 said, "the families of the Canaanites (would be scattered, vanquished, or) spread abroad".
Canaan Y-chromosomal Haplogroup D receives his first Biblical definition in the Table of Nations as the father of Sidon and Heth, of the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgasites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites. The five names following Sidon are familiar as the inhabitants of the "Promised Land" (Exodus 13:5). They occupied the area enclosed by the border of Genesis 10:19, running south from Sidon towards Gaza, through Gerar and across to the cities of the Dead Sea plain. No eastern limit is drawn. At the time of the conquest, the land as a whole was named Canaan (Numbers 35:10), a usage understandable in light of Canaan's place at the head of the peoples of Genesis 10:15-19.
A sizeable number of peoples generally classified as Mongoloid, who settled the Far East are descendants of the Canaanites, including some peoples of the Islands of the Southern Seas, some central Asians like the Tibetans and most of the Ainu.
Those of the Canaanite nations which are *not* counted among the seventy are as follow. Cheth, known to the Assyrians as the Khatti. Their name was perpetuated in the Hittite capital Hattushash; modern Boghazkoy in Turkey. Hattians in Cuneiform appears as Khittae, representing a once powerful nation. They were completely obliterated and are not counted among the 72 nations. Yevusite, Nation that settled around Jerusalem. They were completely obliterated and are not counted among the 72 nations. Amorite, Nation that settled east of Canaan by the Dead Sea and the Jordan (Joshua 24:11). They were completely obliterated and are not counted among the 72 nations. They were to conquer Babylonia, subsequently producing one of the most famous kings in the ancient world, Hammui, whose own name contains the designation Amarru. God told Abraham, "Israel will return to Canaan when the iniquity of the Amorites is come to the full" (Exodus 15:16). Girgashite, Nation that lived east of the river Jordan and the Sea of Galilee. Chivite, Nation that dwelt at the base of Mount Hermon in the Valleys of Lebanon, and at Shechem (Genesis 34:2; Joshua 9:7-17; 11:19).
The sons of Canaan which are counted among the seventy are as follow.
- 'Arkite, Y-Haplogroup D3 Nation that dwelt near Mount Lebanon.
- Arvadite, Y-Haplogroup D* Nation that settled on the Phoenician Island of Arad off the coast of Lebanon near Tripoli.
- Tzemarite, Y-Haplogroup D* Nation that settled the coast adjacent to the Arvadites
- Chamathite, Y-Haplogroup D2 Nation that settled in Hamath, the chief city of upper Syria on the Orontes river.
- Sinite, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup D1 Nation that dwelt on the coast, west of Mount Lebanon. Sinites are the progenitors of the Sinitic people.
"Sin", a cousin of Hattians, has many occurrences in variant forms in the Far East and Y-chromosomal Haplogroup D. The place most closely associated by the Chinese themselves with the origin of their civilization is the capital of Shensi, namely, Siang-fu or "Father Sin", on the Wei, a tributory of the Yellow River, near important gold and jade mines.
Moreover, those who came from the Far East to trade with the Scythians were called Sinae (Sin). Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer, referred to China as the land of Sinim or Sin. Reference to the Sinim in Isaiah 49:12 notes they came "from afar," Arabs called China Sin, Chin, Mahachin, or Machin. The Sin were spoken of as a people in the remotest parts of Asia. Their most important town was Thin, a great trading emporium in western China. This city is now known as Thsin or simply Tin, and it lies in the province of Shensi. The Sin became independent in Western China, their princes reigning there for some 650 years before they finally gained dominion over the whole land. In the third century B.C., the dynasty of Tsin became supreme. In 217 B.C., Prince Cheng, founder of the Ch'in Dynasty (from which the name "China" is taken) unified China and took the title of Shih Hwang-ti (First Emperor). Shih Hwang-ti built much of the Great Wall of China, and a network of roads and canals that converged on his capitol, near modern Sian, in Shensi province. It is known that his people who gave their name to China actually came from Tibet. After the end of his dynasty his people were exiled from China not back to where they came from but to the ancient islands of Japan a legend now backed up by genetic science which has discovered Human Y-chromosomal Haplogroup D present not only in Tibet but also in northern Japan. After the attacks of King Saul the Benjaminite, the Amorite origin Gibeonites who became the Nethinim also migrated to Tibet (where the Hindus called them "untouchables") to be with their cousins bringing the vestiges of Israelite religion to the Sinites, which is evidenced in the composition of certain Chinese pictograms as well as some holidays on the Chinese calendar, the Shinto concept of Kami and other practices preserved by Shinto priests.
Sinites are not to be confused with the Cathay people of historical reference.
Shemite, literally means "renown". Y-chromosomal Haplogroup F*. Islamic sources have always referred to Iran as the original land of Shem. His descendants have been prominent in the middle east from time immemorial but have since spread throughout the world.
- 'Elam, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup H. The nation that settled a province east of Babylon and northeast of the lower Tigris and just north of Persia. The Elamite language has been genetically related to that of the Dravidians.
- Asshur Y-chromosomal Haplogroup G, is the same name as Asher. The nation that is ancestor to the Adiabene Assyrians or Northern Iraquis.
- Lud Y-chromosomal Haplogroup I. The nation that is the ancestor of the Lydians who settled in Asia Minor and spoke an Indo-European language.
- Aram Y-chromosomal Haplogroup J. The nation that became the Aramaeans or Syrians and Lebanese. The origianl Arabs (it is still maintained), are those Semitic Arabs descended from Aram; whilst the Hamitic Arabs (whose languages Aram mostly adopted) are referred to somewhat derogatorily as Musta 'rabs, that is, pretended Arabs.
- Utz, Nation that settled in Northern Arabia, between Babylonia and Edom
- Arpakhshad, Y-chromosomal Haplogroup K. The nation that was the ancestor of the Chaldeans of Southern Iraq, Hebrews, Arabians, Amorites, and the Moabites/Jordanians.
- Almodad, Nation whose settlement cannot be precisely determined, perhaps Yemen.
- Sheva, Nation that became a Yemeni tribe of Arabs.
- Chatzarmaveth, Nation on south-east Arabia.
- Yerach, Nation on south-east Arabian coast.
- Hadoram, Nation in southern Arabia.
- Uzal, Nation that dwelt in Yemen.
- Diqlah, Nation on that settled in the north-eastern extremity of the Arabian peninsula.
- Oval, Nation that became a Yemeni tribe.
- Avimael, Nation that became a Yemeni tribe.
- Sheva, Nation that became a Yemeni tribe.
- Ofir, Nation on the coast of south-west Arabia.
- Chavilah, Nation on the eastern shore of the gulf of Aquaba.
- Yovav, Nation close by present-day Mecca.
ConclusionThere have been many attempts to trace the traditional biblical nations to modern day ethnic groups some of which have been proven by genetic science while others are clearly in contradiction with the evidence. Nevertheless, as we will see further in Jewish literature, the "seventy nations" are archetypes for distinct approaches to understanding, sometimes called "seventy paths" to G-d. That being said, we must not lose sight of the connection to region, land, peoplehood, ethnicity and nationality for the purposes of determining legal jurisdiction.
- Scozzari R, Massaia A, D’Atanasio E, Myres NM, Perego UA, et al. (2012) Molecular Dissection of the Basal Clades in the Human Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49170. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049170