Dating Genesis, Madai & Japheth

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Sun Dec 5 18:02:00 EST 1999

Interesting idea, but I am not convinced. Note that Madai is not 
numbered among the sons of Javan (as one would expect on your theory) 
but as an elder brother - but not as the eldest brother, as one would 
expect if the intention of the change was to give greater honour to 
the Persian dynasty. Apparently all of the peoples in the largely 
mountainous area to the north of Canaan, from Greece to Iran, were 
numbered as the descendants of Japheth, whereas the Hamites were 
mostly to the south and the Semites to the east, but not in the 
mountains. This geographical division is surely sufficient to explain 
the existing text without having to posit dependence on a Greek myth. 
Also the Greek myth could have been dependent on forms of Genesis or 
something similar to it, which could have made their way to Athens at 
this time. So you have not demonstrated the dependence you claim.

Peter Kirk

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list