views updated


JOKTAN (Heb. יָקְטָן), younger son of Eber and brother of Peleg in the line of *Shem (Gen. 10:25; i Chron. 1:19). He fathered 13 sons or nations (Gen. 10:26–29; i Chron. 1:20–23), the names of most of which can be identified with Arabian tribes or place-names. Indeed, their settlements are said to have extended from Mesha which is in the north of Arabia to Sephar, the hill country to the east (Gen. 10:30). The origin of the name is uncertain.


A. Reuveni, Shem, Ḥam, ve-Yafet (1932), index; J.A. Montgomery, Arabia and the Bible (1934), 37ff.; B. Maisler, in: Zion, 11 (1946), 13; H.Z. Hirschberg, Yisrael ba-Arav (1946), 30–32; M.D. Cassuto, Commentary on Genesis, 2 (1964), 221. add. bibliography: R. Hess, in: abd, 3:935.