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Uzal

UZAL

UZAL (Heb. אוּזָל), a geographic designation in the Bible, appearing in two different and seemingly unrelated contexts.

(1) In the Table of Nations, Uzal is a descendant of Shem and son of Joktan (Gen. 10:27; i Chron. 1:21), and probably refers to Sanʿa, the capital of Yemen, since the family of Joktan represents the inhabitants of Southern Arabia and Azal is the pre-Islamic name of Sanʿa.

(2) The Uzal mentioned in Ezekiel 27:19 was, apparently, one of the places which traded with Tyre, Although the meaning of the text is uncertain, in the light of the Septuagint reading of yayin (יַיִן, "wine") instead of *Javan (יָוָן), it seems to be dealing with a wine-producing region comparable to that of Helbon (near Damascus), mentioned in the preceding verse. Now, wine from Izalla is compared to wine from Helbon in a lexical text from Nineveh. Accordingly, the Uzal of Ezekiel 27:19 is probably to be identified with the Izalla of cuneiform sources, which was located near the Upper Tigris (Izalla Mountain of Byzantine historians).

bibliography:

R. Strothmann, in: El, 4 (19342), 154; J. Lewy, in: Orientalia, 21 (1952), 1–12; A. Millard, in: jss, 7 (1962), 201–3.

[Irene Grumach]

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