numbering, ( Genesis 10:30 ), supposed by some to be the ancient Himyaritic capital, "Shaphar," Zaphar, on the Indian Ocean, between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
book; scribe; number
(a numbering ). It is written after the enumeration of the sons of Joktan, "And their dwelling was from Mesha as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east." ( Genesis 10:30 ) The Joktanites occupied the southwestern portion of the peninsula of Arabia. The undoubted identifications of Arabian places and tribes with their Joktanite originals are included within these limits, and point to Sephar, on the shore of the Indian Ocean, as the eastern boundary. The ancient seaport town called Zafar represents the biblical site or district.
Only in Genesis 10:30 cepharah, "toward Sephar"), as the eastern limit of the territory of the sons of Yoktan (Joktan). From the similarity between the names of most of Yoktan's sons and the names of South Arabian towns or districts, it can hardly be doubted that Sephar is represented by the Arabic Qafar. The appropriateness of the site seems to outweigh the discrepancy between Arabic "z" and Hebrew "s". But two important towns in South Arabia bear this name. The one lies a little to the South of San`a'. According to tradition it was founded by Shammir, one of the Sabean kings, and for a long time served as the royal seat of the Tubbas. The other Zafar stands on the coast in the district of Shichr, East of Chadramaut. The latter is probably to be accepted as the Biblical site.
A. S. Fulton
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