(1.) The fourth "son" of Japheth (Ge 10:2), whose descendants settled in Greece, i.e., Ionia, which bears the name of Javan in Hebrew. Alexander the Great is called the "king of Javan" (rendered "Grecia," Da 8:21; 10:20; comp. Da 11:2; Zec 9:13). This word was universally used by the nations of the East as the generic name of the Greek race.
(2.) A town or district of Arabia Felix, from which the Syrians obtained iron, cassia, and calamus (Eze 27:19).
1. Son of Japheth, father of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim (Ge 10:2,4). The same as Ionia, the branch of the Greek race best known in the East, so expressing the Greeks generally. Yavnan is the Assyrian designation in cuneiform inscriptions of Sargon's time. Yuna is their Persian designation in Persepolitan inscriptions. In Isa 66:19 James is one representative of the Gentile world. Its commerce in "the persons of men (slaves) and vessels of brass" with Tyre is mentioned Eze 27:13. In Joe 3:3,6, God reproves the nations because "they have given a boy for (as price for prostitution of) an harlot, and sold a girl for wine," especially Tyre and Sidon; "the children of Judah and Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians (sons of Javan), that ye might remove them far from their border." Others from the mention of "Sabeans" (Joe 3:8) think Javan in Arabia is meant. (See 2).
Some germs of civilization probably passed into Greece through Jewish slaves imported from Phoenicia. Greece, and her king Alexander, is prophetically mentioned (Da 8:21; 10:20; 11:2). God in retribution for the enslaving of Judah's children (Zec 9:13) declares He will fill His bow with Judah and Ephraim as His arrows, and "raise up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece"; fulfilled partly in His raising up the Jewish Maccabees against Antiochus Epiphanes the representative of Greece; hereafter to be exhaustively consummated in Israel being made victorious over the last antichrist, Antiochus' antitype.
2. In Eze 27:19 Javan is a Greek settlement in Arabia. Then instead of "going to and fro" translated "from Uzal." the capital of Arabia Felix or Yemen, Sanaa. However KJV yields good sense: all peoples, whether near as the Israelite "Dan" on the sea coast, or far off as" Javan," or the Greeks who "go to and fro," frequented thy fairs with "iron, cassia," etc. brought from various quarters.
Fourth son of Japheth, and father of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. "From these came the distribution of the isles of the nations." Ge 10:2,4; 1Ch 1:5,7. Corresponding to this is Isa 66:19, where God sends His messengers to Javan, to the isles afar off, where His glory shall be made known. In Da 8:21, where the Hebrew is the same, Alexander the Great is king of Javan, agreeing with Da 10:20; 11:2; , Zec 9:13 that Javan refers to Greece. In Eze 27:13 the Javan that traded with Tyre doubtless also refers to Greece; but in Eze 27:19 it is supposed to point to southern Arabia, the verse being better translated "Vedan and Javan of Uzal traded in thy markets," etc.
1. A son of Japheth.
Javan was regarded as the representative of the Greek race. The name was probably introduced into Asia by the Phoenicians, to whom the Ionians were naturally better known than any other of the Hellenic races, on account of their commercial activity and the high prosperity of their towns on the western coast of Asia Minor.
2. A town in the souther part of Arabia (Yemen), whither the Phoenicians traded.
JAVAN, or ION, (for the Hebrew word, differently pointed, forms both names,) was the fourth son of Japheth, and the father of all those nations which were included under the name of Grecians, or Ionians, as they were invariably called in the east. Javan had four sons, by whom the different portions of Greece Proper were peopled: Elisha, Tharsis, Chittim, and Dodanim. Elisha, Eliza, or Ellas, as it is written in the Chaldee, and from whom the Greeks took the name of '???????, settled in the Peloponnesus; where, in the Elysian fields and the river Ilissus, his name is still preserved. Tharsis settled in Achai; Chittim, in Macedonia; and Dodanim, in Thessaly and Epirus; where the city of Dodona gave ample proof of the origin of its name. But the Greeks did not remain pure Javanim. It appears from history that, at a very early age, they were invaded and subjugated by the Pelasgi, a Cuthite race from the east, and by colonies of Phenicians and Egyptians from the south: so that the Greeks, so famous in history, were a compound of all these people. The aboriginal Greeks were called Jaones, or Jonim; from which similarity of sound, the Jonim and the Javanim, although belonging to two essentially different families, have been confounded together. Javan is the name used in the Old Testament for Greece and the Greeks. See DIVISION OF THE EARTH.