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Arabs in scripture: Not the sons of Yishma`el (Ishmael)

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM


We begin our discussion today with that ever-popular topic of genealogy set forth throughout scripture – a topic which often draws an extended yawn – yet which yields ultimate history and a better understanding of the modern world.  Let’s take a look:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 10:21-30
Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Yapheth the elder, even to him were children born. 22 The children of Shem; Eylam, and Ashshur, and Arpakshad, and Lud, and Aram. 23 And the children of Aram; Uts, and Chul, and Gether, and Mash. 24 And Arpakshad begat את eth-Shelach; and Shelach begat את eth-Eber. 25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Yoqtan. 26 And Yoqtan begat את eth-Almodad, and את eth-Sheleph, and את eth-Chatsarmaveth, and את eth-Yerach, 27 And את eth-Hadoram, and את eth-Uzal, and את eth-Diqlah, 28 And את eth-Oval, and את eth-Aviyma’el, and את eth-Sheva, 29 And את eth-Ophiyr, and את eth-Chaviylah, and את eth-Yovav: all these were the sons of Yoqtan. 30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as you go unto Cephar a mountain of the east.

­The critical part of this verse is verse 30.  Let’s look at the Ivriyt:

וַיְהִי מוֹשָׁבָם מִמֵּשָׁא בֹּאֲכָה סְפָרָה הַר הַקֶּדֶם׃

V’yahi moshaviym m’mesha bo’cah cepherah har h’qedem

And it shall be their dwellings are from Mesha, which goes to the south of the mountain of the east.

Is it possible that the mountain of the east is Mount Nevu (Nebo)? Or is it Ciynai or Chorev? In any case, Mesha is described as south of there.

So, we in the modern world accept the pronunciation of the city of Mecca as mekkah. However, we know that the Ivriyt letter shin (ש) is pronounced either as sh or ss, i.e., shin or sin.

With this in mind, let’s ignore the nikkud (again) and pronounce the word (מֵּשָׁא) not as Mesha, but rather as Mesa. Now, using the same pronunciation guide that renders the word Cepher as (sefer), we apply a similar disposition to the spelling Mecca to arrive at Messa, or Mesa

So, our verse point to the sons of Yoqtan - Almodad, Sheleph, Chatsarmaveth, Yerach,   Hadoram, Uzal, Diqlah, Oval, Aviyma’el, Sheva, Ophiyr, Chaviylah, Yovav: - all these were the sons of Yoqtan, and their dwelling was from Mesa (Mecca) as you go unto south from the mountain of the east.

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