Word Study: Greece or Javan

The Hebrew word for Greece is “YaVaN” (Strongs 3120). Strongs 3121 is spelled the same in Hebrew and pronounced similarly with a meaning of “mud” or “miry clay”. Perhaps YaVaN means “the muddy one” having reference to the state of the land after the flood. YaVaN is found 11 times total in the OT: Javan 7 (Gen 10:2, 4; 1 Chron 1:5, 7; Is 66:19; Ez 27:13, 19),Grecia 3 (Dan 8:21; 10:20; 11:2), Greece 1 (Zech 9:13).

Now NoaK (commonly called Noah) had a son, YaFeTH, who had seven offsprings: GoMeR, MaGoWG, MaDiY (the Medes), YaVaN, TuBeL, MeSHeK and TYReK (possibly Tyrus). Thus, YaVaN, Greece, is the descendents of YaVaN, who is son of YaFeTH, son of NoaK. The sons of YaFeTH populated the shores of the nations divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations, which includes YaVan – Greece (Gen 10).

The Greek word found in the NT for Greece is Hellas or Hellen. YaVan transliterated to Greek over time became “Ian” or “Ion” who evolved into a mythological character. Thus, Yavan and Ion could possibly be the same person. Ionia is at least one of the tribes and its language that made up ancient Greece, and in some instances identified the whole of Greece. The sea between Greece and Turkey is called the Ionian Sea because of this. Thus, YaVaN is the ancient name of Greece identified as the descendants of the son of YaFeTH, son of NoaK.

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