Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Isaiah 66:19 (Javan and Tubal)

Isa 66:19 (NWT 1984) reads:

"And I will set among them a sign, and I will send some of those who
are escaped to the nations, [to] Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, those drawing
the bow, Tubal and Javan, the faraway islands, who have not heard a
report about me or seen my glory; and they will for certain tell about
my glory among the nations."

"I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who escape to the nations—to Tarʹshish, Pul, and Lud, those who draw the bow, to Tuʹbal and Jaʹvan, and to the faraway islands—who have not heard a report about me or seen my glory; and they will proclaim my glory among the nations" (2013 Revision).

There are a number of important points contained in this verse. But one thing that has long struck me when reading this verse is what "Javan" means.

John D.W. Watts (Isaiah 34-66 Word Biblical Commentary, page 365) says
that Javan is in Greece. Insight on the Scriptures (Vol 1:1257) which
is published by the WTBTS also has an informative entry on Javan,
noting that Javan is identified as the progenitor of the ancient
Ionians, which some have called "the parent tribe of the Greeks." The
poet Homer uses Iaones and applies it to the early Greeks while the
name Jawanu begins to appear in Assyrian inscriptions around the 8th
century B.C.E.

The Insight book also points out that, in time, the name Ionia was narrowly applied to Attica, to the western coast of Asia Minor, and the adjacent isles belonging to the Aegean Sea. Similar phraseology (as found in Isa 66:19) also can be discovered in Joel 3:4-6, Zech 9:13, and Ezek 27:13. Please consult the Insight book for further discussion.

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