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  1  definition  found 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
  wide  spreading:  "God  shall  enlarge  Japheth"  (Heb.  Yaphat  Elohim 
  le-Yephet,  Gen.  9:27.  Some  however,  derive  the  name  from 
  _yaphah_,  "to  be  beautiful;"  hence  white),  one  of  the  sons  of 
  Noah,  mentioned  last  in  order  (Gen.  5:32;  6:10;  7:13),  perhaps 
  first  by  birth  (10:21;  comp.  9:24).  He  and  his  wife  were  two  of 
  the  eight  saved  in  the  ark  (1  Pet.  3:20).  He  was  the  progenitor 
  of  many  tribes  inhabiting  the  east  of  Europe  and  the  north  of 
  Asia  (Gen.  10:2-5).  An  act  of  filial  piety  (9:20-27)  was  the 
  occasion  of  Noah's  prophecy  of  the  extension  of  his  posterity. 
  After  the  Flood  the  earth  was  re-peopled  by  the  descendants  of 
  Noah,  "the  sons  of  Japheth"  (Gen.  10:2),  "the  sons  of  Ham"  (6), 
  and  "the  sons  of  Shem"  (22).  It  is  important  to  notice  that 
  modern  ethnological  science,  reasoning  from  a  careful  analysis 
  of  facts,  has  arrived  at  the  conclusion  that  there  is  a 
  three-fold  division  of  the  human  family,  corresponding  in  a 
  remarkable  way  with  the  great  ethnological  chapter  of  the  book 
  of  Genesis  (10).  The  three  great  races  thus  distinguished  are 
  called  the  Semitic,  Aryan,  and  Turanian  (Allophylian).  "Setting 
  aside  the  cases  where  the  ethnic  names  employed  are  of  doubtful 
  application,  it  cannot  reasonably  be  questioned  that  the  author 
  [of  Gen.  10]  has  in  his  account  of  the  sons  of  Japheth  classed 
  together  the  Cymry  or  Celts  (Gomer),  the  Medes  (Madai),  and  the 
  Ionians  or  Greeks  (Javan),  thereby  anticipating  what  has  become 
  known  in  modern  times  as  the  'Indo-European  Theory,'  or  the 
  essential  unity  of  the  Aryan  (Asiatic)  race  with  the  principal 
  races  of  Europe,  indicated  by  the  Celts  and  the  Ionians.  Nor  can 
  it  be  doubted  that  he  has  thrown  together  under  the  one  head  of 
  'children  of  Shem'  the  Assyrians  (Asshur),  the  Syrians  (Aram), 
  the  Hebrews  (Eber),  and  the  Joktanian  Arabs  (Joktan),  four  of 
  the  principal  races  which  modern  ethnology  recognizes  under  the 
  heading  of  'Semitic.'  Again  under  the  heading  of  'sons  of  Ham,' 
  the  author  has  arranged  'Cush',  i.e.,  the  Ethiopians;  'Mizraim,' 
  the  people  of  Egypt;  'Sheba  and  Dedan,'  or  certain  of  the 
  Southern  Arabs;  and  'Nimrod,'  or  the  ancient  people  of  Babylon, 
  four  races  between  which  the  latest  linguistic  researches  have 
  established  a  close  affinity"  (Rawlinson's  Hist.  Illustrations).