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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

 

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HAVILAH

hav'-i-la (chawilah; Heuila):
(1) Son of Cush (Gen 10:7; 1 Ch 1:9).
(2) Son of Yoktan, descendant of Shem (Gen 10:29; 1 Ch 1:23).
(3) Mentioned with Shur as one of the limits of the territory of the Ishmaelites (Gen 25:18); compare the same limits of the land of the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:7), where, however, the text is doubtful. It is described (Gen 2:11,12) as bounded by the river Pishon and as being rich in gold, bdellium and "shoham-stone" (English Version of the Bible, "onyx"). The shoham-stone was perhaps the Assyrian samtu, probably the malachite or turquoise. The mention of a Cushite Havilah is explained by the fact that the Arabian tribes at an early time migrated to the coast of Africa. The context of Gen 10:7 thus favors situation on the Ethiopian shore, and the name is perhaps preserved in the kolpos Aualites and in the tribe Abalitai on the South side of the straits of Babel-Mandeb. Or possibly a trace of the name appears in the classical Aualis, now Zeila` in Somaliland. But its occurrence among the Yoktanite Arabs (Gen 10:29) suggests a location in Arabia. South Arabian inscriptions mention a district of Khaulan (Chaulan), and a place of this name is found both in Tihama and Southeast of San`a'. Again Strabo's Chaulotaioi and Chuwaila in Bahrein point to a district on the Arabian shore of the Persian Gulf. No exact identification has yet been made.
A. S. Fulton

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'HAVILAH'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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