Tubal, תובל IPA [ tʷu'bal ] or תבל [ tu'bal ], "Thou shalt be brought", in Genesis 10 (the Table of Nations), was the name of a son of Japheth, son of Noah.

Many authors, following the Romanized Jewish author Josephus (1st century AD), related the name to Iber. Concerning the question of the ethnic affinity of the population of Tubal, Josephus wrote: "Tobal gave rise to the Thobeles, who are now called Iberes". This version was repeated by Patriarch Eustathius of Antioch, Bishop Theodoret, and others. However, Jerome, Isidore of Seville, and the Welsh historian Nennius stated another tradition that Tubal was ancestor to the Iberians, 'Italians' [i.e., Italic tribes] and 'Spanish' [who were also called Iberians]. A divergent tradition recorded by Hippolytus of Rome lists Tubal's descendants as the "Hettali".

According to a Catalan legend, Japheth's son Tubal is said to have sailed from Jaffa with his family and arrived at the Francolí river of Spain in 2157 BC, where he founded a city named after his son Tarraho, now Tarragona. He then proceeded to the Ebro (like Iberia, named after his second son Iber), where he built several more settlements, including Amposta. His third son's name is given as Semptofail. Noah himself is said to have visited them here about 100 years later. Tubal is said to have reigned for 155 years, until he died while preparing to colonize Mauretania and was succeeded by Iber. Other traditions make Tubal son of Japheth (who is often confounded with Tubal-Cain son of Lamech, a figure from before the flood) to be the founder of Ravenna in Italy, Setúbal in Portugal, and Toledo and many other places in Spain. The earliest source for most of these legends seems to have been the Pseudo-Berosus published by Annio da Viterbo in 1498, now widely considered a forgery.

Basque intellectuals like Poza (16th century) have named Tubal as the ancestor of Basques, and by extension, the Iberians. The French Basque author Augustin Chaho (19th century) published The Legend of Aitor, asserting that the common patriarch of the Basques was Aitor, a descendant of Tubal.

The Caucasian Iberians were ancestors of modern Georgians. Some modern Georgians also claim descent from Tubal, Togarmah and Meshech; a Georgian historian, Ivane Javakhishvili, considered Tabal, Tubal, Jabal and Jubal to be ancient Georgian tribal designations.

The Tabali (Tibareni in Greek) were Luwian tribes of Asia Minor of the 3rd-1st millennias BC. They and other related tribes, the Chalybes (Khalib/Khaldi) and the Mossynoeci (Mossynoikoi in Greek), are sometimes considered the founders of metallurgy.

Tubal's sons are given different names in rabbinic sources. In Pseudo-Philo (written c. AD 70), his son's names are Phanatonova and Eteva, and they were given the land of "Pheed". The later mediaeval Chronicles of Jerahmeel gives these sons' names as Fantonya and Atipa, and says they subdued "Pahath"; elsewhere these chronicles include information derived from Jerome, identifying Tubal's descendants with Iberia and Hispania. In still another place, the Chronicles of Jerahmeel reproduces a more detailed legend taken from the earlier Yosippon (c. 950): Tubal's descendants, it says, camped in Tuscany and built a city called "Sabino", while the Kittim built "Posomanga" in neighboring Campania, with the Tiber river as the frontier between the two peoples. However, they soon went to war following the rape of the Sabines by the Kittim. This war was ended when the Kittim showed the descendants of Tubal their mutual progeny. A shorter, more garbled version of this story from Yosippon is also found in the later Book of Jasher, known from c. 1625, which additionally names Tubal's sons as Ariphi, Kesed and Taari.

The Arabic dictionary Taj al-Arus by al-Zubaidi (1790) notes that although some Islamic authors make the Khazars descendants of Japheth's son Khasheh (Meshech), others hold both the Khazars and Saqaliba (Slavs) to have come rather from his brother, Tubal.[1]

Modern scholarship

Modern scholarship has identified the biblical Tubal with Tabal, an Anatolian state and region mentioned in Assyrian sources.[2][3]

Tabal was a post-Hittite Luwian state in Asia Minor in the 1st millennium BC. Its neighbours, the Mushki, are traditionally associated with Meshech.[4] Some historians[who?] further connect Tabal and Tubal with the tribe on the Black Sea coast later known to the Greeks as Tibareni, though this identification is uncertain. The Tibareni and other related tribes, the Chalybes (Khalib/Khaldi) and the Mossynoeci (Mossynoikoi in Greek), were sometimes considered the founders of metallurgy.

Most reference books, following Flavius Josephus, identify Tubal in Ezekiel's time as an area that is now in Turkey.[5]


Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Tubal. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

  1. D.M. Dunlop, History of the Jewish Khazars 1954, p. 13.
  2. Jacob Milgrom; Daniel I. Block (14 September 2012). Ezekiel's Hope: A Commentary on Ezekiel 38-48. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-61097-650-3. 
  3. Annick Payne (17 September 2012). Iron Age Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Society of Biblical Lit. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-58983-658-7. 
  4. Daniel I. Block (19 June 1998). The Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 25–48. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 291. ISBN 978-1-4674-2371-7. 
  5. Noelle Watson; Paul Schellinger (5 November 2013). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Volume 3: Southern Europe. Routledge. p. 288. ISBN 978-1-134-25958-8.  "The Hebrew Bible also mentions both Tubal (Tabal) and Meshech (Muski)"

See also

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Tubal. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.