ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Japheth was one of the sons of Noah, mentioned last in order (Gen. 5:32; 6:10; 7:13), perhaps first by birth (10:21; compare 9:24). [Note: The KJV, NKJV and NIV show Japheth as the “elder” in Gen. 10:21. However, the NASV, RSV and NRSV assume the meaning was opposite, that Shem was “the elder brother of Japheth.” The NASV marginal note acknowledges that this assumption may be wrong.]
Japheth and his wife were two of the eight saved in the ark (1 Pet. 3:20). The name of his wife is not mentioned. 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.
The following table shows how his his descendants dispersed after the Tower of Babel:
JAPHETH —Gomer Cimmerians, Armenians —Magog Caucasians, Scythians —Madai Medes and Persian tribes —Javan ~ Elishah Greeks ~ Tarshish Etruscans, Romans ~ Chittim Cyprians, Macedonians ~ Dodanim Rhodians —Tubal Tibareni, Tartars —Meshech Moschi Muscovites —Tiras Thracians