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; compare 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).