Phut

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Phut or Put (Hebrew: פוט pûṭ; Septuagint Greek Φουδ Phoud) is the third son of Ham (one of the sons of Noah), in the biblical Table of Nations (Genesis 10:6; cf. 1 Chronicles 1:8). The name Put (or Phut) is also used in the Bible for the people or nation said to be descended from him, usually placed in Ancient Libya, but connections are sometimes proposed with the Land of Punt[1] known from Ancient Egyptian annals.

The Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (c. 915) recounts a tradition that the wife of Put was named Bakht, a daughter of Batawil son of Tiras, and that she bore him the "Copts".

Josephus writes: "Phut also was the founder of Libya, and called the inhabitants Phutites (Phoutes), from himself: there is also a river in the country of Moors which bears that name; whence it is that we may see the greatest part of the Grecian historiographers mention that river and the adjoining country by the appellation of Phut (Phoute): but the name it has now has been by change given it from one of the sons of Mezraim, who was called Lybyos." (AotJ Book 1:6/2). Pliny the Elder Nat. Hist. 5.1 and Ptolemy Geog. iv.1.3 both place the river Phuth on the west side of Mauretania (modern Morocco). Ptolemy also mentions a city Putea in Libya (iv.3.39).

A Libyan connection has likewise been inferred from Nahum 3:9, where it is said that "Put and Lubim" were the helpers of Egypt. Other biblical verses consistently refer to the descendants of Put as warriors. In Jeremiah 46:9, they are again described as being supporters of Egypt. Ezekiel mentions them three times - in 27:10, as supporters of Tyre (Phoenicia), in 30:5 again as supporting Egypt, and in 38:5, as supporters of Gog. The Septuagint Greek (LXX) substitutes Libues in Ezekiel where the Hebrew Bible refers to Put. However, the LXX reads Put in Isaiah 66:19, in place of Pul in the Hebrew.

The Libyan tribe of pỉdw shows up in Egyptian records by the 22nd dynasty, while a Ptolemaic text from Edfu refers to the t3 n nꜣ pỉt.w "the land of the Pitu". The word was later written in Demotic as Pỉt, and as Phaiat in Coptic, a name for Libya Aegypti, northwestern Egypt.

A fragment of Nebuchadnezzar II's annals mentions his campaign in 567 in Egypt, and defeating the soldiers of Putu Yavan, i.e. Greek Libya (Cyrene). A multilingual stele from al-Kabrīt, dating to the reign of Darius I refers to the Put as the province of Putiya (Old Persian) and Puṭa (Neo-Babylonian), where the equivalent text written in Egyptian has tꜣ ṯmḥw "Libya".

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Sadler, Jr., Rodney (2009). "Put". In Katharine Sakenfeld. The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible 4. Nashville: Abingdon Press. pp. 691–92. 

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