Javan meaning | Javan etymology

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The name Javan in the Bible

Javan was one of the sons of Japheth, who was a son of Noah and whose descendants peopled Eurasia (Genesis 10:2-5).

Javan is the Biblical name for Greece, and his most famous brother is Madai, or Media. Together these two gave the world the bi-polar theology of Zoroastrianism, in which two opposed forces (light and dark or good and evil) are forever locked in the cosmic battle that creates our universe.

Later Bible writers considered themselves Shemites, of course, who adhered to the monopolar world view that demands that darkness and evil are nor organized the way light and virtue are; only good is a pole around which creation becomes ordered, but evil is a state of dispersal and its measure of chaos increases the further away from the ordered good one goes.

Still, according to Noah, Japheth was to live in the tents of Shem (Genesis 9:27), and the Bible writers appear to have had considerable respect for their Japhethite cousins. See our article on the name Homer for a look at the attitude of the Bible writers towards Greek theogony.

Etymology of the name Javan

The name Javan comes from יון (yawen) meaning mire, which is wet or soft mud and represents the transitional state between water (complete ignorance) and dry land (complete understanding):

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

The functions of the Holy Spirit are legion of course but possibly He chose the appearance of a dove to indicate that God brings people together by their weaknesses and not by their strengths, and the fabric of Truth is uncertainty, contrary to deterministic certainty. The mind of Christ is not about knowing all things down to the most minute facts, but being alive in a whole new way. Being able to waver is a quality of life; lifeless objects travel by straight, predictable lines.

But since Javan (or at least his father Japheth) is living in the tents of Shem (Genesis 9:27), uncertainty without a fundament of the Rock is fatal. In an odd and almost paradoxical sense a human being can be somewhat of a saved Christian without having been endowed with the Holy Spirit (the disciples between ascension and Pentecost; but also Acts 8:14-17), but can not be saved by being endowed by the Holy Spirit without having been set upon Christ.

A fine example of a Javanite thinker is Socrates, who challenged people's certainties not because he had the answers but because he knew that the things that the people were certain of, were provable flaws. Another Javanite thinker is Buddha, who taught a lifetime to die saying that he never really knew a thing. A truly honest man keeps doubting until he meets the Truth.

Javan meaning

The name Javan means Mud Man and this name may even be a playful reference to the name Adam; Earthling. We sons of Adam have bodies made of solid earth (even though we are mostly fluid); the sons of Javan have minds that begin to yield some wobbly foothold to the mind. It is by no means a coincidence that the gospel of Jesus Christ was first successfully promoted in the realm of Greek philosophy (see our article on the Epicureans).

For a meaning of the name Javan, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Supple, Clay. NOBSE Study Bible Name List simply reads Greece.

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