Sons of Ham Part III: MizraimPage 1

Christian Churches of God

No. 45C

Sons of Ham: Part III


(Edition 1.5 20070922-20071008)

Mizraim was a son of Ham that played a very important role in the history of the world. Our current understanding of his descendants and the time-frame in which they lived is dependent upon a reconstruction of history ordered by Ptolemy II and completed by the Egyptian historian Manetho. This work and the subsequent Appendices will produce a more correct understanding of Egyptian History and its place in the world.

Christian Churches of God



(Copyright 2007 Wade Cox)

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Sons of Ham Part III: Mizraim

Sons of Ham Part III: MizraimPage 1


Mizraim or Egypt was the second son of Ham, as noted in the list of nations in Genesis 10 and 1Chronicles 1. He was also known as Menes or Min, the first king of the Egyptians who reigned for about 60 years, according to the historians Manetho and Herodotus.

Genesis 10:1,6 These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; sons were born to them after the flood. … 6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt [Mizraim: KJV], Put, and Canaan. (RSV)

Mizraim is derived from a Hebrew term, and is a plural word with the meaning double straits (SHD 4714, mitsrayim - dual of matsor (4693)). This duality may refer to the distinction between the original kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. The Egyptians referred to their land as Kmt in the hieroglyphs.

In Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions Egypt was known as Musur and Musri, probably from the word Misr meaning simply, land. The Ugaritic inscriptions refer to Egypt as Msrm, while in the Amarna tablets it is called Misri. The term Misr is still seen in the modern Arabic name for the nation, Jumhuriyah Misr al-'Arabiyah (the Arabic Republic of Egypt). Our term Egypt comes from the Greek Aiguptos.

In his book Legend: Genesis of Civilisation, David Rohl gives a different opinion on the derivation of the name Mizraim.

Amongst the followers of Meskiagkasher [Cush] was his younger ‘brother’ -- in his own right a strong and charismatic leader of men. He is the head of the falcon tribe -- the descendants of Horus the ‘Far Distant’. The Bible calls this new Horus-king ‘Mizraim’ but this name is, in reality, no more than an epithet. It means ‘follower of Asr’ or ‘Asar’ (Arabic m-asr with the Egyptian preposition m‘from’). Mizraim is merely m-Izra with the majestic plural ending ‘im’. Likewise, that other great Semitic-speaking people -- the Assyrians -- called the country of the pharaohs ‘Musri’ (m-Usri). We thus learn that the Semitic name for Egypt -- Masr (Arabic)/Mizr (Hebrew)/Musri (Akkadian) -- derives from an epithet for the leader of the Mesopotamian conquerors of the Nile valley. (Arrow Books Ltd, London, 1999, pp. 451-452)

In Antiquities of the Jews, the historian Josephus records:

The memory also of the Mesraites is preserved in their name; for all we who inhabit this country [of Judea] called Egypt Mestre, and the Egyptians Mestreans.

Now all the children of Mesraim, being eight in number, possessed the country from Gaza to Egypt, though it retained the name of one only, the Philistim; for the Greeks call part of that country Palestine. As for the rest, Ludieim, and Enemim, and Labim, who alone inhabited in Libya, and called the country from himself, Nedim, and Phethrosim, and Chesloim, and Cephthorim, we know nothing of them besides their names; for the Ethiopic war (17) which we shall describe hereafter, was the cause that those cities were overthrown.

(Bk. I, vi, 2)

The Septuagint uses essentially the same term, Mesrain. Egypt/Mizraim was often known as the land of Ham (Ps. 105:23,27), much as Canaan came to be called the land of the Philistines (Zeph. 2:5) after its most illustrious inhabitants.

Psalm 105:23 Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. (RSV)

Emblematically, Egypt was also referred to as Rahab (blusterer or arrogant: SHD 7294), as we see in Psalms 87:4 and 89:10.

Sons of Mizraim

In Genesis 10:13-14 and 1Chronicles 1:11-12, Mizraim’s “sons” are listed as tribal groups rather than individuals: the Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim (forefathers of the Philistines), and Caphtorim.

1Chronicles 1:11-12 Egypt was the father of Ludim, An'amim, Le'habim, Naph-tu'him, 12 Pathru'sim, Caslu'him (whence came the Philis'tines), and Caph'torim. (RSV)

The Book of Jasher (ch. 10) provides extra-biblical details on these sons.

21 And the children of Mitzraim are the Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuchim, Pathrusim, Casluchim and Caphturim, seven families. 22 All these dwell by the river Sihor, that is the brook of Egypt, and they built themselves cities and called them after their own names. 23 And the children of Pathros and Casloch intermarried together, and from them went forth the Pelishtim, the Azathim, and the Gerarim, the Githim and the Ekronim, in all five families; these also built themselves cities, and they called their cities after the names of their fathers unto this day.


Although there is a Semite of the same name, we find that Lud, grandson of Ham, was father of the Ludim. He was also the first-born of Mizraim. The Hebrew word is ludiyiy (SHD 3866), meaning to the firebrands: travailings (BDB). (The descendants of Lud, the fourth son of Shem, were supposedly the Lydians.)

The entry in the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (ISBE) is as follows:

In Ge 10:13 Ludim appears as the firstborn of Mizraim (Egypt), and in 10:22 Lud is the fourth son of Shem. We have therefore to do with two different nationalities bearing the same name, and not always easy to distinguish. …

In Isa 66:19 Lud is mentioned with Tarshish and Pul (generally regarded as a mistake for Phut), Tubal, Javan, and the isles. Accepting this emendation, the passage agrees with Jer 46:9, where the Ludim are spoken of with Kush and Phut as the allies of Egypt; and also with Eze 27:10, where Lud is referred to with Persia and Put as soldiers of Tyre. Lud, again, is mentioned with Ethiopia (Cush), Put, all the mingled people, Cab, and the children of the land which is in league (or, margin "the land of the covenant"), which were all to fall by the sword (Eze 30:5). …

The existence of Lud in the neighborhood of Egypt as well as in Asia Minor finds parallels in the Syrian Mucri of the Assyrian inscriptions by the side of the Mucur which stood for Egypt, and still more in the Cappadocian Cush (Kusu) of certain Assyrian letters relating to horses, by the side of the Cush (Kusu likewise) which stands for Ethiopia.

Everything points, therefore, to the Semitic Lud and Ludim being Lydia, and the identification may be regarded as satisfactory. It is altogether otherwise with the Egyptian Lud and Ludim, however, about which little can be said at present. The reference to a city which seems to be Putu-yawan in an inscription mentioning the 37th year of Nebuchadrezzar, and apparently referring to an expedition against Amasis, though it may stand for "Grecian Phut," has very little bearing upon the position of the Egyptian Lud, especially as the text in which it occurs is very mutilated. One thing is certain, however: the Hebrews regarded this Lud and Ludim as being Hamitic, and not Semitic.

The reference in Isaiah 66:19 seems to locate the land of Lud in the Mediterranean, whilst Jeremiah (46:9) and Ezekiel (27:10; 30:5) place it squarely in Africa. The likelihood is that it is in North Africa on the Mediterranean shores.

The Lydians in Asia Minor came into contact with the Assyrians and with Egypt in the early Seventh century BCE when their king Gyges sent an embassy to Ashurbanipal in 668 or 660 (Interp. Dict., Vol. 3, p. 179). Their language was not known and they were not really understood until the Persians conquered them in 546 BCE. Mellink (ibid.) considers the Lydians of Asia Minor to be neither Hamitic nor Semitic. However, if they were either it would be Semitic. We dealt with the probable movement of the Semite Ludim to the Hindu Kush at the border of India and beyond into the Punjabin the papers Sons of Shem (No. 212 A-G).


The second son of Mizraim has a name meaning affliction of the waters (anamiym,SHD 6047), and apparently derives from an Egyptian word. The Septuagint uses the term Enemetiim.

An Assyrian text from the time of Sargon II refers to certain people as Anami, although they were apparently located in Cyrene, Libya as Albright suggestsand which the Interpreter’s Dictionary article (Vol. 1, p. 124) says is most likely. Albright (A Colony of Cretan Mercenaries on the Coast of the Negeb, JPOS, 1 (1921), pp. 191-2) equates them with the cuneiformA-na-mi found in a geographical text from the time of Sargon II and parallel to Kapara, who were the Caphtorim.

Little else is known of this tribe.


The term Lehabim (SHD 3853; sing. 3851) means flames or blades.It has been suggested that these people ought to be identified with the Lubim, arising from the proposal that “the one word may be a corruption of the other” (ISBE). The name Lubim is possibly the same as that of the country, Libya, to the northwest of Egypt. Lambdin (Interp. Dict., Vol. 3, p. 110) is of the same opinion.

It is probably that the term Lybios as a son of Mizraim refers to the Ludim and the Lehabim who were conjoined, as were two other sons of Mizraim in North Africa, thereby forming the Philistines and also the Thebans (see above).


As the fourth of the tribes descended from Mizraim, the Naphtuhim have a name which means openings (SHD 5320, naphtuchiym), and is considered a word of foreign origin. The Septuagint gives their name as Nephthalim.

The ISBE entry for this group reads:

A son of Mizraim (Ge 10:13; 1Ch 1:11); but, according to most modern authorities, a district or a dependency of Egypt. Among the many efforts at identification the following deserve notice: Naphtuhim equals (1) Nephthys (Nephthus) in the Northeast of Egypt; (2) Na-ptah, i.e. the people of Ptah, the dwellers in the neighborhood of Memphis; (3) Nathu (according to Herodotus, Natho), which occurs in Assurbanipal’s Annals as the name of a part of Lower Egypt; (4) Erman (ZATW, X, 118), by the change of a letter, reads Petemhim, which signifies "The Northland"; (5) Spiegelberg sees in the word an old designation of the Delta, and would therefore render the name, "the people of the Delta" (compare Johns, HDB; Skinner and Holzinger on Genesis).

Brown-Driver-Briggs also suggests that the Naphtuhim were located in Lower Egypt, and a connection has been made with Na-Ptah, the Egyptian word for Memphis. Lambdin in his article (Interp. Dict.,Vol. 3, p. 510) places the Naphtuhim between the Lehabim (which are identified with the Libyans) and the Pathrusim as inhabitants of Upper Egypt, and hence they areinhabitants of the Delta. He holds that W. Spielberg’s rendering of Napthuhim is the Egyptian na-patoh-+-im, where the Egyptian is a plausible but conjectured late form for “those of the delta.”


The Pathrusim (SHD 6625, meaning southerners) were a tribe located at Pathros near Thebes in Upper Egypt. The name Pathros means region of the south (6624), possibly from the Egyptian Pa-To-Ris. The LXX refers to the people as the Patrosoniim.

In the apocryphal Book of Jasher, both the Pathrusim and Casluhim were recorded as the progenitors of the Pelishtim, Azathim, Gerarim, Githim, and Ekronim, who were associated with several prominent Philistine cities, such as Gerar, Gath and Ekron.

The conclusions must be that if they did conjoin it was by branches. The main branch went south to Thebes while the cadet branch joined the Cashluhim and formed the five Philistine cities and hence also the five names in Jasher.

The Hebrew Pathrosand the gentilic Pathrusimare derived from the Egyptian p’’-t’’-rsy, which is a term used to designate the whole of Egypt above Memphis.

In the Assyrian material Esarhaddon refers to himself as the king of Musur, Paturisi, and Kusi,meaning, from Isaiah 11:11, that Musur and the Hebrew Misrayim was restricted to Middle and LowerEgypt, thus leaving Pathros for the Thebaid.

Jeremiah 44:1,15, Ezekiel 29:14 and 30:14 refer to Pathros as the original home of the Egyptians. The gentilic Pathrusim occurs only in Genesis 10:14 and 1Chronicles 1:12.


This “son” of Mizraim was the forefather of one of the more notable of the tribes, namely the Philistines (see below). The name Casluhim (SHD 3695, kasluchiym) means fortified and is of foreign derivation. The brief entry for these people in the ISBE reads:

Casluhim—an unknown people—or, according to Septuagint, of the Casmanim, which would mean "shavers of the head"—a custom of the Phoenicians (forbidden to Hebrews as a rule), as known from a picture of the time of Thothmes III in the 16th century BC.

These people were associated with the Capthorim (below) and lived with them on Crete and possibly in Asia Minor. However, they are asserted to have come from Caphtor, which was understood as Crete. They settled on the seacoast of what became known as Palestine, from the term Philistine.


The term Caphtorim means crowns (SHD 3732, kaphtoriy) from Caphtor (3731), as “the original home of the Philistines, perhaps on the southwest coast of Asia Minor, maybe in Egypt or close by, or more probably on the island of Crete” (BDB). They are called Gapthoriim in the Septuagint.

Capthor first appears in the Akkadian texts as Kaptara,where it was described as beyond the Upper Sea and within the sphere of influence of Sargon of Akkad. References to Kaptara are found in 18th-century BCE Mari economic archives and in texts in both Akkadian and Ugaritic in Ugarit where it is kptr (Greenfield, art. 'Capthor', Interp. Dict.,Vol. 1, p. 534).

The Egyptians refer to a place as Keftiu(kftywor kftiw) from what Egyptologists date as 2200 down to 1200 BCE. Egyptologists generally accept that keftiu is the Egyptian form of Kaftara/Caphtor and it is clear from all contexts that it is Crete that is being mentioned. Egypt had commercial relations with them from 2200 BCE, on their chronology, which we will deal with in the Appendix (No. 45F) regarding the dynasties and the time-frames.

It has been suggested that this tribe was in fact a son of the Casluhim (and thus a grandson of Mizraim) as with the Philistines. The ISBE provides several theories on the identity of this group, the first one considered the most likely.

1. First Theory: Crete:

The country and people whence came the Philistines (Ge 10:14 =1Ch 1:12 (here the clause "whence went forth the Philistines" should, probably come after Caphtorim); De 2:23; Jer 47:4; Am 9:7). Jer (loc. cit.) calls it an "island"; there is evidence of ancient connection between Crete and Philistia; and the Philistines are called Cherethites, which may mean Cretans …. These considerations have led many to identify Caphtor with the important island of Crete. It should be noted, however, that the word ‘i, used by Jeremiah, denotes not only "isle," but also "coastland."

2. Second Theory: Phoenicia:

Ebers (Aegypten und die Bucher Moses, 130 ff) thought that Caphtor represented the Egyptian Kaft-ur, holding that Kaft was the Egyptian name for the colonies of Phoenicians in the Delta, extended to cover the Phoenicians in the north and their colonies. Kaft-ur, therefore, would mean "Greater Phoenicia." But the discovery of Kaptar among the names of countries conquered by Ptolemy Auletes in an inscription on the Temple of Kom Ombo is fatal to this theory.

3. Third Theory: Cilicia:

A third theory would identify Caphtor with the Kafto of the Egyptian inscriptions. As early as the time of Thotmes III the inhabitants of this land, the Kafti, are mentioned in the records. In the trilingual inscription of Canopus the name is rendered in Greek by Phoinike, "Phoenicia." This seems to be an error, as the Kafti portrayed on the monuments have no features in common with the Semites. They certainly represent a western type.

However, as we see above, the reference texts make clear it is Crete that is being mentioned; but we have to accept that the Ancient Sea Kings had an expansive trade system and they may well have had colonies in various places. The separation of the Casluhim and the Capthorim may well have been a deliberate decision of colonisation due to space for the two tribes.


These are among the most frequently mentioned people in the Bible. Their control and influence in the Mediterranean was such that it was once referred to as the “sea of the Philistines” (Ex. 23:31). The Hebrew term for them is Pelishtiy (SHD 6430, meaning immigrants), a patrial from Pelesheth or Philistia, the land of sojourners.