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NAPHTUHIM năf’ tə hĭm. נַפְתֻּחִֽים, a pl. noun, the proper name of a people of Egyp. descent, mentioned as the sons of מִצְרַ֡יִם, “Egypt” (Gen 10:13; 1 Chron 1:11). The term is of Egyp. origin. Two possible etymologies have been proposed: (1) The gentilic formed from the name of the Egyp. city of Noph (Heb. נֹ֑ף, Isa 19:13 et al.); (2) A compound name derived from the Egyp. phrase p3-t3-mḥw, consisting of the definite article plus a generic name for foreign tribute-bearing countries plus word for the direction “north,” thus “the country of the north,” most likely the delta of the Nile. The Heb. would then indicate that the Egyp. was to be pronounced na-/pa-toḥ-îm, which could be tr. “those of the Delta.” Cf. W. Spiegelberg, “נַפְתֻּחִֽים (Gen X, 13)” Orientalistische Literatur-Zeitung, 9 (1906), 276-279.

Article 2

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).

John A. Lees

Article 3

A Hamitic tribe descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13). Others identify this word with Napata, the name of the city and territory on the southern frontier of Mizraim, the modern Meroe, at the great bend of the Nile at Soudan. This city was the royal residence, it is said, of Queen Candace (Acts 8:27). Here there are extensive and splendid ruins.

Article 4

(border-people), a Mizraite (Egyptian) nation or tribe mentioned only in the account of the descendants of Noah. (Genesis 10:13; 1 Chronicles 1:11) If we may judge from their position in the list Of the Mizraites, the Naphtuhim were possibly settled, at first, either in Egypt or immediately to the west of it.

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