2. As a geographical area, its identity is disputed. Isaiah placed Put between Tarshish and Lud as nations that will one day hear of the glory of God (
Put has been identified most often with Libya. The Pers. inscr. of Naqsh-i-Rustam mentions Putāyā (a land generally identified with Libya) as being among the tributary countries. A fragmentary text that records the invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadrezzar in his thirty-seventh year says he did battle with Amasis and penetrated Egypt as far as Puṭu-Iaman.
Attempts have been made to identify Put with Punt (of the Egyp. inscrs.) in E Africa (Somalia), but in the absence of more certain evidence, Libya appears to be the more likely choice.
G. A. Cameron, “Darius, Egypt, and the ‘Lands beyond the Sea,’” JNES, II (1943), 308; J. B. Pritchard, ed., ANET (1955), 308; M. Dods, Genesis (1956), 47; D. J. Wiseman, Chronicles of Chaldaean Kings (1956), 30, 94; E. A. Speiser, “Genesis,” Anchor Bible (1964), 66.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(puT; Phoud, in Genesis and Chronicles, variant for Genesis Phout, for Chronicles, Phouth):
In consequence of the identification at the time, the prophets have "Libya" (Libues), except Nab 3:9, where the Greek renders the word as phuge, "flight."(Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) has "Phut," "Phuth," and in the Prophets "Libyes" and "Libya"; the "Phut."
2. Son of Ham:
In the "
3. As Nationality:
In the Prophets, warriors from Put are referred to, principally in connection with the forces of Egypt. They appear as shield-bearers (
4. Identified with Punt:
The common identification of Put is the Egyptian Punt (or Pwent) proposed by Ebers. The assimilation of n to a following consonant is common in the Semitic languages, and would occasion no difficulty if the vocalization be found to agree. The final "t" of Punt, however, seems to be the Egyptian feminine ending, whereas the "T" of Put is radical.
5. Somaliland and Yemen:
Nevertheless, the district would seem to be rightly identified with the tract to the East of Abyssinia (Somaliland), and as it is described as being on both sides of the sea (the Red Sea), Yemen would seem to be included. In connection with this, it is worthy of note that a fragment of a Babylonian tablet referring to Nebuchadrezzar’s campaign in Egypt in his 37th year mentions, as though in the neighborhood, the city (here, apparently, standing for the district) of Putu-yaman--probably not "Ionian (Greek) Put" (Lesbos, according to Winckler), but "Put of Yemen." If this be in contra-distinction to the district of Put (Punt) on the African mainland, the latter would be the Putu referred to in the Persian inscription of Naqsh-i-Rustem, which mentions, among the tributary-countries, Kushiya, Putiya and Masiya, in Babylonian (mat) PuTa, ((mat) K)usu, (mat) Massu(?), "the land Put, the land Kush (Ethiopia), the land Massu(?)." The soldiers of Put in the army of Tyre may have been either from the African or the Yemenite Put, in which case there was no northern tract of that name, unless settlements had been made at any time from the original district. See W. Max Muller, Asien und Europa, Leipzig, 1893, 106 ff.