TIRAS (tĭ'răs, Heb. tîras). Youngest son of Japheth (Gen.10.2; 1Chr.1.5). He is not mentioned elsewhere. Josephus (Antiq. 1.6.1) held with other ancients that he was founder of the Thracians. Modern scholars do not agree, but make him founder of a race of pirates called Tursenich, who once plied the Aegean Sea. The name Thrusa has been found among Egyptian records, indicating that they invaded the land during the reign of Merneptah about 1250 b.c.

TIRAS tī’ rəs (תִּירָֽס). A son of Japheth; also his descendants (Gen 10:2; 1 Chron 1:5). Various views of their identity have been suggested, but none has met with universal acceptance. Some writers have identified them with the Tracians (Jos. Antiq. I. vi. 1); some with the piratical Turusha who invaded Syria and Egypt in the 13th cent. b.c. Others have connected them with Tarsus, with Tarshish, and with the progenitor of the Etruscans.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A son of Japheth (Ge 10:2 (P); 1Ch 1:5). Not mentioned elsewhere; this name was almost unanimously taken by the ancient commentators (so Josephus, Ant, I, vi, 1) to be the same as that of the Thracians (Thrakes); but the removal of the nominative ending -s does away with this surface resemblance. Tuch was the first to suggest the Tursenioi, a race of Pelasgian pirates, who left many traces of their ancient power in the islands and coasts of the Aegean, and who were doubtless identical with the Etruscans of Italy. This brilliant suggestion has since been confirmed by the discovery of the name Turusa among the seafaring peoples who invaded Egypt in the reign of Merenptah (W.M. Muller, AE, 356 ff). Tiras has also been regarded as the same as Tarshish.

Horace J. Wolf