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Unknown Land


Phut or Put is the third son of Ham. In the Bible, Phut is described as a country or people from which some of Egypt's mercenary troops originated. 

  • Jeremiah 46:9 "Advance, O horses! Race furiously, O chariots! Let the warriors come forth—Cush and Put carrying their shields, men of Lydia drawing the bow!"


The Hebrew transliteration of the name Phut (פוּט), means "unknown". In Scripture, wherever the name "Libya" is used, the Hebrew term is "Phut".


In ancient Greece, Libya was one of the three well-known continents along with Asia and Europe, and designated the entire African continent. Thus, in biblical times, Africa was called Libya, which translates into Hebrew as Phut.

Unfortunately, there are very few references to Phut and the regions where his sons settled. But on the basis of various observations, some scholars believe that Phut's descendants settled in the area known as Carthage, Karthago, Karthajen, or Kart-hadasht, which encompasses Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania. Greek historians situate and refer to the river west of Mauritania (modern Morocco) and the adjacent country as Phoute. 

Note that Phut is also associated with the Land of Punt, a region rich in natural resources and where slaves could be acquired. Some historians have speculated that the Land of Punt was probably located on the southern shores of Arabia. But we refute this assumption for the following reasons:


Around 1477 B.C., Queen Hatshepsut undertook an expedition to the land of Punt, depicted on a relic at Deir el-Bahri, in present-day Luxor. It shows ships carrying men and loaded with gold, aromatic resins, ebony, ivory and exotic animals such as leopards, monkeys and giraffes.

However, none of the resources from the Land of Punt are naturally present in Arabia.

  • Black ebony is a rare type of tree found mainly in parts of Central Africa (Gabon, Mozambique, Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Sri Lanka and India). 

  • Elephants are only found in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the tropical forests of Central Africa and West Africa. In Asia, some male elephants have tusks, while African elephants, either male or female, all have tusks. To this day, most ivory is illegally sourced from Africa and manufactured and sold in Asia.

  • Giraffes are naturally found in fragmented habitats throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and along its coastline.

  • Leopards are found in a wide variety of habitats, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India and China.

  • Old World monkeys such as guenons, macaques and baboons are widespread in Central Africa and Asia.

Some historians believe the aboriginal home of the Egyptian dynastic race originated in Punt. The inhabitants of Punt are described as being black and dark-skinned.

"They carry spears and shields. A general is leading them. Ahead of them, the people of Pount stand beseechingly. They are remarkable for the dark color of their skin. In the lead marches the chief. His long hair is woven into tight braids. A dagger hangs from his belt. His wife and servants are escorting him." Exposition universelle de 1876 by Auguste Mariette, Chap. 5 Couloir Circulaire, Pg. 24

Note that the Land of Punt is also called "Ta netjer", and described in ancient Egyptian texts as "The Land of God". Ancient literature held that the term "Land of God", interpreted as "Holy Land" or "Land of the Ancestors", meant that the ancient Egyptians regarded the Land of Punt as their ancestral homeland.


As mentioned above, in Hebrew, the transliteration of the name Phut (פוּט), means "unknown". Although there is much speculation about the kingdom of Punt, its exact location remains unknown to this day. Interestingly, around the 1700s, they began to produce maps identifying the whole of the Congo Basin and Southern Africa as unknown or unexplored lands, despite the fact that over thirteen centuries earlier, this so-called "unknown land" had been supplying Arabs with slaves, minerals and natural resources without interruption; and was not completely unknown to Europeans, who had named it "Ethiopia".

Interestingly, in the James Moffatt Bible published in 1901, we read in John 21:8: “While the rest of the disciples came ashore in the Punt (they were not far from land, only about a hundred yards), dragging their netful of fish.” This passage s the one where Jesus performed a miracle on the shores of the Sea of Galilee near the Jordan river.

  • The famous Sea of Galilee is where Jesus walked on the water, calmed the storm and made Peter and Andrew "fishers of men". It's also where Jesus fed the masses with a few loaves and fishes and delivered his Sermon on the Mount.

  • The Jordan River is the site of Jesus Christ's baptism, and the source of all holy water in Christianity.

So, according to Moffatt, Jesus was in the vicinity of Punt when he performed this miracle. This would imply that the location of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River is not in the north of present-day Israel, but ratherpossibly in central Africa.

Roman Catholics and Lutherans were particularly offended by Moffatt's Bible, as they felt it was controversial in several respects and put forward skeptical views. Although Moffatt relied heavily on the Greek text of Hermann Freiherr von Soden, who was a renowned German biblical scholar, priest of the Jerusalem Church in Berlin, professor of theology and literary theologian.


You be the judge

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