), the land encompassed by the Pison, the first-named of the four rivers of Eden, abounding in gold of a fine quality, in “bdellium and the onyx stone.” (Genes.
2.11, 12.) Its situation is further fixed as the eastern limit of the Ishmaelite Bedouins, as Sheer was their western limit. (Gen.
25.18.) They seem to have been subsequently dispossessed by the Amalekites, who have the same limits assigned to them in 1 Sam.
] It doubtless derived its name from Havilah the son of Gush (Gen.
10.7), by whose descendants the district was first peopled, not from the later Joktanite patriarch of the same name (10.29).
“The land of Havilah mentioned in Genesis,
and there described as encompassed, or inclosed rather, by the river Pison, has been assigned, by consent of the learned, as the first and chief settlement of the son of Gush, and identified with the province, on the Persian Gulf, now denominated Hagar
a district anciently watered, as we gather from the concurrent testimonies of Pliny, and the Portuguese traveller Peneira, by a branch of the Euphrates, which, diverging from the course of its other channels, ran southward parallel with the gulf, and fell into it nearly opposite to the Bahrein
A direct proof, unnoticed by preceding writers, that this region once bore the name of Havilah, is furnished by the fact, that the principal of the Bahrein
islands retains to this day the original name of that of Aval.
” (Forster. Geogr. of Arabia,
vol. i. pp. 40, 41.) Mr. Forster then traces this patriarchal name through its various modifications (as Dr. Wells had done before, though not so fully) in the classical geographers, and shows clear examples of it, under its several idiomatic changes, from the head of the Persian Gulf to its mouth, both in Ptolemy and Pliny, and in the modern geography of the country; and that the great tribe or people intended under those denominations, formed in the time of those geographers, and continue to compose at the present day, a chief part of the population of the Havilah of Scripture, the ancient modern province of Hagar
(Ib. pp. 41--54.) Ie accounts for the modern name of the district of Havilah, by the fact already noted, that the Ishmaelite Arabs had dispossessed the ancient Cushite race, and imposed on the conquered territory the name of their mother Hagar. (Vol. i. pp. 199, 200.) [G.W