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Dodanim (Hebrew: דדנים, Dōdānīm; "leaders") or Rodanim (Hebrew: רדנים, Rōdānīm) was a son of son of::Javan and brother of brother of::Elishah, brother of::Tarshish, and brother of::Kittim according to Genesis 10:4 .


The peoples of Dodanim are the descendants of Dodan (Dodanim is plural) which are called Rodanim in 1_Chronicles 1:7 . The Septuagint translates both Dodanim (in Genesis) and Rodanim (in 1 Chronicles) as Rhodioi. The Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch and Jerome all use the term Rodanim for Rhodus (Rhodes), an island familiar to the Phoenicians.[1]

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible provides brief details under its entry "Dodanim," beginning with a statement as to who these people are not:

... There can be no connexion … with the inland town of Dodona in Epirus. Nor can it mean Dardanians, as Delitzsch still maintains, for the Trojan province of Dardania was never of such consequence as to give its name to a leading family in the genealogy of mankind. Dillmann and others are inclined to accept the reading of the LXX ... and identify the Dodanim with the Rhodians or the inhabitants of the islands of the Aegean Sea.[2]

Undoubtedly the name refers to the original Aegean (non-Indo-European) inhabitants of the Isle of Rhodes, off the western coast of Asia Minor, in the Aegean Sea.[3] In his work, Dr. Gayre has the following to say of the matter:

Dodanim has Rodanim as an alternative reading, and if so it will indicate the inhabitants of Rhodes.[4]
The peoples of Rhodes were known as Rhodians. The entire chain of islands off Asia Minor were known as the Dodecanese, which mean today "the twelve islands," Rhodes being the most southerly. The Greeks still call these islands the Dodekanissos, and indeed they belong to Greece.

The inhabitants of Rhodes from 800 BC onward were Ionian Greeks, sons of Javan, who took the place of the earlier Phoenician population. They were known even to Homer, and were visited from a very early period by all the trading peoples of the Mediterranean coasts.[5] A people with a similar name were among the "Sea Peoples" who fought with Rameses III.

The original progenitor of this people, Dodan, was to be subsequently deified and worshipped as Jupiter Dodonaeus. The propagators of this cult built the priestly city of Dodona as the chief seat of his worship. Egyptian records tell us that the drdny were allies of the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh.

See Also

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  1. cf. Homer, The Iliad, 2.654
  2. Hastings, J (1911) A Dictionary of the Bible. T & T Clark, Edinburgh: Entry on "Dodanim" by J. Macpherson
  3. Douglas, J (ed) New Bible Dictionary. Inter-Varsity Press, London: p. 321
  4. Gayre,R (1973) The Syro-Mesopotamian Ethnology as Revealed in Genesis X. The Amorial, Edinburgh: p. 53
  5. Hastings, J (1911) A Dictionary of the Bible. T & T Clark, Edinburgh: Entry on "Dodanim" by J. Macpherson

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