Hav'ilah (Heb. Chavilah', חֲוַילָה, signif. unknown; Sept. Εὐιλά, but Εὐειλά in Ge 10:29, Εὐιλάτ in Ge 2:11, and Εὐί in 1Ch 1:29; Vulg. Heuila, but Heuilath in Ge 2:11), the name of two or three regions; perhaps also of two men (B.C. cir. 2400).
1. A land rich in gold, bdellium, and shoham, mentioned in Ge 2:11, as flowed around (or through) by the river Pishon, in the geographical description of Paradise. Some identify this Havilah with one of those following; but others take it to be the Chwala, on the Caspian Sea, whence that sea itself is said to have derived the Russian name of Chwalinskoy more (Sea of Chwala); and others suppose it a general name for India, in which case the river Pison, mentioned as surrounding it, would be identified with the Ganges, or even the Indus. Others again, who regard the Pishon as the Phasis, make Havilah to be Colchis, for which some think there is the distinctive name in Scripture of the Casluhim" (q.v.). In Ge 2:11-12, it is further described as the land where the best gold was fouii, and which was, besides, rich in the treasures of the bedolach and the stone shoham. That the name is derived from some natural peculiarity is evident from the presence of the article with all the terms. Whatever may be the true meaning of bedolach, be it carbuncle, crystal, bdellium, ebony, pepper, cloves, beryl, pearl, diamond, or emerald, all critics detect its presence, under one or other of these forms, in the country which they select as the Havilah most appropriate to their own theory. As little difficulty is presented by the shoham: call it onyx, sardonyx, emerald, sapphire, teryl, or sardius, it would be hard indeed if some of these precious stones could not be found in any conceivable locality to support even the most far-fetched and improbable conjecture. That Havilah is that part of India through which the Ganges flows, and, more generally, the eastern region of the earth; that it is to be found in Susiana (Hopkinson), in Ava (Buttmann), or in the Ural region (Raumer), are conclusions necessarily following upon the assumptions with regard to the Pison. Hartmann, Reland, and Rosenmüller are in favor of Colchis, the scene of the legend of the Golden Fleece. The Phasis was said to flow over golden sands, and gold was carried down by the mountain-torrents (Strabo. 11:2, § 19). The crystal (bedolach) of Scythia was renowned (Solinus, c. 20), and the emeralds (shohanz) of this country were as far superior to other emeralds as the latter were to other precious stones (Pliny, Hist. Nat. 37, 17), all which seems to prove that Havilah was Colchis. Rosenmüller argues, with much force, if the Phasis be the Pison, the land of Havilah must be Colchis, supposing that by this country the Hebrews had the idea of a Pontic or Northern India. In like manner Leclerc, having previously determined that the Pison must be the Chrysorrhoas, finds Havilah not far from Coele-Syria. Hasse (Entdeck. p. 49, 50, quoted by Rosenmüller) compares Havilah with the 'ΨΞαια of Herodotus (4, 9), in the neighborhood of the Arimaspians, and the dragon which guarded the land of gold. Discussions about the site of Havilah will be found in all the chief Biblical commentators ancient and modern, as well as in Hottinger. (Enneas Dissert.), Huet (De Lit. Parad.), Bochart (Phaleg, 2, 28), Michaelis (Spicilegiunz, p. 202; Supplem. p. 685), Schultess (Paradies, p. 105), Niebuhr and many other writers. The clearest and-best account of any may be derived from Kalisch — (Genesis, p. 93, 249, 287, etc.), who also gives a long list of those who have examined the subject (p. 109-102). — Smith, s.v.; Kitto, s.v. The Paradisaic Havilah cannot well be identified with either of those mentioned below, since they were evidently in or near Arabia; and the associated regions in the Edenic account are all in the neighborhood of Armenia or Ararat, near the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates. The most consistent conclusion, therefore, is that which locates the Havilah in question at the northeastern corner of Asia Minor, i.e. substantially Colchis. SEE PISON.
2. A district in Arabia Felix, deriving its name from the second son of Cush (Ge 10:7); or, according to others, from the second son of Joktan (Ge 10:29; compare 25:18). Since in the other places where the word occurs it is always used to designate a country, some doubt whether persons of this name ever existed; the more so as other names of countries (Ophir, Mizraim, Canaan, Sidon), and the collective names of tribes (Kittim, Dodanim), are freely introduced into the genealogy, which is undoubtedly arranged with partial reference to geographical distribution, as well as direct descent, SEE SHEBA; SEE DEDAN, etc. (see Kalisch, Genesis, p. 287). On this supposition it is not difficult to account for the fact that the people of Havilah appear as descendants both of the Hamites and of the Shemites. If they were originally of Shemitic extraction (and' on this point we have no data which could enable us to decide), we must suppose that by peaceful emigration or hostile invasion they overflowed into the territory occupied by Hamites, or adopted the name and habits of their neighbors in consequence of commerce or intermarriage, and are therefore mentioned twice over by reason of their local position in two distinct regions. It would depend on circumstances whether an invading or encroaching tribe gave its name to or derived its name from the tribe it dispossessed, so that whether Havilah was originally Cushite or Joktanite must be a matter of mere conjecture; but by admitting some such principle as the one mentioned we remove from the book of Genesis a number of apparent perplexities (Kalisch, Genesis p. 454). See UR. To regard the repetition of the name as due to carelessness or error is a method of explanation which does not deserve the name of criticism. See HAM.
Assuming, then, that the districts indicated in Ge 10:7,29, were conterminous, if not in reality identical, we have to fix on their geographical position. Various derivations of the word have been suggested, but the most probable one, from חוֹל, sand (Bochart, Phaleg, 2, 29), is too vague to give us any assistance. Looking for preciser indications, we find in Ge 25:18 that the descendants of Ishmael "dwelt from Havilah unto Shur that is before Egypt as thou goest towards Assyria;" and in 1Sa 15:7 we read that Saul "smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur that is over against Egypt." Without entering into the question why the Amalekites are represented as possessing the country which formerly belonged to the Ishmaelites, it is clear that these verses fix the general position of Havilah as a country lying somewhere to the southward and eastward of Palestine. Further than this, the Cushite Havilah in Ge 10:7 is mentioned in connection with Seba, Sabtah, and Raamah; and the Joktanite Havilah (Ge 10:29) in connection with Ophir, Jobab, etc. Now, as all these places lay on or between the Arabian and Persian gulfs, we may infer, with tolerable certainty, that Havilah "in both instances designates the same country, extending at least from the Persian to the Arabian Gulf, and on account of its vast extent easily divided into two distinct parts" (Kalisch, Genesis p. 93). SEE SHUR.
The only method of fixing more nearly the centers of these two divisions of Havilah is to look for some trace of the name yet existing. But, although Oriental names linger with great vitality in the regions where they have arisen, yet the frequent transference of names, caused by trade or by political revolutions, renders such indication very uncertain (Von Bohlen, on Genesis 10:7). We shall therefore content ourselves with mentioning that Strabo, quoting Eratosthenes, places the Χαυλοτἃ ιοι near the Nabathoei, north of the Arabian Gulf (Strabo, 16:4), and that Ptolemy (4, 7) mentions the Αύαλ῝ ιται, on the African coast, near Bab-el-Mandeb, the modern Zeylah (comp. Plin. 6, 28; Gesen. Thes. 1, 452). Niebuhr also finds two Khawlans in Yemen, one a town between Sanaa and Mecca, the other a district some miles to the southeast of Sanaa (Beschr. Arab. p. 270, 280; see further, Buschung, Erdbeschr.V, 1, 601; Michaelis, Spicileg. 1, 189; 2, 202; Forster, Geog. of Arab. 1, 40, 41, etc.). These names may very possibly be traces of the great Biblical country of Havilah. SEE ETHINOLOGY.
The district of Khawlan lies between the city of Sana and the Hijaz, i.e. in the northwestern portion of the Yemen. It took its name, according to the Arabs, from Khiawlan, a descendant of Kahtan, SEE JOKTAN, (Mardsid.
s.v.), or, as some say of Kahlan, brother of Himyer (Caussin, Essai, 1, 113, and Tab. 2). This genealogy says little more than that the name was Joktanite; and the difference between Kahtan and Kahlan may be neglected, both being descendants of the first Joktanite settler, and the whole of these early traditions pointing to a Joktanite settlement, without perhaps a distinct preservation of Joktan's name, and certainly none of a correct genealogy from him downwards.
Khawlan is a fertile territory, embracing a large part of myrrhiferous Arabia, mountainous, with plenty of water, and supporting a large population. It is a tract of Arabia better known to both ancients and moderns than the rest of the Yemen, and the eastern and central provinces. It adjoins Nejran (the district and town of that name), mentioned in the account of the expedition of AElius Gallus, and the scene of great persecutions of the Christians by Dhu-Nuwas, the last of the Tubbaas before the Abyssinian conquest of Arabia, in the year 523 of our era (compare Caussin, Essai, 1, 121 sq.).