Phut (Heb. Put, פּוּט; Sept. Φούδ or Φούτ, but usually Λίβυες, and so Josephus Ant, 6:2) the name of a people mentioned in connection with Mizraim and Cush as third among the descendants of Ham (Ge 10:6; "Put," 1Ch 1:8), elsewhere applied to an African country or people (Jer 46:9; Eze 27:36; Eze 30:5; Eze 38:5; "Put," Na 3:9. Comp. also Jg 2:23, in the Greek and Syriac). In all of these passages Phut or Put is named with Cush, Ludim, and Lubim. Putites served in the Egyptian; army (Jeremiah l.c.; comp. Eze 30:5), and the Tyrian navy (Eze 27:20), and are numbered in the army of Gog (Eze 38:5). Josephus (Ant. 1:6, 2) understands here the Mauritanians. He also mentions a river bearing the same name, in the territory of the Mauri, which is called Fut by Pliny (page 242, ed. Hard.), and flows into the Atlantic. Ptolemy (4:1, 3) calls it Phthouth (long. 7½o, lat. 30-o), in Mauritania Tingitana (comp. Michael. Spicil. 1:160 sq.). These traces of the name, however, are not needed. That it is a name of Libya is sufficiently obvious from the Sept. in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and from the fact that Faiat is a Coptic name for Libya in Egypt — that is, for that part of Lower Egypt which lies west of the Canopic mouth of the Nile, so called (see Gesen. Thesaur. 2:1093). More recently Hitzig would identify with Put the tribe of Putiya, mentioned in the inscriptions at the tomb of Darius, and refers to Putea (Πούτεα), a city on the west bank of the river Triton in Northern Africa (Ptol. 4:3, 39). But no weight can be given to his remark that a people which served in the Egyptian army in foreign expeditions must not be sought in Western Africa. — Winer, 2:229. SEE LIBYA.
"In the above genealogical lists Phut follows Cush and Mizraim, and precedes Canaan. The settlements of Cush extended from Babylonia to Ethiopia above Egypt, those of Mizraim stretched from the Philistine territory through Egypt and along the northern coast of Africa to the west; and the Canaanites were established at first in the land of Canaan, but afterwards were spread abroad. The order seems to be ascending towards the north: the Cushite chain of settlements being the most southern, the Mizraite chain extending above them, though perhaps through a smaller region, at least at the first and the Canaanites holding the most northern position. We cannot place the tract of Phut out of Africa, and it would seem that it was almost parallel to that of the Mizraites, as it could not be farther to the north: this position would well agree with Libya. But it must be recollected that the order of the nations or tribes of the stocks of Cush, Mizraim, and Canaan is not the same as that we have inferred to be that of the principal names, and that it is also possible that Phut may be mentioned in a supplementary manner, perhaps as a nation or country dependent on Egypt. The few mentions of Phut in the Bible clearly indicate, as already remarked, a country or people of Africa, and, it must be added, probably not far from Egypt. It is noticeable that they occur only in the list of Noah's descendants and in the prophetical Scriptures. Isaiah probably makes mention of Phut as a remote nation or country, where the A.V. has Pul, as in the Masoretic text (Isa 66:19). Nahum, warning Nineveh by the fall of No-Amon, speaks of Cush and Mizraim as the strength of the Egyptian city, and Phut and Lubim as its helpers (Na 3:9). Jeremiah tells of Phut in Necho's army With Cush and the Ludim (Jer 46:9). Ezekiel speaks of Phut with Persia and Lud as supplying mercenaries to Tyre (Eze 27:10), and as sharing with Cnsh, Lud, and other helpers of Egypt, in her fall (Eze 30:5); and again, with Persia, and Cush, perhaps in the sense of mercenaries, as warriors of the army of Gog (Eze 38:5). From these passages we cannot infer anything as to the exact position of this; country or people; unless indeed in Nahum, Cush and Phut, Mizraim and Lubim, are respectively connected, which might indicate a position south of Egypt. The serving in the Egyptian army, and importance of Phut to Egypt, make it reasonable to suppose that its position was very near.
"In the ancient Egyptian inscriptions we find two names that may be compared to the Biblical Phut. The tribes or peoples called the Nine Bows, IX Petuorm IX Na-Petu, might partly or wholly represent Phut. Their situation is doubtful, and they are never found in a geographical list, but only in the general statements of the power and prowess of the kings. If one people be indicated by them, we may compare the Naphtuhim of the Bible. SEE NAPHTUHIM. It seems unlikely that the Nine Bows should correspond to Phut, as their name does not occur as a geographical term in use in the directly historical inscriptions, though it may be supposed that several well-known names there take its place as those of individual tribes; but this is an improbable explanation. The second name is that of Nubia, To-pet, "the region of the Bow," also called Tonmeru-pet, "the region, the island of the Bow," whence we conjecture the name of Meroe to come. In the geographical lists the latter form occurs in that of a people, Anu-meru- pet, found, unlike all others, in the lists of the southern peoples and countries as well as the northern. The character we read Pet is an unstrung bow, which until lately was read Kens, as a strung bow is found following, as if a determinative, the latter word, which is a name of Nubia, perhaps, however, not including so large a territory as the names before mentiolied. The reading Kens is extremely doubtful, because the word does not signify bow in Egyptian, so far as we are aware, and still more because the bow is used as the determinative of its name Pet, which from the Egyptian usage as to determinatives makes it almost impossible that it should be employed as a determinative of Kens. The name Kens would therefore be followed by the bow to indicate that it was a part of Nubia. This subject may be illustrated by a passage of Herodotus, explained by Mr. Harris, of Alexandria, if he may premise that the unstrung bow is the common sign, and, like the strung bow, is so used as to be the symbol of Nubia. The historian relates that the king of the Ethiopians unstrung a bow, and gave it to the messengers of Cambyses, telling them to say that when the king of the Persians could pull so strong a bow so easily he might come against the Ethiopians with an army stronger than their forces (3:21, 22, ed. Rawlinson: Sir G. Wilkinson's note). For the hieroglyphic names, see Brugsch, Geogr. Inschr.
"The Coptic Piphaiat must also be compared with Phut. The first syllable being the article, the word nearly resembles the Hebrew name. It is applied to the western part of Lower Egypt beyond the Delta; and Champollion conjectures it to mean the Libyan part of Egypt, so called by the Greeks, comparing the Coptic name of the similar eastern portion, Phapabia or Tapabia, the older Arabian part of Egypt and Arabian Nome (L'Eyypte sous les Pharaons, 2:28-31, 243). Be this as it may, the name seems nearer to Naphtuhim than to Phut. To take a broad view of the question, all the names which we have mentioned may reasonably be connected with the Hebrew Phut; and it may be supposed that the Naphtuhim were Mizraites in the territory of Phut, perliaps intermixed with peoples of the latter stock. It is, however, reasonable to suppose that the Pet of the ancient Egyptians, as a geographical designation, corresponds to the Phut of the Bible, which would therefore denote Nubia or the Nubians, the former, if we are strictly to follow the Egyptian usage. This identification would account for the position of Phut after Mizraim in the list in Genesis, notwithstanding the order of the other names; for Nubia has been from remote times a dependency of Egypt, excepting in the short period of Ethiopian supremacy, and the longer time of Ethiopian independence. The Egyptian name of Cush, Kesh, is applied to a wider region well corresponding to Ethiopia. The governor of Nubia in the time of the Pharaohs was called Prince of Kesh, perhaps because his authority extended bevond Nubia. The identification of Phut with Nubia is not repugnant to the mention inlthe prophets; on the contrary, the great importance of Nubia in their time, which comprehended that of the Ethiopian supremacy, would account for their speaking of Phut as a support of Egypt, and as furnishing- it with warriors. The identification with Libya has given rise to attempts to. find the name in African geography, which we shall not here examine, as such mere similarity of sounld is a most unsafe guide." The name of Phtha, the chief deity of Memphis, has been considered by some Egyptologists to be the hieroglyphic transcription of Phut, the son of Ham, whose descendants settled in the oases of the Libyan desert. as is demonstrated by the circumstance that the country named after Phut, in the Hebrew, is translated Libya by the Sept. (see Gesenius, Lexicon, s.v. פוּט). "The name Phut, in its change to Phtha," says Osbuin, "has undergone an extraordinary process, highly characteristic of the modes of thought that prevailed in very ancient times. Written with the final h, which may be added to a Hebrew word without altering the sense, it represents the consonants of the verb 'to reveal,' which in the Coptic sense is 'to write hieroglyphics.' A still stranger use has been made of this pun upon the name of Phut. His animal representative has been named after the action in direct antagonism with that of the human, original. The hieroglyphic name of the bull Apis, hp, is the Coptic verb pet, 'to hide,' which is a mere transcription of the ancient verb חפה חוŠ, with the same meaning. The comparison of the two groups renders this contrast very apparent. It will be seen that one group is as nearly as possible an inversion of the other. The meanings are in like manner in antithesis. In the bull Apis, therefore, were concealed the attributes which were revealed in Phtha" (Mon. Hist. of Egypt, chapter 5).
Some late Egyptologists, however, regard Put as a merely Egyptian pronunciation for Punt (Bunsen, Egypt, 2:304), which was the name of an Arabian tribe east of Egypt (Brugsch, Geogr. Inschr. 2:15). SEE ETHNOGRAPHY.