She'leph (Heb. id. שֶׁלֶŠ, but always occurring "in pause" as Sha'leph, שָׁלֶŠ, a drawing forth Sept. Σαλέφ, v.r. Σαλέθ, etc.), the second named of the thirteen sons of Joktan (Ge 10:26; 1Ch 1:20). B.C. much post 2515. The tribe which sprang from him has been satisfactorily identified, both in modern and classical times, as well as the district of the Yemen named after him. It has been shown in other articles, SEE ARABIA; SEE JOKTAN, etc. that the evidence of Joktan's colonization of Southern Arabia is indisputably proved, and that it has received the assent of critics. Sheleph is found where we should expect to meet with him in the district (Mikhlaf as the ancient divisions of the Yemen are called by the Arabs) of Sula. (Marasid, s.v.), which appears to be the same as Niebuhr's Salfie (Descr. p. 215), written in his map Selfia, with the vowels, probably Sulafiyeh. Niebuhr says of it, "Grande etendue de pays gouvernee par sept schechs." It is situated in N. lat. 14 degrees 30', and about sixty miles nearly south of San'a. Besides this geographical trace of Sheleph, we have the tribe of Shelif, or Shulaf, of which the first notice appeared in the Zeitschrift d deutschen morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, 11, 153, by Dr. Osiander, and to which we are indebted for the following information. Yakut, in the Moajam, s.v., says "Es-Selif or Es-Sulaf is an ancient tribe of the region of Yemen; Hisham Ibn-Mohammed says they are the children of Yuktan [Joktan], and Yuktan was the son of Eber the son of Salah the son of Arphaxad the son of Shem the son of Noah.. And a district in El-Yemen is named after the Sulaf." El-Kalkasander (in the British Museum Library) says "El-Sulaf, called also Benies-Silfan, a tribe of the descendants of Kahtan [Joktan]. The name of their father has remained with them, and they are called EsSulaf they are children of Es-Siulaf, son of Yuktan, who is Kahtan.. Es-Sulaf originally signifies one of the little ones of the partridge, and Es-Silfan is its plural; the tribe was named after that on account of translation." Yakut also says (s.v. "Muntabik") that El- Muntabik was an idol belonging to Es-Sulaf. Finally, according to the Kamus (and the Lubb-el-Lubab, cited in the Marasid, s.v.), Sulaf was a branch tribe of Dhu-l-Kilaa [a Himyeritic family or tribe (Caussin, Essai, 1, 113), not to be confounded with the later king or Tubbaa of that name]. This identification is conclusively satisfactory, especially when we recollect that Hazarmaveth (Hadramaut), Sheba (Seba), and other Joktanitic names are in the immediate neighborhood. It is strengthened, if further evidence were required , by the classical mention of the Σαλαπηνοί, Salapeni, also written 'Αλαπηνοί, Alapeni (Ptolemy, 6, 7). Bochart puts forward this people with rare brevity. (Opera, 1, 99). The more recent researches in Arabic MSS. have, as we have shown, confirmed in this instance his theory for we do not lay much stress on the point that Ptolemy's Salapeni are placed by him in N. lat. 22°. — Smith. Forster endeavors (Geogr. of Arabia, 1, 109) to identify the descendants of Sheleph with the Meteir
tribe, whose chief residence is in a Kasim, in the province of Nejd (Burckhardt, Bedouin, p. 233); but for this there appears to be no sufficient evidence.