Javan was the fourth son of Noah's son Japheth according to the "Table of Nations" in the Hebrew Bible. Flavius Josephus states the traditional belief that this individual was the ancestor of the Greek people.
Also serving as the Hebrew name for Greece or Greeks in general, ????? Yavan or Y?w?n has long been considered cognate with the name of the eastern Greeks, the Ionians. The Greek race has been known by cognate names throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East and beyond—even in Sanskrit. In Greek mythology, the eponymous forefather of the Ionians is similarly called Ion, a son of Apollo. The opinion that Javan is synonymous with Greek Ion and thus fathered the Ionians is common to numerous authorities up to the present, including Sir Walter Raleigh, Samuel Bochart, John Mill, Jonathan Edwards, and many others.
Javan is also found in apocalyptic literature in the Book of Daniel, 8:21-22 and 11:2, in reference to the King of Greece —most commonly interpreted as a reference to Alexander the Great.
While Javan is generally associated with the ancient Greeks and Greece, his sons are usually associated with locations in the Northeastern Mediterranean Sea and Anatolia: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.