The words might mean that Japheth was an intruding invader, but this is not consonant with the tone of the oracle.
The older story, however, continues with another step in the history of civilization, and to Noah is ascribed the cult of the vine, the abuse of which leads to the utterance of a curse upon Canaan and a blessing upon Shem and Japheth (ix.
A place Japheth is mentioned in Judith ii.
The utterance of Noah over Canaan, Shem and Japheth (ix.
Possibly Japheth is only present in Gen.
The similarity of the name Japheth to the Titan Iapetos of Greek mythology is probably a mere accident.
Shem is probably Israel; Canaan, of course, the Canaanites; by analogy, Japheth should be some third element of the population of Palestine - the Philistines or 'the Phoenicians have been suggested.