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Elishah was the son of Javan according to the Book of Genesis (10:4) as well as the mediaeval, rabbinic Book of Jasher; he is said in Jasher to have been the ancestor of the "Almanim", possibly a reference to Germanic tribes (Alamanni). The Greek Septuagint of Genesis 10 lists Elisa not only as the son of Javan, but also among the sons of Japheth, possibly a copyist's error.

The Portuguese orator and mythographer Father António Vieira refers to him as being the mortal ancestor of Lusus (his divine ancestor being his father Bacchus), founder and eponym of Lisbon and Lusitania (when he and his brother Tarshish, the founder of Tartessos, came to Iberia with their uncle Tubal), as well as the origin of the name of the mythological Elysium.

Others have identified Elishah with Cypriots; in ancient times the island or part of it was known as Alashiya.

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