Joktan was the second of the two sons of Eber (Gen. 10:25; 1 Chr. 1:19) mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.
In the Book of Genesis 10:25 it reads: "And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan."
Joktan's sons in the order provided in Genesis 10:26–29, were Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab.
In Pseudo-Philo's account (ca. 70), Joktan was first made prince over the children of Shem, just as Nimrod and Phenech were princes over the children of Ham and Japheth, respectively. In his version, the three princes command all persons to bake bricks for the Tower of Babel; however, twelve, including several of Joktan's own sons, as well as Abraham and Lot, refuse the orders. Joktan smuggles them out of Shinar and into the mountains, to the annoyance of the other two princes.
The name is also written as Yoktan (Hebrew: יָקְטָן, Modern: Yoktan, Tiberian: Yoqṭān, Arabic: يقطان, romanized: Yaqṭān). He has also been identified with Qahtān, the ancestral figure of Qahtanites, in traditional Arab genealogy.