Gen. 10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
Gen. 10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
Gen. 10:3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
Gen. 10:4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
Gen. 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
(6/07) This chapter is known as the “Table of Nations” and is comprised of 70 families from which all nations found their roots. Although disputed, Arthur Custance in his Doorway Papers (www.custance.org) makes the following comment.
“…wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 has been found completely accurate—often where, at one time, it seemed most certainly to be in error. This process of steady vindication has served to establish it for a second kind of value, namely, that like every other part of Scripture which has similarly been challenged and vindicated by research, it now contributes its testimony to the dependability of these earlier portions of Genesis, upon the truth of which hangs so much else of our faith.”
Generally, he gives the breakdown as follows:
Shem = Semites Hebrews, Arabs, Syrian, Persian
Japheth = India & Europe
Ham = Egypt, Babylon, Mayan, Aztec, Sumerian, Libya, China, Eskimos, American Indians
Though I tried to define the descendants of Noah’s three sons by summarizing research, there were certainly discrepancies among the sources.
- These are obviously only selected names that figure into prominence as the rest of scriptures unfold.
- The descendants of Japheth are identified as Gentiles. (This is being written at a time when the writer is looking back at history.)
- These sons/families are said to inhabit lands they have divided among themselves.
- The use of the word “isles” indicates they probably crossed the seas.
- Their divisions are by language and families in their nations.
- Research indicates that the following nationalities descended from the children of Japheth:
Gomer – Celts (Britain, Wales, Scotland, Ireland), Turkey (Armenians – north of the Black Sea), Germany, Scandinavians?
Magog – Georgia (by the Black Sea), Scythians, Slavs, Russians, Bulgarians, Bohemians, Poles, Slovaks, Croatians
Madai – Medes
Javan – Greeks, Romans, French, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, Cyprus, Rhodes
Tubal – South of Black Sea
Meshech - Russia
Tiras – Thracians, Scandinavians?, Anglo-Saxons, Etruscans of Italy
Gen. 10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
Gen. 10:7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
Gen. 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
Gen. 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
Gen. 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Gen. 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
Gen. 10:12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
Gen. 10:13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
Gen. 10:14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.
Gen. 10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,
Gen. 10:16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,
Gen. 10:17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
Gen. 10:18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
Gen. 10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
Gen. 10:20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.
- More emphasis is given to the sons of Ham. (I think this is because they settled in areas that would have more immediate direct impact with the descendants of Shem—from whom the writer of Genesis descended. Moses or not, God was preserving this history and instruction through His chosen people.)
- Nimrod is the first descendant to be singled out as one who was mighty in the earth—one with influence. His kingdom is even identified as Babel in the land of Shinar. Already, this disrespectful son of Noah is identified with Babylon, Ninevah and the Philistines—all of whom will be great thorns in the flesh of the Jews.
- Again, the descendants of Ham are divided by families and language in their countries and nations. (The Hebrew for the word “nations” is identified with Gentiles.)
- Research indicates that the following nationalities descended from the children of Ham:
Cush – Ethiopia, Sudan, Arabia, Persian Gulf (Yemen, Sheba), Babylon (Shinar, Nineveh), Australian Aboriginies, New Guineans, Ghanians
Mizraim – Egyptians, Philistines, Crete, Africa
Phut – Libya, Somalia, Tunisians, Berbers
Canaan – Phoenicians, Hittites, Mongols, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Chinese (Sinites), Orientals, American Indians, Eskimos,
Note: Further study has revealed quite a bit more regarding Nimrod. He basically was the leader who would encourage the people to believe that they could be self-sufficient without God. He eventually established himself as God (the Babylonian god Marduk). The building of the tower of Babel was in direct defiance of God’s command to “fill the earth.” Their intent was to make a name for themselves (pride). Nimrod was the first ruler of Babylon where he began to corrupt true religion and worship of God. He introduced quite gradually and deceptively the worship of the creature and the creation rather than the Creator. In Revelation Babylon is called the “mother of prostitutes” (false religions) and is destined for special punishment because of this corruption to the peoples of the world.
(7/09) Verse 9 – “before the Lord” = against the Lord
Gen. 10:21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
Gen. 10:22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
Gen. 10:23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.
Gen. 10:24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.
Gen. 10:25 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.
Gen. 10:26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
Gen. 10:27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,
Gen. 10:28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
Gen. 10:29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.
Gen. 10:30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.
Gen. 10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
- We know that the Jewish nation descended from Shem.
- Names are often associated with special meaning. In Peleg’s case, he was living at the time the earth was divided. Personally, I think this is when the continents drifted apart. (cf note at 1:9)
- Again, these descendants were divided by their families and language in their lands and nations. (Again, the word “nations” implies Gentiles. More than the Jewish race is involved here.)
- Research indicates that the following nationalities descended from the children of Shem:
Elam – Persia
Asshur – Assyrians
Arphaxad – Chaldeans, Hebrews (Israel), Jordanians
Lud – Lydians (Asia Minor)
Aram – Syrians, Lebanese, Armenians, parts of Arabia
Gen. 10:32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
Now we are going to reflect back in time after considering the genealogies.