Genesis 10: Nations Descended from Noah

1 These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.

-Each with his own language? Wait a minute. Don’t we have the tower of Babel story next chapter? Genesis 11 starts out with, “Now the whole earth had one language and the same words”, pretty definitive. The most likely explanations seems to be that the two events are not in order. How is it that each and every son mentioned here obeyed God’s commandment and created their own peoples? The tower of Babel story took place before the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth dispersed. It seems they were not obeying God’s commandment and instead tried to build one nation together and so God had to confuse their languages to get them to disperse. This dispersion took place as a result of the Tower of Babel event and the genealogy is noting that each had their own language, by their clans, in their nations.

6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. 7 The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 8 Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.”

-Despite the mention of the Nephilim before the flood, “The mighty men who were of old, men of renown”, it says here that Nimrod was the first mighty man. One could take this as an argument in favor of the Nephilim being fallen angels if Nimrod was the first mighty man, but they are ignoring the next sentence. Nimrod was the first mighty man in the sense that he was a “mighty hunter before the Lord”. What this is saying is Nimrod was the first king that had a relationship with God in the same sense as King David. Nimrod gets a bad rap and many claim he was a hunter of people and an evil conquerer. However, this account doesn’t say that and it says he was a hunter “before the Lord” implying he was a righteous man. It does not say he conquered anything or went to war with anyone, who was there to conquerer yet anyway? Instead it says he established a big list of known cities and regions that survived all the way to the Israelites in the desert’s time for them to have heard of them. God blessed Nimrod abundantly and gave him the desire and ability to establish great cities.

10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and 12 Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. 13 Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14 Pathrusim, Casluhim (from who the Philistines came), and Caphtorim. 15 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, 16 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the clans of the Canaanites dispersed. 19 And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations. 21 To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24 Arpachshad fathered Shelah; and Shelah fathered Eber.

-Eber is an interesting name to take note of because it’s possible his name is where we got the term “Hebrew” from. Eber is mentioned special when talking about the sons of Shem but we are not told why. It’s possible the timing of the Tower of Babel incident may have been such where Eber and his family got their own language and that happened to be the language that became Hebrew. Abram/Abraham is a direct descendant of Eber.

25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan.

-In Pelag’s time, “the earth was divided”. In the Tower of Babel story we see what seems to be all the people of earth at the time united in trying to build a mighty town and a great name for themselves to keep them together. So the Tower of Babel incident must have happened in the same generation as Eber and as Peleg was an adult, the Earth had become divided because of the language issue.

26 Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. 30 The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations. 32 These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

Spanish Words:

poblar = to populate, inhabit
conforme = in order, satisified, according to
poderoso = powerful
repartir = to distribute, divide
montañosa = mountainous, hilly

Notes:

1) There are some amazing resources out there from those who have done research in trying to identify all the different people and their languages and regions. One great source is: http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/sons-of-noah.html

2) Here is an excellent image that sums this whole chapter up: http://www.aicfchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Noah_descendants-3_Sons.jpg

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