Summary: Verse by verse study of Genesis 10-11

Genesis 10-11

Sunday Morning Bible Study

January 14, 2007


Genesis is the book of beginnings. We’ve seen the creation of the universe and the creation of man.

We’ve seen the fall of man as Adam and Eve sinned and were removed from the garden of Eden.

We’ve seen the wickedness of man increase as man multiplied and just got worse and worse.

We’ve seen the judgment of God with the flood of Noah.

And now we see the world beginning all over again with Noah’s family.

Genesis 10

:1-5 Sons of Japheth

:1 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.

Genesis 10 contains what is known as the “Table of Nations”. It shows how the nations of the world came from the three sons of Noah.

We might be tempted to skip through these kinds of lists of names, but some of them are quite important. This is sort of a key to unlocking many of the things in the Bible. The more names you learn to identify in this chapter, the more you will understand the key players in the Bible.

Scholars and archaeologists have studied this list of names and concluded that it’s incredibly accurate. William F. Albright (who does not believe in the infallibility of the Scriptures) says,

“It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature, without a remote parallel, even among the Greeks, where we find the closest approach to a distribution of peoples in genealogical framework...The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document.”

In all probability, it was Shem that kept this record. His lineage is given the fullest, as though he lost track of the other lines after the dispersion. He is also listed as an author in 11:10.

There are seventy nations listed in all, 14 from Japheth, 30 from Ham, and 26 from Shem.

Who are these seventy nations? Check out the handout ...

:2 The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.

Japheth basically becomes the father of the European nations.

These are the same nations listed among those who will attack Israel in the prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39.

(skip vs. 3-7)

:6-20 Sons of Ham

:8 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.

:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD."

Nimrod – Nimrowd – “rebellion”

:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

:11 From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah,

Some of these places Nimrod settled would become world empires. Babel is a Hebrew word, the Greek form is “Babylon”. Nineveh would be the capital of the Assyrian empire.

It’s not surprising that Nimrod becomes a “god” in the Babylonian religions. It gives you a taste of this man’s pride and the pride that will drive things at the tower of Babel.

(skip vs. 12-14)

:15 Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth;

Heth is where the “Hittites” come from.

:16 the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite;

The names of these descendants are familiar if you’ve read through the books of Exodus and Joshua. These are the Canaanites.

skip vs. 17,18

:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.

Last week we talked about the sexual nature of the sin of Ham and the resultant curse on the Canaanites. Is it any surprise that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18-19), places known for their depravity, come from Canaan?

:21-32 Sons of Shem

(skip vs. 21-24)

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

Eber – we believe this is where the name “Hebrew” comes from.

Peleg – Peleg – “division”. And interesting name. Peleg’s dad, Eber, was the same generation from Noah as Ham’s descendant, Nimrod. Since the rebellion and division of languages at Babel took place in Nimrod’s day, it’s possible Eber named his son for this event.

(skip vs. 26-31)

:32 These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.

Genesis 11

:1-9 The Tower of Babel

:1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.

Men are multiplying, and they still speak the same language, and no, it’s not the “language of love”…

:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.

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