Summary: Genesis verse-by-verse
[Read Genesis 10:1.]
Whenever you hear an introductory verse like that it’s almost like a call to be ready to be bored. Oh no, here we go. One of those passages where you read about all the begats and begottens and becames and becomes through the family line of certain persons. Important stuff, but potentially uninspiring.
An older sister was sitting next to her younger brother in Church one Sunday morning unsuccessfully trying to keep him still and quiet. Finally she said, “I wish you would calm down.” “I can’t”, he said, “it’s just so boring.” With that his sister turned and said, “It’s supposed to be boring, now be still!”
[History teacher in college story.]
At first glance historical narratives can be a little methodical and mundane. But when we understand the significance of the events they become more than just names and dates – they become the providential hand of God taking man from point a to point b to point c and so on.
Chapter 10 of Genesis is a record of how mankind fanned out over all the earth, like spokes in a wheel radiating from a center. Both secular science and Scripture place this center in the Middle East. The Middle East has been called, "the cradle of civilization," or "the cradle of mankind." We are now dealing with the days immediately following the Flood, when the sons of Noah became the heads of three major divisions or families of mankind. In this chapter we learn how they spread throughout the earth.
The first son that we’re going to look at is Japeth from whom most of the Indo-European civilizations came from. Let’s read through the beginnings of his family line.
[Read Genesis 10:2-5.]
Now when people, much smarter and thorough than I, trace back all of these names and cross reference them with dates and events, they come up with a lineage that led to the
Indo-European family of nations. (Which is probably most of us here tonight.) Early in the history of the world, the Japhethites split into two groups. One settled in India and the other settled in Europe. Together they form what is known as the "Indo-European" family of nations.
[Refer to Frank Alling’s chart.]
Now while most major schools of science can trace the roots of the Indo-European nations back to the Japhethites, some deviate a little bit with the details.
For instance, many Greeks say that their ancestor was a man named Japetos, (you can see in that the resemblance to Japheth). They regarded him as not only the father of their race, but the father of all humanity.
The Indians, on the other hand, have an account of the flood similar in many respects to the Biblical account of the flood. The name of their hero is not Noah, but Satyaurata, and he had three sons. The name of the oldest was Iyapeti (very much like Japheth), and the other two were Sharma, and C’harma (much like Shem and Ham). The interesting thing about the Indian account is that C’harma was cursed by his father because he laughed at him when he got drunk. Sound familiar?
Of course, they don’t have the perfect, inspired Word of God to get the facts straight. Their legends of origin came through their generations of people as they got farther and farther away from the Lord. Therefore, their accounts of origin are skewed.
But the fact remains, the Indo-Europeans, a huge family of nations, came from the line of Japeth just as prophesied by Noah.
[Read Genesis 9:27.]
Well that Canaan referred to here would bring nations that would live in servitude to the nations of Japeth. And they all came through the line of Ham. Now I’m going to divide the descendants of Ham into two groups for discussion sake. The groups of people that came through Nimrod and the groups of people that came through Canaan.
[Read Genesis 10:6-14.]
The great leader Nimrod is highlighted in this passage as a “mighty one” on the earth. He was obviously one of the most if not the most powerful man on the earth at that time. The Bible calls Him "a mighty hunter before the LORD." Now it was the work of kings in those ancient days to be hunters. This was a time when civilization was sparse and wild animals were a constant threat to the peoples. Kings, having nothing much else to do, organized hunting parties and acted as the protectors of their people by killing wild animals. Nimrod gained a great reputation as such a hunter, and became a powerful leader of people and nations.
But listen to the nations that came from him. The most notable ones were Babel or Babylon, Ninevah and the Philistines. All of which were known for their immorality, ruthlessness and false religions.