Summary: A study in the book of Genesis 10: 1 32
Genesis 10: 1 32
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10 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. 6 The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. 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.” 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, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). 13 Mizraim begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14 Pathrusim, and Casluhim (from whom came the Philistines and Caphtorim). 15 Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; 16 the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite; 17 the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; 18 the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed. 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. 20 These were the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands and in their nations. 21 And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder. 22 The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24 Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. 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. 26 Joktan begot 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 And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. 31 These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations. 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.
Our Holy Creator God had said to man, ‘be fruitful, and multiply’. Here we see in this chapter it was the fulfillment of that command as man spread abroad to possess the earth. It demonstrated that Yahweh was the God of the whole earth. But it is also made apparent that this expansion results in a world split up into tribes and nations. This is seen as being the result of a further fall of man leading to judgment as we will see starting in Chapter 11.
The account is one of growth and prosperity but behind it lays the ominous reminder that the earth has become divided so that brotherly love has ceased. It begins with all speaking one language but ends with nations speaking many languages.
10 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.
This chapter has been titled as the Table of Nations, ‘These are the descendants (generations, genealogies or family histories) of the sons of Noah’, and from the words ‘ These are the families of the sons of Noah according to their generations by their nations ( and from these came the separate nations on earth after the flood’ ) that the differentiation of nations was the main purpose of the narrative, and the assertion that they were all descended from Noah in one way or another.
In many ways the distinctions are based on territory occupied. Moses is seeking to explain to his readers the derivation of the peoples they are aware of. But it would be too simplistic to assume that that was the only basis for distinction. Some are mentioned twice, possibly because of intermarriage and marriage treaties, possibly because of the movement of part of a tribe to a different area. There were many movements of peoples in the Ancient Near East caused by various circumstances, including pressure from other peoples.