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Bible Commentaries

Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Genesis 10

Verses 1-32

DESCENDANTS OF NOAH

In this chapter the genealogy of Japheth is given first (vs.1-5). Their history is not pursued in the book of Genesis: their character was that of the energy of independence, and though at first it seems they were involved in the building of the tower of Babel (for all Noah's family evidently remained at that time close to that area), yet they soon spread northward and had no significant connection with Abraham and his descendants.

There is more said about the family of Ham (vs.6-20). Nimrod was his grandson, and he became a mighty hunter in the earth (vs.8-9). There is more implied in this than merely his being a literal hunter of animals. His name means "we will rebel" not only "will rebel." He was a leader in hunting the souls of man, to make them rebels. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, where man was exalted in defiance of God. Other places are also mentioned in the land of Shinar. "From that land he went forth to Assyria and built Ninevah, Rehoboth, Caleh and Resen" (v.11- NASB). This was no doubt after the Lord scattered the people from Babel (ch.11:8). Nimrod's ambitious course of self-will was not stopped even by God's judgment at the tower of Babel.

Canaan is spoken of in verse 15, along with his descendants, who took up the land that God had before decided was to be Israel's possession (v.19). Because the Canaanites sank down in idolatry and demon worship in later years, Israel was told to completely dispossess them of that land (Cf. Genesis 15:16; Leviticus 18:24-25; Leviticus 20:23-24; Deuteronomy 31:3-5). God's sovereign choice for His people was absolute to begin with. Whoever took possession of their land in the meanwhile, this would have no effect as to their eventual possession of it. But also, there was no doubt as to the righteousness of God in the expulsion of the Canaanites in due time because of their idolatry and demon worship.

Verses 21 to 31 consider the family of Shem. One name stands out, Peleg, the name meaning "divided." This likely refers to the division of the nations when languages were confounded (ch.11:7-8). At this time the family of Shem settled toward the east, from which direction Abram later came when God called him from Ur of the Chaldees (Genesis 11:31).

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Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Genesis 10". Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lmg/genesis-10.html. 1897-1910.