Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Genesis 10:19

The territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Admah;   Canaanites;   Gaza;   Gerar;   Gomorrah;   Ham;   Lasha;   Phenicia;   Sidon;   Sodom;   Zeboim;   Thompson Chain Reference - Gaza;   Gerar;   Sidon;   Zidon;   The Topic Concordance - Nations;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Canaanites, the;   Sciences;   Sidonians, the;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Canaan;   Gaza or Azzah;   Gerar;   Ham;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Canaan;   Phoenicia;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Flood, the;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Admah;   Canaan;   Gaza;   Gerar;   Gomorrah;   Lasha;   Sidon;   Zeboim;   Zidon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Admah;   Canaan;   Cuthah;   Dan (2);   Gaza;   Gerar;   Hebrew;   Lasha;   Leshem;   Sodom;   Wilderness of the Wanderings;   Zeboim, Valley of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Admah;   Canaan, History and Religion of;   History;   Lasha;   Table of Nations;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Admah;   Eber;   Family;   Gaza;   Genealogy;   Gerar;   Ham;   Lasha;   Lehabim;   Peleg;   Races;   Shinar;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Canaanitish;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Admah ;   Canaanites, the ;   Gaza ;   Gerar ;   Lasha ;   Sodom, Sodoma ;   Zeboim, Zeboiim ;   Zidon, Sidon ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Admah;   Canaan (2);   Gaza;   Gerar;   Palestine;   Sodom;   Zidon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ad'mah;   Ca'naanites, the,;   Ge'rar;   La'sha;   Sod'om;   Zebo'im;   Zi'don,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Division of the Earth;  
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Re-Peopling the Earth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Admah;   Gaza;   Genealogy;   Gerar;   Hyena;   Lasha;   Palestine;   Pentateuch;   Phoenicia;   Semites;   Sidon (2);   Table of Nations;   Zeboiim;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Admah;   Asshur;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Admah;   Family and Family Life;   Gaza;   Gerar;   Ham;   Hittites;   Palestine;   Zidon (Sidon);  

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


Nations descended from Noah (10:1-32)

This genealogy must have been written hundreds of years after the time of Noah, when his descendants had multiplied and moved to many places. By that time differences in language, race and culture were noticeable. The purpose of the listing here is to trace the origin of these groups, not to name every single descendant of Noah.

Again the genealogy is simplified, being based on a selection of seventy descendants. Most likely the names in the genealogy were originally the names of individuals, but later were applied to the peoples descended from them and, in some cases, to the territories or towns inhabited by those peoples. The record concerns only the sons of Noah, and says nothing about peoples in the more distant parts of the world who may not have been affected by the flood.

Japheth's descendants settled mainly in the regions north and north-west of Palestine, spreading across Asia Minor to Greece (10:1-5). The Hamites occupied Canaan (until the Israelites took it from them) and parts of Mesopotamia to the east, while in the south they spread to Egypt and the areas on the western side of the Red Sea (6-20). The descendants of Shem (Semites) also occupied parts of Mesopotamia, and spread south from there across Arabia. The particular part of the Semite family that produced the Israelites (that of Peleg) is merely mentioned here, being treated more fully in the next chapter (21-32).

Sometimes the same name appears in more than one list, since there was much inter-marriage, migration and conquest among the various peoples. Also, it should be noted that the territory of Canaan, later to be occupied by the Israelites, contained many tribal groups (see 15:18-20; 23:17-20; 34:2,30), and sometimes the name of one of these tribal groups may have been used to refer to Canaanites in general (cf. 12:6; 15:16).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"Canaan ..." This was the grandson of Noah whom that patriarch cursed for his despicable behavior during the event of Noah's drunkenness, and it should be noted that none of Canaan's posterity could be identified with the Negro race, who were actually descended from Ham, not from Canaan. Moreover, their homeland was not primarily Africa, but Palestine, from Sidon to Sodom and Gomorrah. They were the pre-Israelite Canaanites, notorious for their sexual debauchery, their vile sex gods, and the licentious worship services by which they served them. The Canaanites thus justified in their subsequent history all that Noah had prophesied of them. Also, in this connection, it should be noted that Noah's curse was no requirement that such debaucheries should mark the descendants of Canaan, but that they would do so. His prophecy was not a requirement but a prediction of what would happen. Also, that part about their being enslaved and subjugated by other peoples likewise came true. No great power ever rose out of Palestine until AFTER the Canaanites had been supplanted by Israel and the vast Hebrew monarchy under Saul, David and Solomon dominated the Mid-east. On the other hand, Canaan's brothers became world conquerors, Hammurabi probably being among the descendants of Ham.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

- XXXII. Ham

6. מצרים mı̂tsrayı̂m “Mitsraim.” מצר mētser “straitness, limit, pressure.” מצור mātsôr “distress, siege, mound, bulwark; Egypt.” מצרים mı̂tsrayı̂m “perhaps double Egypt, lower and upper.” פוּט pûṭ “Put, troubled.”

7. סבא sebā' “Seba, drinking (man, Ethiopian).” סבתה sabtâh “Sabtah.” רעמה ra‛mâh “Ra‹mah, shaking, trembling.” סבתכא sabtekā' “Sabtekha.” שׁבא shēbā' “Sheba, captive?” דדן dedān “Dedan, going slowly?”

8. נמרד nı̂mrod “Nimrod, strong, rebel.”

10. בבל bābel “Babel; related: pour, mingle, confound.” ארך 'erek “Erek, length.” אכד 'akad “Akkad, fortress.” כלנה kalneh “Kalneh.” שׁנער shı̂n‛ār “Shin‹ar.”

11. נינוה nı̂ynevēh “Nineveh, dwelling?” עיר רחבח rechobot 'ı̂yr “Rechoboth ‹ir, streets of a city.” כלח kelach “Kelach, completion, end, age.”

12. רסן resen “Resen, bridle, bit.”

13. לוּדים lûdı̂ym “Ludim, born?” ענמים ‛ǎnāmı̂ym “‹Anamim, possession, sheep. להבים lı̂hābı̂ym “Lehabim, fiery, flaming?” נפתהים naptuchı̂ym “Naphtuchim, opening.”

14. פתרסים patrusı̂ym “Pathrusim.” כסלחים kasluchı̂ym “Kasluchim.” פלשׁתים pelı̂shtı̂ym “Pelishtim”, Αλλόφυλοι Allophuloi “related: break, scatter; Aethiopic “migrate.” כפתרים kaptorı̂ym “Kaphtorim; related: crown, capital.”

15. צידון tsı̂ydon “Tsidon, hunting.” צת chēt “Cheth, breaking, affrighting.”

16. יבוּסי yebûsı̂y “Jebusi; related: tread.” אמרי 'emorı̂y “Emori; related: Say, be high.” גגשׁי gı̂rgāshı̂y “Girgashi; related: clay, clod.”

17. צוּי chı̂vı̂y “Chivvi; related: live.” ערקי ‛arqı̂y “‹Arqi; related: gnaw, sting.” סיני sı̂ynı̂y “Sini; related: mud, clay.”

18. ארודי 'arvādı̂y “Arvadi; related: roam, ramble.” צמרי; tsemārı̂y “Tsemari; noun: wool; verb: cover.” חמתי chāmātı̂y “Chamathi; noun: fastness; verb: guard.”

19. גרר gerār “Gerar; related: draw, saw, abide.” עזה 'azâh ‹Azzah, strong.” סדם sedom “Sodom; related: shut, stop.” עמרה 'amorâh “‹Amorah; noun: sheaf; verb: bind.” אדמה 'admâh “Admah; adjective: red; noun: soil.” צבים tseboyı̂m “Tseboim, gazelles; verb: go forth, shine.” לשׁע lesha‛ “Lesha; verb: pierce, cleave.”

Genesis 10:6

And the sons of Ham. - Ham the youngest of the three brothers Genesis 9:24, is placed here because he agrees with Japheth in becoming estranged from the true God, and because the last place as the more important is reserved for Shem. As the name of Japheth is preserved in the Ιαπετος Iapetos of the Greeks, so Chain is supposed to appear in Chemi of the Coptic, χημία cheemia of Plutarch, Chine of the Rosetta Stone, an old name of Egypt. This country is also called the land of Ham in Scripture Psalm 78:51; Psalm 105:23, Psalm 105:27; Psalm 106:22. But this term was of more comprehensive import, as we find some ancient inhabitants of a region in the south of Judah, said to have come from Ham 1 Chronicles 4:40. Thirty primitive nations sprang from Ham. Of these, only four were immediate descendants.

(15) Kush has left traces of his name perhaps in the Caucasus, the Caspian, and the Cossaei of Khusistan. There is an allusion in Amos (Amos 9:7) to his migration to the land south of Egypt which bears his name. This name is preserved in Gheez, the name of the ancient language of the people, and some say even in Habesh. It is possible, that some of the Kushites went toward India. To Ethiopia, however, the name generally refers in Scripture. The Ethiopians were called by Homer (Odyssey I. 23), ἔσχατοι ἀνδρῶν eschatoi andrōn “remotest of men.”

(16) Mizraim is the ordinary name for Egypt in the Hebrew scriptures. The singular form, Mazor, is found in later books 2 Kings 19:24; Isaiah 19:6; Isaiah 37:25.

(17) Put has with one consent been placed beyond Egypt, in the north of the continent of Africa. He is mentioned along with Lubim as the helper of Nineveh (Nab. Isaiah 3:9), and with Kush, as forming part of the army of Neko Jeremiah 46:9. His descendants penetrated far westward. A river bearing the name of Phutes has been mentioned in Mauretania, and an inland country is designated by the name of Futa. The name may be preserved also in Buto, the capital of lower Egypt, on the Sebennytic mouth of the Nile.

(18) Kenaan settled in the country called after his name. There are some grounds for believing that this land was previously inhabited by Shemites, as the land was Shemitic. If so, the Kenaanites came in as intruders, and followed the language of their predecessors. But of this hereafter.

Genesis 10:7

Kush had five sons and two grandsons, who were reckoned among the founders of nations.

(19) Seba is associated with Kush Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:14. Josephus (Ant. I. 6,2; II. 10,2) places him in Meroe, a country almost insulated by the Nile and its branches, the Astapus (Blue Nile) and Astaboras (Atbarah).

(20) Havilah occurs as the name of a country in the antediluvian times. The present Havilah may refer to a tribe in Africa, called Avalitae, lying south of Bab-el-mandeb, which corresponds very well with the situation of Kush and Seba. This nation, however, may also have a representative in the Χαυλοταῖοι Chaulotaioi of Strabo (xvi. 728), situated on the Persian Gulf, where some other Kushites were to be found. The fragments of this nation may have separated by migration, and left its name in both localities.

(21) Sabtah, Josephus finds in the Astaborans of Ethiopia, others in Sabota, a town in southwest Arabia.

(22) Ramah is traced in Rhegma on the southeast of Arabia.

(23) Sabteka is the third name, beginning with the same syllable. Such names are frequent from the Persian Gulf to the coast of Africa. Some find this place on the coast of Abyssinia, others in Samydake on the east side of the Persian Gulf. From Ramah are two tribes descended.

(24) Sheba, and (25) Dedan, lying in the south of Arabia or on the Persian Gulf. Daden, an island in the gulf, now Barhein, may represent the latter.

Genesis 10:8-12

In this episode Genesis 10:8-12, the author turns aside from the table of nations to notice the origin of the first great empires that were established on the earth. “And Kush begat Nimrod.” The author had before enumerated the sons of Kush, who were heads of nations. Here he singles out one of his sons or descendants, who became the first potentate of whom we have any record. He notices his qualities for rising to this position among men. “He began to be a mighty one in the land. He was mighty in hunting, before the Lord.” Hunting is a comprehensive term, indicating the taking of any species of animal, whether of the air, the sea, or the land. Nimrod‘s distinction in this respect was so great as to become proverbial. The expression, “before the Lord,” intimates, not merely that the Lord was cognizant of his proceedings, for he knoweth all things, but that Nimrod himself made no secret his designs, pursued them with a bold front and a high hand, and at the same time was aware of the name and will of Yahweh. This defiant air gives a new character to his hunting, which seems to have extended even to man, as the term is sometimes so applied (1 Samuel 24:12 (1 Samuel 24:11), Jeremiah 16:16). His name, which literally means “we shall rebel,” is in keeping with the practice of an arbitrary and violent control over men‘s persons and property.

Genesis 10:10

The beginning or first seat and the extent of his kingdom among men are then described. It consists of four towns - Babel and Erek and Akkad and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar. The number four is characteristic of Nimrod‘s kingdom. It is the mark of the four quarters of the earth, of universality in point of extent, and therefore of ambition. The site of Babel (Babylon) has been discovered in certain ruins near Hillah, chiefly on the opposite or eastern bank of the Euphrates, where there is a square mound called Babil by the natives. Erek has been traced also on the east bank of the Euphrates, about one hundred miles southeast of Babil, or half way between the city and the confluence of the rivers. It is the Orchoe of the Greeks, and the ruins now bear the name of Urka, or Warka. This name appears as Huruk on the cuneiform inscriptions of the place. Akkad, in the Septuagint. Archad, Col. Taylor finds in Akkerkoof, north of Babel, and about nine miles west of the Tigris, where it approaches the Euphrates. Here there is a hill or mound of ruins called Tel Nimrud. Rawlinson finds the name Akkad frequent in the inscriptions, and mentions Kingi Akkad as part of the kingdom of Urukh, but without identifying the site. Kalneh, Kalno, Isaiah 10:9; Kanneh, Ezekiel 27:23, is regarded by Jerome, and the Targum of Jonathan, as the same with Ktesiphon on the Tigris, in the district of Chalonitis. Its ruins are near Takti Kesra. Rawlinson identifies it with Niffer, but without assigning satisfactory grounds. The sites of these towns fix that of Shinar, which is evidently the lower part of Mesopotamia, or, more precisely, the country west of the Tigris, and south of Is, or Hit, on the Euphrates, and Samara on the Tigris. It is otherwise called Babylonia and Chaldaea.

Genesis 10:11, Genesis 10:12

Out of that land came he forth to Asshur. - This may be otherwise rendered, “out of that land came forth Asshur.” The probabilities in favor of the former translations are the following: First. The discourse relates to Nimrod. Second. The words admit of it. Third. The word Asshur has occurred hitherto only as the name of a country. Fourth. Asshur, the person, was considerably older than Nimrod, and had probably given name to Asshur before Nimrod‘s projects began. Fifth. Asshur would have been as great a man as Nimrod, if he had founded Nineveh and its contiguous towns; which does not appear from the text. Sixth. “The beginning of his kingdom” implies the addition to it contained in these verses. Seventh. And the phrases “in the land of Shinar, out of that land,” and the need of some definite locality for the second four cities, are in favor of the former rendering.

Asshur was a country intersected by the Tigris. It included the part of Mesopotamia north of Shinar, and the region between the Tigris and Mount Zagros. Its extension westward is undefined by any natural boundary, and seems to have varied at different times. Nineveh was a well-known city of antiquity, situated opposite Mosul on the Tigris. The country in which it was placed is called by Strabo Aturia, a variation seemingly of Asshur. It‘s remains are now marked by the names Nebbi-yunus and Koyunjik. Rehoboth-ir, the city broadway or market, has not been identified. Kelah is said to be now marked by the ruin called Nimrud. This lies on the left bank of the Tigris, near its confluence with the greater Zab, Its name seems to be preserved in the Calachene of Strabo. It was about twenty miles south of Nineveh. It is possible, however, so far as we can conjecture from conflicting authorities, that Kelah may be Kileh Sherghat, about fifty miles south of Mosul, on the right bank of the Tigris. Resen is placed by the text, between Nineveh and Kelah, and is therefore probably represented by Selamiyeh, a village about half way between Koyunjik and Nimrud. If Kelah, however, be Kileh Sherghat, Resen will coincide with Nimrud. “That is the great city.”

This refers most readily to Resen, and will suit very well if it be Nimrud, which was evidently extensive. It may, however, refer to Nineveh. This completion of Nimrod‘s kingdom, we see, contains also four cities. The Babylonian and Assyrian monarchies were akin in origin, and allied in their history and in their fall. They were too near each other to be independent, and their mutual jealousies at length brought about the ruin of the northern capital. A Kushite, and therefore a Hamite, founded this first world-monarchy or tyranny. Another Hamite power arose simultaneously in Egypt. A branch of the Kushites seem to have gone eastward, and spread over India. But another branch spread through the South of Arabia, and, crossing into Africa, came into contact, sometimes into alliance, and sometimes into collision with the Egyptian monarchy. The eastern empire is noticed particularly, because it intruded into Shemitic ground, and aimed continually at extending its sway over the nations descended from Shem.

Genesis 10:13-14

Mizraim has seven sons, from whom are derived eight nations.

(26) the Ludim are probably mentioned in Isaiah 66:19, in connection with Tarshish and Put; in Jeremiah 46:9, in connection with Kush and Put; and in Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5, in connection with Put. In all these instances the name is in the singular, but in our text in the plural, expressly denoting the nation of which Lud was the progenitor. The Ludim were distinguished for the use of the bow. They were, doubtless, an African tribe, related to the Egyptians, and well known to the prophets, though their country cannot now be pointed out. Josephus intimates that they were destroyed, as well as other tribes descended from Mizraim, in the Ethiopic war of the time of Moses; but they still existed in the times of Ezekiel. Movers finds them in the Lewatah, a tribe of Berbers. Others place them in Mauretania. Pliny mentions a river Laud in Tingitana.

(27) the Anamim are not elsewhere mentioned.

(28) the Lehabim are generally identified with the Lubim 2 Chronicles 12:3; 2 Chronicles 16:8; Daniel 2:43; Nahum 3:9, who are introduced in connection with the Kushim. They are probably the Libyans, who lay to the west of Egypt, and, extending from the Mediterranean indefinitely to the south, came into contact with the Kushites of Abyssinia.

(29) the Naphtuhim Bochart places in Nephthys, near Pelusium on the Lake Sirbonis. Others find a trace of them in Napata, a town of Meroe. This agrees with the indications of Josephus and the Targum of Jonathan.

(30) the Pathrusim have their place in Pathros, a name of upper Egypt or the Thebais. It is arranged by Isaiah Isaiah 2:11 between Egypt and Kush.

(31) the Kasluhim are supposed by some to be represented by the Colchians, whom Herodotus (ii. 104) traces to Egypt. It is possible the Colchians may have been a colony from them. But their original seat must have been somewhere on the coast of the Red Sea.

(32) Philistim, who came from (31). The Philistines dwelt on the coast of the Mediterranean, from the border of Egypt to Joppa. They had five principal cities, - Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. They gave the name פלשׁת peleshet Pelesheth, to the whole of Kenaan, from which is derived the Greek name Παλαιστὶνη Palaistinee “Palaestina.” They are stated by the text to be a colony or offshoot of the Kasluhim.

(33) Kaphtorim. From Jeremiah 47:4, it appears that Kaphtor was a coastland. From Amos 9:7, we learn that the Philistines came from this land. Hence, we conclude that the Kaphtorim dwelt on the coast of the Red Sea, adjacent to the Kasluchim, and left their name, perhaps, in Koptos and Αἴγυπτος Aiguptos Cappadocia, Crete, and Cyprus only slightly resemble the name, and have no other recommendation. The Kasluhim may have been their southern neighbors, and thus the Philistines may have occupied a part of Kaphtor, before their settlement on the coast of the Great Sea, within the borders of Kenaan, where they would, of course, be another tribe ( ἀλλόφυλοι allophuloi ). This account of these descendants of Mizraim agrees best with the hint of Josephus, that many of them bordered on the Ethiopians; and perished, or perhaps were forced to migrate, in the Ethiopic or other wars (i. 6,3). Thus, it appears that the descendants of Mizraim were settled in Africa, with the exception of the Philistines, who migrated into the country to which they gave their name.

Genesis 10:15-19

From Kenaan are descended eleven nations:

(34) Zidon is styled his first-born. The name is retained in the well-known town on the coast of Phoenicia, which is accordingly of the highest antiquity among the cities of that region. The Sidonians were reckoned co-extensive with the Phoenicians, and are mentioned by Homer (Iliad 23:743; Odyssey 4:618).

(35) Heth. This tribe dwelt about Hebron and in the mountains around, and perhaps still further north in the districts extending toward the Euphrates Genesis 23:3; Numbers 13:29; Joshua 1:4. Esau took wives from the Hittites Genesis 26:34-35, and some part of the nation existed even after the captivity Ezra 9:1.

(36) the Jebusite has his chief seat in and around Jerusalem, which was called Jebus, from his chief; and the citadel of which was wrested from him only in the time of David 2 Samuel 5:7.

(37) the Amorite was one of the most important and extensive tribes of Kenaan. Five kings of this nation dwelt in the mountains afterward occupied by Judah Genesis 14:7, Genesis 14:13; Numbers 13:29; Joshua 10:5, and two on the east of the Jordon, in Heshbon and Bashan, north of Moab Numbers 21:13; Deuteronomy 4:47. The eastern Amorites were conquered under Moses, the western under Joshua. A remnant of them were made bondsmen by Solomon 1 Kings 9:20. They survived the captivity Ezra 9:1.

(38) the Girgashite seems to have lain on the west of the Jordan, and the name may be preserved in the reading Γεργεσηνῶν Gergesēnōn of Matthew 8:28. The town of the Gergesenes is supposed to have been at the southeast of the lake of Gennesaret Genesis 15:21; Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 24:11.

(39) the Hivite was found at Shalem, Gibeon, and also at the foot of Hermon and Antilibanus Genesis 34:2; Joshua 9:7; Joshua 11:3; Judges 3:3. The former were also classed under the Amorites Genesis 48:22; 2 Samuel 21:2. With the exception of four cities of the Gibeonites, they were conquered by Joshua Joshua 9:17; Joshua 11:3, Joshua 11:19.

(40) the Arkite probably dwelt near a town called Arke or Caesarea Libani, lying some miles north of Tripolis, at the foot of Lebanon. Its ruins are still extant at Tel Arka.

(41) the Sinite is supposed to have dwelt in Sinna, a town mentioned by Strabo, called Sine by Jerome, and Syn in the fifteenth century (Strab. xvi. 2,18; Hieron. Quaest. in Gen., Breitenbach, Travels, p. 47), not far from Arke.

(42) the Arvadite dwelt in Arvad, Aradus, now Ruad, a Phoenician town on an island of the same name.

(43) the Zemarite has been traced in the town Σίμυρα Simura the ruins of which were found by Shaw at the western foot of Lebanon, under the name of Sumra.

(44) the Hamathite was the inhabitant of Hamath, called Hamath Rabbah (the great), by the Greeks Epiphaneia, and at present Hamah. It is situated on the Orontes, and held an important place in the history of Israel. The land of Hamath was of great extent, including the town of Riblab 2 Kings 25:21 and reaching even to Antioch. The entrance of Hamath חמת בוא bô' chamāt the northern part of the valley between Lebanon and Antilibanus, formed the utmost boundary of Palestine to the north Numbers 13:21; Joshua 13:5; 1 Kings 8:65. Its king was in alliance with David 2 Samuel 8:10.

And afterward were the families of the Kenaanites spread abroad. - After the confusion of tongues were these nations formed; and after the formation of these Kenaanic tribes occurred the dispersion spoken of in the text. We do not know what was the original seat of the Kenaanites; or whether the dispersion here mentioned was violent or not. Its primary result, however, seems to have been their settlement in the country of which the boundaries are next described. It is not improbable that this land was allotted to a portion of the Shemites, and occupied by them when the Kenaanites entered and established themselves among them Genesis 40:15. The Kenaanites probably had the same grasping tendency which displayed itself in Nimrod, their kinsman; and therefore seized upon the country with a high hand, and called it after their name. Their expulsion, on the conquest of the land by the Israelites, and their commercial activity, led to a still further dispersion; as colonies were sent out by them to the distant shores of the Mediterranean, to Asia Minor, Greece, Africa, Spain, and even the British Isles. But it can scarcely be supposed that reference is here made to these subsequent events in their history.

Genesis 10:19

The border of Kenaan, as here described, extends along the coast from Zidon in the direction of (as thou goest unto) Gerar, which lay between Kadesh and Shur Genesis 20:1, and has its name preserved in the Wady el-Jerur, which is nearly in a line connecting Ain el-Weibeh and Suez. It turns at Azzah (Gaza), and passes to the cities of the plain, of which the later history is so memorable. Its terminating point is Lesha, which is generally supposed to be Callirrhoe, to the northeast of the Dead Sea, so called from the hot springs which form a stream flowing into the lake. It is possible, however, that Lesha is only another variation of Laish and Leshem, a city belonging to the Sidonians, and situated near the sources of the Jordan. Thus, we have the western, southern, and eastern border briefly given in this verse. It is manifest, however, that they did not confine themselves to these limits, but “afterward spread abroad” into the adjacent regions. The Hittite went to the northeast; the Amorite crossed the Jordan, and occupied a great part of Peraea; the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite stretched far north of the boundary.

Genesis 10:20

The list of the Hamites is summed up Genesis 10:20 in the usual form. It appears that Ham occupied Africa and a certain portion of Asia along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, in the south of Arabia, about the lower valley of the Frat and Diljah, and perhaps along the south of Asia. In extent of territory, Japheth ultimately far exceeded, as he occupied most of Asia and almost all of Europe and the New World. Ham is next to him, as he inherited Africa and a portion of Asia. Some of his descendants have also been forcibly transplanted to the New Hemisphere. But in point of political contact with Shem, Japheth, in early times, sinks comparatively into the shade, and Ham assumes the prominent place. Babylon, Kush, Egypt, and Kenaan are the powers which come into contact with Shem, in that central line of human history which is traced in the Bible. Hence, it is that in the table of nations special attention is directed to Kush, Nimrod, Mizraim, and to the tribes and borders of Kenaan.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah ( Genesis 10:1 ),

And as we get into chapter ten, this chapter has been called the "Table of Nations". And here you have the beginning of all of the various nations of the world, the various ethnic groups with these sons of Noah. "These are the generations of the sons of Noah."

Seth is probably the one who put these generations together. We follow for a little bit the line of Ham, a little bit the line of Japheth, and then when we get to the line of Shem we continue to follow the generations from Shem because it is from Shem that Abraham will come. It is from Abraham that the nation will come. It is from the nation and Abraham, of course, that the seed Christ will come. And so we"ll continue to follow the line down to Christ. But the others will follow for a few generations to establish their ethnic groups that sprung from them. Then we"ll leave them go, because the whole message really is centering and zeroing down towards Jesus Christ.

So many names are not given. Many of the families are not named at all. It isn"t intended to be a complete historical record but only a record that will lead us to Abraham, which will lead us to David, which will lead us to Jesus Christ. Once we"ve come to Jesus Christ it wasn"t necessary to keep the genealogies anymore. God has proven that Jesus Christ was as promised, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Adam. So that"s all that"s necessary to follow that line that leads to Christ.

Now the sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras ( Genesis 10:2 ).

Gomer was more or less the father of the ancient Sumerians. Magog were the Scythians, the area of Russia. And Madai was the father of the Medes. Javan the Greeks. Tubal and Meshech, they believe that Meshech actually is the ancient Moskobi, modern day Moscow. And Tubal the modern Tublanx, and Tairas, of course, is the Taircians. And so we see that basically you"re getting into the Asian European nations as descendants from Japheth.

Now we take one of the sons.

Gomer ( Genesis 10:3 );

the first one listed, and we have the Germanic people;

Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah ( Genesis 10:3 ).

Togarmah is thought to be the Armenians but the Ashkenaz, more or less, the Germanic people coming again from Japheth.

And by these were the islands of the Gentiles divided ( Genesis 10:5 )

Actually Tarshish, and so forth. So you"re getting into the area of Europe, Scandinavia, of course on into ultimately England, all the descendants. The Caucasian race descended from Japheth.

Now the sons of Ham; Cush, and Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah ( Genesis 10:6-7 ).

And all of these various names. We"re not going to try and go through them all. But they basically went south and populated the areas of Africa. Also a portion of them, the descendants of Canaan were Sidon, which were the Phoenicians, the sister city of Sidon. And of course the city Sidon up on the northern coast of Mediterranean, the sister city of Tyre which were the Phoenicians. The Jebusites who inhabited the area around Jerusalem, and in verse seventeen there"s "Sinite".

Now it is felt that some of the inhabitants of the Sinites moved east and where the Chinese descended from this particular branch. And it is interesting that the Chinese are still called Sino people. And you read of the Sino-Japanese war, for instance and the name still holding; many of the Chinese names beginning with this S-I-N.

So from Ham, Africa on over into the Far East and the area of Canaan. Now he does stop with one of the descendants when he gets to.

Cush begat Nimrod: and he began to be a mighty one in the eaRuth ( Genesis 10:8 ).

Instead of

a mighty hunter before the LORD ( Genesis 10:9 ):

It should be translated "he was a mighty tyrant in the face of the LORD." The hunting was the hunting of men"s soul. Nimrod became a leader in apostasy, developer of a great religious system later to become known as the Babylonian religious system or the "mystery Babylon". That whole religious system was begun by Nimrod.

Now his mother Semiramis was later to be called the queen of heaven and to be worshipped. It was her claim that Nimrod was actually born without the benefit of a father; that he was born while she was a virgin.

Nimrod was known for his hunting prowess"s. A great man with the bow. In those days the people were probably, because of their primitive type weapons, very fearful of the wild animals-the lions and the tigers and leopards and so forth. And he was known as a protector of the people because of his ability and skills in hunting.

But one day while hunting boar, a wild boar turned on him and gored him. And he supposedly was dead for three days lying there in the woods and after three days his life returned. And so they began to celebrate his resurrection by coloring eggs and having great festivities in the springtime of the year. Incidentally, his birth was December twenty-fifth and they usually celebrated his birth by giving of gifts, drunken orgies, and cutting trees and decorating them with silver and gold in their homes. And this is just a few generations after Noah.

The worship of his mother Semiramis, queen of heaven, the whole thing, Satan"s counterfeit of God"s intended work began with Nimrod. And when you start reading the history of the Babylonian religion, the way they set up the celebrations and all, you will be absolutely shocked at the historic church and how much of the activities of the historic church were borrowed directly from Nimrod. He was also known as Tammuz, several names, Astarte, Semiramis, the various names for his mother who was worshipped. And actually the name Easter coming from Astarte.

It"s amazing that this Babylonian system could have so thoroughly infiltrated the church. But God brings Nimrod into the record here.

And the beginning of the kingdom of Babel ( Genesis 10:10 ),

Verse ten, and it was he who inspired the people to build this tower that would reach into heaven. It was he who began to inspire them to the worship of the stars. The beginning of astrology and all of these things began in this ancient Babylonian religion.

The tower really literally not to reach into heaven but the tower was to worship. It was an observatory where they would go and worship the stars, the constellations and so forth. And many such towers have been uncovered in the archaeological diggings there in the Babylonian plain. There were areas of worship.

So the descendants of Ham then in verse twenty-one, we come to the descendants of.

Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber ( Genesis 10:21 ),

It is from Eber that we get the name Ibriy or the Hebrew. So Abraham was not the beginning of the idea or the name of the Hebrews. It came from Abraham"s ancestor Eber. And so Shem

the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born. The children of Shem ( Genesis 10:21-22 )

Are listed here for you.

And then the children of Aram ( Genesis 10:23 );

And we"re going to narrow it down to Eber because we want to follow Eber.

Eber had two sons: the name of one was Peleg; and in his days was the earth divided; and his brother"s name was Joktan ( Genesis 10:25 ).

Now this idea of the earth being divided, there are some who try to relate this to a current scientific theory of the continental, the continent dividing, you know. The continents have been drifting apart. Originally there was only one landmass but this continental drift theory that is a current theory in some scientific areas and they some of them point to this reference in scripture it was in the time of Peleg that the earth was divided.

However, if you"ll follow the chronological charts and all, you"ll find out that Peleg lived in the days of the tower of Babel. And it was at the tower of Babel that the earth was really divided into the ethnic groups, and so that is probably what the reference is to. The division of the earth into the ethnic groups following the tower of Babel experience, rather than a scripture that would somehow lend support to the continental drift theory. So that"s the way it is. It could refer to the continental drift but more than likely the reference is to the division of the earth from the tower of Babel.

Among the names here in the descendants, we do find the name Jobab, which could very well be the Job of the Scriptures. And so I guess that"s a little further down when we get into the descendants of Abraham.


Now in chapter eleven.

The whole earth was of one language, and one speech ( Genesis 11:1 ).

Probably Hebrew because in the earlier record of the book of Genesis, the names of the people were Hebrew names that have Hebrew meanings. And so the original language was perhaps the Hebrew language itself. "The whole earth was of one language, one speech."

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. And they said one to another, Let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly ( Genesis 11:2-3 ).

Now this is an interesting thing because it shows that very early after the flood, they had brick kilns and rather than just building their houses out of rocks, they were advanced to the state of making bricks and putting them in the kiln, burning them thoroughly. So rather than just adobe kind of buildings, they were now using a mortar with a cured brick or a burned brick and they began to build, of course, the city of Nineveh, the city of Babylon, all began to be built in this period by Nimrod himself.

And so they said, Let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole eaRuth ( Genesis 11:4 ).

Now God"s command was to actually fill the earth. It"s an attempt to sort of countermand God"s commandment. "Lest we be scattered abroad throughout all the earth." Let"s join together. Let"s just, you know, congregate in this area.

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded ( Genesis 11:5 ).

Now again we"re describing the activities of God in human terms as though God were coming down and looking things over. In reality, God is omnipresent. He was watching the thing the whole while.

The LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they all have one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do ( Genesis 11:6 ).

The developing of this religious system. Now it is very possible that originally God placed the stars in the heavens for signs and that the Gospel is actually given in the Zodiac, the virgin, the lion. But as Satan has always taken the things of God and twisted them and perverted them, so from the original message that God had placed there in the heavens of His plan for the ages, that there was that perversion of it into what is the modern astrology, which began way back again in the Babylonian era here in Babel where they were going to build this tower as an observatory to observe the constellations and so forth at the sky. But it is quite possible that originally the Gospel was there indeed in the stars as far as the message of God to man.

Now it would seem that the Magi who came from the east to find the Christ child were reading correctly the heavens. "We have seen His star in the east, we"ve come to worship Him". And that they were reading truly the signs that God had placed there. Now the Bible says that God has placed the stars for signs and for seasons. And it is very possible that originally there was indeed the message of God in the stars but has been perverted, as I say, into the modern astrology. And the perversion began way back there where they began to look at the stars for the influence over their lives, rather than looking to God.

And so God in His Word puts down astrologers, stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, those who sought them to govern their lives by the influence of the stars upon them and so forth. And God really speaks out very heavily against that in the prophecy of Isaiah. But it is an ancient, ancient thing, the horoscopes and all. But as with so many things, it is possible that in the beginning it was pure and had a true message of God, but it has been perverted as time has gone on.

So God seeing this development said

Let us go down, and confound their language, that they may not understand one another"s speech. And so the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel ( Genesis 11:7-9 );

Babel, whichever pronunciation you prefer. It really is a word that just sort of it was a word that was adapted because of what the sound sounded like. Just like the word "barbarian" is a word that was developed by the Greeks and the word "barbarian" in Greek literally is barbar. And anybody who didn"t speak Greek was a barbar because your language sounded so funny. So anybody who didn"t speak Greek, they just considered them uncultured, you know; they"re barbar. It just means that they talk some other language rather than the cultured Greek.

And so from that we get the word "barbarian" but it originally was just a, you know, just a sound that they made, unintelligible sound by which they were sort of mimicking any language other than Greek. It"s barbar, oh; he"s a barbar. And so this "Babel" is the same thing. It"s a mimicking of a sound that was not understood. Babel just is somewhat like the barbar. Babel. It"s just "I don"t understand what you"re saying". What do you mean "ba-ba"? And so the word has come to mean confusion, lack of understanding. And so they called the name of the place Babel.

because the LORD did there confound or confuse the languages of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the eaRuth ( Genesis 11:9 ).

And so at this point, the people who were speaking. Of course this was a tremendous miracle indeed, the development of all of these languages. Now the interesting thing about languages is that many times we think of the English language because we grew up with it, you know, it"s such an excellent language in communicating ideas. And we think, you know, people who are living in say, primitive cultures, in stone age cultures surely they must have a primitive form of language. Ours must surely be a highly cultured form of language, the English language. And they must have very primitive language, but it is an interesting thing that many of the primitive cultures have the most complex languages, highly complex languages, much more so than English. And thus, there is great difficulty in translating into many of these languages of primitive people.

You think, oh, it would be easy to translate, you know, "The man went to church." But some of these primitive cultures have so many words for "man". So you"d have to know if the man was one that you knew well, or you knew slightly because they have one word for man that you know well, and another one for a man that you know slightly. Then you"d have to know whether you like the man or not. And then you"d have to know whether or not you respected him. And actually they have maybe twenty different words for "man." So you"d have to know all kinds of things about this man before you know which word would fit the text or the translation.

Now the word "he went," did he go once in his life? Or did he go occasionally? Was it something that he was accustomed to doing? Or something that was rare for him to do? And so even in the verb you have so many different words that would describe it, that you get into the translation and really you want to throw up your hands and quit because these languages are so many times so much more complex.

I have a friend who was translating the gospel of Mark into the Choco dialect in Panama and he came to the place where he was working with his translating helper, and he came to the place where Jesus spit in the ground and made mud and put it in the blind man"s eyes and told him to go to the pool of Siloam and wash it out. So in translating this word "spit" the native said, But how did he spit? You know there"s many different ways to spit. Well, we only have one English word but the Choco Indian has so many different words.

You have a different way of spitting and of course how do you know which word it is? We don"t know what word it is. And because you know they have so many different words he said, "Well", he said, "did he hock and spit? Or did he pick up-did he pick up the dirt in his hand and just spit and mix it up? Or did he spit on the ground and mix it up? Or did he put the dirt in his eye and spit in his eye and mix it up?" And he would have a different word for each action. Oh, we don"t know what Jesus did, but this development of language.

Now it is interesting that man has in any and every culture, no matter how primitive, highly complex method of communicating of ideas, and I don"t care how primitive or ignorant that particular culture may be. Their languages are highly developed in the ability to communicate their ideas, whether they do it through grunts, through a singsong, or whatever. They are able to communicate their ideas no matter how primitive their culture.

This certainly is something that separates man from the animal kingdom. There is nothing in the animal kingdom that even approximates a complex form of communication of ideas. But yet in the most primitive culture of man, and in every culture of man, there is a language communication. So this was the beginning of the separation of languages.

Now after the separation into the basic language groups, there of course have become modifications even within the same language or generalized language. We find the romance languages and similarities between the Spanish and the Portuguese and the Italian and the French. We find that there is certain similarity between the German and the Scandinavian. We find that English is a language that has borrowed much from Latin and from Greek.

So there have been developed languages from the basic language system, but God divided their languages. And instantly they no doubt got together in groups that they could communicate to, family groups and so forth where they could communicate to each other, but it caused the division and the separation. And that spreading out then into the world and scattering abroad upon the face of the earth as is described.

Now we"re going to zero in down to Abraham because that"s where our story must move.

So these are the generations of Shem ( Genesis 11:10 ):

Getting now again a repetition of the generations of Seth, Shem, but moving definitely just down towards Abraham.

He was a hundred years old, and he begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: he lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters ( Genesis 11:10-11 ).

So he lived to be about six hundred years old approximately.

Arphaxad lived five, thirty-five years, and begat Salah ( Genesis 11:12 ):

And we get, he begat Eber and we follow down to Abraham, and actually that"s the one where we"re coming to, so let"s go on to verse twenty-six.

Terah lived seventy years, and he begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran ( Genesis 11:26 ).

Now whether or not this is the order in which they were born, we do not know. Whether or not you know how old was Terah when Abraham was born, we don"t know. Maybe he was the third son. We have no way of knowing but he lived seventy years and he had these three sons, Abram, Nahor and Haran. Now he lived after that for many years also.

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. And Abram and Nahor took them wives ( Genesis 11:27-29 ):

So their brother Haran died early having married and born one son, Lot. Actually he bore some daughters, too. And they took wives and

the name of Abram"s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor"s wife was Milcah, for she was also the daughter of Haran ( Genesis 11:29 ),

So he married his niece.

the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; and she had no child. And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran ( Genesis 11:29-31 )

So with Haran dead, Lot being his son, Abraham sort of adopted Lot because Abraham did not have any sons of his own. So he sort of adopted Lot and Lot became a journeyer with Abraham.

But they altogether went from the Ur of the Chaldees ( Genesis 11:31 ),

Now it was in the Ur of the Chaldees, in this area where this false religious systems, the Pantheism and Polytheism and all began to develop and the perverted religious systems, and so they left the Ur of the Chaldees.

to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran, and dwelt there ( Genesis 11:31 ).

Now the fact that they all left to go to Canaan means that in the beginning, it could be that Abraham"s father also received the call of God to leave and get out of this area that had begun to become religiously polluted and to come into a whole new area. But Terah, they came as far as Haran and there they dwelt.

And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran ( Genesis 11:32 ).

Now there is a seeming contradiction of scripture here when you get in the New Testament and Stephen is talking about Abraham being called of God to leave the Ur of the Chaldees and to go to Israel, how that after he said Terah died, Abraham then went on to Canaan. But when you start putting the ages together, you find that Abraham actually left, if Terah lived to be two hundred and five years old, then he was seven years old when Abraham was born then, and Abraham was seventy-five when he left. The seventy-five and the seventy makes a hundred and forty-five years, and yet he lived to be two hundred and five years old. So you have a discrepancy in mathematics here. So what is the solution or what is the answer?

There are a couple possible suggestions. Number one, Abraham may not have been the firstborn son. They may not be listed in the order of their births but in the order of precedence of their son, and Abraham could have been born many years after. In other words, seventy years and maybe Haran was born when he was seventy years old. And it doesn"t give his age at the time of Abraham"s birth. That"s one possibility. So that Abraham was sort of a late child and that indeed by the time he was seventy-five his father was two hundred and five years old, very possible.

Another possibility is that Stephen is talking in sort of a spiritual sense that he died. You remember one day a young fellow came to Jesus and said, "I"ll follow you but allow me first to go bury my father". And Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead. Come and follow Me" ( Matthew 8:21-22 ). Now the "let me first bury my father" was a common term. It didn"t mean that his father was dead. It isn"t that Jesus is showing a disrespect for a father who had died, but it is a term whereby a person was saying "I don"t want to do it now. I want to wait until my father dies". It"s just a term of procrastination or putting something off until later. I want to do it later. Wait till my father dies. Your father can be alive and healthy. He may be good for another fifty, sixty years. But it was a term of procrastination, a common term of procrastination.

Now knowing the use of Jesus in this term in the ideas that were given by it, it could be that Stephen is using it in the same sense and that Terah, when they came to Haran, died spiritually because Terah began to actually apostatize and became also a worshipper of false gods. So it could be that he"s referring to the spiritual death of Terah when he turned to spiritual apostasy. And it was at that point, when Terah spiritually was dead unto God, that Abraham realized he had to make his journey alone. And he took off with his -with Lot and the servants and so forth, and his wife Sarah. And they began then to journey onto the land that God had promised to show him.

Actually going from the area of the Ur of the Chaldees going to Haran, they were going about six hundred miles northwest. It was about four hundred miles from Haran, down to the land of Canaan to the area of Shechem where he was ultimately to end up. But Abraham started off journeying in obedience to God from the Ur of the Chaldees. They stopped with his father. It could be that his dad said "hey, this is good. Let"s settle here. Let"s settle in this area. It"s nice, you know, it"s productive and all".

Let"s settle here and there was a spiritual death of Terah to the call of God and awareness of God or the spiritual death. And Stephen could be referring to that when Terah died, then that spiritual death, Abraham realized that he had to leave now his father and that family and journey on by himself to the land that God had promised to show him.

So don"t cast off your faith because of a bit of mathematics here. There are possible explanations for and which one is correct, of course, we don"t know.


Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy family ( Genesis 12:1 ),

So Abraham really wasn"t totally obedient at this point. And this to me is interesting, because Abraham is always held as the model of faith in the New Testament, the model of a man who believed and trusted God. He"s the prime example of the man who believes. And so many times when we read about faith and the exploits of faith, we think, "But I"m so weak and I"ve blown it so many times, surely I can"t do it". It"s good to know that Abraham wasn"t perfect nor was his faith perfect. It"s good to know that you don"t have to be perfect and your faith doesn"t have to be perfect for God to honor you.

So God said, "Get away from your family". He took his dad with him from the Ur of the Chaldees to Haran. That was an incomplete obedience. Stopping at Haran was incomplete obedience to God. So even men noted as men of faith have their moments. And just because you slipped back and have your moments doesn"t mean that God won"t honor you and honor your faith, or that God doesn"t love you and wants to still work in a powerful way in your life, just because you blow it and you stop at Haran. It doesn"t mean that the call of God is going to be removed and there"s no chance for you to go on and fulfill that which God has laid upon your life and your heart to do.

Many people have stopped at Haran, but the time came for him to move on, which he did. Maybe the time has come for you to move on from your Haran. "The Lord said, Get thee out of thy country, from thy father"s family."

from your father"s house, to a land that I will show you ( Genesis 12:1 ):

So by the very virtue of the fact that Terah went with him, it could be the old man was saying, "Oh no, don"t leave. I want to go with you, son". Or it could be Abraham was saying, "Okay, dad, all right", you know. And he could have been weak in this area. But then his dad began to drag him down and slow him down, until his father died spiritually following after the pagan practices, and Abraham moved on.

I will make of thee [God said] a great nation ( Genesis 12:2 ),

Now God is establishing covenant with Abraham. "Get away from your family, your father"s house, to a land that I will show you. I"ll make you a great nation".

I will bless you, I will make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing ( Genesis 12:2 ):

All of these promises God fulfilled to Abraham. He made of him a great nation. God has blessed him and made the name of Abraham great. It"s honored and respected. "And thou shalt be a blessing."

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed ( Genesis 12:3 ).

And from that is the promise that the Messiah would come from Abraham. "In thee all the families of the earth." Not just the Jews but all the families of the earth will be blessed from Abraham"s progeny, even Jesus Christ.

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother"s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go to the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came ( Genesis 12:4-5 ).

Four hundred-mile journey, which in those days, with all of the animals and everything else, must have taken quite a long time indeed.

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanites [or the descendants or Canaan] were then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there he built an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him ( Genesis 12:6-7 ).

Now the promise of giving the land to Abraham"s seed at this point would also include the Palestinians, because the Arabs also were descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. So at this point, the land is promised not just to the Jews but also to thy seed, which would include the Arabs, Palestinians. But later on, when God repeats it to Jacob, it excludes the Arabs.

And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai [or Ai] on the east ( Genesis 12:8 ):

Now when Joshua came in later to conquer the land, he came up from Jericho and conquered Ai and then onto Bethel. Abraham now has a favorite spot there near Bethel in between Bethel and Ai. It"s the highest part of the land in that particular area. It gives you just a fabulous view. It"s about ten miles north of Jerusalem and about twenty miles or so from Shechem. But from there you can see down into the Jordan valley, you can see up towards the area of Samaria, you can see Jerusalem and the area south. You can look over towards the Mediterranean. It just is a beautiful vantage-point in that mountainous area between Bethel and Ai. And when Abraham came to this area, he built an altar. "And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed I give this land."

he built an altar unto the LORD, and called on the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed, going on down now to the south. And there was a famine in the land: so Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land ( Genesis 12:8-10 ).

So there was a drought in the-of course, he went on south towards Beersheba. There is always a drought down there. The place is really dry. It"s "deserty".

And it came to pass, when he was come near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife ( Genesis 12:11 ),

Now here"s our great man of faith, our example.

Behold now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look upon ( Genesis 12:11 ):

Hey, that"s saying a lot to your wife when she"s sixty-five years old. But because of the longevity, at sixty-five you were still really, you know, in your prime of youth in a sense of beauty. Abraham lived to be over one hundred and sixty. So at sixty-five you"re really not that old yet in those times. But it does, you know, when you think of sixty-five years old and talking about her great beauty, it does sound to be very interesting. "I know that you are a beautiful woman to look upon."

Therefore when it comes to pass, when the Egyptians will see you, they will say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, and keep you alive ( Genesis 12:12 ).

They"ll take you into their harem. Now this was a common practice among the Egyptian kings is to just, if a man, if he saw a beautiful woman, he"d kill her husband and take her as his wife. And so he said,

I pray that you"ll tell them that you are my sister: that it might be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee ( Genesis 12:13 ).

Hey, this is our great man of faith, Abraham. You see, even great men of faith have their weaknesses and their moments. Now that encourages me for some silly reason because I also have my moments of weaknesses. But I have the concept that when I get weak, God just says, "All right, that"s it. You had your chance". You know, wipe out, but not so. God continued to honor Abraham. God continued to bless Abraham. He wasn"t perfect.

God doesn"t use perfect people because they don"t exist. So don"t worry that you"re not perfect. Don"t think that God is going to reject you because you"re not perfect. Don"t think that God can"t use you because you"re not perfect. God blessed Abraham. God used Abraham though he had his lapses of faith, just like we have our lapses of faith.

So it came to pass, that, when Abram was come to Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very beautiful. And the princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and they commended her before the Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into the Pharaoh"s house. And he entreated Abram [or he treated Abraham] well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and asses, and menservants, maidservants, she asses, camels. And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram"s wife. And the Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What have you done to me? Why didn"t you tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, She is my sister? I might have taken her to be my wife: now behold your wife, take her, go your way. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had ( Genesis 12:14-20 ).

So he came under then a special protective edict of the Pharaoh so that he would not fall prey to the men in order that they might take Sarai his wife.

So an introduction now to Abraham. We"re beginning now to follow and we will from now on follow Abraham as we come on down towards Christ, as the Bible now is the developing of the nation and from the nation the coming forth of the Savior of the world.

So next week we"ll continue on beginning with chapter thirteen. Shall we stand? God bless you and enrich your heart and your mind in the things of the Spirit, giving you understanding of His Word. And may God increase your faith and your knowledge and understanding of Him. God go with you and bless you and watch over you and keep you in all your ways, strengthening you and ministering to you through His love. In Jesus" name. "

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

The Nations descended from Noah

This section gives the origins and situations of the nations of the world, as their relationships were conceived by the early Hebrews. Before passing to the history of the chosen race, the author traces the ties by which the rest of mankind are united with his own people, and shows the position of Israel among the nations. Each nation is regarded as a unity, and is summed up in the person of its supposed ancestor. The nations being treated as individuals, it follows that their mutual relations are put in terms borrowed from family life; Gomer is the 'son' of Japheth, and so on. But this relationship is not to be understood literally. The names are in many cases plainly national (the Jebusite, the Canaanite, etc.). Others are well-known names of countries (Mizraim or Egypt, Asshur, etc.), and nearly all appear elsewhere in OT. in a geographical sense (see especially Ezekiel 27 and Ezekiel 38:1-13). We may therefore consider that the arrangement is determined chiefly by geographical considerations, nations in proximity to each other being regarded as related. Thus the races assigned to Japheth (Genesis 10:2-5) are all in the N., those to Ham in the S. (Genesis 10:6-20), whilst Shem's descendants (Genesis 10:21-31) are in the centre. These come last because it is this line which is followed out in the sequel. The classification of the nations is a rough and approximate one, made in far distant days when the science of ethnology was unknown. The limitations of the Hebrew author's knowledge of the extent of the world are also apparent. The nations mentioned are mainly those which were grouped round the Mediterranean Sea, and are generally known as Caucasian, no reference being made to Negro, Mongolian or Indian races. But it may be truly said that the list upon the whole proves itself to be an excellent historico-geographical monument of an age from which we no longer have other comprehensive sources of information. While the groundwork of the section is from the Priestly document, this has been combined with extracts from the Primitive document (Genesis 10:8-19, Genesis 10:21, Genesis 10:24-30), which do not perfectly harmonise with it. Thus Sheba (Genesis 10:28) and Havilah (Genesis 10:29) are descendants of Shem, while in Genesis 10:7 they are Cushites, descended from Ham. The identification of the following names is uncertain: Abimael, Almodad, Anamim, Casluhim, Diklah, Gether, Hadoram, Hui, Jerah, Lud, Ludim, Mash, Obal, Resen, Sabtechah, Salah. The notes on the names follow the groupings of the text.

2-5. The sons of Japheth. These are nations mostly N. or W. of Palestine.

Gomer] the Cimmerians, near the Crimea. Ashkenaz] perhaps, Phrygia. Riphath] perhaps Paphlagonia on S. borders of the Black Sea. Togarmah] Armenia. Magog] supposed to be Scythians, cp. Ezekiel 38:2, where they are associated with Gomer. Madai] the Medes. Javan] Ionian Greece. Elishah] some coast or island in the Greek seas (Ezekiel 27:7): Crete, Cyprus, and Greece (Hellas) have been suggested. Tarshish] Though often mentioned in OT., the identity is quite uncertain. Suggestions are either Tarsus in Cilicia, Tartessus in S. Spain, or the Etruscans of Italy. Kittim] Citium, the modern Larnaca in Cyprus. Dodanim] (in 1 Chronicles 1:7; Rodanim) Rhodes. Tubal] the Tibareni; Meshech] the Moschi, both SE. of the Black Sea. Tiras] uncertain. Perhaps the Turusha, a seafaring people mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions, or the Tyrseni, a people dwelling on the shores of the Ægean Sea.

5. It is likely that this v. in its complete form ran: 'Of these were the coasts and islands of the peoples divided. These are the sons of Japheth, in their lands, each according to his language, after their families, in their peoples.' Cp. Genesis 10:20, Genesis 10:31.

6, 7, 13-19 The sons of Ham.

6. Ham] a name for Egypt. The 'sons of Ham' means the nations connected with Egypt geographically or politically. They were all S. of Palestine. Cush] Ethiopia or Nubia, S. of Egypt. Phut] probably the 'Punt' of Egyptian inscriptions, on the E. African coast.

7. Seba.. Havilah.. Sabtah.. Raamah.. Sheba.. Dedan..] all countries bordering on the African or Arabian coasts of the Red Sea.

8-12. This paragraph interrupts the connexion. Before and after it are simple genealogies. The Cush of Genesis 10:8 is thought to be distinct from the African Cush of Genesis 10:7, and to stand for the Kashshu or Cossæi, who were the dominating power in Babylonia between the 16th and 13th centuries b.c.

8. Begat] was the progenitor of.

Nimrod] the one personal figure of the chapter. Here his name is proverbial as that of a mighty hunter (Genesis 10:9). He founds both Babylonian and Assyrian civilisation (Genesis 10:10-12). There is no trace of Nimrod as an historical character on the monuments, and it has been suggested that the name (as if from marad, 'to rebel') was a deliberate mutilation and corruption of that of Merodach, the god of Babylon, made by one who wished to deny his divine character. If this was the case, the heathen deity who caught Tiamat in his net has been transformed in the Bible story into a mere human huntsman, a creature of the true God (cp. before Jehovah, Genesis 10:9), and the ancient cities that boasted of their divine origin are traced to a human founder.

10. Babel] Babylon. Erech] Warka, on the left bank of the Euphrates. Accad] the ancient name of N. Babylonia; also a city, the capital of Sargon I, the earliest historical ruler of all Babylonia. Calneh] probably the same as Nippur, the modern Niffier, recently excavated by the Pennsylvanian expedition. Shinar] an ancient name for S. Babylonia.

11. Out of that land went forth Asshur] RV 'out of that land he (Nimrod) went forth into Assyria.' This v. correctly indicates that Assyria owed its civilisation to Babylonia: it was also politically dependent until the 10th cent. b.c. Nineveh] the modern Kouyunjik on the Tigris, the ancient capital of Assyria. Its ruins have been excavated in recent years, and numbers of tablets, inscriptions, and carvings collected from its palaces. The city Rehoboth] RV 'Rehoboth-ir' ('broad spaces of the city'): probably a suburb of Nineveh. Calah] the modern Nimrûd, 20 m. S. from Kouyunjik. Resen] not known.

The same is the (RV) great city] i.e. Nineveh and the other three together formed the 'great city.'

13, 14. The descendants of Mizraim.

Mizraim] the Hebrew name for Egypt. The plural form is supposed to indicate Upper and Lower Egypt. Lehabim] Libya, W. of Egypt. Naphtuhim] perhaps N. of Lower Egypt. Pathrusim] S. or Upper Egypt. The clause 'Whence went forth the Philistines' (RV) should be placed after Caphtorim, or people of Crete, with whom the Philistines are elsewhere said to be connected (Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7). They settled on the SW. coast of Canaan, and gave the name Palestine to the country.

15-19. Canaan] Phœnicia and Palestine. The Canaanites were a Semitic race, speaking a language near akin to Hebrew. They are here assigned to Ham, perhaps contemptuously, or possibly because Palestine was a province of Egypt previous to the exodus. Sidon] the Phœnician seaport. Heth] The Hittites are now well known from Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions to have been a powerful nation to the N. of Palestine, with Carchemish on the Euphrates and Kadesh on the Orontes as their chief cities. An offshoot of the nation is found at Hebron: cp. Genesis 23:3; Genesis 25:10. The Jebusite] the tribe in and around Jerusalem: cp. Joshua 15:8, Joshua 15:63; 2 Samuel 5:6-9. The Amorite] one of the most powerful Palestinian tribes. In Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions they are called the Amurru, and “Amorite” seems to have been a general term for the old inhabitants of Canaan: see on 2 Samuel 12:5. According to Numbers 13:29 they dwelt chiefly in the mountainous districts. Sihon and Og were Amorite kings. The Girgashite] perhaps connected with Gergesa, near the Sea of Galilee. The Hivite] a petty tribe of Central Palestine. The Arkite] the tribe connected with the Phœnician city of Arka, 12 m. N. of Tripolis. The Sinite] probably connected with a city called Sin, near Lebanon. The Arvadite] Arvad was a city built on an island off the Phœnician coast (now Ruwad). The Zemarite] Sinsyra, S. of Arvad. The Hamathite] Hamath was a city on the Orontes. The 'entering in of Hamath 'was the northern limit of Palestine. Most of these tribes were afterwards driven out by the conquering Israelites.

19. The border of the Canaanite] from Zidon in the north, to Gaza, a Philistine city in the direction of Gerar. The other cities mentioned in Numbers 13:19 were probably, but not certainly, at the S. end of the Dead Sea.

21-31. The sons of Shem. The nations connected racially or geographically with the Hebrews.

Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber] Attention is thus called to Shem as the ancestor of the Hebrews ('children of Eber'). The Amarna tablets speak of a tribe called the Habiri invading Canaan in the days of Joshua, and many scholars identify them with the Hebrews. The brother of Japheth the elder] RV 'the elder brother of Japheth.' This is mentioned to show that though Shem is put last, he was not the youngest.

22. Elam] NE. of Babylonia. Its capital was Susa. Asshur] Assyria. Arphaxad] RV 'Arpachshad': uncertain. Some connect it with the Kasdim or Chaldeans who lived on the Persian Gulf and became rulers of Babylonia. Lud], uncertain, possibly Lydia in Asia Minor. Aram] Syria, NE. of Palestine. Damascus was a Syrian kingdom. The Jews in later times spoke Aramaic.

23. Uz] probably near Edom, see Job 1:1.

25. Peleg] 'divided.' In his days was the earth divided] alluding perhaps to the dispersion of man described in Genesis 11.

26-30. The sons of Joktan represent various Arabian tribes.

Hazarmaveth] Hadramaut in S. Arabia. Uzal] the capital of Yemen. Sheba and Havilah] See prefatory remark and on Genesis 10:7. Ophir] a famous region, the locality of which is still in dispute. Some place it in E. Africa in Mashonaland, where remarkable remains of ancient mining works have been found, some in India, and some in S. Arabia. Mesha] NE. Arabia. Sephar] SW. Arabia. Unto Sephar, etc.] RM 'toward Sephar, the hill country of the East.'

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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(19, 20) The border . . . —The boundaries given are Sidon in the north, Gerar and Gaza in the south and south-west, and thence to the Dead Sea. The only Lasha known is a place famous for its hot springs on the east of the Red Sea Though the Phœnicians may-have occupied this town on their way to Palestine, it could not have been one of their boundaries, so that it is probably some place destroyed in the convulsion which overthrew the cities of the plain. We must notice also that while Sidon is Aradus and Hamath were considerably above it. It is probable, therefore, that both the Arvadite and the Hamathite were still wandering tribes without settlements when this table was drawn up.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible


CHAPTER 10 Shem, Ham, and Japheth and Their Seed

1. The sons of Japheth (Genesis 10:2-5)

2. The sons of Ham (Genesis 10:6-20)

3. The sons of Shem (Genesis 10:21-32)

Here we have the beginning of the nations. God knows them and keeps track of the nations of the earth. The order of the sons of Noah is here changed. Japheth comes first. Ham’s place is unchanged. Shem comes last. This order is given in view of Noah’s prophecy. Among the descendants of Ham we find Nimrod, a mighty hunter. His name means “Let us rebel.” Here also we find Babel mentioned for the first time. Babylon has for its founder “a mighty one in the earth-a mighty hunter.” Mentioned here for the first time Babylon is seen springing from the race which is under a curse, and having for its founder a mighty one in the earth, a second Cain. We have here the birth of Babylon, while the entire Bible, from now on to the eighteenth chapter of the “book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” gives us its development, its Satanic opposition to all that is from above, and its final great fall and destruction. Babylon! what a sinister word! Both city and system, such as is seen in its finality in Rev. 17 and 18, are Satan’s stronghold.

It would be interesting to follow all these names and trace them in the Scriptures and in history. But this we cannot do.

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Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

In this chapter we have a simple and straightforward account of the dispersion of the sons of Noah and their families after the Flood. The descendants of Japheth moved toward the isles or the coastlands. The descendants of Ham moved toward the plains of Shinar and thence on. The descendants of Shem moved toward the hill country of the east.

It is not possible very clearly to define geographically today the districts occupied by various descendants of Noah.

What is clear, however, and to be carefully observed is that their movements were under a direct divine guidance, even though they may not have been conscious of it. Christian ethnologists still claim that all the races of today may be traced back to these revealed origins.

This chapter finds interpretation, in some measure, in the address of Paul on Mars' Hill in which he declared that God "made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation."

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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon,.... This is to be understood, not of the Canaanites, properly so called, but of them in general; and is a description of the bounds of the land of Canaan, as possessed by the people of Israel: the northern or north west border of it was Sidon, see Genesis 10:15 and is to be understood of the country which reached from that city towards the east almost as far as Jordan:

as thou comest from Gerar unto Gaza; two cities of the Philistines, well known in Scripture, the former for being the place where Abraham and Isaac sometimes sojourned, and the latter for Samson's exploits in it; these were the southern or south west border of the land of Canaan:

as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboim; four cities destroyed by fire from heaven, as is after related in this book; these lay to the south or south east part of the land:

even unto Lashah; which, according to the Targum of Jonathan, is Callirrhoe, a place famous for hot waters, which run into the Dead sea, and who in this is followed by Jerom; but since it was not in the southern part of Judea, as Lashah was, Bochart proposesF1Phaleg. l. 4. c. 37. col. 309. Lusa, as being more likely to be the place, a city of the Arabs, which PtolemyF2Geograph. l. 5. c. 17. puts in the midway between the Mediterranean and the Red sea; but this is objected to by RelandF3Palestina Illustrata, tom. 2. p. 871. , since the southern borders of the land of Canaan were from the extremity of the Dead sea unto the Mediterranean sea, from which Lusa was at a great distance: the Samaritan version of this verse is very different from the Hebrew, and is this,"and the border of the Canaanites was from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates, and unto the hinder sea:'i.e. the western or Mediterranean.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

The Table of Nations- The Seventy Nations that Came Forth from the Three Sons of Noah - tells us the names of the nations that descended from the three sons of Noah. We are told in the ancient Jewish writing of The Book of Jubilees that there were seventy nations and seventy languages divided upon the earth prior to the time of Abraham.

"And all the souls of Jacob which went into Egypt were seventy souls. These are his children and his children"s children, in all seventy, but five died in Egypt before Joseph, and had no children. And in the land of Canaan two sons of Judah died, Er and Onan, and they had no children, and the children of Israel buried those who perished, and they were reckoned among the seventy Gentile nations." (The Book of Jubilees 4432-34)

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Introduction — Genesis 10:1

2. The Sons of Japheth (Fourteen Nations) —

3. The Sons of Ham (Thirty Nations) —

4. The Sons of Shem (Twenty-Six Nations) —

The Original Language of Adam and Eve- As we read the list of names in we realize that this passage is telling us that the nations on earth were divided by their languages and by their families ( Genesis 10:5). We find that there are indeed seventy names listed here besides the names of Noah and his three sons. These seventy descendants listed in Genesis 10:1-32 represent the seventy nations of the earth that were established after the Tower of Babel with Abraham's descendants being reckoned among the nations at a later date. We have a hint of the nation of Israel within this passage when it refers to Eber before his name comes up in the genealogy, "Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber." ( Genesis 10:21); for the Hebrew people derived their name from this ancestor. The final verse of this passage says, "and from these (names) the nations were divided on the earth after the flood" ( Genesis 10:32), which tells us that the nations of the earth were in fact divided according to the names listed in this passage.

What would have happened to the original language that God gave to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, which would have been spoken up until the time of the Tower of Babel? The Book of Jubilees tells us that God gave this language back to mankind when He had called and separated Abraham. Thus, tradition says that Abraham spoke the original language of creation, which was Hebrew and handed it down to the children of Israel.

"And I opened his (Abraham's) mouth, and his ears and his lips, and I began to speak with him in Hebrew in the tongue of the creation. And he took the books of his fathers, and these were written in Hebrew, and he transcribed them, and he began from henceforth to study them, and I made known to him that which he could not (understand), and he studied them during the six rainy months." (The Book of Jubilees 1226-27)

The Significance of the Number of Nations- It is interesting to note that just as God called seventy nations at the tower of Babel to serve as the foundation for the nations of the earth, so did God call seventy souls to found the nation of Israel ( ). We know that Moses called seventy elders to establish the laws of the nation of Israel ( Exodus 24:1, Numbers 11:24-25). Jesus trained seventy disciples to carry the Gospel to the world ( Luke 10:1; Luke 10:17). Thus, the number seventy is found when God establishes a new government institution upon the earth: when He established the nations, called out the nation of Israel, instituted the Law of Moses, and established the New Testament Church. The number seven or multiples of seven are popularly believed to express "the idea of completeness or perfection." 134] Jim Goll says the number ten represents "law" or "government." 135] Thus, the combination of the numbers seven and ten serves as a testimony that God divinely orchestrated a complete number of seventy nations upon earth to establish law and order.

134] R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Number(s): Rhetorical Use of Numbers."

135] Jim Goll says, "Multiples of these Numbers, or doubling or tripling carry basically the same meaning, only they intensify the truth." See Jim W. Goll, The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, and Open Heavens (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc, 2004), 111.

The Times of the Gentiles in Prophetic Prophecy - Although there were many nations that divided themselves upon the earth after the Tower of Babel, from God's perspective, it was the nation of Israel that took front and center stage in the history of mankind from its inception through the loins of Abraham up until Israel's deportation into Babylon in 586 B.C. At this time in history, prophetic prophecy enters a time, or dispensation, which Jesus Christ ( Luke 21:24) and Paul the apostle ( Romans 11:25) call "The Times of the Gentiles."

Luke 21:24, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

Romans 11:25, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

The Times of the Gentiles is a period in history when Gentile nations began to control the affairs of mankind and even fulfilled biblical prophecy. We have a clear description of this time of Gentile dominion upon the earth in when God gave King Nebuchadnezzar a dream and showed him the four kingdoms that would dominate the earth during the time of the Gentiles. However, a fifth kingdom would be made without the hands of Prayer of Manasseh, referring to the Kingdom of God, and this Kingdom would grow and crush the kingdoms of man to dust. I believe that the Time of the Gentiles will end at Jesus' Second Coming when He will set up His earthly kingdom in the holy city of Jerusalem where He will rule and reign while the nation of Israel will serve as place where all nations come to bring their offerings unto the Lord in order to be blessed.

It is also important to note that some of the nations listed in will be named as nations who play a key role in these end times. For example, Ezekiel 38:1 to Ezekiel 39:28 refers to at least eight of these nations by name when it tells us of one of three end-time prophetic events that will usher Israel back into the forefront of world history. This passage of Scripture is about Israel's great and final battle with Magog, Meshech and Tubal, Libya (Phut), Ethiopia (Cush) and the nations under Persian control, with Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish also being mentioned. Thus, end-time prophecy reflects back to this Table of Nations and draws from these names, rather than using the names of nations who developed out of the original seventy nations, such as the modern nations of the U.S.A, Great Britain, Russia, Germany, etc. I believe that just because some modern nations are not mentioned by name in these end-time prophecies, it does not mean that they are excluded from partaking in such prophecies; for these predictions only draw upon the Table of Nations, and not upon modern names.

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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

The Sons of Ham (Thirty Nations) - tells us the names of the thirty nations that descended from the loins of Ham, the son of Noah.

Josephus says, "The children of Ham possessed the land from Syria and Amanus, and the mountains of Libanus, seizing upon all that was on its seacoasts and as far as the ocean, and keeping it as their own. Some indeed of its names are utterly vanished away; others of them being changed, and another sound given them, are hardly to be discovered; yet a few there are which have kept their denominations entire." (Antiquities 162)

Genesis 10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

Genesis 10:6Word Study on "Cush" (15th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Cush," or "Ethiopian," ( כּוּשׁ) (H 3568) means, "black." The Enhanced Strong says it is found 30 times in the Old Testament, and in the KJV as "Ethiopia 19, Cush 8, Ethiopians 3."

Comments- Josephus say, "for of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Chus; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Chusites." (Antiquities 162) Strong says that Cush, or Ethiopia, refers to "the son of Ham and grandson of Noah and the progenitor of the southernmost peoples located in Africa," and that "the land that the descendants of Cush initially occupied was located around the southern parts of the Nile (Ethiopia)."

Genesis 10:6Word Study on "Mizraim" (16th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Mizraim" ( מִצְרַיִם) (H 4714) means, "double straits." Strong says it is the dual of ( מָצֹור) (4693), which means, "besieged places, defence, fortified." Strong says "Mizraim" serves as the name for Upper and Lower Egypt. The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 681times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Egypt 586, Egyptian 90, Mizraim 4, Egyptians + 011211."

Comments- Josephus says, "The memory also of the Mesraites is preserved in their name; for all we who inhabit this country [of Judea] call Egypt Mestre, and the Egyptians Mestreans." He goes on to say, "Now all the children of Mesraim, being eight in number, possessed the country from Gaza to Egypt, though it retained the name of one only, the Philistim; for the Greeks call part of that country Palestine." (Antiquities 162) BDB says this land is "a country at the northeastern section of Africa, adjacent to Palestine, and through which the Nile flows."

Genesis 10:6Word Study on "Phut" (17th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Phut" ( פּוּט) (H 6316) means, "a bow." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 7 times in the Old Testament, bring translated in the KJV as "Put 2, Phut 2, Libyan 2, Libya 1."

Comments- Josephus says, "Phut also was the founder of Libya, and called the inhabitants Phutites, from himself: (133) there is also a river in the country of the Moors which bears that name; whence it is that we may see the greatest part of the Grecian historiographers mention that river and the adjoining country by the appellation of Phut: but the name it has now, has been by change given it from one of the sons of Mesraim, who was called Lybyos. We will inform you presently what has been the occasion why it has been called Africa also." (Antiquities 162) Gesenius notes that the LXX and the Vulgate translate it "Lybia" in some passages where this word occurs. BDB says Phut refers to "a nation and people of north Africa; probably Libya."

Genesis 10:6Word Study on "Canaan" (18th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Canaan" ( כְּנַעַן) (H 3667) means, "lowland." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 94times in the Old Testament, being translated "Canaan 89, merchant 3, traffick 1, traffickers 1."

Comments- Josephus says, "Canaan, the fourth son of Ham, inhabited the country now called Judea, and called it from his own name Canaan." (Antiquities 162) BDB says Canaan was "the progenitor of the Phoenicians and of the various nations who peopled the seacoast of Palestine."

Genesis 10:7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

Genesis 10:7Word Study on "Seba" (19th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Seba" ( סְבָא) (H 5434) means, "drink thou." This word is used 4times in the Old Testament, the other three uses being found in:

1 Chronicles 1:9, "And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan."

Psalm 72:10, "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts."

Isaiah 43:3, "For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee."

Comments- Josephus says, "Sabas, who founded the Sabeans." (Antiquities 162) BDB says it is "a nation south of Palestine, perhaps Ethiopia." However, Isaiah 43:3 makes a distinction between these two countries.

Genesis 10:7Word Study on "Havilah" (20th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Havilah" ( חֲוִילָה) (H 2341) means, "circle." The Enhanced Strong says this word is found 7 times in the Old Testament as "Havilah 7." In Genesis 2:11, the river Pison was located in the land of Havilah.

Genesis 2:11, "The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;"

Comments- There were two individuals in the Old Testament by this name. In Genesis 10:29 a second individual named "Havilah" was the son Joktan, who is the son of Eber, who is a descendant of Shem.

Genesis 10:29, "And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan."

Josephus says, "Evilas, who founded the Evileans, who are called Getuli." (Antiquities 162)

Genesis 10:7Word Study on "Sabtah" (21st nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Sabtah" ( סַבְתָּא) (H 5454) means, "striking." This name is only used two times in the Old Testament, the other passage being:

1 Chronicles 1:9, "And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan."

Comments- Josephus says, "Sabathes founded the Sabathens; they are now called by the Greeks, Astaborans." (Antiquities 162)

Genesis 10:7Word Study on "Raamah" (22nd nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Raamah" ( רַעְמָה) (H 7484) means, "horse"s mane." Raamah was the son of Cush and father of Sheba and Dedan. This name is found five times in the Old Testament, the other passages being:

1 Chronicles 1:9, "And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan."

Ezekiel 27:22, "The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold."

Comments- Josephus says, "and Ragmus the Ragmeans; and he had two sons, the one of whom, Judadas, settled the Judadeans, a nation of the western Ethiopians, and left them his name; as did Sabas to the Sabeans." (Antiquities 162)

Genesis 10:7Word Study on "Sabtecha" (23rd nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Sabtecha" ( סַבְתְּכָא) (H 5455) means, "striking." This name is used two times in the Old Testament, the other passage being:

1 Chronicles 1:9, "And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan."

Comments- Josephus says, "Sabactas settled the Sabactens." (Antiquities 162)

Genesis 10:7Word Study on "Sheba" (24th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Sheba" ( שְׁבָא) (H 7614) means, "seven" or "an oath or covenant." The Enhanced Strong says this word occurs 23times in the Old Testament, bring translated in the KJV as "Sheba 23." However, there are five different individuals by this name in the Old Testament.

Comments- In the Table of Nations ( ) there are two individuals named Sheba listed in this genealogy as the sons of Noah. The first Sheba was the son of Raamah the son of Cush who was the son of Ham ( Genesis 10:7). The second individual named Sheba ( Genesis 10:28) was the son of Joktan son of Eber who was a descendant of Shem. Some scholars, such as Gesenius, suggest that Sheba the Hamite of Genesis 10:7 is twice identified with his brother Dedan (see Ezekiel 38:13) in an effort to make him a distinct individual from Sheba the Shemite of Genesis 10:28. Gesenius suggests that Sheba the Hamite lived in northern Arabia "near the Persian Gulf and near the mouth of the Euphrates," while Sheba the Shemite would be a reference to the country of Sheba in southern Arabia.

Regarding this south Arabian country of Sheba, the Old Testament refers to the queen of Sheba ( , 1 Chronicles 9:1-12), which scholars recognize as a country in southern Arabia from whom come the Sabaens. These people are referred to as traders in gold and spices who inhabited a land remote from Palestine ( Psalm 72:15, Isaiah 60:6, Jeremiah 6:20, Ezekiel 27:22). Jesus referred to the queen of Sheba as the queen of the south ( Matthew 12:42). Joel refers to the Sabeans as "a people afar off" who will purchase the Israelites as slaves. In Job 1:15 the Sabeans fell upon Job's possessions and took them. The ISBE says the Arab genealogists tell us that "Saba is represented as the great-grandson of Qachtan (= Joktan) and ancestor of all the South-Arabian tribes. He is the father of Chimyar and Kahlan. He is said to have been named Saba because he was the first to take prisoners (shabhah) in war. He founded the capital of Saba and built its citadel Marib (Mariaba), famous for its mighty barrage." 148] Its capital was Marib, located in modern day Yemen. 149] The ISBE says we can also find the names of other brothers to Sheba the Shemite in southern Arabia, giving the modern example of the name Hazarmaveth = Hadhramaut ( Genesis 10:26) in this region. 150]

148] Thomas Hunter Weir, "Sheba," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

149] David J. A. Clines, Job 1-20, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans, vol 17, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), 31.

150] Thomas Hunter Weir, "Sheba," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Genesis 10:7Word Study on "Dedan" (25th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Dedan" ( דְּדָן) (H 1719) means, "low country." He was the brother of Sheba and the son of Raamah the son of Cush who was the son of Ham. This name is mentioned 15 times in the Old Testament in reference to two different individuals.

Comments- A reference to this people in Isaiah 21:13 called them inhabitants of Arabia who traveled in caravans. This is one reason why some scholars suggest that Dedan's brother Sheba the Hamite ( Genesis 10:7) is identical with Sheba the Shemite ( Genesis 10:28), since Sheba the Shemite clearly inhabited southern Arabia. Gesenius says this name can still be identified on the island of Daden, "an island of the Persian Gulf." This individual is not to be confused with Dedan the son of Jokshan and grandson of Abraham and Keturah who dwelt in the neighbourhood of Edom.

Genesis 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

Genesis 10:8Word Study on "Nimrod" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Nimrod" ( נִמְרֹד) (H 5248) means, "rebellion" or "valiant." This person has yet to be identified in archeological records. This word is used only four times in the Scriptures ( Genesis 10:8-9, 1 Chronicles 1:10, Micah 5:6).

1 Chronicles 1:10, "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth."

Also, Babylon was referred to as "the land of Nimrod."

Micah 5:6, "And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders."

Genesis 10:8Word Study on "a mighty one" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "a mighty one" ( גִּבֹּור) (H 1368) means, "strong, mighty, impetuous." Strong says means, "powerful," and by implication, "warrior, tyrant," being the intensive use of the root verb ( גָּבַר) (H 1396), which means, "to be strong." Holladay translates this word as "despot." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 158 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "mighty 63, mighty Prayer of Manasseh 68, strong 4, valiant 3, ... ones 4, mighties 2, Prayer of Manasseh 1:2, valiant men 2, strong Prayer of Manasseh 1:1, upright Prayer of Manasseh 1:1, champion 1, chief 1, excel 1, giant 1, men"s 1, mightiest 1, strongest 1."

Comments- I have not been able to find an English translation that uses the negative meaning of tyrant. However, the GNB reads, "the world's first great conqueror."

Genesis 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

Genesis 10:9Word Study on "hunter" - Strong says the Hebrew word "hunter" ( צַיִד) (H 6718) means, "the chase, game (taken from a chase), lunch (esp. for a journey)." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 19 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "venison 8, hunter 3, victuals 2, provision 2, hunting 1, catch 1, food 1, hunting 1."

Comments- Strong says this word comes from the primitive root ( צוּד) (H 6679), which means, "to lie alongside," and by implication, "to catch an animal." Thus, The Enhanced Strong says it is translated, "hunt 13, take 2, chased 1, provision 1, sore 1."

Genesis 10:9Comments- After the Flood God placed the fear of man within the animals ( Genesis 9:2). Before the Flood this fear did not exist. In other words, man could walk around the animals without scaring them off. However, now that God has allowed man to hunt and eat animals, there arose a need for them to hide from man for self preservation. This appears to be the reason why God did this.

Genesis 9:2, "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered."

Comments- Brenton reads, "And Chus begot Nebrod: he began to be a giant upon the earth. He was a giant hunter before the Lord God; therefore they say, As Nebrod the giant hunter before the Lord."

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

Genesis 10:10Word Study on "Babel" - Strong says the Hebrew word "Babel" ( בָּבֶל) (H 894) means, "confusion," and is an abbreviated form of the word "Babylon." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 262times in the Old Testament and translated as "Babylon" 257 times. Strong says "Babel" comes from a primitive root ( בָּלַל) (H 1101), which means, "to overflow," and by implication, "to mix, to fodder." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 44times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV, it is translated, "mingled 37, confound 2, anointed 1, mixed 1, give provender 1, tempered 1, non translated variant 1."

Genesis 10:10Word Study on "Erech" - Hebrew ( אֶרֶךְ) (H 751) - The ISBE says, "The derivation of the name [Erech] is well known, being the Semitic-Babylonian Uruk, from the Sumerian Unug, a word meaning ‘seat,' probably in the sense of ‘residential city.'" 151] Genesis 10:10 contains the only use of this Hebrew word in the Old Testament.

151] T. G. Pinches, "Erech," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Genesis 10:10Word Study on "Accad" - Hebrew ( אַכַּד) (H 390) - The ISBE says Accad is a city in Mesopotamia that "is well known by ancient inscriptions of Sargon and his son Naram-Sin as well as omen-texts of later eras." 152] Youngblood says, "The dynasty of Accad was founded by Sargon the Great and lasted from the 23to the 21century b.c." 153] Genesis 10:10 contains the only use of this Hebrew word in the Old Testament.

152] A. T. Clay, "Babylonia," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

153] R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Accad."

Genesis 10:10Word Study on "Calneh" - Hebrew ( כַּלְנֵה) (H 3641) - The exact location of this ancient remains unknown. Scholars know little about this city, so they must make speculations derived from ancient historical accounts. This word is found three times in the Old Testament. Its other two uses are:

Isaiah 10:9, "Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus?"

Amos 6:2, "Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?"

Genesis 10:10 — "in the land of Shinar" - Comments- The land of Shinar, located in southern Mesopotamia, was later known as Babylon, Chaldea and Sumner. 154]

154] R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Shinar."

Comments- The Kingdom of Nimrod- The first kingdom in the history of mankind was started by Nimrod, who established the kingdom of Babel. This is the first time that man forces his rule over other cultures and nations. In Genesis 1:26-28 God told man to take dominion over the earth. This involved the domestication of animals, inventions and technology and the development of societies for the well-being of mankind. But this commandment did not say that man was to take dominion over one another. This was Satan's perversion of God's divine plan. Nimrod rose up and built a kingdom called Babel. This was the first time that man began to exert dominion over his fellow man. God never intended this form of oppression to exist upon the earth. However, the dominance that Nimrod instituted was Satan's perverted copy of what God intended for good. If fact, Satan showed his earthly kingdoms to Jesus during our Saviour's forty-day temptation ( Luke 4:5).

, "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it."

The story of the tower of Babel ( ) reveals that this kingdom was a rebellious kingdom, one that was in defiance of God. It is out of this same people that the kingdom of Assyria will one day rise and destroy the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. It is the same spiritual force of Satan that will one day conquer southern Judah in 596 B.C. under the rule of Nebuchadnezzer. Peter recognized this as the same spirit that raised up the Roman Empire.

1 Peter 5:13, "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son."

Peter used this title for the city of Rome in the same sense that Jesus called John the Baptist by the name of Elijah, since John bore the same spirit as Elijah bore.

Matthew 11:14, "And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come."

Luke refers to the "spirit of Elijah."

Luke 1:17, "And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

It is the same spiritual force that will rise up in the last days in the book of Revelation in the form of the antichrist. John refers to the "spirit of antichrist" in his first epistle.

1 John 4:3, "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

As the ancient kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon were anti-Semitic, so is the Babylon found in the book of Revelation. It is the powers of darkness at war against God's people, both Jews and Christians alike. The New Testament refers to different types of spirits, such as unclean spirit, spirits of infirmity, spirits of divination, deaf and dumb spirits, seducing spirits, etc. But the spirit of antichrist is a particular spirit that will focus on making war against the children of God. 1 John 4:3 tells us that this spirit is already in the world and has been making war with God's children since his day. Jesus describes the antichrist when He told His disciples, "that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."

John 16:2, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."

Jesus also refers to this spirit in Matthew 24-25.

Matthew 24:9, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name"s sake."

Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

Genesis 10:12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

Genesis 10:13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

Genesis 10:13Word Study on "Ludim" (26th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Ludim" ( לוּד) (3866) means, "to the firebrands, travailings." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 3times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Ludim 2, Lydians." The other passages are:

1 Chronicles 1:11, "And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,"

Jeremiah 46:9, "Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow."

Comments- Josephus calls this nation "Ludicim" (Antiquities 162). Its name is listed with other countries of North Africa in Ezekiel 30:5.

Ezekiel 30:5, "Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword."

Genesis 10:13Word Study on "Anamim" (27th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Anamin" ( עֲנָמִים) (H 6047) means, "affliction of the waters." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2times in the Old Testament, the other passage being:

1 Chronicles 1:11, "And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,"

Comments- Josephus calls this nation "Enemim" (Antiquities 162). BDB says they were "a tribe of the Egyptians."

Genesis 10:13Word Study on "Lehabim" (28th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Lehabin" ( לְהָבִים) (H 3853) means, "flames," being used 2times in the Old Testament, the other passage being:

1 Chronicles 1:11, "And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,"

Comments- Josephus says, "and Labim, who alone inhabited in Libya, and called the country from himself." (Antiquities 162) BDB says this was "an Egyptian tribe descended from Mizraim."

Genesis 10:13Word Study on "Naphtuhim" (29th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Naphtuhim" ( נַפְתֻּחִים) (H 5320) means, "openings." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2times in the Old Testament, the other passage being:

1 Chronicles 1:11, "And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,"

Comments- Josephus calls this nation "Nedim" (Antiquities 162). BDB says it was "an unclear reference to Egypt; perhaps Lower Egypt."

Genesis 10:14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

Genesis 10:14Word Study on "Pathrusim" (30th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Pathrusim" ( פַּתְרֻסִים) (H 6625) is related to "Pathros," meaning, "region of the south," The Enhanced Strong says it used 2times in the Old Testament, the other passage being:

, "And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim."

Comments- Josephus calls this nation "Phethrosim" (Antiquities 162). BDB calls them "inhabitants of Pathros."

Genesis 10:14Word Study on "Casluhim" (31st nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Casluhim" ( כַּסְלֻחִים) (H 3695) means, "fortified," being used 2times in the Old Testament, the other passage being:

, "And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim."

Comments- Josephus calls this nation "Chesloim" (Antiquities 162). BDB says they were "a people or tribe descended from Mizraim (Egypt) progenitors of the Philistines and Caphtorim."

Genesis 10:14Word Study on "Philistim" (32nd nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Philistim" ( פְּלִשְׁתִּי) (H 6430) means, "immigrants." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 288 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Philistine 287, Philistim 1."

Comments- Josephus tells us that of the eight sons of Mizraim, only the Philistim kept their name upon the land; for the others were overthrown in the Ethoipic war (Antiquities 162). BDB says they were "an inhabitant of Philistia; descendants of Mizraim who immigrated from Caphtor (Crete?) to the western seacoast of Canaan."

Genesis 10:14Word Study on "Caphtorim" (33rd nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Caphtorim" ( כַּפְתֹּרִי) (H 3732) means, "a crown." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2times in the Old Testament, the other passage being:

Deuteronomy 2:23, "And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.)"

1Chonicles Genesis 1:12, "And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim."

In addition, the related word "Caphtor" (Hebrew "kaf-tore") ( כַּפְתֹּור) (H 3731) occurs three times in the Old Testament. The other two uses being:

Jeremiah 47:4, "Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for the LORD will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor."

Amos 9:7, "Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

Comments- Josephus calls this nation "Cephthorim" (Antiquities 162). BDB says the Caphtorim were "the Cretans as the inhabitants of Caphtor as distinct from the Philistines."

Comments- The Children of Mizraim- Josephus says, "Now all the children of Mesraim, being eight in number, possessed the country from Gaza to Egypt, though it retained the name of one only, the Philistim; for the Greeks call part of that country Palestine. As for the rest, Ludicim, and Enemim, and Labim, who alone inhabited in Libya, and called the country from himself, Nedim, and Phethrosim, and Chesloim, and Cephthorim, we know nothing of them besides their names; for the Ethiopic war, which we shall describe hereafter, was the cause that those cities were overthrown." (Antiquities 162)

Genesis 10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,

Genesis 10:15Word Study on "Sidon" (34th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew word "Sidon" ( צִידֹון) (H 6721) means, "hunting." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 22times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Zidon 20, Sidon 2."

Comments- Throughout the Scriptures, Sidon refers to an ancient Phoenician city, on Mediterranean coast north of Tyre.

Genesis 10:15Word Study on "Heth" (35th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Heth" ( חֵת) (H 2845) means, "terror." Strong says this word is derived from "chathath" ( חָתַת) (H 2865), which means, "to prostrate, to break down." The Enhanced Strong says this name is found 14times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Heth 14."

Comments- Heth, the son of Canaan, is the one who sold the burial cave to Abraham for a burying place ( ). We find that Esau, the son of Jacob, took the daughters of Heth as his wives. These became a grief unto Isaac and Rebekah his parents ( Genesis 26:34-35).

, "And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah."

From the descendants of Heth come the Hittites ( חִתִּי) (H 2850).

Genesis 10:16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

Genesis 10:16Word Study on "the Jebusite" (36th nation) - BDB says the Jebusites ( יְבוּסִי) (H 2983) were "descendants of the third son of Canaan who lived in or around the site of Jebus, the early name for Jerusalem." ( Judges 19:10) The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 41times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Jebusite 41." The word Jebus is found 4times in the Old Testament, and always refers to the city of Jerusalem.

Judges 19:10, "But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him."

Genesis 10:16Word Study on "the Amorite" (37th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Amorite" ( אֱמֹרִי) (H 567) means, "a sayer." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 87 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Amorite 87."

Comments- BDB says the Amorites were "one of the peoples of east Canaan and beyond the Jordan, dispossessed by the Israelite incursion from Egypt."

Genesis 10:16Word Study on "the Girgasite" (38th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Girgasite" ( גִּרְגָּשִׁי) (H 1622) means, "dwelling on a clayey soil." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 7 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Girgashite 6, Girgasite 1."

Comments- BDB says the Girgasites were the "descendants of Canaan and one of the nations living east of the Sea of Galilee when the Israelites entered the Promised Land."

Genesis 10:17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

Genesis 10:17Word Study on "the Hivite" (39th nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Hivite" ( חִוִּי) (H 2340) means, "villagers." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 25 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Hivite 25."

Comments- BDB says the Hivites "were living in northern Canaan near Mount Hermon at the time of the conquest," ( Joshua 11:3; Joshua 11:19, Judges 3:3). This was the only people that were able to make peace with Joshua during Israel's conquest of Canaan (see Joshua 9:1-27).

Joshua 11:3, "And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh."

Joshua 11:19, "There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle."

Judges 3:3, "Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath."

Genesis 10:17Word Study on "the Arkite" (40th nation) - Strong says the Hebrew name "Arkite" ( עַרְקִי) (H 6208) means, "a tush." This word is used 2times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Arkite 2." Its other use is:

, "And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite."

Comments- Josephus says, "Arucas possessed Arce, which is in Libanus" (Antiquities 162). BDB says they are "inhabitants of Arki or Arka."

Genesis 10:17Word Study on "the Sinite" (41st nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Sinite" ( סִינִי) (H 5513) means, "thorn," or "clay." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Sinite 2." Its other use is:

, "And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite."

Comments- BDB says the Sinites were "a tribe of the Canaanites descended from Canaan inhabiting the northern part of the Lebanon district."

Genesis 10:18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

Genesis 10:18Word Study on "the Arvadite" (42nd nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Arvadite" ( אַרְוָדִי) (H 721) means, "I shall break loose." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Arvadite 2." Its other use is:

, "And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite."

Comments- Josephus says, "Arudeus possessed the island Aradus" (Antiquities 162). BDB says they were "the descendants of Arvad, a son of Canaan."

Genesis 10:18Word Study on "the Zemarite" (43rd nation) - BDB says the Hebrew name "Zemarite" ( צְמָרִי) (H 6786) means, "double woolens." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Zemarite 2." Its other use is:

, "And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite."

Comments- BDB tells us that they were "one of the Hamite tribes descended from Canaan and inhabitants of an unknown Canaanite city."

Genesis 10:18Word Study on "the Hamathite" (44th nation) - Strong says the Hebrew name "Hamathite" ( חֲמָתִי) (H 2577) is derived from ( חֲמָת) (2574), which means, "walled." The Enhanced Strong says the word "Hamathite" is used 2times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Hamathite 2." Its other use is:

, "And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite."

Comments- Josephus says, "Amathus inhabited in Amathine, which is even now called Amathe by the inhabitants, although the Macedonians named it Epiphania, from one of his posterity." (Antiquities 162). Gesenius says Hamath was "a distinguished city of Syria." This city played a role in the history of Israel.

Genesis 10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

Genesis 10:19Comments- The Canaanites are described in Numbers 13:29 as "dwelling by the sea."

Numbers 13:29, "The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan."

This piece of land did not belong to the Canaanites. According to Jewish tradition, the three sons of Noah divided the earth into three lots during the days of Peleg ( Genesis 10:25) and the land of Canaan was one of the areas that was given to Shem and to his descendants. But when the children of Noah scattered and moved into their heritage, Canaan, the son of Ham, took the land of Canaan, which belonged to the sons of Shem, and he refused to enter into his appointed inheritance. As a result, the curse that Noah spoke over those children who took possession of another person's land was placed upon Canaan. Thus, the Canaanites were living on land that did not belong to them and God chose to remove them from this land, which rightfully belonged to Shem and his descendants, one of which was Abraham. Thus, Abraham has legal rights to the land of Canaan. We can read in The Book of Jubilees of how Abraham saw this as the reason that God would one day cut off the seed of Canaan when he was about to die and blessed Jacob.

"Be thou ware, my son Jacob, of taking a wife from any seed of the daughters of Canaan; For all his seed is to be rooted out of the earth. For, owing to the transgression of Ham, Canaan erred, And all his seed shall be destroyed from off the earth and all the residue thereof, And none springing from him shall be saved on the day of judgment." (The Book of Jubilees 2220-21)

Comments- The Canaanites - We find in Genesis 10:15-19 the genealogy of Canaan, the son of Ham, the son of Noah. There will be eleven families, or nations, that will come from the loins of Canaan. The Canaanites will play an important role in the history of Israel because they inhabited the Promised Land that God gave to Abraham. For this reason, the author gives a lengthy account of the Canaanites when compared to the other families listed in this chapter.

Josephus says, "The sons of Canaan were these: Sidonius, who also built a city of the same name; it is called by the Greeks, Sidon; Amathus inhabited in Amathine, which is even now called Amathe by the inhabitants, although the Macedonians named it Epiphania, from one of his posterity: Arudeus possessed the island Aradus: Arucas possessed Arce, which is in Libanus; but for the seven others, [Eueus], Chetteus, Jebuseus, Amorreus, Gergesus, Eudeus, Sineus, Samareus, we have nothing in the sacred books but their names, for the Hebrews overthrew their cities; and their calamities came upon them on the occasion following:" (Antiquities 162)

According to Deuteronomy 7:1, six of the seven nations that God will drive out of the Promised Land during the time of Joshua are listed in Genesis 10:15-19 : Canaan, Heth (father of the Hittites), the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, and the Hivite. The only nation not listed is the Perizzites.

Deuteronomy 7:1, "When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;"

It is interesting to note the order in which these eleven nations are listed. Sidon became the most important city in ancient times from this list of eleven nations. This passage then lists five nations that Joshua drove out of the Promised Land. After mentioning these historical nations, there are five remaining nations listed, the Arkite, and the Sinite, and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. These five nations play no role in the history of Israel and are only mentioned by name one other time in the Old Testament, being found in a genealogy in .

, "And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite."

Thus, these nations seem to be listed to some degree in order of historical importance.

Genesis 10:20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

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George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

To Lesa, or Laisa, to the north, on the Jordan, as Sodom was on the southern extremity of that river. Sidon and Gaza were on the Mediterranean sea, north and south; so that these four cities are like four points, determining the extent of the promised land, which, as it was important for the Israelites to know, Moses descends to these particulars in speaking of the Chanaanites.

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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

The border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza. This was the western boundary of Canaan-the coastline. "Sidon (see the note at Genesis 10:15), as thou comest to Gerar" an idiomatic phrase used to denote the situation of one place as lying in the line of another more remote (cf. Genesis 10:30; Genesis 13:10; Genesis 25:18).

"Gaza" [Hebrew, `Azaah (Hebrew #5804)] - 'the strong,' now Guzzeh, was the most southwestern city of Canaan, the last inhabited place on the confines of the desert on the southern journey from Phoenicia to Egypt. Being a border town, it was exposed to great vicissitudes during the frequent wars between the kings of the north and the south, and therefore it was, from the earliest times, a fortified place, as its name imports. "Gerar," near Beersheba (see the note at Genesis 20:1).

As thou goest, unto Sodom ... even unto Lasha. "As thou goest" - i:e., in the direction of "Lasha." This was, according to Jerome, Callirrhoe (beautiful spring), on the east of the Dead Sea, in Wady Serka Main; but far more probably, as Havernick remarks, the town (Joshua 19:47) Leshem; or (Judges 18:7; Judges 18:29) Laish, afterward called Dan, near the sources of the Jordan. The eastern boundary is here described by a line drawn from the western coast of the Dead Sea and along the course of the Jordan. All the territory included within these eastern and western limits (the southern are not defined) was 'counted to the Canaanite' (Joshua 13:3).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary


This chapter is more than a list of names of individuals. Several are names of families or nations, and make it the most important historical document in the world. You will see that the stream of the race divides according to the three sons of Noah. Whose division is first traced (Genesis 10:2)? What part of the world was settled by his offspring (Genesis 10:5)? This might read: “By these were the coast lands of the nations divided,” and research indicates that the names of these sons and grandsons are identical with the ancient names of the countries bordering on the seas of northern and northwestern Europe. (Examine map number 1 in the back of your Bible). Whose offspring are next traced (Genesis 10:6)? A similar examination will show that these settled towards the south and southwest in the lands known to us as Palestine, Arabia, Egypt, Abyssinia, etc. Whose offspring are last named (Genesis 10:21)? What distinction is given to Shem in that verse? “Eber” is another form of the name Hebrew, and the distinction of Shem is that he was the ancestor of the Hebrews or the Israelites. His descendants settled rather in the south and southeast, Assyria, Persia, etc.


The verses relating to Nimrod call for attention. What describes the energy of his character? How does (Genesis 10:9 show his fame to have descended even to Moses’ time, the human author of Genesis? What political term is met with for the first time in Genesis 10:10? Attention to the map will show “the land of Shinar” identical with the region of Babylon in Asia, affording the interesting fact that this kingdom was thus founded by an Ethiopian. Genesis 10:11 might read, “but of that land [i.e., Shinar] he went forth into Assyria,” etc., indicating Nimrod to have been the inspiration of the first world- monarchy in the sense that he united under one head the beginnings both of Babylon and Assyria, proving him a mighty hunter of men as well as wild beasts. Rawlinson’s Origin of the Nations says: “The Christian may with confidence defy his adversaries to point out any erroneous or impossible statements in the entire [tenth] chapter, from its commencement to its close.”

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The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

The Fountains of History

Shall I be far wrong if I suppose that few of you have ever read the tenth chapter of Genesis right through? Certainly, from a glance at the long, hard names, one would think that there is not much here for the edification of the reader, and that the best thing that can be done is to skip the chapter. Yet there are some home-words here, and hidden under rough husks are some germs, out of which perhaps we ourselves may have come! In the fifth verse you find the word "Gentiles." Pause at that word. It may be like the writing outside a letter which is meant for your reading! There is also the word "isles." No Englishman can pass that word lightly over. He himself is an islander, the sea-fog dims his windows and the sea boom wakes the gruff bass of all his songs. Perhaps the Hebrew writer had his prophetic eye upon these very shores of ours, so sea-worn and bleak. There is also the word "families." Surely we know that word well; we live at home; we have made poetry sing "The Old Arm-chair," "My Ain Fireside," and "The Children"s Hour." The poorest Englishman tells you what "family" he belongs to, though he slept in the gutter last night, and pawned his coat for a shilling, which he spent in gin. So you see even here, in this chapter which seems to be all Hebrew and meant only for a Jew"s eye, we pick out odd words that are plain good old English, the very freehold and charter of our own people.

Thus conciliated I think an Englishman might now stand at the point of view occupied by the writer of the tenth chapter of Genesis, from which he sees the going forth of the descendants of the sons of Noah, by whom "were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." A wonderful going forth, truly; having in it the germ of every civilisation, the outline of every tragedy, the promise of final redemption and glory. To us the chapter is full of difficult reading, because full of strange, hard names that mean nothing to our memory or our love. Who are Gomer and Magog, and who are Sabtah and Dedan? Is there any home-music in Ashkenaz, or is any heart-chord touched by Cush and Mizraim? Yet learned ethnologists have seen wonderful things in this tenth chapter of Genesis. They have seen the descendants of Gomer seeking for themselves a dwelling in the confines of Asia and Europe, making an irruption into Asia Minor, disappearing in Asia, and coming up long ages after in the Cimbri, and as the founders of the great Celtic race. From Javan they have seen arising, in wondrous beauty, chaste and strong, the whole Hellenic people. Tubal and Meshech have been followed into the Cappadocians and the Iberians; so that even in those few names we begin to see the peopling of Northern Europe, the land of Greece, and the region between the Euxine and the Caspian. From Tiras will come the Thracian stock, and collaterally the Goths and the Teutons; and the ethnologist pauses at Ashkenaz, for in that root he thinks he finds the Scandinavian and the Saxon. So if we say, standing beside this great Hebrew cemetery, Can these dry bones live? the breath of the Lord is blown upon them, and behold they start up and claim even ourselves here and there as their own kindred, according to the flesh. And as for God, "is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also."

A clear conception of the import of this marvellous chapter should enlarge and correct our notions in so far as they have been narrowed and perverted by our insular position. We should recognise in all the nations of the earth one common human nature. "God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth." This reflection is both humbling and elevating. It is humbling to think that the cannibal is a relative of ours; that the slave crouching in an African wood is bone of our bone; and that the meanest scum of all the earth started from the same foundation as ourselves! On the other hand, it is elevating to think that all kings and mighty men, all soldiers renowned in Song of Solomon, all heroes canonised in history, the wise, the strong, the good, are our elder brothers and immortal friends. If we limit our life to families, clans, and sects, we shall miss the genius of human history, and all its ennobling influences. Better join the common lot. Take it just as it is. Our ancestors have been robbers and oppressors, deliverers and saviours, mean and noble, cowardly and heroic; some hanged, some crowned, some beggars, some kings; take it Song of Solomon, for the earth is one, and humanity is one, and there is only one God over all blessed for evermore!

If we take this idea aright we shall get a clear notion of what are called home and foreign missions. What are foreign missions? Where are they? I do not find the word in the Bible. Where does home end; where does foreign begin? It is possible for a man to immure himself so completely as practically to forget that there is anybody beyond his own front gate; we soon grow narrow, we soon become mean; it is easy for us to return to the. dust from whence we come. It is here that Christianity redeems us; not from sin only, but from all narrowness, meanness, and littleness of conception; it puts great thoughts into our hearts and bold words into our mouths, and leads us out from our village prisons to behold and to care for all nations of mankind. On this ground alone Christianity is the best educator in the world. It will not allow the soul to be mean. It forces the heart to be noble and hopeful. It says, "Go and teach all nations"; "Go ye into all the world"; "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others"; "Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, heaped up, and running over." It is something for a nation to have a voice so Divine ever stirring its will and mingling with its counsels. It is like a sea breeze blowing over a sickly land; like sunlight piercing the fogs of a long dark night. Truly we have here a standard by which we may judge ourselves. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." If we have narrow sympathies, mean ideas, paltry conceptions, we are not scholars in the school of Christ. Let us bring no reproach upon Christ by our exclusive-ness. Let us beware of the bigotry of patriotism, as well as of the bigotry of religion. We are citizens of the world: we are more than the taxpayers of a parish.

A right view of this procession of the nations will show us something of the richness and graciousness of Christ"s nature. What a man must he have been either in madness or in Divinity who supposed that there was something in himself which all these people needed! The disciples asked what were five loaves amongst five thousand people, and truly we may magnify their amazement, as we ask, What is one man amongst all the nations of mankind? Truly Christ is bold when he says to his Church, Go ye into all the world. Has he considered the difficulties of travelling? how hard a thing it is to go a thousand miles from home, up hill and over sea? Has he considered the difficulties of language—one set of peoples writing from right to left, another from left to right, another knowing nothing about grammar and literature—one speaking nothing but monosyllables, another speaking hardly anything but polysyllables—one language a rhythmic stream, another something between a grunt and a growl? Has he considered the expense of the undertaking? Men cannot travel for nothing. Men cannot live upon nothing. Men cannot support their families upon nothing. Yet Christ said, Go; go everywhere; go at once, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Christ is undoubtedly to be credited with bold and daring conceptions. He had no material rewards for his messengers. He sent them away with the least possible allowance of personal comfort; no portmanteaus, no wardrobes, no retinue; he said, Go after all these people and tell them that I only am their Saviour and Lord. Never man spake like this man!

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Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Genesis 10:2. The sons of Japhet were Gomer, &c. Japhet is the Iapetos of the Greeks. His blessing Niphtha occasioned him to be called Neptune by the Greeks. Gomer, the father of the Galatinians, or Galatians. Magog, father of the Scythians, north of the Euxine. Ezekiel 38:15. Madai, father of the Medes. Javan, the Prometheus of the Greeks; and Janus, father of the Ionians. Tubal, father of the Iberians, or ancient Spaniards, and others north of the Mediterranean sea. Meshech, father of the Moscovites, called Moschenos, Moschicos, Moschini, Mossyni, &c. Tiras, father of the Thracians, as all critics agree, for his name is evidently the primitive of the names of many towns and rivers.

Genesis 10:3. The sons of Gomer, Ashkenaz, or Ascenaz, father of the Esclavonians, or the Ascanii, who found their way in the east of Germany. Riphath, or Diphath, (1 Chronicles 1:6) father of the Paphlagonians, who inhabited Pontus and Bithynia. Togarmah, father of the Tygramenians, or the Turks,

Genesis 10:4. The sons of Javan, Elishah, father of the Greek tribes, generally called Hellenists, who inhabited Achaia, &c. From them arose many names of persons, as Helen; of towns, as Eleusis, Elis; and the country Peloponnesus. Tarshish, father of the Tharsenians; hence Tarsis, a city of Cilicia. This name is often rendered by the LXX Carthage, as Isaiah 23:6. Jonah took a ship, it is more likely, to Carthage than to Tarsis. We cannot deny that the first settlers in Cadiz might give the name of Tartessus, from the same father of a race who delighted in the seas. Kittim, or Chittim, father of the Cittii, Cretians, Cyprians, &c. Dodanim, or Rhodamis, (1 Chronicles 1:7) father of the Rhodians; hence the names of cities, Rhodano and Dodano.

Genesis 10:6. The sons of Ham, Cham, or Jupiter Hammon, the Cronus of the Greeks, were Cush, the Coum of the Greeks, the father of the Ethiopians and Abyssinians. It pleased God, whose works are various, to change the colour of his skin to black. Mizraim, or Misor of Sanchoniatho, and Osiris, worshipped in Egypt, was father of the Egyptians; the word is plural, and refers to his posterity. Egypt is called Masor. Isaiah 19:7. Micah 7:12. And the capital of Egypt was called Messri by the Egyptians, Memphis by the Greeks, and Noph by the Hebrews. This change of the letters is common in ancient names, as Vulcan for Tubal Cain. Phut, father of the Lybians, and Mauritanians; that is, the country of the blacks. Many names of towns and rivers are derived from this primitive, as Pharsi, and Fez, &c. Canaan, father of the Canaanites. The word, applied to his posterity, no doubt designates a merchant. He is the Mercury of pagan fable.

Genesis 10:7. The sons of Cush; Saba, father of the Sabeans, who took Job’s oxen. They inhabited the south of Arabia, or the desert. Havilah, who gave his name to Ophir or Africa, the land where there is much gold. To place this patriarch near the Sabeans is without support; yet many make the Pison to be the Ganges, and place Havilah near the sources of that river.

Genesis 10:8. Nimrod; that is, tyrant, revolter, rebel. A giant, as the LXX read; a man who formed designs of empire, by the subjugation of other tribes. He is generally regarded as the father of Ninus, and as having been worshipped under the name of Baal. But this idea does not seem to accord with a prophecy in the Voluspa, a northern poem of very high antiquity, which says, “Balthur shall come, and dwell with Hauthur in Thropt’s abode.”

Genesis 10:10. Erech. The kingdom connected with this city, was called Irak by the Arabians, or Iran, as in Sir William Jones’s sixth discourse before the Society of Calcutta. Parthia, now Persia, afterwards obtained as the name of the whole country.

Genesis 10:11. Asshur, from whom the Assyrians derived their name.

Genesis 10:22. Arphaxad, generally reputed to be father of the Chaldeans. Elam, father of the Elamites or Persians. Lud, (or Ludim, a people) father of the Lydians. Aram, father of the Armenians.

Genesis 10:24. Heber, thought to be a patriarch of great worth, and from him, as a paternal honour, the Hebrews derive their name.

Genesis 10:25. Peleg פלג Palag, he divided. Usher, as in our Bible, places his birth in the 102nd year after the flood. As he was the fifth from Noah, and as the first four post-diluvian fathers cannot be supposed to marry till they were fifty years of age, though Peleg married at thirty, his birth may be placed in the year 200 or 250. He lived to the age of 239. At what year of his age the event happened, and from which he received his surname, is not said: perhaps about 400 years after Noah left the ark: Helvicus thinks 500. What the division of the earth means we are not told, except by the rabbins, that it was a division of the earth by lot among the descendents of Noah, at the head of which was a princely patriarch. But Noah had already given Asia to Shem, Europe to Japhet, and Africa to Ham, and Canaan’s family had settled in Palestine on the road, a land which according to Noah’s will, was not theirs.—But the name is applied to a divided fountain or waters, as well as to divided lands.

Now, we know that there was an inundation of the sea on the lower marshes, which drowned king Ogyges at Thebes. From this inundation to the first Greek olympiade Eusebius reckons above 1020 years. Præp. Genesis 10:10. Our miners also inform us, that there is a rent across the county of Durham, in which one side of the earth has subsided 120 yards. Bailey’s Hist. Mr. Whitehurst has given us plates of the strata at Chatsworth in Derbyshire, in which there is a subsidence of all the strata of lias, toadstone, and coal, for the like space of 120 yards. Dr. Price states the like subsidence of one side in Cornwall for 38 yards. This event probably proceeded from the bursting of the earth by subterranean fires, which drove the winds and waves to fury. De Lisle found trees near Thorne, from 12 to 14 feet thick towards the roots. The tides, still warping up their estuaries, have covered the bog-timber in some places to the depth of 10 or 20 feet. Thus in all the marshes of America, as well as in Europe, trees are found, and largely mixed with the horns and bones of herbivorous animals. The body of a woman, with antique sandals on her feet, was dug up at the Isle of Axholme near Epworth. Many papers in the Royal Society, as well as the assent of Dr. Edward Clarke, our accredited traveller in the East, perfectly coincide with this account of the Ogygian inundation. See more, Genesis 47:25.

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John Trapp Complete Commentary

Genesis 10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

Ver. 19. And the border of the Canaanites.] Which was afterwards enlarged to the Israelites by the addition of two kingdoms beyond Jordan.

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Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

Descendants of Ham. - Cush: the Ethiopians of the ancients, who not only dwelt in Africa, but were scattered over the whole of Southern Asia, and originally, in all probability, settled in Arabia, where the tribes that still remained, mingled with Shemites, and adopted a Shemitic language. Mizraim is Egypt : the dual form was probably transferred from the land to the people, referring, however, not to the double strip, i.e., the two strips of land into which the country is divided by the Nile, but to the two Egypts, Upper and Lower, two portions of the country which differ considerably in their climate and general condition. The name is obscure, and not traceable to any Semitic derivation; for the term מצור in Isaiah 19:6, etc., is not to be regarded as an etymological interpretation, but as a significant play upon the word. The old Egyptian name is Kemi (Copt. Chêmi, Kême), which, Plutarch says, is derived from the dark ash-grey colour of the soil covered by the slime of the Nile, but which it is much more correct to trace to Ham, and to regard as indicative of the Hamitic descent of its first inhabitants. Put denotes the Libyans in the wider sense of the term (old Egypt. Phet ; Copt. Phaiat ), who were spread over Northern Africa as far as Mauritania, where even in the time of Jerome a river with the neighbouring district still bore the name of Phut ; cf. Bochart, Phal. iv. 33. On Canaan, see Genesis 9:25.

Genesis 10:7

Descendants of Cush. Seba: the inhabitants of Meroë ; according to Knobel, the northern Ethiopians, the ancient Blemmyer, and modern Bisharin . Havilah: the Αὐαλῖται or Ἀβαλῖται of the ancients, the Macrobian Ethiopians in modern Habesh. Sabtah: the Ethiopians inhabiting Hadhramaut, whose chief city was called Sabatha or Sabota . Raamah: Ῥεγμά, the inhabitants of a city and bay of that name in south-eastern Arabia ( Oman ). Sabtecah: the Ethiopians of Caramania, dwelling to the east of the Persian Gulf, where the ancients mention a seaport town and a river Σαμυδάκη . The descendants of Raamah, Sheba and Dedan, are to be sought in the neighbourhood of the Persian Gulf, “from which the Sabaean and Dedanitic Cushites spread to the north-west, where they formed mixed tribes with descendants of Joktan and Abraham.” See notes on Genesis 10:28 and Genesis 25:3.

Genesis 10:8-9

Besides the tribes already named, there sprang from Cush Nimrod, the founder of the first imperial kingdom, the origin of which is introduced as a memorable event into the genealogy of the tribes, just as on other occasions memorable events are interwoven with the genealogical tables (cf. 1 Chronicles 2:7, 1 Chronicles 2:23; 1 Chronicles 4:22-23, 1 Chronicles 4:39-41).

(Note: These analogies overthrow the assertion that the verses before us have been interpolated by the Jehovist into the Elohistic document; since the use of the name Jehovah is no proof of difference of authorship, nor the use of ילד for הוליד, as the former also occurs in Genesis 10:13, Genesis 10:15, Genesis 10:24, and Genesis 10:26.)

Nimrod “ began to be a mighty one in the earth .” גּבּר is used here, as in Genesis 6:4, to denote a man who makes himself renowned for bold and daring deeds. Nimrod was mighty in hunting, and that in opposition to Jehovah ( ἐναντίον κυρίον, lxx); not before Jehovah in the sense of, according to the purpose and will of Jehovah, still less, like לאלהים in Jonah 3:3, or τῷ Θεῷ in Acts 7:20, in a simply superlative sense. The last explanation is not allowed by the usage of the language, the second is irreconcilable with the context. The name itself, Nimrod from מרד, “we will revolt,” points to some violent resistance to God. It is so characteristic that it can only have been given by his contemporaries, and thus have become a proper name.

(Note: This was seen even by Perizonius ( Origg. Babyl . p. 183), who says, “ Crediderim hominem hunc utpote venatorem ferocem et sodalium comitatu succinctum semper in ore habuisse et ingeminasse, ad reliquos in rebellionem excitandos, illud nimrod, nimrod, h.e. rebellemus, rebellemus, atque inde postea ab aliis, etiam ab ipso Mose, hoc vocabalo tanquam proprio nomine designatium ,” and who supports his opinion by other similar instances in history.)

In addition to this, Nimrod as a mighty hunter founded a powerful kingdom; and the founding of this kingdom is shown by the verb ותּהי with ו consec . to have been the consequence or result of his strength in hunting, so that the hunting was most intimately connected with the establishment of the kingdom. Hence, if the expression “a mighty hunter” relates primarily to hunting in the literal sense, we must add to the literal meaning the figurative signification of a “hunter of men” (“trapper of men by stratagem and force,” Herder ); Nimrod the hunter became a tyrant, a powerful hunter of men. This course of life gave occasion to the proverb, “like Nimrod, a mighty hunter against the Lord,” which immortalized not his skill in hunting beasts, but the success of his hunting of men in the establishment of an imperial kingdom by tyranny and power. But if this be the meaning of the proverb, יהוה לפני “in the face of Jehovah ” can only mean in defiance of Jehovah, as Josephus and the Targums understand it. And the proverb must have arisen when other daring and rebellious men followed in Nimrod's footsteps, and must have originated with those who saw in such conduct an act of rebellion against the God of salvation, in other words, with the possessors of the divine promises of grace.

(Note: This view of Nimrod and his deeds is favoured by the Eastern legend, which not only makes him the builder of the tower of Babel, which was to reach to heaven, but has also placed him among the constellations of heaven as a heaven-storming giant, who was chained by God in consequence. Vid., Herzog's Real-Encycl. Art. Nimrod.)

Genesis 10:10

And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, ” the well-known city of Babylon on the Euphrates, which from the time of Nimrod downwards has been the symbol of the power of the world in its hostility to God; - “ and Erech ” ( Ὀρέχ, lxx), one of the seats of the Cutheans (Samaritans), Ezra 4:9, no doubt Orchoë, situated, according to Rawlinson, on the site of the present ruins of Warka, thirty hours' journey to the south-east of Babel; - and Accad ( Ἀρχάδ, lxx), a place not yet determined, though, judging from its situation between Erech and Calneh, it was not far from either, and Pressel is probably right in identifying it with the ruins of Niffer, to the south of Hillah; - “ and Calneh: ” this is found by early writers on the cite of Ctesiphon, now a great heap of ruins, twenty hours north-east of Babel. These four cities were in the land of Shinar, i.e., of the province of Babylon, on the Lower Euphrates and Tigris.

Genesis 10:11-12

From Shinar Nimrod went to Assyria אשּׁוּר is the accusative of direction), the country on the east of the Tigris, and there built four cities, or probably a large imperial city composed of the four cities, or probably a large imperial city composed of the four cities named. As three of these cities - Rehoboth-Ir, i.e., city markets (not “street-city,” as Bunsen interprets it), Chelach, and Resen - are not met with again, whereas Nineveh was renowned in antiquity for its remarkable size (vid., Jonah 3:3), the words “ this is the great city ” must apply not to Resen, but to Nineveh. This is grammatically admissible, if we regard the last three names as subordinate to the first, taking as the sign of subordination ( Ewald, §339a), and render the passage thus: “he built Nineveh, with Rehoboth-Ir, Cheloch, and Resen between Nineveh and Chelach, this is the great city.” From this it follows that the four places formed a large composite city, a large range of towns, to which the name of the (well-known) great city of Nineveh was applied, in distinction from Nineveh in the more restricted sense, with which Nimrod probably connected the other three places so as to form one great capital, possibly also the chief fortress of his kingdom on the Tigris. These four cities most likely correspond to the ruins on the east of the Tigris, which Layard has so fully explored, viz., Nebbi Yûnus and Kouyunjik opposite to Mosul, Khorsabad five hours to the north, and Nimrud eight hours to the south of Mosul.

(Note: This supposition of Rawlinson, Grote, M. v. Niebuhr, Knobel, Delitzsch and others, has recently been adopted by Ewald also.)

Genesis 10:13-14

From Mizraim descended Ludim: not the Semitic Ludim (Genesis 10:22), but, according to Movers, the old tribe of the Lewâtah dwelling on the Syrtea, according to others, the Moorish tribes collectively. Whether the name is connected with the Laud flumen ( Plin . v. 1) is uncertain; in any case Knobel is wrong in thinking of Ludian Shemites, whether Hyksos, who forced their way to Egypt, or Egyptianized Arabians. Anamim: inhabitants of the Delta, according to Knobel . He associates the Enemetiei'm of the lxx with Sanemhit, or Northern Egypt: “ tsanemhit , i.e., pars, regio septentrionis .” Lehabim (= Lubim, Nahum 3:9) are, according to Josephus, the Δἰβνες or Δύβιες, not the great Libyan tribe ( Phut, v. 6), which Nahum distinguishes from them, but the Libyaegyptii of the ancients. Naphtuchim: in Knobel's opinion, the Middle Egyptians, as the nation of Pthah, the god of Memphis: but Bochart is more probably correct in associating the name with Νέφθυς in Plut. de Is., the northern coast line of Egypt. Pathrusim: inhabitants of Pathros, Παθούρης, Egypt. Petrês, land of the south; i.e., Upper Egypt, the Thebais of the ancients. Casluchim: according to general admission the Colchians, who descended from the Egyptians (Herod. ii. 104), though the connection of the name with Cassiotis is uncertain. “ From thence (i.e., from Casluchim, which is the name of both people and country) proceeded the Philistines .” Philistim, lxx Φυλιστιείμ or Ἀλλόφλοι, lit., emigrants or immigrants from the Ethiopic fallâsa . This is not at variance with Amos 9:7 and Jeremiah 47:4, according to which the Philistines came from Caphtor, so that there is no necessity to transpose the relative clause after Philistim. The two statements may be reconciled on the simple supposition that the Philistian nation was primarily a Casluchian colony, which settled on the south-eastern coast line of the Mediterranean between Gaza (Genesis 10:19) and Pelusium, but was afterwards strengthened by immigrants from Caphtor, and extended its territory by pressing out the Avim (Deuteronomy 2:23, cf. Joshua 13:3). Caphtorim: according to the old Jewish explanation, the Cappadocians ; but according to Lakemacher's opinion, which has been revived by Ewald, etc., the Cretans . This is not decisively proved, however, either by the name Cherethites, given to the Philistines in 1 Samuel 30:14; Zephaniah 2:5, and Ezekiel 25:16, or by the expression “isle of Caphtor” in Jeremiah 47:4.

Genesis 10:15-20

From Canaan descended “ Zidon his first-born, and Heth .” Although Zidon occurs in Genesis 10:19 and throughout the Old Testament as the name of the oldest capital of the Phoenicians, here it must be regarded as the name of a person, not only because of the apposition “ his first-born, ” and the verb ילד, “begat,” but also because the name of a city does not harmonize with the names of the other descendants of Canaan, the analogy of which would lead us to expect the nomen gentile Sidonian ” (Judges 3:3, etc.); and lastly, because the word Zidon, from צוּד to hunt, to catch, is not directly applicable to a sea-port and commercial town, and there are serious objections upon philological grounds to Justin's derivation, “ quam a piscium ubertate Sidona appellaverunt, nam piscem Phoenices Sidon vocant ” ( var. hist. 18, 3). Heth is also the name of a person, from which the term Hittite (Genesis 25:9; Numbers 13:29), equivalent to “ sons of Heth ” (Genesis 23:5), is derived. “ The Jebusite: ” inhabitants of Jebus, afterwards called Jerusalem. “ The Amorite: ” not the inhabitants of the mountain or heights, for the derivation from אמיר, “ summit, ” is not established, but a branch of the Canaanites, descended from Emor (Amor), which was spread far and wide over the mountains of Judah and beyond the Jordan in the time of Moses, so that in Genesis 15:16; Genesis 48:22, all the Canaanites are comprehended by the name. “ The Girgashites, ” Γεργεσαῖος (lxx), are also mentioned in Genesis 15:21; Deuteronomy 7:1, and Joshua 24:11; but their dwelling-place is unknown, as the reading Γεργεσηνοί in Matthew 8:28 is critically suspicious. “ The Hivites ” dwelt in Sichem (Genesis 34:2), at Gibeon (Joshua 9:7), and at the foot of Hermon (Joshua 11:3); the meaning of the word is uncertain. “ The Arkites: ” inhabitants of Ἀρκή, to the north of Tripolis at the foot of Lebanon, the ruins of which still exist (vid., Robinson). “ The Sinite: ” the inhabitants of Sin or Sinna, a place in Lebanon not yet discovered. “ The Arvadite, ” or Aradians, occupied from the eighth century before Christ, the small rocky island of Arados to the north of Tripolis. “ The Zemarite: ” the inhabitants of Simyra in Eleutherus. “ The Hamathite: ” the inhabitants or rather founders of Hamath on the most northerly border of Palestine (Numbers 13:21; Numbers 34:8), afterwards called Epiphania, on the river Orontes, the present Hamâh, with 100,000 inhabitants. The words in Genesis 10:18, “ and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad, ” mean that they all proceeded from one local centre as branches of the same tribe, and spread themselves over the country, the limits of which are given in two directions, with evident reference to the fact that it was afterwards promised to the seed of Abraham for its inheritance, viz., from north to south, - “ from Sidon, in the direction (lit., as thou comest) towards Gerar (see Genesis 20:1), unto Gaza,” the primitive Avvite city of the Philistines (Deuteronomy 2:23), now called Guzzeh, at the S.W. corner of Palestine, - and thence from west to east, in the direction towards Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim (see Genesis 19:24) to Lesha, ” i.e., Calirrhoe, a place with sulphur baths, on the eastern side of the Dead Sea, in Wady Serka Maein ( Seetzen and Ritter ).

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". 1854-1889.

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

The Descendants of Cham

The descendants of Cham settled east and south of Israel. The prophecy of Noah does not seem to be fulfilled in the descendants of Cham either. There is no question of serving his brothers (Gen 9:25-27) yet. His descendants provide impressive people. Thus Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of the first empire, the Babylonian, is a descendant of Cham.

The enumeration of the names of the peoples is interrupted by the insertion of the history of Nimrod. He is the origin of the Babylonian realm and is "a mighty hunter before the LORD". This has become a proverb for people who, in his footsteps, have established kingdoms on the cost of the blood of many people.

"Before the LORD" means in this context that he defies the LORD in the face with his conduct and deeds. He does not respect Him, nor subdues himself to Him, but subdues others to himself. He is the founder of the earliest power of an empire. He establishes the kingdom of Babylon (Gen 10:10).

Nimrod is a hunter. A hunter sheds blood. Nimrod, the tyrant, first shed blood from animals. He will also trample people for the establishment of his empire.

People who want to build God's kingdom are always shepherds. They give their own lives for those who are entrusted to their care. Examples of shepherds are: Abel, Jacob, Moses, David. The greatest example is the Lord Jesus, "the good Shepherd" (Jn 10:11; 14).

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No part of the publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Genesis 10:19". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

The Sons of Canaan

v. 15. And Canaan begat Sidon, his first-born, and Heth,

v. 16. and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

v. 17. and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

v. 18. and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite; and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. This explains the origin of the Phenicians on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, of the Hittites, whose various branches were found throughout Asia Minor, Syria, and Canaan, some of them occupying the hill land of Judah in the neighborhood of Hebron, of the Jebusites, who lived in the country where Jerusalem was afterward built, of the Amorites on the mountains of Judah and far beyond the Jordan, of the Girgasites, who may have occupied the country southeast of the Sea of Galilee, of the Hivites, who lived from Gibeon to the foot of Herman, of the Arkites, north of Sidon, of the Sinites and Zemarites, who lived well into what was later Northern Syria and Cilicia, of the Arvadites, farthest north of all these tribes, of the Hamathites, on the river Orontes. All these tribes and nations came into existence as the children of Canaan left the home of their fathers and sought their own places to live.

v. 19. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha. These are the general boundaries of the Canaanites, who later gave the children of Israel so much trouble: from Sidon in Phenicia to Gaza in Philistia, and including the country toward the west as far as the later location of the Dead Sea.

v. 20. These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". 1921-23.

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical

             THIRD SECTION

The Ethnological Table.

  Genesis 10:1-32

1Now these are the generations [genealogies] of the sons of Noah; [they were] Shem, Ham, and Japheth; and unto them were sons born after the flood.

1. The Japhethites ( Genesis 10:2-5).

2The Sons of Japheth; Gomer [the Cimmerians, in the Taurian Chersonesus; Crimea], and Magog [Scythians], and Madai [Medes], and Javan [Ionians], and Tubal [Tibereni], and Meschech3[Moschi], and Tiras [Thracians]. And the sons of Gomer[FN1]; Ashkenaz1 [Germans, Asen], and Riphath [Celts, Paphlagonians], and Togarmah [Armenians]. 4And the sons of Javan[FN2]; Elishah2 [Elis, Æolians], and Tarshish [Tartessus; Knobel: Etruscans], Kittim [Cyprians, Carians], and Dodanim [Dardanians]. 5By these Were the isles [dwellers on the islands and the coasts] of the Gentiles [the heathen] divided[FN3] in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

2. The Hamites ( Genesis 10:6-20).

6And the sons of Ham; Cush [Æthiopians], and Mizraim[FN4] [Egyptians], and Phut7[Lybians], and Canaan [Canaanites, Lowlanders]. And the sons of Cush; Seba [Meroe], and Havilah [Abyssinians], and Sabtah [Æthiopians in Sabotha], and Raamah [Eastern Arabians], and Sabtecha [Æthiopian Caramanians]: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba and Dedan8[Sabæan and Dadanic Cushites, on the Persian Gulf]. And Cush begat Nimrod [we will rebel]: Hebrews 9 began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was [he became] a mighty hunter before the Lord[FN5]; wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod [is he] the mighty hunter before the Lord 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel [Babylon, see ch. xi9], and Erech [Orchoe], and Accad, and Calneh [Ktesiphon], in the land of Shinar [Babylonia]. 11Out of that land went forth Asshur[FN6] [Assyrians], and builded Nineveh [city of Ninus], and the city Rehoboth12[city markets], and Calah [Kelach and Chalach; completion], And Resen [bridle] between Nineveh and Calah; the same is a great city 13 And Mizraim begat Ludim [Berbers? Mauritanian races], and Anamim [inhabitants of the Delta], and Lehabim [Libyans of Egypt], and Naphtuhim14[middle or lower Egyptians], And Pathrusim [upper Egyptians], and Casluhim [Cholcians], out of whom came Philistim [emigrants, new comers], and Caphtorim [Cappadocians? Cretans?]. 15And Canaan begat Sidon [Sidonians, fishers?] his firstborn, and Heth [Hittites, terror], 16And the Jebusite [Jebus, Jerusalem, threshing-floor], and the Amorite [inhabitants of the hills], and the Girgasite [clay, or marshy soil], 17And the Hivite [paganus?], and the Arkite [inhabitants of Arka, at the foot of Lebanon], and the Sinite [in Sinna, upon Lebanon], 18And the Arvadite Arabians on the island Arados, north of Tripolis], and the Zemarite [inhabitants of Simyra, on the western foot of Lebanon], and the Hamathite [Hamath, on the northern border of Palestine]: and afterwards were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad 19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as thou comest to Gerar [city of the Philistines], unto Gaza [city of Philistines, stronghold]; as thou goest unto Sodom [city of burning], and Gomorrah [city of the wood], and Admah [in the territory of Sodom, Adamah?], and Zeboim [city of gazelles or hyenas], even unto Lasha [on the east of the Dead Sea, earth cleft]. 20These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

3. The Shemites ( Genesis 10:21-31).

21Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber [on the other side], the brother of Japheth the elder [Lange, more correctly, translates, elder brother of Japheth], even to him were children born 22 The children of Shem; Elam [Elymæans, Persians], and Asshur [Assyrians], and Arphaxad [Arrapachitis, in Northern Assyria, fortress, or territory of the Chaldæans], and Lud23[Lydians in Asia Minor], and Aram [Aramæans in Syria, highlanders]. And the children o Aram; Uz [Aisites? native country of Job], and Hul [Celo-Syria], and Gether [Arabians], and Mash24[Mesheg, Syrians]. And Arphaxad begat Salah [sent forth]; and Salah begat Eber [from the other side, emigrant, pilgrim]. 25And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg [division]; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan [diminished; by the Arabians called Kachtan, ancestor of all the Arabian tribes]. 26And Joktan begat Almodad [measured], and Sheleph [Salapenians, old Arabian tribe of Yemen, drawers of the sword], and Hazarmaveth [Hadramath, in S. E. Arabia, court of death], and Jerah [worshipper of the moon, on27 the Red Sea], and Hadoram [Atramites, on the south coast of Arabia], and Uzal [Sanæ, a city in Yemen], 28and Diklah [a district in Arabia, place of palm-trees], And Obal [in Arabia, stripped of leaves], and Abimael [in Arabia, father of Mael, the Minæans?], and Sheba [Sabæans, with their capital city, Saba], 29And Ophir [in Arabia, probably on the Persian Gulf], and Havilah [probably Chaulan, a district between Sanæ and Mecca, or the Chaulotæ, on the border of stony Arabia], and Jobab: all these were sons of Joktan 30 And their dwelling was from Mesha [according to Gesenius, Mesene, on the Persian Gulf], as thou goest unto Sephar [Himyaric royal city in the Indian Sea, Zhafar], a mount of the east 31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations 32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations [genealogies], in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.


1. The Literature.—See Matthew, p19; the present work, p119; Kurtz: “History of the Old Testament,” p88; Knobel, p107; Keil, p108; a full and well-arranged survey see in Delitzsch, p287; also the notes in Delitzsch, p629. See also the articles, Babel, Babylon, Nineveh, and Mesopotamia, in Herzog’s Real-Encyclopedia. Layard’s account of “Excavations at Nineveh,” together with the “Description of a Visit to the Chaldæan Christians in Kurdistan, and to the Jezidi or Worshippers of Satan.” German of Meissner, Leipsic, 1852. Here belong also the “Ethnographical Works, or the National Characteristics,” etc: Lazarus and Steinthal. “Journal of Popular Psychology.” Berlin: Dumler, 1859. Berghaus, Friedrich von Raumer, Vorlander, and others.

2. The basis of the genealogical table. According to Hävernik and Keil, this document was grounded on very old tradition, and had its origin in the time of Abraham. According to Knobel, the knowledge of the nations that is represented in it, had its origin, in great part, in the connection of the Hebrews with the Phœnician Canaanites. Delitzsch assigns its composition to the days of Joshua. The signs of a high antiquity for this table present themselves unmistakably in its ground features. There belong here: 1. The small development of the Japhethan line; on which it may be remarked, that they were the people with whom the Phœnicians maintained the most special intercourse; 2. the position of the Æthiopians at the head of the Hamites, the historical notices of Nimrod, as also the supposition that Sodom and Gomorrah were then existing; 3. the discontinuance of the Jewish line with Peleg, as well as the accurate familiarity with the branching of the Arabian Joktanites, who have as much space assigned to them alone as to all the Japhethites, when for the commercial Phœnicians they would be of least significance. The table indicates various circles of tradition—more universal and more special. The Japhethan groups appear least developed. Besides the seven sons, the grandchildren of Japheth are given only in the descendants of Gomer and Javan, in the people of anterior Asia, and in the inhabitants of the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean Sea. Magog, Madai, Thubal, Meshech, and Tiras are carried no farther. The table certifies a very copious tradition of the Hamites. First, there are mentioned the four sons of Ham, then five sons of his firstborn, Cush, then the two sons of Raamah, the fourth son of Cush. These two are, therefore, great-grandchildren of Ham. Nimrod is next presented as a specially prominent son of Cush. Then follows the second son of Ham, Mizraim, with six sons. The sixth, Casluhim, is again presented in the mention of the Philistim and Caphtorim, who are, therefore, also great-grandchildren of Ham. Phut, the fourth son of Ham, is the only one who is carried no farther. The fifth, Canaan, appears with eleven sons; namely, Sidon, the ancestor of the Phœnicians, and the heads of the other Canaanitish tribes. Shem, finally, has five sons, of whom, again, Elam, Asshur, and Lud, are no farther developed. The line of his Song of Solomon, Aram, appears in four sons, grandchildren of Shem. Of the sons of Shem, Arphaxad is treated as most important. The line goes from Shem through Arphaxad and Salah, even to the great-grandchild, Eber. Eber forms the most important point of connection in the Shemitic line. With his son Peleg the earth is divided; that Isaiah, there is formed the strong monotheistic, Abrahamic line, in contrast with the line of his brother Joktan and the Arabian Joktanites. Joktan is developed in thirteen sons, great-grandchildren of Shem.

From this survey it appears: 1. That the table has a clear and full view of the three ground-types or points of departure of the Noachian humanity—Shem, Ham, Japheth. It however, inverts the order of the names, because Shem, as the ancestor of the people of the promise, is the peculiar point of aim in the representation. Japheth, however, comes first, because, since the history of Israel stands in nearest reciprocal connection with that of the Hamites, the Japhethites in this respect take the background2. The table has, in like manner, a clear view of the nearest descendants of the three sons of Noah, of the seven sons of Japheth, of the four sons of Ham, and the five sons of Shem. It presents us, therefore, the sixteen ground-forms of commencing national formations3. In the case of five sons of Japheth, one son of Ham, and three sons of Shem, the genealogy is not carried beyond the grandchildren4. In respect to the Japhethites, it does not, generally, go beyond the grandchildren; among the Hamites it passes through the grandchild, Raamah, to the great-grandchildren; Song of Solomon, likewise, through the grandchildren, the Casluhim; among the Shemites, through Arphaxad, it proceeds to the great-great-grandchildren, and these, through the great-great-grandchild, Joktan, are carried one step farther5. The table occupies itself least with the Japhethans; beyond the Medes, the people of Middle Asia and the eastern nations generally come no farther into the account. It appears, however, to have little familiarity with the Phœnicians proper, since it only makes mention of Sidon, whilst it exhibits a full acquaintance with the Egyptians, with the inhabitants of Canaan, and with the Arabian tribes. In this peculiar form of the table lies the mark of its very high antiquity6. It contains three fundamental geographical outlines, one political, and besides this, an important theocratic-ethnographic notice. Geographical: 1. The mention of the spreading of the Javanites (Ionians) over the isles and coasts of the Mediterranean; 2. the spreading of the Canaanites in Canaan; 3. the extension of the Joktanites in Arabia. Political: The first founding of cities (or states) by Nimrod. Theocratic: The division of the world in the time of Peleg, the ancestor of Abraham.

Kurtz recommends the following as fundamental positions in deciding on the names in the ethnological table: 1. The names denote, for the most part, groups of people, whose name is carried back to the ancestor; the race, together with the ancestor, forming one united conception2. Moreover, the one designation for a land and its inhabitants, must not be misapprehended; for example, the names Canaan, Aram, etc, pass over from the land to the people, and then from the people to the ancestor3. In general, the table proceeds from the status in quo of the present, solving the problem of national origin formally in the way of evolution (unity for multiplicity), but materially in the way of reduction, in that it carries back to unity the nations that lie within the horizon of the conceiving beholder. The last position, however, hardly holds of the sons of Noah himself; just as little can it be applied to the genealogies of the Shemitic branching. In regard, then, to the sources of the table, Kurtz also remarks: “together with Hengstenberg and Delitzsch, we regard the sources of this ethnological table to have been the patriarchal traditions, enriched by the knowledge of the nations that had reached the Israelites through the Egyptians. Hengstenberg had already begun to make available, in proof of this origin, the knowledge of the peoples that was expressed on the Egyptian monuments. In assigning its composition (as a constituent element of Genesis) to about the year1000 b. c, Knobel must naturally regard the ethnological knowledge of the Phœnicians as its true source.” On the significance of the table, the same writer (Kurtz) remarks: “Now that the sacred history is about to leave the nations to go their own way, the preservation of their names indicates, that notwithstanding this, they are not wholly lost to it, and that they are not forgotten in the counsel of everlasting love. Its interest for the Old Testament history consists particularly in this, that it presents so completely the genealogical position which Israel holds among the nations of the earth. It Isaiah, moreover, like the primitive history everywhere, in direct contrast with the philosophemes and myths of the heathen.” In relation to the idea, that henceforth the nations are to be suffered to go their own way, Keil reminds us of Acts 14:16; in relation to the prospect of their restoration, he describes the ethnological table as a preparation for the promise of the blessing which is to go forth from the promised race over all the races of the earth ( Genesis 12:23). For the historicalness of the ethnological table, Keil presents the following arguments: 1. That there is no trace of any superiority claimed for the Shemites; 2. no trace of any design to fill up any historical gaps by conjecture or poetic invention. This is seen in the great differences in the narration as respects the individual sons of Noah; in one case, there is mention made only to the second; then again to the third and fourth member; of many the ancestors are particularly mentioned; whilst in other cases the national distinctions alone are specified; so that in respect to many names we are unable to decide whether it is the people or the ancestor that is meant to be denoted; and this is especially so because, by reason generally of the scantiness and unreliability of ancient accounts that have come down to us from other sources concerning the origin and commencements of the nations, many names cannot be satisfactorily determined as to what people they really belong.

Against the certainty of this ethnological table, there have been made to bear the facts of linguistic affinity. The Phœnicians and the Canaanites are assigned to Ham, but their language is Shemitic. Tuch ascribes this position of the people aforesaid among the Hamites to the Jewish national hatred, and would regard it as false. But on the contrary, it must be remembered that the Jews, notwithstanding their national hatred, never denied their kinsmanship with the Edomites and others. Knobel solves the philological problem by the supposition that the Canaanites who migrated to that country might have received the Shemitic language from Shemites who had previously settled there. Add to this that the affinity of the Phœnicians and Canaanites with the Hamitic nations of the south seems to be established (Kurtz, p90; Kaulen, p235). As to what concerns the Elamites on the Persian Gulf, we must distinguish them from the eastern Japhethic Persians. Besides these philological difficulties, there has been set in opposition to the ethnological table the hypothesis of autochthonic human races. We have already spoken of this. And again, say some, how, in the space of four hundred years, from Noah till the Patriarchal time, could such a formation of races have been completed? On that we would remark, in the first place, that the American and Malayan races have only been known since the time of modern voyages of discovery. The Mongolian race, too, does not come into the account in the patriarchal age. There Isaiah, therefore, only the contrast between the Caucasian and the Æthiopic. For the clearing up of this difficulty, it is sufficient to note: 1. The extraordinary difference, which, in the history of Noah, immediately ensued between Shem and Japheth on the one side, and Ham on the other; 2. the progressive specializing of the Hamitic type in connection with the Hamitic spiritual tendency towards its passional and the sensual; 3. the change that took place in the Hamitic type in its original yielding conformity to the effect of a southern climate. The Hamitic type had, moreover, its universal sphere as the Æthiopic race; this constituted its developed ground-form, whilst single branches, on the other hand, through a progress of ennobling, might make an approach to the Caucasian cultivation.[FN7] That Shem and Japheth, however, in their nobler tendency, should unite in one Caucasian form, is not to be wondered at. The great difference between the Shemitic type and the Japhethan, as existing within the Caucasian, Isaiah, notwithstanding, fully acknowledged. Since, however, the Shemitic type in its nobler branches, may make transitions to the Caucasian; so also may separations from the Japhethic and Shemitic form, perhaps, the Mongolian and the American races, in consequence of a common tendency (see Kurtz, p80. “The Direction of the Noachidæ.”)

There have also been objected to the table chronological difficulties; in so far as it forms a middle point for the assumption of Jewish and Christian chronology. According to Bunsen, the time before Christ must be reckoned at20,000 years,—namely, to the flood, 10,000, and from the flood to Abraham, 7,000 (see, on the contrary, Delitzsch, p291). Taking these20,000 years, the ante-Christian humanity loses itself in a Thohu Vabohu running through many thousand years of an unhistorical, beastly existence, wherein the human spirit fails to find any recognition of its nobility.

Delitzsch, in his admirable section on the ethnological table, remarks, p. Genesis 286: “The line of the promise with its chosen race, must be distinguished from the confusion of the Gentiles; such is the aim of this great genealogical chart, and in accordance with which it is constructed. It is a fundamental characteristic of Israel, that it is to embrace all nations as partakers of a like salvation in a participation of hope and love,—an idea unheard of in all antiquity beside.[FN8] The whole ancient world has nothing to show of like universality with this table. The earth-describing sections of the Epic poems of the Hindoos, and some of the Puranas, go greatly astray, even in respect to India, whilst the nearest lands are lost in the wild and monstrous account that is given of them. Their system of the seven world islands (dvîpas) that lay around the Meru, seems occupied with the worlds of gods and genii rather than with the world of man. (Lassen, in the “Journal of Oriental Knowledge,” i. p341; Wilson, The Vishnu Purana). Nowhere is there to be found so unique a derivation of the national masses, or so universal a survey of the national connections. A tinge of hopeful green winds through the arid desert of this ethnological register. It presents in perspective the prospect that these far-sundered ways of the nations shall, at the last, come together at the goal which Jehovah has marked. Therefore does Baumgarten complete the saying of Johannes von Müller, “that history has its beginning in this ethnological table,” with a second equally true, “that in it also, as its closing limit, shall history find its end.” We may undervalue this table if we overlook the fact that, in its actual historical and ethnological ground-features it presents, symbolically, a universal image of the one humanity in its genealogical divisions. We may overvalue it, or rather, set a false value upon it, when we attempt to trace back to it, with full confidence, all the known nations now upon the earth. Even the number70, as the universal symbol of national existences, can only be deduced from it by an artificial method; as, for example, in Delitzsch, p289. It is only in the symbolical sense that the catalogue may be regarded as amounting to this number.

Neither can we derive this subdividing the nations to such a multiplicity of national life, from the confusion of languages at Babel. The natural subdivision of the people has something of an ideal aspect; the increased impulse given to it at Babel had its origin in sin. We regard it, therefore, as a strong proof of the canonical intuition that this ethnological table precedes instead of following the history of the tower-building. Kurtz treats the history of Babel as earlier than that of the register; and Keil, too, would seem inclined to identify the diversity of the nations with the confusion of tongues (p107).

After these general remarks, we will confine ourselves to the most necessary particulars.


1. Genesis 10:2-5.—The Japhethites.—Gomer.—The Cimbri, as well as the Cumry or Cymry in Wales, and in Bretagne, are to be regarded as in relation with the Cimmerians; They represent the north-western portion of the Japhethan territory.—Magog appears to represent the whole northeast, as the Scythians, in the most general way, denote the cycle of the northeastern nations. “The Sarmatians, for the most part, lie to the west. The chief people in the army of Gog, Ezekiel 38:2-3; Ezekiel 39:1, is רֹאשׁ, that is the Rossi, or Russians.” Knobel.—Madai; the Medes, who inhabit the south and Southwest.—Javan, belonging to the south, the Græco-Italian family of nations.—Thubal and Meshech as well as Thogarma, inhabiting the middle tracts: Iberians, or Georgians, Armenians, Pontus, the districts of Asia Minor generally.—Gomer’s Sons: Ashkenaz is referred to the Germans, by others to Asia Minor, the Asiones. Ashkenaz is explained by Knobel as denoting the race of Asen. The oldest son of the Germanic Mannus was called Iskus, equivalent to Ask, Ascanios.—Riphat is referred by Knobel to the Celts, by Josephus to the Paphlagonians; in which there is no contradiction, since the Celts also (the Gauls) had a home in Asia (Galatia).—Thogarma.—The Armenians to this day call themselves the House of Thorgom or Thorkomatsi.—Sons of Javan: Elisa is referred to Elis and to the Æolians, Tarshish to Tartessus, and also to the Etruscans, whom, nevertheless, Delitzsch holds to have been Shemites; Kittim is referred to the Cyprians and the Carians; Dodanim to the Dardanians.

2. Genesis 10:6-20.—The Hamites. The three first sons of Ham settled in Northern Africa1. The Æthiopians of the upper Nile; 2. the Egyptians of the lower Nile; 3. the Libyans, west of the Egyptians, in the east of Northern Africa. The Cushites appear to have removed from the high northeast (Cossæ), passing over India, Babylonia, and Arabia, in their course towards the south; for “in these lands the ancients recognized a dark-colored people, who were designated by them as Æthiopians, and who have since, in part, perished, whilst a few have kept their place to this day.” Knobel.—Mizraim.—The name denotes narrowing, enclosing; its dual form denotes the double Egypt (upper and lower Egypt); Αἴγυπτος is probably from Kah-ptah, land of Ptah. The old Egyptian name is Kemi, Chemi, (with reference to Ham).—Canaan.—Between the Mediterranean Sea and the western shore of Jordan.—The name Pœni (Puni), allied to φόνος, blood, and φοινος, blood-red, denotes the Phœnicians in their original Hamitic color.—Sons of Cush. Seba.—Meroë, which, at one time, according to Josephus, was called Seba.—Chavila.—In the Septuagint, Εὐϊλα. The Macrobians (or long living), Æthiopians of the modern Abyssinia.—Sabta.—Sabbata, a capital city in Southern Arabia. “To this day there is in Yemen and Hadramaut a dark race of men who are distinct from the light-colored Arabians. So it is also in Oman on the Persian Gulf.” Knobel.—Raamah.—Septuagint: ‘Ρεγμα, in Southeastern Arabia—Oman. There, too, there are obscure indications of Raamah’s sons Sheba and Dedan.—Sabtecha.—Dark-colored men on the east side of the Persian Gulf, in Caramania.—Aside from these, Nimrod is also made prominent as a son of Cush, Genesis 10:8-12. Knobel regards this section as a Jehovistic interpolation, and so does Delitzsch. The name Jehovah, however, as occurring here, is no proof of such a fact; it comes naturally out of the accompanying thoughts. The only thing remarkable Isaiah, that Nimrod is not named in immediate connection with the other sons of Cush, but that the two sons of Raamah go before him. It Isaiah, however, easy enough to be understood, that the narrator wished first to dispose of this lesser reference.[FN9] Interruptions similar to it are of repeated occurrence in the table, as is the case also in other genealogies ( 1 Chronicles 2:7; 1 Chronicles 23:4; 1 Chronicles 23:22).—He was a mighty hunter.—“The author presents Nimrod as the son of Cush, putting him far back before the time of Abraham, and assigns him to the Æthiopian race. In fact, the classical writers recognize Æthiopians in Babylonia in the earliest times. They speak, especially, of an Æthiopian king, Cepheus, who belongs to the mythical time, and there is mention of a trace of the Cephenians as existing to the north of Babylon.” Knobel. In the expression, “he began to be a hero, or a mighty one upon the earth,” there is no occasion for calling him a “postdiluvian Lamech” (Delitzsch). He began the unfolding of an extraordinary power of will and deed, in the fact mentioned, that he became a mighty hunter in the presence of Jehovah. The hunting of ravenous beasts was in the early time a beneficent act for the human race. Powerful huntsmen appear as the pioneers of civilization; a fact which clearly proclaims itself in the myth of Hercules. And so the expression, “Nimrod was a mighty hunter before Jehovah,” may mean, that he was one who broke the way for the future institutions of worship and culture which Jehovah intended in the midst of a wild and uncultivated nature. There is another interpretation: he was so mighty a hunter, that even by Jehovah, to whom, in other respects, nothing is distinguished, he was recognized as such (Knobel; Delitzsch); but this seems to us to have little or no meaning. Keil holds fast to the traditional interpretation: in defiance of Jehovah, and, at the same time, takes the literal sense of animal-hunting in connection with the tropical sense of hunting men, so that he explains it, with Herder, as meaning an ensnarer of men by fraud and force. Neither the expression itself, nor the proverb: “like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord,” justifies this view. By such a proverb, there may be denoted a praiseworthy, Herculean pioneer of culture, as well as a blameworthy and violent despot. In truth, the chase of the animals was, for Nimrod, a preparatory exercise for the subjugation of men. “For him and his companions, the chase was a training for war, as we are told by Xenophon (Kunegete, C. i.), the old heroes were pupils of Chiron, and Song of Solomon, μαθηταὶ κυνηγεσίων, disciples of the chase.” Delitzsch.—And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel.—Knobel: “His first kingdom in contrast with his second.” This, however, is not necessarily involved in the expression, “the beginning.” It denotes rather the basis. In thus playing the hero, Nimrod established, in the first place, a kingdom that embraced Babel, that Isaiah, Babylon, Erech, or Orech, in the southwest of Babylonia, Akkad (in respect to situation ’Ακκήτη), in a northern direction, and in the Northeast, Calneh, in respect to territory corresponding to Chalonitis, or Ktisiphon, on the east shore of the Tigris. This establishment of an empire transforming the patriarchal clan-governments into one monarchy is not to be thought of as happening without force. The hunter becomes a subjugator of men, in other words, a conqueror.—Out of that land went forth Asshur. [Lange translates: Out of that land went he forth towards Asshur.]—The Septuagint, Vulgate, and many interpreters (Luther, Calvin) regard Asshur as the grammatical subject, and give it the sense: Asshur went forth from Shinar. On the contrary, the Targum of Onkelos, Targum of Jonathan, and many other authorities, (Baumgarten, Delitzsch, Knobel) have rightly recognized Nimrod as the subject. Still, it does not seem clear, when Knobel supposes that Nimrod had left his first kingdom for the sake of founding a second. Moreover, it is not to be supposed that he barely extended his rule over an uninhabited territory for the purpose of colonizing it. It was rather characteristic of Nimrod, that he should seek still more strongly to appropriate to himself the occupied district of Assyria by the establishment of cities. The first city was Nineveh (at this day the ruin-district called Nimrud), above the place where the Lycus flows into the Tigris; the second was Rehoboth, probably east of Nineveh; the third Calah, northward in the district of Kalachan, in which there is found the place of ruins called Khorsabad; the fourth was Resen, between Nineveh and Calah.—The same is a great city.—The first suggested sense would seem to denote Resen as the great city, or as the greater city in relation to the others named with it. On the contrary, remarks Knobel: Resen is nowhere else mentioned as known to antiquity, and could not possibly have been so distinguished, as to be called in this short way the great city. Rather does the expression denote the four cities taken together, as making Nineveh in the wider sense, and which, both by Hebrews and Assyrians, was thus briefly called the great city.” According to Ktesias, it had a circumference of four hundred and eighty stadia (twenty-four leagues), with which there well agrees the three days’ journey of Jonah 3:3; it embraced the quarter founded by Nimrod, out of which it grew in the times that followed Nimrod, when the Assyrian kings gradually combined the four places into one whole; thus the whole city was named Nineveh after its most southern part. The ancient assertions respecting the circuit of the city are confirmed by the excavations. “These four cities correspond, probably, to the extensive ruins on the east of the Tigris, that have lately been made known by Layard and Botta, namely, Nebi-Junus and Kujundschik, opposite Mosul, Khorsabad, five leagues north, and Nimrud, eight leagues north of Mosul.” Keil. See also the note (p112) on the agreement of Rawlinson, Grote, Niebuhr, and others, as opposed by the conjectures of Hitzig and Bunsen.—The sons of Mizraim: 1. Ludim. As distinguished from the Shemitic Ludim, Genesis 10:22; Movers regards it as the old Berber race of Levatah that settled by the Syrtis,—so called after the manner of other collective names of the Mauritanian races. According to Knobel it was the Shemitic Ludim, who, after the Egyptian invasion, were called Hyksos. This is in the face of the text2. Anamim. This is referred by Knobel to the Egyptian Delta3. Lehabim. Ægyptian Libyans, not to be confounded with פּוּט, the Libyans proper4. Naphtuhim. According to Knobel, the people of Phthah, the god of Memphis, in Middle Egypt; according to Bochart, it agrees with Νέφθυς, that connects with the northern coast-line of Egypt5. Pathrusim. Inhabitants of Pathros, Meridian land, equivalent to Upper Egypt, or Thebais6. Casluhim. The Colchians, “who, according to Herod, ii. c105, had their descent from the Egyptians.” This may probably be held of one branch of Mizraim; whereas the origin of the Cushites themselves would seem to point back to Colchis (see Genesis 2.).—Out of whom came Philistim.—The name is explained as meaning emigrants, from the Æthiopian word fallasa. According to Amos 9:7; Jeremiah 47:4, the Philistines went forth from Caphtor. We may reconcile both these declarations, by supposing that the beginning of the settlement of the Philistines on the coast-line of Canaan, had been a Casluhian colony, but that this was afterwards strengthened by an immigration from Caphtor, and then their territory enlarged by the dispossession of the Avim, Deuteronomy 2:23.—And Caphtorim.—By old Jewish interpreters these are described as Cappadocians; they are regarded by Ewald as Cretans. Both suppositions may agree in denoting the course of migration taken by the Caphtorim.—The sons of Canaan:—“Notwithstanding the Shemitic language, the Phœnician Canaanites are here reckoned among the Hamitic nations, and must, therefore, have had their origin from the South. In fact, ancient writers affirm that they came from the Erythræan Sea, that Isaiah, from the Persian Gulf, to the Mediterranean. And with this agrees the mythology which makes the Phœnician ancestors, Agenor and Phœnix, akin, partly to Belus in Babylonia, and partly with Egyptus (Danaus the Æthiopian).” Knobel1. Zidon. Although originally the name of a person, this does not exclude its relation to the famous city so called, צוד, primarily, to lay nets; it appears, however, to denote fishing as well as hunting proper. Sidon was the oldest city of the Phœnicians2. Heth. This also stands as the name of a person, whereas the designations of the Canaanites that follow have the form of national appellations. In this position of Heth, together with Sidon the first-born, they would appear to be denoted as the peculiar point of departure of the Canaanitish life. The Hittites (Hethites) on the hill-land of Judah, and especially in the neighborhood of Hebron, were only a branch of the great original Hittite family ( 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6). The Kittim also, and the Tyrians, are, according to Knobel, comprehended in this name3. The Jebusites. Distinguished as the inhabitants of the old Jebus, Jerusalem4. The Amorites. On the hill-land of Judah, and on the other side of Jordan, the mightiest family of the Canaanites; therefore may their name embrace all Canaanites (chs. Genesis 15:16; Genesis 48:22) 5. The Girgasites. ( Genesis 15:21; Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 24:11); their relation to the Gergesenes ( Matthew 8:28) is very uncertain6. Hivites (or Hevites) in Sichem ( Genesis 34:2), at Gibeon ( Joshua 9:7), and at the foot of Hermon ( Joshua 11:3). “The five last sons of Canaan dwelt northward in Phœnicia.” Knobel. The Arkites. Denoted from the city Arka, north of Sidon. The Sinites, named from the city Sina, mentioned by Hieronymus, still farther north. More northern still the Zemarites, named from the city Simyra (Sùmrah, by the moderns). Farthest north the Arvadites (also on the island Aradus); on the northeast, the Hamathites, name from the city Hamath, still existing.—And afterwards were spread abroad.—This spreading extends from the Phœnician district along the coast. The Kenites, mentioned Genesis 15:19-21, the Kenezites, and the Kadmonites, are regarded by Delitzsch as people of Hamitic descent. So also the Rephaim, besides whom there are still farther named the Perezites. The same thing may probably be said of the Geshurim, mentioned 1 Samuel 27:8. The Susim and Emim, Genesis 14, he (Delitzsch) holds to be not Canaanites, but a people of a later introduction (p300). An immigration of Shemites must, in truth, have preceded that of the Hamites into Canaan.—The sons of Shem ( Genesis 10:21-31). The father (ancestor) of all the children of Eber.—This declaration calls attention beforehand to the fact, that in the sons of Eber the Shemitic line of the descendants of Abraham separates again in Peleg, namely, from Joktan or his Arabian descendants1. Elam. Elamites, the most easterly Shemites who dwelt from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea; at a later day they are lost, together with their language, in the Persians2. Asshur. Assyrians to the east of the Tigris, from thence extending towards Syria and Asia Minor. Their mother-country was a plain; hence the name (from אָשַׁר). Their Shemitic language also underwent a change, and became foreign to the Hebrew3. Arphaxad. Their dwelling-place was in Arrapachitis, on the east side of the Tigris, from which they spread out; by Ewald and Knobel it is interpreted as referring to the Chaldæans, which Keil, however, regards as uncertain4. Lud. The Lydians of Asia Minor, related to the Assyrians (see Keil, p114; by Knobel they are referred to the Canaanite and Arabian races). 5. Aram. Aramæans, in Syria and Mesopotamia.—The sons of Aram: Uz and Gether, probably Arabians; Hul and Mash, probably Syrians.—The sons of Arphaxad:—The names Salah and Eber (sending forth and passing over) denote the already commencing emigration of the Abrahamic race. The two sons of Eber are called Peleg (division) and Joktan (diminished, small). With them there is a division of the Abrahamic and the Arabian lines. Peleg is the ancestor of the first. This is the explanation: in this manner was it that “in his day the earth was divided.” Fabri interprets this expression of a catastrophe that took place in the body of the earth, whose form was then violently divided into the later continental relations (in his treatise on the “Origin of Heathenism,” 1859). Delitzsch interprets it as referring, in general, to the division of the earlier population; Keil explains it of the division that took place in consequence of the building of the tower of Babel.[FN10] Knobel refers the language of the separa of the two brothers, Peleg and Joktan, in which Joktan and his sons took their way to the south. We find here indicated the germ of the facts by which the earth, that Isaiah, the population of the earth, became divided into Judaism and Heathenism. For the separation of Abraham is no immediate or sudden event. The interrupted emigration of Terah had been previously prepared in Salah and Eber; fully so in Peleg. Therefore is Peleg’s son called רְעוּ, friend of God. In contrast with Salah (the sent), Eber (the passing over), and Peleg (the separating, division), Serug denotes again the complicated or entangled, Nahor, the panting, possibly the ineffectual striving, and, finally, Terah, the loitering, the one who tarries on the way. Then comes Abram, the high father, with whom the race of the promise decidedly begins. We have no hesitation in taking these names as at the same time historical and symbolical.—The sons of Joktan: In their multiplicity they present a remarkably clear figure of the Arabian tribes. “Thirteen names, some of which can still be pointed out in places and districts of Arabia, whilst others have not, as yet, been discovered, or have been wholly extinguished.” Knobel. Concerning their strife, and perhaps, too, their merging in the Hamites, who were in Arabia before them, compare Knobel, p123—The beni Kahtan, sons of Joktan, or Joktanidæ, form their leading point of view in Northern Yeman1. Almodad. The name El Mohdad is found among the princes of the Djorhomites, first in Yemen, and then in Hedjez2. Sheleph, the same as Salif, the Salapenians in a district of Yemen3. Hazarmaveth, the same as Hadramaut (court of death), in Southeastern Arabia, by the Indian Ocean; so named because of the unhealthy climate4. Jereh. Sons of the moon, worshippers of the moon; south from Chaulan5. Hadoram. The Adramites, on the south coast of Arabia6. Uzal. One with Sanaa, a city of Yemen7. Diklah, meaning the palm; probably cultivator of the palm-tree; they may be placed conjecturally in the Wady Nadjran, abounding in dates8. Obal. Placed by Knobel with Gebal and the Gebanites9. Abimael. Father of Mael;[FN11] undetermined10. Sheba. The Sabæans, a trading people whose capital city is Marĭaba11. Ophir. Placed by Knobel to the southwest of Arabia, the land of the Himyarites. Lassen, Ritter, and Delitzsch, remove Ophir to the mouths of the Indus. For the different views, see Gesenius. It would appear, however, that the point of departure for Ophir must still be sought in Arabia12. Havilah. District of Chaulan, in Northern Yemen; probably also colonized in India (see Delitzsch, p308). 13. Jobab.—And their dwelling was from Mesha.—Concerning these undetermined bounding districts of Mesha and Sephar, compare Keil.—And by these were the nations divided.—A preparation for what follows, see the next chapter.


See the Exegetical.

1. The religious significance of the ethnological table: 1. Personal characters form the basis of the human world; the relation of God to humanity is conditioned by the personal relation of God to personal being. The revelation of salvation, therefore, tends also to take upon itself a genealogical form. The ethnological table is the extended ground-outline of the relation between God and humanity, and of those that men bear to one another. The genealogies are trees of human life that God has planted2. In the christological point of view, the genealogical table is the prefiguration of the universality of the gospel, corresponding to the universality of the divine love, grace and compassion3. It gives us a clear idea of the regular gravitation of humanity to its centre in Shem, Eber, Abraham, Christ; that Isaiah, the genealogy of Christ4. As the branching of the three principal races places them in contrast, Song of Solomon, in a special manner, is this the case with the branching of the Hamitic race into the better lines, and in the Canaanites; and so also the branching of the Shemites, or that of the sons of Eber in the line of the descendants of Joktan, and in the line of the promise5. The signs of preparation for the later calling of Abraham are already contained in the names of his ancestors from Salah and Eber onward.

2. On the names Babel and Nineveh, compare the Theological dictionaries; on the history of Babel and Nineveh, see the historical works. We must be careful here, not to confound the beginning of this very old city, including in it the Babylonian tower, with its later world-historical development, and its falling into ruin. Nevertheless, even the ruins of that city are still a speaking witness, not only for the fulfilling of the divine predictions and threatenings, by the prophets, but also of the historical consistency and truthfulness of these very narrations in Genesis. Concerning the geographical relations, especially the situation of Babylon on the Euphrates, and of Nineveh on the Tigris, compare the maps of the old world in the Bible-atlas of Welland and Ackerman; the Historico-Geographical Atlas of the Old World, by Kiepert; the Atlas of Kutscheit, and others. Already, in Xenophon’s time, Nineveh lay in ruins; according to Strabo, it perished with the Assyrian Empire (see in Herzog’s “Real-Encyclopedia” the article on the Ruins of Nineveh). Babylon was much broken by the Persian kings, especially by Xerxes; Alexander the Great would have restored it, but contributed only the more to its destruction; the founding of Seleucia laid it in ruins. As Seleucia lies opposite to the ruins of Babylon, so does Mosul to those of Nineveh.

3. Starke: In this chapter we see the origin of many nations in all parts of the world, and therefore, the power of the blessing which God, after the flood, had renewed to men in respect to their multiplying and propagation; and Song of Solomon, finally, we learn the fathers from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. Neither Noah nor his sons begat any offspring during the time of the flood. The same may be conjectured to be true of the animals which were shut up with him in a dark dungeon, and as it were in the midst of death.—Lange: Many readers, when they come to this tenth chapter, are wont to regard it as of little value; some really think it to be superfluous, or of little use, on account of so many unknown names. But, in truth, we ought to regard it as a right noble gem in the crown of Holy Writ, the like of which has never been, or can be shown, from any writings of the old heathenism that yet remain to us.[FN12]—Gerlach: There is no account of antiquity which gives us so full and so general a survey of the ancient nations, as this ethnological table; as appears from the fact, that the exactness and truth of the national divisions as presented in the same, are ever more and more confirmed. The heathen had no other relations to people who were foreign to them, than those of war and trade, with the addition, perhaps, of a certain community of religious legends, knowledge, and culture; irrespective of this, however, each nation remained shut up within itself. In the history of Revelation, on the other hand, before the narrative of the dispersion of the nations stands the promise that Japheth shall find a home in the tents of Shem.—Bunsen: So much is now clear, that the races of Shem are the Shemites of philology. This is not clear at all; just as little, in fact, as that the Gallic Franks must be of Romanic origin. Compare in other places the learned explanation of the ethnological table by Bunsen. Says the same authority (vol. i. part2, p63): “The ethnological table is the most learned among all the ancient documents, and the most ancient among the learned. For tradition predominates far above research, though the latter is not wanting. In its core it must be regarded as earlier than the time of Abraham; but this by no means excludes the idea that Moses may have made investigations respecting it.” So says Schröder: “From this chapter must the whole universal history of the world take its beginning.” To the same effect Joh. von Müller. Citation of the historical catalogues of Heathen nations, as they are found in the palace of Karnak, a ruin of the old city Thebes, in Bendidad, and on the monuments of Persepolis. These have throughout a national character. Nimrod’s chase of the beasts was the bridge of transition to the hunting of men ( Jeremiah 16:16; Lamentations 3:52; Lamentations 4:18; Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:10).

4. On the numbering of the seventy nations, which the Rabbins make out of this table, as Delitzsch farther constructs it, see Keil, p116. Delitzsch traces a relation between the seventy peoples, and the seventy disciples, Luke 10:1, and designates the number as that of the divinely-ordained multiplicity of the human. Probably, also, the name of the Septuagint has reference to the heathen nations for whom the Alexandrian translation of the Old Testament was designed. Keil objects, that the numbering can only come out clean and round when we assign the name of nations to Salah and Eber. But Salah might have actually had more sons. And, besides, it is not necessary that the symbolical numbers should always literally correspond to the historical. This frequent appearance of the number seventy resolves itself into some early symbolizing. Seven is the number of God’s work, including his holy day of rest; ten is the number of the perfect human development; the seventy nations were, therefore, the entire outspreading of God’s host, under his rule.

5. Nimrod’s despotic power, at least if we judge from the name, was denoted as a rebellion, as a revolution. It partook of both forms of revolution against the divine ordinance: 1. From above downwards; 2. from below upwards; of which the first seems, in truth, to have been the oldest.


In the homiletical treatment of the ethnological table, we must, of all things, avoid giving way to uncertain and etymological and historical conjectures. It contains, however, enough points of certainty to make it a page of Holy Writ rich in life and instruction. Thereto belongs the threefold division of the nations according to the names Japheth, Ham, and Shem, the wide, wide, world-wandering of Japheth, in which the grandchildren and great-great-grand-children disappear from the horizon of the theocratic consciousness; the early ripe, yet most ancient development of the Hamitic culture, with its corruptions, in which the ungodly Cainitic culture once more mirrors itself; the reciprocal intercourse of the Shemites and the Hamites in the early time; finally, the gradual, yet authentically historical preparation for the calling of Abraham, and for the Messianic theocracy in the line of Shem. If the sermon is designed with reference to the ethnological table, the best ground will be furnished by taking directly Genesis 10:1, or Deuteronomy 32:8; or better still, some New Testament text most appropriate for the purpose, as Matthew 28:19; John 10:16; Acts 14:16-17; Acts 15:18; Acts 17:26; Romans 11:32; Ephesians 3:6; 1 Peter 4:6; Revelation 21:24.—The baptism of the flood a forerunning emblematic baptism of the whole human race. As God knows the name of the stars (that Isaiah, their most interior being, Isaiah 40), so does he likewise know the name of all men and of all races ( Matthew 22:32). The theocratic, believing consciousness hath ever proved itself to be also a humanitarian consciousness, or one that embraces all humanity.—The higher significance of historical tradition.—The commendation of the world’s history in the history of God’s kingdom.—The relation between the history of God’s kingdom and the world-history: 1. The contrast; 2. the connection; 3. the unity (in its wider sense is the whole world’s history a history of the kingdom of God).—Shem’s history, the last in the world, the first in the kingdom of God.—The elect and their appointment to be salvation for all.—The distinction: 1. Among the sons of Noah; 2. of Japheth; 3. of Ham; 4. of Shem.—Nimrod’s threefold position: 1. As the pioneer of civilization; 2. as oppressor of the patriarchal liberties; 3. as the instrument of God for the development of the world.—Peleg, or the dividing and the uniting again of humanity.

Schröder: All these sons, the white posterity of Japheth, the yellow and dark sons of Ham, however they may live in temporal separation, are all still God’s children, and brothers to one another.

[Excursus on the Hebrew Chronology—the state of the Primitive Men—the Rapid Beginnings of History. The brief Hebrew chronology is urged as an objection to the Scriptures. Hence the tendency, even among believers, to prefer the numbers given in the Septuagint. There is hardly time enough, it is thought, for the great historical commencements, and the scale on which they appear, so soon after the flood. Others, like Lepsius and Bunsen, would go very far beyond the LXX, carrying up the human chronology, and that of the Egyptian monarchy along with it, twenty thousand years before the time of Christ, and twelve or fifteen thousand years before the flood. The main ground of this theory is not so much the monuments, though Bunsen has much to say about them, as an assumption respecting the earliest condition and slow progress of the human race. With regard to the monuments, on which so much reliance is placed, there is not space, nor occasion, to say much here. Those who refer to them with most confidence have to admit that there is great difficulty in determining their meaning as well as their historical authority, even if rightly interpreted. It is made a question, too, whether, in many cases, they represent successive or cotemporaneous dynasties. Their barrenness in respect to almost everything else but names, detracts also from their chronological testimony. Like the Chaldean, Hindoo, and Chinese statements, they are hardly anything else but numbers. There is little or no filling up of these blank statistical spaces with anything like a veritable life-like history. Had much that is on these monuments been found in the early Scriptures, it would have made them the scoff of the infidel and the rationalist. There Isaiah, however, one concise argument, which, if rightly considered, ought to dispose of the whole matter. Egypt was visited, two thousand three hundred years ago, by a most intelligent Greek, whose valuable history has come down to us entire. In faithful narrative of what he saw, as he saw it, and of what he heard, as he heard it, Herodotus is excelled by no writer, ancient or modern. His pains and fidelity are attested by those immense journeys, whose extent would be deemed a wonder, even with all the facilities of modern travel. Now this most credible witness saw these monuments in their freshness, and when they were as intelligible to the Egyptian priests, as would be to us the contents of a modern census. They decipher for him these hieroglyphics, now so puzzling, and give him, as deduced therefrom, what they understand to be the Egyptian history. It is contained in his second book. Can we ever expect a better interpretation than the one made under such circumstances, and under the direction of such competent guides? They had every motive to present their nation in its most antique and imposing aspect, knowing, as they doubtless did, that the inquirer was collecting materials for a history of the world, as then known. If they erred at all, it would most likely have been on the side of an excessive antiquity. And yet, the chronology of Herodotus[FN13] may, without any great difficulty, be made to agree with that of the Bible—certainly with that of the Septuagint. In regard to the monuments, such a view should be deemed conclusive. Herodotus Isaiah, after all, the great historical authority in respect to the antiquity of the Egyptian monarchy; and he is likely to remain Song of Solomon, since we have no reason to expect any interpretation of these hieroglyphics that escaped his eager search, or the intelligence of his well-informed and zealous instructors.

The other ground, that Isaiah, the necessity of a very long time to bring about such results in the slow progress of mankind, is a sheer assumption, that may at once be met by arguments drawn from the intrinsic aspects of the case. It all depends upon the hypothesis with which we start in respect to the condition of the primitive men; and this involves, first of all, an inquiry as to the primitive man, or the primus homo, or whether there ever really was such a distinct individual, the head of a distinct race, having a supernatural beginning at a distinct moment of time. Some, who favor the view of the low primitive condition of Prayer of Manasseh, from which he struggled slowly up into language and a distinct human consciousness, making his appearance in history only after he had been many ages upon the earth, may still hold to something like a creation of the species; but logically it is very difficult to separate such a doctrine from that eternal-development theory, which, in opposition to the axiom de nihilo nihil, or, what is equivalent to it, that more cannot come out of less, would bring the highest life out of the lowest forms of matter, and make God himself (supposing it to acknowledge something under that name) the end instead of the beginning of nature. On the contrary, the admission of a creation, in any intelligible sense of the word, is the admission of a distinct time, a distinct moment of time, when the thing created began to be, which a moment before was not. This, however, does not demand the idea of an instantaneous coming from nothing, or even de novo, of everything belonging to, or connected with the new existence, but only the new and distinct, beginnning of that which especially makes it what it is, a new, peculiar entity, separate from everything else. To apply this to Prayer of Manasseh, the origin of his physical, his earthly, may have been as remote as any geological theory of life-periods, or any biblical interpretation supposed to be in accordance with it, may allow. If we admit the idea of growth, or succession in creation, as perfectly consistent with supernatural starts regarded as intervening and originating its successive processes, then man may have been long coming from the earth, from the deepest parts of the earth, as is said Psalm 139:15. The formation of the human physical may have begun in the earliest stages of the κτίσις, or world-building. The words מן עפר, “from the dust,” may denote a process comparatively quick or slow. The essential faith is satisfied either way; since it only demands two things—a dual derivation of the completed humanity, and an order, that Isaiah, a succession, whether in nature or in time (or in both), rather than any precise duration. Even the common notion of an outward plastic formation of the body implies the use of a previous nature in a previous material or materials—that Isaiah, a use of them according to such natures. There is essentially the same idea in the employment of previous growths and processes, as in that of previous material, although with the conception of such successions there necessarily comes that of time, longer or shorter. How many steps there were we cannot know; but in thus bringing up the human physical through lower structural forms, there may have been outwardly approximations to the human, long before there was reached that humanity proper in Which nature and spirit unite. Without scientific comparison and deduction, the simplest inspection of nature is sufficient to suggest the thought that man is built upon types from below him, even as he is formed in the image of that which is above him. If then such a view of successive evolutions from the dust, instead of an immediate outward plastic formation of the human earthly, be not inconsistent with the comprehensive language of Scripture, we should not be startled at the thought of there having been anthropoidal forms[FN14] of various degrees of approximation, some of them, perhaps, larger than any now found upon earth, and which may have perished, like some of the larger or mammoth species of mammalia. If the explorations of science have brought to light any such remains, our faith need not be disturbed by the question of their pre-historicalness. The interpreter of Scripture is little concerned, either in affirming or denying such discoveries. Whatever be their date, we have not yet come to the humanity proper, the Adamic humanity, that humanity which Christ assumed and raises to a still higher sphere. The animal world is not yet surpassed. But there is a moment when the human race now upon the earth had its distinct beginning, and that, too, in a primus homo,—the “first Adam”—even as there is a “new Prayer of Manasseh,” a new humanity, that is to have its finish or completion in a second Adam, or last Adam (ἔσχατος Αδὰμ), as the apostle calls him. This beginning of humanity upon earth was not a physical act merely, or the mere completion of a physical progress. It took place in the spiritual sphere. The true creation of man was not merely a formation, or an animation, but an inspiration, a direct, divine inspiration ( Genesis 2:7); and now there is what before was not, a בריאה, a new thing upon earth, not simply something higher physically (though even that would require a divine intervention), but an entity distinct as connected with a higher or supernatural world. This Adamic Prayer of Manasseh, thus divinely raised out of nature, and lifted above the pure animality, is the one of whom the Bible gives us so particular an account. He was the one who first awoke to a true rational human consciousness. Thus man “became a living soul.” The emphasis is in the manner of the inbreathing; but to distinguish it wholly from the animation of other kinds who are also called נפש חיה, the wondrous event is described in other language as a sealing, a forming into a higher type, pattern, idea, or image,—not physically, but spiritually. The all-important article of faith is the dual succession, whether regarded as an order in time, or as an order of constitution without reference to time: “first the natural (τὸ ψυχικὸν, the animal), afterwards that which is spiritual” (τὸ πνευματικόν). First that which comes from nature (τὸ ἐκ γῆς χοϊκόν), “from the earth, earthy,” second, that “which bore the image of the heavenly,”[FN15] or of “the Lord from heaven.”

Corresponding to this is the specific designation by which man is distinguished among the created orders. The animals and plants are made each לְמִינֵהוּ, after its מִין, εἶδος, species, form, denoting difference in organic structure, and therefore something ultimately outward as exhibited in its last analysis, however hidden it may seem to the primary observation of the sense. It is not to be thought that the Scripture writers, in their simplicity, intended to speak scientifically or philosophically, but a deeper term was wanted in the case of Prayer of Manasseh, and we have it in a remarkable change of language. Man is nowhere said to be לְמִינֵהוּ, juxta genus suum, or secundum speciem suam, but when this new entity is to be brought into the kosmos, God is represented as saying to himself, or as though addressing some higher associate than nature, “Let us make man בְּצַלְמֵנוּ in our image.” The צֶֹלֶם, therefore, in the case of humanity, may be said to make the מִין, or to come in place of it. In other words, it is the spiritual image here, and not the physical organization, that makes the species; and most important is the distinction in all our reasonings about the essential oneness of humanity, and what most truly constitutes it.

From this primus homo, thus inspired, thus sealed, comes all of human kind that ever has been, or is now upon the earth. To apply what has been said to the more direct subject of this note, there is here the decisive answer to that view which would represent man as commencing in the savage state regarded as barely and imperceptibly rising above the animal. This inspiration is a great and glorious beginning. It is a new divine force in the earth. The fall does not at once destroy it, though giving a tendency to spiritual death, and spiritual degeneracy, carrying with it a physical decline. Even with this, however, the primitive divine impulse in the first Prayer of Manasseh, and in the first men, makes them something very different from what is now called the savage state, and which is everywhere found to be the dregs of a once higher condition, the setting instead of the rising sun, the dying embers fast going out, instead of the kindling and growing flame. All past and present history may be confidently challenged to present the contrary case. Among human tribes, wholly left to themselves, the higher man never comes out of the lower. Apparent exceptions do ever, on closer examination, confirm the universality of the rule in regard to particular peoples, whilst the claim that is made for the world’s general progress can only be urged in opposition by ignoring the supernal aids of revelation that have ever shone somewhere, directly or collaterally, on the human path.

The high creative impulse manifested itself in the Antediluvian period in its resistance to the death-principle, which, through the spiritual, the fall had introduced into the human physical organization. It showed itself in a rapidly developed, though a suicidal or self-corrupting civilization, in the line of Cain, and in an extreme longevity in the holier line of Seth. With a branch of the latter it passed the flood, impaired, it may be, but unspent. The preserved race, tending again to a sensual gregariousness, received a new divine impulse, which may almost be regarded as resembling a second subordinate creation. It was not the renewal of holiness, but of spiritual vigor, making humanity sublime even in its wickedness. It was the spirit of discovery, sending men over the face of the before unknown earth. It was the pioneering spirit, ever leading them on to make new settlements, to overcome new difficulties, to engage in great works, all the more astounding when we consider the little they possessed of what may be called science. What a grand conception was that of building a tower that should reach unto the skies, and make them independent of the mutations they beheld in nature! How has such a thought, though taking far more scientific forms, ever swayed mankind, showing itself still in the pretentious claims of our present knowledge, so boasting, yet so small in comparison with the great unknown, and so little able to relieve the deep-seated evils of our fallen race. “Go to,” said they, “let us build a city and a tower,” as a defence against heaven. It was the same language that was afterwards Revelation -echoed in the Promethean boast,[FN16] and that we still sometimes hear from a godless science, vaunting that it “has annihilated space and time,” that it has disarmed the lightning:

Eripuit cœlo fulmen—

that it will yet deprive the ocean of its terrors, and introduce, at last, that millennium of human achievement which will make man independent of any power above or without him.

It was but a short time after the flood, when there appears this new heroic spirit, this vast ambition, in the very opening of the world’s history. Scripture gives us but few points in the picture, but these are most impressive: Nimrod, “the mighty hunter before the Lord,” beginning the kingdom of Babylon; settlements rapidly following it on the upper Euphrates; the descendants of Ham already upon the Nile; the sons of Javan wending their way by the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean; Tyre and Sidon taking their place “at the entry of the sea,” as though already looking out to become “the merchant of the people for many isles.” It was the time of the tower-builders, the pyramid-builders, the great city-builders, the empire-founders. Along with the pioneering and colonizing spirit, there was also the associative tendency, so different from any thing we now see in any modern savagism. There was, also, in vigorous exercise, the government idea, or the government instinct, if any prefer thus to name it, leading men to form great polities, and to recognize in government something of a divine or supernatural nature. We may call it hero-worship, but it was something very different from anything now known in savage tribes, and led to results utterly unknown as ever following from such a state.

Such were the primitive men as the Bible presents them to us, although their mere worldly greatness was to the Scripture writers a wholly subordinate subject. Secular history confirms the account. This it does in two ways: 1st, by its silence as to all before. If men had been so many ages on the earth, what were they doing all this time? What traces have they left of their existence? At the most, only a few ambiguous bones here and there discovered, after the keenest search, and in respect to whose real antiquity men of science are still contending. We ask in vain for the marks of progress, or of any transition state. A speaking silence, like that which seems to come from the blank chamber of the great pyramid, proclaims that Prayer of Manasseh, the Adamic or Noachic Prayer of Manasseh, is not much older than the pyramids,—two thousand years, perhaps, a little more or a little less. If we pay no attention to this striking fact, of the almost total absence of any human remains, it might, perhaps, be said, that history only commences after the emergence from the long savage state, and, therefore, gives no testimony to the many ages of human existence that might have been before it. This, however, supposes a sudden emergence, such as would seem to demand some new power, something like a divine or ab extra impulse, unfelt in the ages before, and which would not greatly differ—at least in the marvellousness and apparent supernaturalness of it—from what the Bible tells us of a new creation of humanity. It would imply something coming into the human movement, greatly accelerating it, at least, if not wholly originating. It would be something undeveloped, or very suddenly and strangely developed, from what went before. And this brings us to the second or positive evidence of history. If it testifies by its silence, still more impressive is it when it begins to speak, and this is at the time when something in human action deemed notable, or worthy of remembrance, demands its voice. The strong self-consciousness which is the result of awakened action immediately seeks its record. The observation of passing times, or chronology, begins with it. It is this commencement of movement that creates history, whether in writing of some kind—which there is good reason to believe was among the very earliest things, and called out by this very demand for a recording medium—or in the measured language of Song of Solomon, or in formal traditions, which, however vague and exaggerated, present an expressive contrast to an utterly unrecording silence.

The history that thus begins to speak has not the exactness of modern annals, but, as compared with what might have been expected on the other theory, its voice is loud and clear. It comes not with muttered tones, inarticulate and unintelligible. Its utterance is more emphatic in the very beginning than in some of the lapsed ages that follow it. How much more distinctly stand out the first Pharaohs, whether of sacred or secular history (see Herod, ii100, 101), than the later shadows upon the monuments! The earliest history bursts upon us, as it were. It begins with men doing great things, raising pyramids, building cities,[FN17] founding states. It opens with the Egyptian and Babylonian empires, and that, too, as new powers in fullest vigor, and presenting every appearance of youthful greatness. The proper names given to us, whether of men or places, have nothing of the cloudy, mythical aspect, but stand out with all the distinctness of veritable life. Less is known of the most early East, of India and China, but sufficient to warrant the belief, that by the Ganges, as well as by the Nile and the Euphrates, a young humanity was giving evidence of mighty bodily powers and high spiritual energy; different, indeed, from the present, and presenting some aspects strange to our modern conceptions, yet very unlike the savage state, or a rise from such a state, had such a rise been ever shown in any early or later history of the world. In brief—the first historical appearances of men upon the earth are at war with this theory of savagism. Such independent emergings as are contended for do not now take place, and never have taken place within the times of known history. The savage condition, as has been said, and cannot be denied, is one ever sinking lower and lower, until aid is brought to it from without; and at the early time referred to there was no such aid except from a supernal and supernatural source.

On either view, we are compelled to admit the fact of a great beginning of humanity on the earth. The primitive man was a splendid being—not scientific, nor civilized, in our modern sense of the words, but possessing great power, both of body and soul. He had all to learn, yet learned most rapidly. Researches among the earliest monuments sometimes astonish us by the suggestions they offer of a knowledge supposed to belong only to modern times, or to which, in some cases, modern discovery has not yet reached. There is brought out evidence of results in the arts, in manufactures, and in the employment of mechanical aids, that we find it very difficult to account for. If we cannot believe them to have come from processes of investigation strictly scientific, then must we ascribe them to other powers of a high order, and in which we fail to surpass them—such as keen observation awake to every outward application of natural forces, most acute senses, and unrivalled manual skill. If it was the greatness of force and magnitude, it was greatness still, such as was never attained to by any savage people in historical times. These early men had great aims, they attempted great things, and they accomplished them rapidly. We have only to take this view, fortified as it is by Scripture and the early profane history, to account for what seems so wonderful to some writers, and which has drawn them to their long chronologies. As remarked elsewhere (p317), the history of human progress has ever been one of starts and impulses. As in the geological ages, so also within historical times, there are periods in which more has been done in a few generations, than, under other circumstances, has been accomplished in many centuries. Thus the time that intervened between the Scriptural flood and the first mention of the Egyptian monarchy, even as reckoned by the shorter chronology, may have brought on the world’s history faster than ages of comparative torpor, such as have appeared in the varied annals of mankind.

Again, there is an intrinsic difficulty in such views as that of Bunsen, which, when closely examined, presents a greater incredibility than anything of which it professes to give the explanation. Admitting such idea of emergence after ages of unhistorical savagism, still the questions arise: Why was not this more universal after it had commenced? Why did it not appear in other parts of the earth? Why did the early light confine itself to one people for so long a time, making Mitzraim historically what it is geographically and etymologically, the narrows, a line immense in length with the scantiest breadth? During these fifteen thousand years, or more, of monumental history, all the rest of the earth was in comparative night. Established institutions, a regular monarchy for ten thousand years, at least, king inheriting from king, or dynasty succeeding dynasty, a political state unbroken for a period three times as long as the whole series of Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Roman, Mongolian, and Turkish empires—social orders uninterruptedly transmitted, records of all this preserved, monuments attesting it! It is incredible in itself—much more so when we consider the condition of the rest of the earth, even the nearest parts. In Egypt, ten thousand years of government, of civilization, of advanced agriculture, of social order, and all this time Greece, Italy, and even Asia Minor, in total darkness—uninhabited, or in the lowest unhistorical savagism! It is very hard to believe this. It presents a marvel greater than anything recorded in Genesis about the origin and early condition of mankind—greater for the imagination, far greater for the reason. Egyptian history would be like an Egyptian obelisk standing in the desert, spindling up to a vast height, whilst all around was desolation in the view that height presented. Such an antiquity in this one people, should we reason from it a priori, and connect with it the modern claim of progress, would throw out of proportion all the other chapters of history. It would bring the Roman empire before the days of Abraham, and make our nineteenth century antedate the Trojan war.

These considerations do not only support the Bible chronology as prolonged in the LXX, but furnish an argument in favor of the still shorter Hebrew reckoning. Taking the primitive men as the Bible represents them, and the latter gives ample time for all that is recorded. Connected with this there is another thought. How came this Hebrew chronology to present such an example of modesty as compared with the extravagant claims to antiquity made by all other nations? The Jews, doubtless, had, as men, similar national pride, leading them to magnify their age upon the earth, and run it up to thousands and myriads of years. How is it, that the people whose actual records go back the farthest have the briefest reckoning of all? The only answer to this Isaiah, that whilst others were left to their unrestrained fancies, this strange nation of Israel were under a providential guidance in the matter. A divine check held them back from this folly. A holy reserve, coming from a constant sense of the divine pupilage, made them feel that “we are but of yesterday,” whilst the inspiration that controlled their historians directly taught them that man had been but a short time upon the earth. They had the same motive as others to swell out their national years; that they have not done Song of Solomon, is one of the strongest evidences of the divine authority of their Scriptures. And how fair is their representation! Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Tyre, the early Javanic settlements, all starting about the same time, and from the same quarter of a late inhabited earth; this is credible, probable, making harmonious sacred and profane history. The other view of the long and lonely Egyptian dynasties is monstrous, out of all proportion—incredible. Had the Bible given such a long, narrow, solitary antiquity of twenty thousand, or even ten thousand, years, to the people whose history it mainly assumes to set forth, it would, doubtless, have called out the scoff of those whose sceptical credulity so easily receives the fabulous chronology of other nations.—T. L.)


FN#1 - Genesis 10:3.—גֹּמֶר, Gomer (G M R). These radical letters are found extensively combined in the history and geography of Europe; as though some early, roving people had left the mark of their name from the Pontus, or Black Sea, to Ireland: G M R, K M R, K y M M e R i i Cymmerians), by metathesis, K R M, C R i M e a, G R M, Germani, C y M R I, Cymri, Cimbri, Cumbri, Cumberland, Humberland, Northumberland, Cambria, etc. They may not be all etymologically connected, but there is every probability that they were left by the same old people, ever driven on Westward by successive waves of migration. אַשְׁכְּנַז, Ashkenaz, by metathesis אכשנז, Aksenaz, Axenas, may be the old name for the Black Sea, or the country lying upon it. The Greeks called it ά̓ξενος, for which they accordingly found a meaning in their own language—the inhospitable—afterwards euphemized to εύ̓ξεινος—the Euxine.—T. L.]

FN#2 - Genesis 10:4.—יון, Jwan, Javan, Iwan, Ion. There can be no doubt that this is Greece. Compare Joel 4:6; Ezekiel 27:13; Daniel 8:21. It is the name or patrial epithet of Greece in the cognate languages, as given to it in historical terms: Syriac, ܝܰܘ ܒܳܚܶܐ, Chald. יְוָנִי, Arab. يُـو ذَـا نُ, and also by the Greeks themselves, when they would present the name in its old, Oriental form; as in the Persæ of Æschylus, when the mother of Xerxes is made to call them ̓Ιαόνες, and their land γῆν ̓Ιαόνων (line175), and in another place, 563, διά δ̓ ̓̓Ιαόνων χέρας. See also, Herod,i56, 58. אֱלִישׁה, ̔Ελλας. דֹדָנִים, in some Hebrew copies רֹדָנִים, which the LXX read, and rendered Ρόδιοι.—T. L.]

FN#3 - Genesis 10:5.—נִפְרְדוּ, were parted. Maimonides says this term was applied to the Japhethites because of their far roving, which parted them from each other in separate isles and coasts; whereas it is not said of Ham’s descendants, because they were near to each other, forming dense and contiguous populations.—T. L.]

FN#4 - Genesis 10:6.—מִצְרַיִם. This dual name has been supposed to denote the political division of Upper and Lower Egypt. It would seem more likely to have a geographical significance; The Narrows—the two narrows, or the double narrows—the straits. What could be more descriptive of this long and very narrow strip of territory, lying on both sides of the Nile, many hundred miles in length, and averaging only a dozen or so in breadth. It is strange that Rosenmüller should say of this name, that it is uncertain whether it is Hebrew or Egyptian. It is purely Hebrew, and no other proper name in the language ever had a clearer significance. This appearance of extreme narrowness, with mountains or deserts on each side, must have suggested itself at the earliest date, whereas, the other idea must have had a later origin. The son of Ham, who first settled Egypt with his children, must have been at once struck with this territorial peculiarity, so different from anything in the Northern or Eastern regions, whence he came. The name which he gave to it afterwards came back to him as its settler and proprietor. There is reason to suppose that Mitzraim was not his earliest name. It was rather a territorial designation, afterwards genealogically and historically adopted. The original name of this first settler may have been Gupt, Copt, or Cupht, from which came the other popular designation, Αὶ-γυπτ-ος, Egypt.—T. L.]

FN#5 - Genesis 10:9.—“Mighty hunter (whether of men or beasts) לִפְנֵי וְהוָֹה before the Lord,” to express his notoriety for boldness and wickedness, as something ever before the divine presence; so bad, that God could not take his eyes from it. Compare with it Genesis 6:10, the whole earth corrupt, לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהִים.—T. L.]

FN#6 - Genesis 10:11.—יָצָא אַשּׁוּר. In support of the view that אַשּׁוּר here denotes the place whither, instead of being the subject of the verb יָצָא, Maimonides refers to Numbers 34:4-5, וְיָצָא הֲצַר אַדָּר וְעָבַר עַצְמֹנָה, “and it went out (to) Hazar-addar, and passed over (to) Azmonah;” also to Numbers 21:33, וְיָצָא עוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן אֶדְרֶעִי, “And Og, king of Bashan, went out (to) Edrei;” in neither of which cases is there a preposition. He refers also to Micah 5:5, where “Asshur and the land of Nimrod” are mentioned together.—T. L.]

FN#7 - Caucasian Cultivation. Caucasus, or Caucasia, denotes, geographically, the region between the Black and Caspian Seas. Ethnologically, no term is more indefinite. If we take it of the territory above indicated, it may be truly said, that its inhabitants were, at this early time, and long afterwards, the lowest in the human scale. Where it was not ά̓βατος ἐρημία, as described by Æschylus, it was occupied by tribes proverbial for their barbarism. “The savage Caucasus” (ἀπάνθρωπος, ἀρέρπης) becomes a name for all that was most rude and ferocious. See the account given by Herodotus of the wretched hordes that then lived the lowest nomadic life between these two seas, ἀπ ὔλης ἀγρίης ζώοντα, deriving their sustenance from the wild products of the forest, painting themselves with the figures of animals, and living like them, in ways so gross, that Rawlinson and others omit the passage in their translations,—μίξιν τε τούτων τῶν ἀνθρώπων εῖναι ἐμφανέα κατάπερ τοῖσι προβάτοισι. Herod. i203. To say that the Egyptians and Phœnicians, or the Hamites in general, or any single branches of them, “through an ennobling (durch Veredelung) might make an approach to the Caucasian culture,” that Isaiah, be raised higher in the scale of civilization, would be very much like ascribing a similar elevating influence to the Finns and the Laplanders, as exercised upon the French and English. The savage, as we now understand the term, was not the primitive condition of mankind; but the earliest appearance of it as a degeneracy, as a loss of the humane-ness, of spiritual superiority, and a tendency to the wilder animal state, presented itself in this very region. The inhabitants have shown the same ever since. No part of the earth, geographically known, has had less of a history, or been less connected with history (if that is a criterion of ethnological rank) than this boasted Caucasia, or Circassia. The Kalmuc, and other Tartar tribes that even now roam its wilds, though perhaps possessing a more comely personal appearance, like the wild horses of the same region, are inferior in civilization, and in some kinds of literary culture, to the inhabitants of Bornou and other kingdoms of Central Africa, in which the old Egyptian and Ethiopian humane-ness has not wholly gone out, or has been kept alive through Arabian influence. The sons of Japheth, who went north, were the earliest of the human race to become wholly savage, and the longest to continue such, until met, at a much later day, by the Southern and Mediterranean streams of civilization carrying with it the Christian cullus. Even the Javanites, the Greeks—not the earliest Pelasgi, merely, but the later Hellenes and Dorians—were, for a long time, the Barbarians, as compared with the Egyptians and the Phœnicians. See how Homer everywhere speaks of these older and more civilized peoples, as compared with his own countrymen. The ancient stream of light has since turned northward, as it may again be deflected to the south; but all the boasting about Caucasian supremacy is in the face of history. It is a carrying of the most modern ideas, and the most irrational of modern prejudices, into our estimate of the ancient world, or of the human race, during much the greater part of its existence—T. L.]

FN#8 - The most secluded people in ancient times, the only one possessing, and carrying with them in their history, a world-idea, and this dating from the very earliest period! See Genesis 28:14, and still earlier, Genesis 3:15 : “In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth he blessed.” This certainly presents the Jewish nation in a most remarkable light, demanding the attention of all who talk about the philosophy of history, and especially of those who are fond of describing the Old Testament as presenting an outward, narrow, and exclusive economy. How universal the influence of Grecian culture and Roman conquest, yet neither of them had what may be called a world-idea, or anything like the Messianic conception.—T. L.]

FN#9 - Maimonides seems to give a better explanation of this. He says: “These, Seba and Havilah, were heads of peoples, and the sons of Raamah became two peoples: but Nimrod did not become a people (genealogically), wherefore the Scripture saith simply, and ‘Cush begat Nimrod,’ and not, the ‘sons of Cush were Nimrod, and Seba, and Havilah.’ ” That Isaiah, Nimrod does not come in the ethnological register of peoples, though he is mentioned afterwards as a historical person. He applies the same principle of interpretation to other similar cases.—T. L.]

FN#10 - This would seem to be the interpretation which most readily commends itself to the plain reader. The division of the earth is referred to as something easily known from what is contained in the narrative, or is soon to be mentioned. Had there not been such a division so prominently put forth in the xith chapter, there might be some room for speculation. But the obvious connection seems to shut out every other view : He was called Peleg (division), for in his day did that great event take place that is soon to be mentioned, and which is a ground of all these genealogical divisions. See Bochart : Phaleg.—T.L.]

FN#11 - אֲבִימָאֵל, Abi-mael—a kind of naming similar to that by which Ham was designated, אֲבִי כְנַעַן, Abi-Canaan, father of Canaan, a method which afterwards becomes quite common among the Arabians. In this, and in the appearance of the article in אַלְמוֹדַד, El-modad, verse26 above, we have germs of peculiar forms in the Arabic dialect, showing that it was already deviating from the Hebrew, or the Hebrew from it, whichever may have been the oldest.—T. L.]

FN#12 - It is as essential to an understanding of the Bible, and of history in general, as is Homer’s catalogue, in the second book of the Iliad, to a true knowledge of the Homeric poems and the Homeric times. The Biblical student can no more undervalue the one than the classical student the other.—T. L.]

FN#13 - The Egyptian chronology here intended is that which can be made out, though in a very general way, from the outlines of actual history as derived by Herodotus from the monuments, and the priests’ interpretation of them, together with other accounts, traditional or otherwise, which they give to him. Menes was the first king, who stands away back at the beginning of Egyptian history. The next one of any historical note is Mœris, who had not been dead900 years when Herodotus was in Egypt, and must have been, therefore, about1,350 years before the time of Christ. All that the priests had between these two was contained in a papyrus roll, having the bare names of330 monarchs, whom, if real, a thousand years, or Song of Solomon, would easily dispose of, on the supposition of cotemporaneous dynasties, or frequent revolutions, such as Egypt must have had as well as other nations, reducing reigns to one or two years, and many of them to months. Let the reader call to mind how rapidly emperors succeed each other during some parts of the later Roman history. These other kings, the priests tell him, were “persons of no account,” with the exception of Mœris, before mentioned, thus showing, that with all their parade of rolls and dynasties, Menes and Mœris were the only two conspicuous points in the Egyptian antiquity, until1,400 years before Christ. Such are the only data for chronology, though the Egyptian priests pretend to fill up this empty, unhistorical space, with 341 generations, making about10,000 years (see Herod, ii100, 142); but this is evidently due to that national pride which elsewhere led to the same extravagant reckoning. They found little or nothing of record or monument to confirm it, or they certainly would have given it to the historian. What they tell him, that during this period of300 generations, the sun had twice risen where he now sets, and twice set where he now rises, is enough to show what historical value belongs to the empty numbers with which they would fill up this waste extent of time. See Rawlinson’s Herodotus.—T. L.]

FN#14 - There is so much of caricature and grotesqueness in the appearance of the simia tribe of animals, that we revolt at the thought of any connection with them, even as a link in the mere physical. Their actions are so absurd, they are such a mere mimicry of reason, ludicrous, yet actually lower than the sober instinct of other kinds, that the outward resemblance makes us the more disdain the idea of even a physical relationship. It is thus that the ape-nature places itself in stronger contrast to the human than that of other animals having less outward likeness, either in form or in action. And yet such resemblance, in some degree, is very general. There is something in the most common animal-faces around us, that would startle us by its human look if we had seen nothing of the kind before.—T. L.]

FN#15 - There is a very great difficulty in confining this language of the apostle, 1 Corinthians 15:46-47, to the historical incarnation, or to the effect of the coming of Christ at the beginning of the Christian era. It must refer to something constitutive of humanity in the beginning, before the fall, and in the very process of the becoming man. Otherwise it would follow, that before such historical advent, man was an animal merely, wholly earthly and sensual, ψυχικὸς, χοϊκός. If the πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν, the “life-giving spirit,” in distinction from the ψυχὴ ζῶσα, the soul of life, or merely “living soul,” was not in our humanity at its first constitution, then not only Adam, but Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, were only natural men, animal men, having nothing, in a true sense, spiritual about them. If we would avoid this very strange consequence, the language referred to must have something of a creative or constitutive sense, and the πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν, must be regarded as the φῶς φώτιζον πάντα ἄνθρωπον, “the Light that lighteth every man coming into the world” of John 1:9, making, in the beginning, that peculiar constitution which we may call the completed Prayer of Manasseh, and which was never wholly lost as a high spiritual power, however much it may have been marred in its ethical aspect. Christianity is indeed καινὴ κτίσις, “a new creation,’ 2 Corinthians 5:17, or the making of a “new Prayer of Manasseh,” but this is not inconsistent with the idea of a restoration, a Revelation -creation, a renewed spirituality, or even the bringing back to a higher state than that from which man fell. The second Adam was not absent from the creation of the first. In the spiritual image of Him who is himself styled the express image, or hypostatic image, χαρακτὴρ ὕποστάσεως, Hebrews 1:3, was man spiritually formed. Through it he became Prayer of Manasseh, and therefore it is truly said of the incarnate Logos, that “he came to his own;” and thus also is he truly Baruch -nosho, son of man, the Hebrew and Syriac term for the generic homo. In his eternity, and in his historical incarnation, he is “the root as well as the offspring” of humanity.—T. L.]

FN#16 -

Τοῖον παλαιστὴν νῦν παρασκευάζεται

̔̀Ος δὴ κεραυνοῦ κρείσσον’εὑρήσει φλὁγα,

Θαλασσίαν τε γῆς τινάκτειραν νόσον

Τρίαιναν, αἰχμὴν τὴν Ποσειδῶνος σκεδᾶ.

Æschylus, Prom. Vinct. 919.

FN#17 - Four great cities are started in the very “beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom, Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar,” Genesis 10:10. This is confirmed by Herodotus. He speaks of it as a remarkable peculiarity of Assyria in his day—the number and greatness of its cities. They must have been founded in the earliest times, and by a people who had a passion for great structures—see Herod, i178. Rawlinson regards this large number of important cities as one of “the most striking features of the Assyrian greatness.” He shows, too, how remarkably it is confirmed by the modern discoveries among the vast Assyrian ruins: “Grouped around Nineveh were Calah (Nimrud), Scripture Calneh; Dur Sagina (Khorsabad); Tarbisa (Sherifkhan); Arbel (Arbil); Khazeh (Shamamek); and Asshur (Shirgut). Lower down, the banks of the Tigris exhibit an almost unbroken line of ruins from Tekrit to Baghdad, while Babylonia and Chaldea are throughout studded with mounds from north to south, the remains of the great capitals of which we read in the inscriptions. Again, in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and the Khabour, Mr. Layard found the whole country covered with mounds, the remnants of cities belonging to the early Assyrian period.” Rawlinson’s Herodotus, vol. i. p243. These go back to the very beginnings of history. They make history. There is none before them, as there is no historical place for them in later annals, when these empires began to crumble, as they did at a very early period. So everything confirms the idea, that the pyramids and the great structures of Thebes and Memphis belong to the very beginnings of Egyptian history. They are monuments of the primæval men. From these ruins they yet speak to us of a period of great action, of a vast ambition suddenly manifesting itself, and before which silence reigned over all the earth.—T. L.]

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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". 1857-84.

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible


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.Gen.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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Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. 1897-1910.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. 19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

Observe here, 1. The account of the posterity of Canaan, of the families and nations that descended from him, and of the land they possessed, is more particular than of any other in this chapter, because these were the nations that were to be subdued before Israel, and their land was in process of time to become the holy land, Immanuel's land and this God had an eye to when, in the mean time, he cast the lot of that accursed devoted race in that spot of ground which he had selected for his own people this Moses takes notice of, Deuteronomy 32:8, When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 2. By this account it appears that the posterity of Canaan were numerous, and rich, and very pleasantly situated and yet Canaan was under a curse, a divine curse, and not a curse causeless. Note, Those that are under the curse of God may yet perhaps thrive and prosper greatly in this world for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us, Ecclesiastes 9:1. The curse of God always works really and always terribly: but perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work visibly, or a slow curse, and does not work immediately but sinners are by it reserved for, and bound over to, a day of wrath. Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing.

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Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

The posterity of Canaan were numerous, rich, and pleasantly seated; yet Canaan was under a Divine curse, and not a curse causeless. Those that are under the curse of God, may, perhaps, thrive and prosper in this world; for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us. The curse of God always works really, and always terribly. Perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work so that others can see it; or a slow curse, and does not work soon; but sinners are reserved by it for a day of wrath Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing. Abram and his seed, God's covenant people, descended from Eber, and from him were called Hebrews. How much better it is to be like Eber, the father of a family of saints and honest men, than the father of a family of hunters after power, worldly wealth, or vanities. Goodness is true greatness.

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Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". 1706.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

From Sidon, i.e. the city and country of Sidon, on the north-west.

Unto Gaza, on the south-west.

Zeboim, on the south and south-east.

Lasha, on the north-east.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

C. H. Mackintosh's Notes on the Pentateuch

This section of our book records the generations of Noah's three sons, noticing, especially, Nimrod, the founder of the kingdom of Babel, or Babylon, a name which occupies a very prominent place on the page of inspiration. Babylon is a well-known name — a well known influence. From Genesis 10:1-32 to Revelation 18:1-24 Babylon, again and again, appears before us, and always as something decidedly hostile to those who occupy, for the time being, the position of public testimony for God. Not that we are to look upon the Babylon of Old Testament scripture as identical with the Babylon of the apocalypse. By no means. I believe the former is a city; the latter, a system; But both the city and system exert a powerful influence against God's people. Hardly had Israel entered upon the wars of Canaan when "a Babylonish garment" brought defilement and sorrow, defeat and confusion, into the host. This is the earliest record of Babylon's pernicious influence upon the people of God; but every student of Scripture is aware of the place which Babylon gets throughout the entire history of Israel.

This would not be the place to notice, in detail, the various passages in which this city is introduced. I would only remark, here, that whenever God has a corporate witness on the earth, Satan has a Babylon to mar and corrupt that witness. When God connects His name with a city on the earth, then Babylon takes the form of a city; and when God connects His name with the Church, then Babylon takes the form of a corrupt religious system, called "the great whore," "the mother of abominations," &c. In a word, Satan's Babylon is always seen as the instrument moulded and fashioned by his hand, for the purpose of counteracting the divine operations, whether in Israel of old, or the Church now. Throughout the Old Testament Israel and Babylon are seen, as it were, in opposite scales: when Israel is up, Babylon is down; and when Babylon is up, Israel is down. Thus, when Israel had utterly failed, as Jehovah's witness, "the king of Babylon broke his bones," and swallowed him up. The vessels of the house of God, which ought to have remained in the city of Jerusalem, were carried away to the city of Babylon. But Isaiah, in his sublime prophecy, leads us onward to the opposite of all this. He presents, in most magnificent strains, a picture, in which Israel's star is in the ascendant, and Babylon entirely sunk. "And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! . . . . since thou art laid down, no hewer is come up against us." (Isaiah 14:3-8.)

Thus much as to the Babylon of the Old Testament. Then, as to the Babylon of Revelation, my reader has only to turn to Revelation 17:1-18 and Revelation 18:1-24 to see her character and end. She is presented in marked contrast with the bride, the Lamb's wife; and as to her end, she is cast as a great millstone into the sea; after which we have the marriage of the Lamb, — with all its accompanying bliss and glory.

However, I could not attempt to pursue this most interesting subject here: I have merely glanced at it in connection with the name of Nimrod. I feel assured that my reader will find himself amply repaid, for any trouble he may take in the close examination of all those scriptures, in which the name of Babylon is introduced. We shall now return to our chapter.

"And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." Here, then, we have the character of the founder of Babylon. He was" a mighty one in the earth" — "a mighty hunter before the Lord." Such was the origin of Babylon; and its character, throughout the entire book of God, remarkably corresponds therewith. It is always seen as a mighty influence in the earth, acting in positive antagonism to everything which owes its origin to heaven; and it is not until this Babylon has been totally abolished, that the cry is heard, amid the hosts above, "'Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" Then all Babylon's mighty hunting will be over for ever, whether it be its hunting of wild beasts, to subdue them; or its hunting of souls, to destroy them. ALL its might, and all its glory, all its pomp and pride, its wealth and luxury, its light and joy, its glitter and glare, its powerful attractions and wide-spread influence, shall have passed away for ever. She shall be swept with the besom of destruction, and plunged in the darkness, the horror and desolation, of an everlasting night. "How long, O Lord?"

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Mackintosh, Charles Henry. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". C. H. Mackintosh's Notes on the Pentateuch.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And Canaan begat Sidon, his firstborn, and Heth, and the Jebusites and the Amorite and the Girgashite, and the Hivite and the Arkite and the Sinite, and the Arvadite and the Zemarite and the Hamathite, and afterwards were the families of the Canaanite spread abroad, and the border of the Canaanite was from Sidon as you go towards Gerar, to Gaza as you go towards Sodom and Gomorrha and Admah and Zeboiim to Lasha.’

The mention of Sidon as the firstborn probably refers to the fact that Sidon (which is later closely linked with Tyre) was the place where the Canaanites first settled when they arrived in the area. However there is a possibility that it should be seen as an indication that Sidon was a real son, in contrast to most of the others who are clearly undisguised peoples. Heth represents the Hittites who were for centuries a great nation in Syria before their sudden demise in 12th century BC. These two, Sidon and Heth, mentioned by individual name, are clearly seen as being especially important. They are major players on the scene.

Exodus 13:5 and elsewhere refer to the ‘land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite and the Jebusite’. In Deuteronomy 7:1 (see also Joshua 3:10; Joshua 24:11) the Girgashites are included (as well as the Perizzites) to make the divinely perfect seven. The lack of mention of the Perizzites here when the others are included again points to an early date for the account (they could hardly have been overlooked later), as does the mention of Sodom and Gomorrha and related cities (destroyed about 1900 BC - Genesis 19) which points to a date no later than that. The Hittites here are those of the Hittites who had taken up residence in the land of Canaan. The Hivites are similarly Hurrians.

Amorites or, in Akkadian, Amurru are well testified to elsewhere as a nomadic shepherd people from Western Mesopotamia and are testified to in Syria, where there was an Amorite state, as a more sedentary people. Joshua 13:4-5 refers to this specific Amorite area. They are also testified to in external records as a mountain shepherd people (compare Numbers 13:29; Joshua 11:3; Judges 1:34). The name was sometimes used in external records as applying to the whole of Syria including Palestine. They became part of the Hittite empire and declined with them. Like Habiru it was a term that could be used to refer to people of a distinct type, in their case a shepherd people. Its general more widespread use, often seemingly parallel to that of ‘Canaanite’, was different from Canaanite in that it covered a wider area including Transjordan. Thus in Biblical usage the terms are not synonymous.

The Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites and the Hamathites are all Phoenician peoples, along with Sidon. The Arkites probably relate to the Phoenician city of Arqa mentioned in Egyptian records, including the Amarna letters, and in later Assyrian records. Arvad is mentioned in Ezekiel 27:8; Ezekiel 27:11; (and in 1 Maccabees 15:23 as Aradus) as a Phoenician city and is also referred to in Assyrian records. The Zemarites relate to Sumar mentioned in the Amarna letters, which is referred to as Simirra in Assyrian texts. The Hamathites relate to the city of Hamath which is regularly mentioned in the Bible and inscriptions, and was on the border of the land of promise (Numbers 34:8). It was on the main trade routes and was at one time controlled by Solomon.

So the descendants of Canaan were seen as the inhabitants of the land of Canaan and the Phoenicians to the North who are all seen as ‘Canaanites’ in external records. (While of similar origin Ugarit prided itself on not being a Canaanite city).

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Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Genesis 10. The Table of Nations.—From P and J. To P we may assign ; Genesis 10:20; Genesis 10:31 f. The rest belongs to J, for the most part to its secondary stratum, with some elements from R. The genealogy, as was customary among the Semites, expresses national rather than individual relationships. The true character of the lists may be seen quite clearly from many of the names, which are names of countries (e.g. Cush, Mizraim, Ophir), or cities (e.g. Tarshish, Zidon), or peoples (e.g. Ludim). It is an attempt to explain the origin of the various nations, before the author proceeds to the special ancestry of Israel. It is of great importance for the Hebrew view of other peoples, alike in its extent and its limitations, and for the degrees of affinity which they believed to subsist between them. It raises problems too intricate for discussion in our space. It need hardly be said that the various races of mankind now existing cannot be traced back to a single ancestor at a period so near to us as the date to which the OT assigns Noah; nor indeed do peoples originate in the way here described.

Genesis 10:5. Insert, "These are the sons of Japheth" before "in their lands" (cf. Genesis 10:20; Genesis 10:31).

. The name Nimrod has not been discovered in the cuneiform inscriptions, and the identifications proposed are most uncertain. That he was "a mighty one in the earth" is explained by Genesis 10:10, which should follow Genesis 10:8; he was a king who founded a large empire. In Genesis 10:9 his fame is explained in another way. He was a hero of the chase, and a popular proverb is quoted, in which he figures in this character. He was "a mighty hunter before Yahweh," i.e. (probably) in Yahweh's estimation.

Genesis 10:14. The Philistines came from Caphtor, i.e. Crete (Amos 9:7*, Jeremiah 47:4; cf. Deuteronomy 2:23); the parenthesis would, therefore, be in place at the end of the verse.

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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary


Gen . Generations] The origins, genesis, or developments; a characteristic note of this book. The whole chapter is a table of the nations which descended from the sons of Noah.—

Gen . Japheth] "The order of the generations of the sons of Noah here followed is Japheth, Ham, Shem. The reason why this arrangement begins with Japheth is that he was the eldest of the three. Ham follows next, in order that the main subject, the line of Shem, may be free for treatment; the object of secondary interest having been first disposed of, according to the practice of the sacred writer" (Alford). There is a striking similarity between the name Japheth and the Iapetus, which the Greeks and Romans regarded as the progenitor of the human race.—Gomer] This name has been traced to the Cimmerians of Homer, and also to the Cymry, the national name of the Welsh. The name occurs in the Cimmerian Bosphorus—the Crimea. This people inhabited the N.W. portion of Japheth's territory; they are mentioned in Eze 38:6.—Magog] Identified with the Scythians—generally the north-eastern nations. "The chief people in the army of Gog (Eze 38:2-3; Eze 39:1) is Rosh, that is, the Rossi, or Russians" (Knobel).—Madai] The Medes, inhabiting the S. and S.W. They became incorporated in the Persian Empire, hence the two nations are spoken of together.—Javan] The Ionians, or Greeks.—Tubal and Meshech] These names frequently occur together in the Old Testament. They are supposed to be identical with the Tiberians, inhabiting Pontus and the districts of Asia Minor generally.—Tiras] Probably the Thracians, dwellers on the River Tiras, or Dniester.—

Gen . Ashkenaz] Some suppose this name to designate the Asen race, which is said to be the origin of the Germans. "It is somewhat remarkable that the Jews, to this day, call Germany Askenaz" (Alford).—Riphath] Probably the Celts, who dwelt originally on the Riphœan, or Carpathian mountains.—Togarmah] The Arminians, whose first king was named Thorgom, and who still call themselves the House of Thorgom.—

Gen . Elishah] Josephus and Knobel suppose that the Æolians are represented; others have traced the name to Hellas.—Tarshish] The Tyrseni, or Etruscans, colonised the east and south of Spain, and north of Italy.—Kittim] The original inhabitants of Cyprus, whose ancient capital was Citium, an old Greek town. Alexander the Great is said to have come out of the land of Chittim (1Ma 1:1; 1Ma 8:5).—Dodanim] The Dardanians, who in historic times inhabited Illyrium and Troy.

Gen . The isles of the Gentiles] "would appear to include the coast of the Mediterranean. The word signifies not only island, but also any maritime tracts. The notice in this verse must evidently be regarded as anticipatory of chapter Gen 11:1" (Alford), The Jews applied the word, besides its strict sense, also to describe those countries which could only be conveniently reached by water.—Every one after his tongue] "Thus clearly evincing that this dispersion took place after the confusion of tongues, though related before it" (Bush).—

Gen . Cush] This name designates the Ethiopians, also including the Southern Asiatics. Cush is generally rendered Ethiopia in the A. V.—Mizraim] The O.T. name for Egypt or the Egyptians.—

Gen . Saba] "Meroe-Ethiopians living from Elephantine to Meroe. The prophets represent the accession of Seba to the Church of God as one of the glories of the latter-day triumphs (Psa 72:10).—Candace seems to have been the queen of this region" (Act 8:27.—Jacobus.)—Sheba] The Sabeans, dwelling on shores of the Persian Gulf. They are referred to as men of stature and of commercial importance, in Isa 45:14-18. And Cush begat Nimrod] "The historian here turns aside from the list of nations to notice the origin of the first great empires that were established on the earth. Of the sons of Cush, one is here noted as the first potentate in history" (Jacobus). "The occurrence of the name Jehovah marks the insertion as due to the Jehovist supplementer" (Alford).—A mighty one in the earth] A hero—a conqueror—the first founder of an empire.—

Gen . He was a mighty hunter] "Taken in its primary sense, that this great conqueror was also a great follower of the chase, a pursuit which, as Delitzch remarks, ‘has remained to this day, true to its origin, the favourite pleasure of tyrants'" (Alford).—Before the Lord] An expression denoting his eminent greatness. Some suppose that it refers to his defiance of Jehovah, and this interpretation is favoured by the meaning of his name—let us rebel.—

Gen . The beginning of his kingdom] The first theatre of his sovereignty.—Babel] Babylon.—

Gen . Out of the land went forth Asshur] A more probable rendering is, "He came forth to Asshur," i.e., he extended his conquests from Shinar.—

Gen . The same is a great city] "Knobel refers this to the whole four just mentioned, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen; these four places are the site which is named the great city, viz., Nineveh in the wider sense. See Jon 4:11; Jon 3:3" (Alford).

Gen . A continuation of the sons of Ham]

Gen . The father of all the children of Eber] "This declaration calls attention beforehand to the fact, that in the sons of Eber the Shemetic line of the descendants of Abraham separates again in Peleg, namely, from Joktan, or his Arabian descendants" (Lange).—

Gen . In his days was the earth divided] These words have given rise to much speculation, but the more probable opinion is that they refer to the incident described in ch. 11.



Many readers might be disposed to undervalue a chapter like this, since it is but a collection of names—some of which are quite unknown—and is made up of barren details promising little material for profitable reflection. Yet a thoughtful reader will be interested here, and discover the germs and suggestions of great truths; for the subject is man, and man, too, considered in reference to God's great purpose in the government of the world. This chapter "is as essential to an understanding of the Bible, and of history in general, as is Homer's catalogue, in the second book of the Iliad, to a true knowledge of the Homeric poems and the Homeric times. The Biblical student can no more undervalue the one than the classical student the other." (Dr. T. Lewis, in Lange's Genesis.) Let us consider what are the chief characteristics and lessons of this, the oldest ethnological table in all literature.

I. It is marked by the features of a truthful record.

1. It is not vague and general, but descends to particulars. The forgers offictitious documents seldom run the risk of scattering the names of persons and places freely over their page. That would expose them to detection. Hence those who write with fraudulent design deal in what is vague and general. This chapter mentions particulars of names and places, and, in this regard, has the marks of a genuine record. Heathen literature does not furnish so wide and universal a register. One cause why that literature is so deficient in documents of this nature lies in the fact that each heathen nation was shut up within itself, having little relations with others except those of trade and war. But this chapter is framed on a wider basis, is concerned with all races of men, however diversified, and contemplates the human family as having an essential unity under all possible varieties of character and external conditions.

2. Heathen literature when dealing with the origin of nations employs extravagant language. The early annals of all nations, except the Jews, run at length intofable, or else pretend to a most incredible antiquity. National vanity would account for such devices and for the willingness to receive them. The Jews had the same temptations to indulge in this kind of vanity as the other nations around them. It is therefore a remarkable circumstance that they pretend to no fabulous antiquity. We are shut up to the conclusion that their sacred records grew up under the special care of Providence, and were preserved from the common infirmities of merely human authorship. The sober statements of this chapter regarding the origin of nations is a presumption of their truth.

3. Here we have the ground-plan of all history. The physical, intellectual, moral, social, and religious forces represented here sufficiently account for all subsequent history. We have, in this sacred portion of history, a light to guide and inform us over those tracts of time where the records of other nations leave us in darkness. We learn further—

II. That history has its basis in that of individual men. We speak of God's relations to humanity, of the history of the world; but it will be found that this ultimately resolves itself into the history of individual men, who represent social and moral forces which have determined the currents of events. We find that God's successive revelations were made to depend upon the characters of individual men. The revelation of salvation itself ever tends to take this form. God did not reveal His plans of mercy, in their ever-expanding outline and detail, to large bodies of men, but to individuals whom He deemed worthy of such sacred communications. It is not therefore strange that single human lives occupy so large a portion of Scripture. All history was to issue in One who would be the flower of humanity; and in whom alone the race could be contemplated with any joy of hope. The general lesson of this chapter is plain, namely, that no man can go to the bottom of history who does not study the lives of those men who have made that history what it is.

III. That man is the central figure in Scripture. The Bible differs, in one important feature, from the sacred books of other nations. They lose themselves in endless theories and speculations concerning the origin of the material universe. They have minute and elaborately detailed systems of cosmogony, geography, and astronomy. Hence the advance of the human mind in natural knowledge must be fatal to their authority. But the Bible commits itself to no detailed description of the laws and phenomena of nature. One short chapter in it is deemed sufficient to tell us that God made the heavens and the earth. The world is only considered as it is a habitation for man, and the platform on which the Supreme works out His great designs. Man is regarded in Scripture not merely as part of the furniture of this planet, but as lord of all. Everything is put under his feet. Hence the sacred records describe a God of men rather than a God of nature. They give a history of man as distinct from nature. Infidels have made this characteristic of revelation a matter of reproach; but all who know how rich God's purpose towards mankind is, glory in it, and believe that great things must be in store for a race which has occupied so much of the Divine regard.

IV. The progressive movement of history towards an end. No history is marked by signs of living power that does not advance towards some great and noble end. In the highest things, how aimless have been the histories of the chief nations of mankind! Some particulars of Bible history may be regarded as unimportant, and even contemptible, when compared with the more stately and dignified records of the nations around; yet they show the onward march of humanity towards an end. They show how that humanity was gravitating towards its centre in Shem, Abraham, and Christ. How soon does the sacred history leave many of the great names recorded here—some of them founders of great empires; and important forces, as the world accounts—and proceeds to the delineation of individual lives which in the grey dawn and morning of the world reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness! The great nations of the earth are afterwards little noticed, except when for a moment they are brought into some relation with the chosen people. The reason of this peculiarity is, that the Bible is not a world-history, but a history of the kingdom of God. All the interest centres successively in one people, tribe, and family; then in one who was to come out of that family, bringing redemption for mankind. "Salvation is of the Jews." The noblest idea of history is only realised in the Bible. Those of the world had no living Word of God to inspire that idea. That book can scarcely be regarded as of human origin which passes by the great things of the world, and lingers with the man who "believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."


In this chapter we see the origin of many nations in all parts of the world, and therefore the power of the blessing which God, after the flood, had renewed to men in respect to their multiplying and propagation; and so, finally, we learn the fathers from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. Neither Noah nor his sons begat any offspring during the time of the flood. The same may be conjectured to be true of the animals which were shut up with him in a dark dungeon, and as it were in the midst of death.—(Starke.)

In this outline of the history of all nations, we have a suggestion of the universality of God's gracious purposes towards mankind. Heaven will draw inhabitants from every kingdom, people, nation, and tongue.

The relation between the history of God's kingdom and the world-history:

1. The contrast;

2. the connection;

3. the unity (in its wider sense is the whole world's history a history of the kingdom of God).—(Lange.)

The fifth document relates to the generations of the sons of Noah. It presents first a genealogy of the nations, and then an account of the distribution of mankind into nations, and their dispersion over the earth. This is the last section which treats historically of the whole human race. Only in incidental, didactic, or prophetic passages do we again meet with mankind as a whole in the Old Testament.—(Murphy.)

This chapter illustrates one stage of advance in the development of the human race. The family grows into the nation. The history reaches from Noah to Abraham, who is the representative of all the children of faith. Hence arises the Church, the highest form of life, the home for all mankind, however diversified in country, race, or tongue.

Though the race of man, as a whole, now disappears from the sacred page, yet in the progress of God's revelation to man we are led on to Christ, in whom all things and men that have been sundered and scattered shall be gathered together.


Gen . Note the connection of this with the former history. Noah had prophesied before concerning all his sons, and then was added his expiration, the Spirit meaning to speak no more of him: but now, that being done, He proceeds to show the persons and posterity upon whom all these words were to be fulfilled. God's word must not fall to the ground. God's prophecies and performances are joined together in His word, so they should be in our faith and observation.—(Hughes.)

Gen . The Scripture, foreseeing that Europe would, from the first, embrace the Gospel, and for many ages be the principal seat of its operations, the Messiah Himself is introduced by Isaiah as addressing Himself to its inhabitants—"Listen, O isles, unto Me; and hearken ye people from afar. Jehovah hath called Me from the womb, and hath said unto Me, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob. I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou shouldest be My salvation to the end of the earth" (Is. 49:1-6). Here we see not only the first peopling of our native country, but the kind remembrance of us in the way of mercy, and this, though far removed the means of salvation. What a call is this to us who occupy what is denominated the end of the earth, to be thankful for the Gospel, and to listen to the sweet accents of the Saviour's voice.—(Fuller.)

It was God's plan that men should be divided and dispersed all over the earth, and He has Himself determined the bounds of their habitation.

In their nations. We note here the characteristics of a nation—

1. It is descended from one head. Others may be occasionally grafted on the original stock by inter-marriage. But there is a vital union subsisting between all the members and the head, in consequence of which the name of the head is applied to the whole body of the nation.

2. A nation has a country or "land" which it calls its own. In the necessary migrations of ancient tribes, the new territories appropriated by the tribe, or any part of it, were naturally called by the old name, or some other name belonging to the old country.

3. A nation has its own "tongue." This constitutes at once its unity in itself, and its separation from others. Many of the nations in the table may have spoken cognate tongues, or even originally the same tongue. But it is a uniform law that one nation has only one speech within itself.

4. A nation is composed of many "families," clans, or tribes. These branch off from the nation in the same manner as it did from the parent stock of the race.—(Murphy.)

Gen . The original term for "hunting" occurs elsewhere, not so much in reference to the pursuit of game in the forest, as to a violent invasion of the persons and rights of men. Thus 1Sa 24:11, "Thou huntest my soul (i.e. my life) to take it." This usage undoubtedly affords us a key to Nimrod's true character; though probably, like most of the heroes of remote classical antiquity, addicted to the hunting of wild beasts; yet his bold, aspiring, arrogant spirit rested not content with this mode of displaying his prowess. With the band of adventurous and lawless spirits which his predatory skill had gathered around him, he proceeded gradually from hunting beasts to assaulting, oppressing, and subjugating his fellow-men. That the inhuman practice of war, at least in the ages after the flood, originated with this daring usurper, is in the highest degree probable.

"Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began,

A mighty hunter—and his prey was man."





Scripture Strata! Gen .

(1) Geologists have found great truths embedded in the earth's strata. Enduring traces left behind by the eruption of the volcano and the tranquil lapse of the waves on the beach—faint but indelible footprints of creatures which crawled over the soft mud—ripple marks of primeval seas whose murmurs passed into silence countless ages ago—circular and oval hollows produced by showers of rain which no eye witnessed, and which fell on no waving cornfield or flowery meadow—impressions caused by viewless winds indicating the strength of their currents and the direction in which they moved; all these have taught great scientific truths.

(2) Is the Book of Revelation—with its strata pregnant of the annals of the human race—different, in this respect, from the Book of Nature? Both are by the same author, and just as the student of the geological strata reasons, as well as infers from his records, so may the student of the Scripture strata reason and infer from his annals. The names here are full of significance. They are the ripple marks telling of tides of human thought and action—impressions caused by the currents of human conception and purpose under the great wonder-working God!

"O strange mosaic! wondrously inlaid

Are all its depths of shade,

With beauteous stones of promise, marbles fair."

Toldoth Beni Noah! Gen . (l) Rawlinson says that this genealogy of the sons of Noah is the most authentic record that we possess for the affiliation of nations. Kalisch says that it is an unparalleled list—the combined result of reflection and deep research, and no less valuable as a historical document than as a lasting proof of the brilliant capacity of the Hebrew mind.

(2) It is indisputable that the majority of scientific ethnologists regard this record as of the very highest value. Ethnological science has established a triple division of mankind, and speaks of all races as either Semitic, Aryan, or Turanian. And certainly Genesis 10 may be regarded as a document furnishing an ethnological arrangement of mankind under three heads.

(3) The particular allotment, or portion of each, after their families, &c., is distinctly specified. And although the different nations descended from any one of the sons of Noah have intermingled with each other, and undergone many revolutions—even as the various strata of the earth have been dislocated, and undergone convulsions—yet the three great divisions of the world remain intact and distinct, as separately peopled and possessed of the posterity of each of the sons of Noah, by the holy will and wisdom of Him whose purpose is fixed, and whose counsel shall stand, to make all things new.

"Is blessing built upon such dark foundation!

And can a temple rising from such woe,

Rising upon such mournful crypts below,

Be filled with light and joy and sounding adoration?"

Human Unity! Gen .

(1) Humboldt funishes an interesting suggestion as to the unity of the human race. In a letter to Dr. Ahrendt at Guatemala, he asks whether the idols Bhudda in India, Woden in Western Europe, and Votan in Central America—all of which gave name to the Wednesday of the week—are not the same, evidencing most distinctly a unity of origin.

(2) Forbes and Pickering have apparently established the fact that, in regard to the animal and vegetable families, these have not been created in particular centres, and that Nature has not reproduced any species in different quarters of the globe. It may, therefore, be reasonably inferred that different human races have not been created in different centres.

(3) The unity of the human race, as detailed in Genesis 10, may further be inferred from the scientific discovery that there is a marked similarity between the blood corpuscles of all races of men, and that, as Ragg remarks, while blood has been transfused from human veins without failure, a transfusion from different species to man has invariably proved fatal. And

"Now this truth is felt—believed and felt—

That men are really of one common stock;

That no man ever hath been more than man."—Pollock.

Human Diversity! Gen .

(1) It has been argued that when God, who from the beginning determined the bounds of man's habitation, parcelled out the earth among the sons of Noah, it is reasonable to conceive that He gave them an adaptation to the portions He allotted them, or endued them with an unusually plastic power, by which the race of Ham became indigenous in Africa, the race of Shem in Asia, and that of Japhet in Europe's colder clime.

(2) One fact in support of this argument may be drawn from the adaptation of all animal and vegetable matter to their respective peculiar spheres and purposes. Geology has discovered to us that each new and successive creation formed a harmonious part of the great whole. Yet how diversified they each and all are—a diversity explicable to students of Nature by law of preadaptation.

(3) It has been remarked over and over again that there is no exception to this range of adaptation; so that we may fairly include the Shem, Ham, and Japhet diversities. And when we remember that there is no indication in any quarter of separate creations, we realise the grand Scripture assertion of human origin—as of all creation—

"Shade unperceived, so softening into shade,

And all so forming one harmonious whole."—Ragg.

Human Origin! Gen . Shem, Ham, and Japhet were brethren, yet how different the races of the three originals. Is the Scripture record wrong? or has climate produced the remarkable diversity of hue, etc.? Most careful investigation has established the fact that the differences arise from differences in climate.

(1) Ragg says that it has been found that, in a very few generations, the fair European of Shemetic or Japetan race became dark within the tropics. Bishop Heber says that the descendants of Europeans in India have totally changed their colour, though they have not lived as exposed to the influences of the sun as uncivilised or barbarian races. Dr. Wiseman shows that the Portuguese who have been naturalised in the African colonies of their nation have become entirely black.

(2) This is observable in the Jews. In the plains of the Ganges the Jew puts on the jet black skin and crisped hair of the native Hindoo. In milder climates he wears the natural dusky hue and dark hair of the inhabitant of Syria. Under the cooler sky of Poland and Germany he assumes the light hair and fair, ruddy complexion of the Anglo-Saxon. Smythe says that on the Malabar coast of Hindostan are two colonies of Jews—the elder colony black, and the younger comparatively fair, in exact proportion to the length of their sojourn there.

"Amazing race! deprived of land and laws,

A general language, and a public cause;

With a religion none can now obey,

With a reproach that none can take away."—Crabbe.

Heathen History! Gen .

(1) The history of almost all ancient peoples show, at their commencement, a number of mythological stories, as in Greece, Rome, and Britain, which are of great interest in regard to any inquiries into their origin and early history. There are traces of a large and singularly rich collection of these legends, both in Assyria and in Babylonia. A good example of such documents is the cuneiform account of the descent of the goddess Ishtar into Hades—she who conceived an ardent passion for Nimrod. The whole account is most curious, as showing the religious opinions of that age; and the story has some striking parallels in the poems and legendary stories of other and later countries.

(2) Contrast all these heathen histories with the unique Sacred History. Legends and portents there are none. The history of the origin of nations is unrivalled for its stern simplicity—its freedom from all wonderful details. Free and natural as the plan of a river, it begins at the source in Noah, and flows on in quiet, easy course, with an entire absence of all portents and prodigies, such as make heathen history ridiculous even to children.

"They, and they only, amongst all mankind,

Received the transcript of the Eternal Mind;

Were trusted with His own engraven laws,

And constituted guardians of His cause."—Cowper.

Bible Annals! Gen .

(1) An eminent professor says that there are glories in the Bible on which the eye of man has not gazed sufficiently long to admire them. There are notes struck in places which, like some discoveries of science, have sounded before their time, and only after many days been caught up, and found a response on the earth. There are germs of truth which, after thousands of years, have never yet taken root in the world.

(2) Jukes remarks on the names here that in them we have the true theory of development, given by One who cannot lie, and given for our learning and instruction in righteousness. It would be full of deepest interest to trace the course of these different families through their successive generations. For in them (he thinks) is prefigured the parentage and birth of every sect and heresy which has sprung up, and troubled the bosom of the regenerate Church; and which

"As prowls a pack of lean and hungry wolves,

Driven by fierce winter from Siberian steppes,

Around a camp's bright flashing fires, have fix'd

Their ravenous glances on the Bride of Christ."

Life Architecture! Gen .

(1) Carlyle remarks that, instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance. It is character that builds an existence out of circumstance. Thus it is that in the same family, in the same circumstances, one man rears a stately edifice, while his brother, vacillating and incompetent, lives in a hovel. The block of granite, which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.

(2) The Hamertons were brothers; both were nearly of an age, and both were brought up in the same home. In due time both attended the same seminary, and both entered upon the theatre of life under parallel advantages and disadvantages. The elder was of ordinary mind, liked by the world for his frank, openhanded spirit, but entirely void of energy, fixedness of purpose and forethought. The younger resolutely set himself to establish a name and a fame, and he succeeded. The difficulties which seemed to the elder colossal and insurmountable became steps of a staircase up which the younger climbed.

(3) Nimrod, a man of immense ambition, and endured with a resolute mind firm as iron, soon began to tower above his fellows. In Carlyle's sense, he became the architect of circumstance—building upon the foundation of pride a huge fabric of power, which held in awe his foes, and secured the admiration of his friends. Yet of him and others we may ask—

"Where are the heroes of the ages past?

Where the brave chieftains, where the mighty ones

Who flourished in the infancy of days?

All to the grave gone down."—White.

Church and World! Gen . From the very first we seem to have two divisions of men. These the Judge is marking off, as the shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats. Before the Deluge, we had the distinct divisions of men in the persons of Cain and Seth—Lamech and Enoch. We may call these the Church and the World. The Church is that body which is chosen and separated by God

(1) to testify to things unseen, to the existence of God—His love—power—judgment; and

(2) to teach men that the world which is passeth away. The World is that spirit which loves nothing, and looks for nothing save that which is now. It cares not for God, neither has God in all its thoughts. It recognises only things which are visible, and esteems the invisible as empty shadow and dreamland. Under its deadly prince, it is ever against the Church,

"Weaving its snares, and plying arts to draw

From God's allegiance all the sons of men,

And so to reign without a rival there—

The whole round earth its theme for ever."

Gomer! Gen . Japhet's eldest son seems to have gone to the shores around the Sea of Azof, especially the peninsula. His children were called Cimmerians, and the name of the Crimea is a relic. That place was thought then to be next door to the infernal regions. It was supposed that the people could not see much of the sun because of the clouds and mists of their savage country. Here Gomer's children dwelt until the Scythians drove them west. They took possession of Denmark, and the northern coast of Germany and Belgium, until, in the time of the Romans, they were known as the Cimbri. They crossed over into Britain, but were driven to the north and west, i.e., Wales and Scotland. Here came the truth of Christ to them.

"And then, o'er all the trouble of their day,

A downy veil of tranquil stillness stole,

And with TRUTH'S arm beneath their head they feel

It is GOD'S heart on which they rest so safe."—Williams.

Magog! Gen .

(1) The children of Magog were the wild hordes of men who inhabited Northern Asia; beginning at the east of the Caspian Sea, and spreading north and north-east into the cold and savage regions of those parts. They were the Scythians, a terrible and fierce people. They were said to be the inventors of the bow and arrow, and they were great at the use of them on horseback. Just prior to the time of Ezekiel, the Scythians—or children of Magog—were driven out by another tribe. Going southward, they spread terror everywhere.

(2) Ezekiel took them as a type of the foes of the church. In his awful predictions of Gog and Magog he foretells with what an overthrow the Lord would destroy them. In the latter days the Church should suffer terribly from their cruel, fierce incursions. Magog thus typifies the great adversaries of the Church at the dawn and dusk of the Millennial eventide. Two woeful invasions is that Church to know; but the authors of each of them are to experience a corresponding woeful overthrow, when nearer and nearer still

"The rush of flaming millions, and the tramp

Like as of fiery chivalry. But, hark!

A voice; it is the shout of God. Behold!

A light; it is the glory of the Lord."—Bickersteth.

Madai! Gen . The father of the Medes—among the bitterest enemies of Assyria. They lived on the other side of the Zagros range, which separated them from the Assyrians. A hardy race of tribes, governed by sheikhs. They were united by Cyaxares the Great into one kingdom. He then conquered Assyria; so that the children of Madai became the third great Eastern empire. The northern part was, and still is, a fine fertile country, with a temperate climate. It grows all kinds of corn, wine, silk, and delicious fruits. Tabreez is a beautiful place—a forest of orchards. Farther south there is a lovely mountainous country, where everything grows—cotton, Indian corn, tobacco, wheat, wine, and every variety of fruit. These sweet glimpses of Nature's beauty and fruitfulness send us

(1) back to the time when all the earth was fair, and

(2) forward to the time when the earth shall be again an Eden.

"And Nature haste her earliest wreaths to bring,

With all the incense of the breathing spring!

When vines a shadow to our race shall yield,

When the same hand that sowed shall reap the field,

When leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed,

And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed."—Pope.

Hamites! Gen . The Cushites were in Ethiopia—the children of Mizraim in Egypt—the descendants of Phut also in Egypt and Ethiopia—and the offspring of Canaan in Syria. All these became great nations. They established themselves in great power. They had arts and accomplishments superior to other peoples at that day. Homes of civilisation grew up from a Hamite stock in many a place. They were merchants and builders, and people of great ability in forming and establishing empire. Wherever they were they left traces of themselves. Very massive pieces of architecture, which once must have belonged to a magnificent nation; a peculiar mixture of language; and a native religion in part, at least, of low creature-worship—all these are before us. On our Thames Embankment rises a monument of the race of Ham, in the shape of Cleopatra's Needle; while towering amid nature's desolation in Egypt are the pyramids—those silent records—

"Those deathless monuments which alone do show

What, and how great, the Mizraite empire was."

Human Helplessness! Gen .

(1) Kingsley says, that men in the mass are the tools of circumstance. They are thistle-down on the breeze—straw on the river. Their course is shaped for them by the currents and eddies of the stream of life. This was not what man was meant to be; and in proportion as he approaches the Divine ideal does he cease to be the mere tool of circumstance. In proportion as he recovers his humanity—both physically and psychically—in proportion does he rise above circumstance, moulding and fashioning circumstance to suit his purpose.

(2) This explains the rise of such men from among the mass as Nimrod, Cæsar, and Napoleon, in the sphere of ambition and conquest. And the same key unlocks many a cabinet in the halls of science and art—learning and commerce. This power Divine grace lays hold upon—refines and sanctifies it, so that the Christian becomes a marked man among his fellows—eminent not for conquest over others so much as over himself, and distinguished by the loftiest of all ambitions to become conformed to the image of God. With such, ambition becomes a virtue: and at last around his brow shall shine

"In heaven from glory's source the purest beam,

Whose aspect here, with beauty most divine,

Reflects the image of the Good Supreme."—Mant.

Nimrod-Myths! Gen .

(1) By the Greek mythologists Orion was supposed to be a celebrated hunter, superior to the rest of mankind in strength and stature, whose mighty deeds entitled him after death to the honours of an apotheosis. The Orientals imagined him to be a huge giant who, Titan-like, had warred against God, and was therefore bound in chains to the firmament of heaven. Some authors have conjectured that this notion is the origin of the history of Nimrod, who, according to Jewish tradition, instigated the descendants of Noah to build the Tower of Babel.

(2) In the cuneiform tablets or Chaldean legends, deciphered by Smith, there are some curious details about him. These details are loaded with miraculous and impossible stories, from which it is impossible to separate the historical matter. He is reported to have been a Babylonian chief, celebrated for his prowess. He was also a mighty hunter and ruler of men, who delivered the city of Erech, when the chief of a neighbouring race came down with a force of men and ships against it. He afterwards ruled over it.

"Here Nimrod, his empire raised supreme,

And empire out of ruined empire built;

His greater than the last, and worse by far."

Supremacy! Gen .

1. Nimrod exalts himself to lord it over brethren; for of those over whom he ruled all had sprung—and within a few generations—from one common father. Little is told us of the second form of apostasy; but that little is enough, and indeed, the steps by which lordship over brethren is reached are not many. Jukes asserts that his very name (Rebel) points out the character of those actings, by which the family and patriarchial government instituted by God was changed into a kingdom ruled by violence. There appears to be two steps here:

(1) Nimrod becomes a mighty one, then

(2) he becomes a mighty hunter of beasts and men.

2. It was so in Israel, when that people desired a king. Saul became a mighty one; then followed the natural sequence in the descent of evil, and he became a mighty hunter. Nimrod again appeared after the resurrection of Christ. Rome began to be mighty—like Nimrod and Saul to grow up tall and towering trunks above its fellow-churches. Then as the trunk spreads forth its branches over smaller surrounding trees, Rome became a mighty hunter. Spiritual dominion became a spirit of domination—hunting souls—imposing a grievous yoke upon them. See Revelation 13 : where the arch-adversary is represented as building for his harlot bride a mystical metropolis—

"The haunt of devils, Babylon the Great,

Whence in her pride and pomp she might allure

The nations, as the peerless queen of heaven,

Mother and mistress of all lands.—Bickersteth.

Erech! Gen .

(1) Wurka is a vast mound, now called "Assagah," or the place of pebbles. It was probably a city consecrated to the moon, i.e., a kind of necropolis. Great numbers of tombs and coffins have been found here. The arrow-headed account of the Flood, recently discovered and translated by Smith, was a copy of an original inscription at this place. Thus the existence of this city thousands of years ago is established by the discovery of tiles or slabs in its neighbourhood at this date, recording the fact of the Flood in Genesis 9.

(2) As of Nineveh, so may we not Say of Erech, that it remained quiet in its sepulchre, till an age like the present, when the reality of its evidence to the truth of revelation could be properly attested. He who is nature's Creator and Preserver has kept Erech and other ruins hermetically sealed to give evidence to the truth of His Word in an age when that evidence cannot be lost, and when that Word in its truth is called in question. So great is His power, wisdom, and goodness!

"Some are filled with fairy pictures,

Half imagined and half seen;

Radiant faces, fretted towers,

Sunset colours, starry flowers,

Wondrous arabesques between."—Havergal.

Nimrod Memorials! Gen . Nimrod's name still lives in the mouths of the Arabs. A traveller says, "I shall not soon forget when I first heard his name from one of them. We were going down the Tigris on a raft. Towards evening—one pleasant evening in spring—we came near an immense heap of ruins on the eastern bank of the river. It was all green then, as the Assyrian ruins are after the great rains. The mound and meadows around this ruin were all fresh and green, and full of flowers of every colour. The ruins looked very like a natural hill, but for the pieces of pottery, and brick, and alabaster half hid among the grass. The river was swollen from the rain, and rushed along rather furiously. A sort of dam—a large piece of mason work—stretched across it. Over this, and around, the waters whirled and eddied, and made a tolerably large cataract. We went over safely with a dash. My Arab boatman then went through his religious exclamations, which the danger had called up; after which he told me that the dam had been built by Nimrod, and that it was the remains of a causeway which he had to enable him to pass from his city to a palace on the opposite bank."

"Ah! who that walks where men of ancient days

Have wrought, with godlike arm, the deeds of praise,

Feels not the spirit of the place control,

Or rouse and agitate his labouring soul?"—Wordsworth.

World-Powers! Gen .

(1) As the Apostle stands on the sands of Patmos—the waves of the Ægean sea rolling at his feet—he sees emerging from the bosom of the deep a hideous monster—somewhat akin to, yet differing from the great red dragon. This new fiendish incarnation, Macduff notes, has seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. These heads and horns are the well known symbols of world power—indicating a mighty hunter, a Nimrod.

(2) Presently, another beast rises from the earth—a giant deceiver, and exacting homage from them which dwell on the earth. The previous monster of the sea was the representative of brute force; this monster of the land is that of moral despotism. Its weapons are moral and spiritual. Its subject and crouching victims are the depraved intellect—the enslaved conscience—the fettered will of nations and men. Material and moral, physical and psychichal antitypes of Nimrod.

"Couching its fell designs in lamblike guise,

It sent through earth its legionary spirits,

And led the shepherds of the silly sheep

Blindfold, and blinding others, to adore

The beast, whose deadly wound was healed."

Asshur! Gen, etc. Heeren in his "Handbook" of the History of States remarks that history proper—i.e., the history of States first dawns upon us in the Genesis 10. In Gen 10:11, etc., we are told that Asshur, having previously dwelt in Babylon, went out before the Cushites, and founded the great Assyrian cities. This leads us to infer that the Assyrians, having been originally inhabitants of the low country, emigrated northwards, leaving their previous seats to a people of a different origin. And thus we are drawn to conclude

(1) that Babylon was built before Nineveh;

(2) that Babylon did not, as Diodorus asserts, owe its origin to the conquest of the country by an Assyrian princess; but that

(3) the early Babylonians were an entirely distinct race from the Assyrians; and that

(4) a Babylonian kingdom flourished before there was any independent Assyria. It is interesting to notice, as Loftus points out, that the spread of Asshur's race—after leaving Babylonia—is northwards stage by stage, Asshur, Calah, Nineveh. The Book of Nahum is assuredly prophetic of the destruction of Nineveh. According to him, Nineveh was not only to be destroyed by an overflowing flood, but the fire also was to devour it. Heathen history—ignorant of holy prophecy—declares such was the case. Lately, the buried arts of the Assyrian have been recovered from beneath the dust; as may be learned from Layard's Nineveh. It discloses that God is the Lord of Hosts, and that all the vain glories of the proudest mortals perish at His word.

"Cities have been, and vanished, fanes have sunk,

Heaped into shapeless ruin, sands o'erspread

Fields that were Eden."—Percival.

Divine Methods! Gen .

(1) In Cana, the governor of the feast addressing the bridegroom admits that it is man's ordinary course to bring forth the best wine, and afterwards that which is of inferior quality. That admission is true, if we are to accept the records of universal history down to our own days. Man invariably puts the best fruit uppermost—brings the best robe forth at the beginning.

(2) God acts otherwise. It is His ordinary way to keep the best to the last. Hence in Genesis, chaps 4 and 5, we have first Cain's line, then that of Seth. Again in Genesis, Genesis 25, we have the descendants of Ishmael, and then those of Isaac. Yet again in Genesis, chaps. 36 and 37, we have the detail first of Esau's family, and afterwards that of Jacob's. And so here, the Holy Spirit gives us first the families of Japhet and of Ham, then that of Shem. This is explained in Deuteronomy 32, 8, "The Lord's portion is His people."

"Holy, Father, we poor lambkins

Out of bitter woe do bleat;

Strong men drive us o'er the mountains,

Sharpest stones do pierce our feet."—Sadie.

Study of Humanity! Gen .

(1) It has been noticed that the more extensive our acquaintance becomes with other countries, the more numerous do we find the features which they possess in common with our own. We find the representative forms of life and dead matter which they possess to be in common with each other. In foreign countries what strikes the traveller most at first sight is—not the strange, but—the familiar look of the general landscape. And when the naturalist begins to investigate he finds that the longer and deeper his researches, the more and more numerous and striking are the resemblances of those forms of life to those in his own country.

(2) This similarity is not confined to the different regions of our earth alone. Science is showing to us, more and more every day, that the substances of the stars are identical with those of our globe. Pritchard, in reference to spectrum analysis, says that it has not yet discovered in the remotest stellar ray a single new or unknown element. The meteors which fall are of the same constituents as our earth. 'Tis distance only that makes them stars.

(3) It is precisely the same with the study of man. The more the different human races are studied the more numerous and striking are the similarities of each and all, one to the other. So far from careful investigation and prolonged study contributing to widen the narrow spaces between the different races, they only reveal more connecting links than were supposed to exist between the offspring of Shem, Ham, and Japhet, and show us

"How God wrought with the whole—wrought most with what

To man seemed weakest means, and brought result

Of good from good and evil both."—Pollok.

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

The Biblical Illustrator

Genesis 10:1-32

Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah

A chapter of genealogies

Many readers might be disposed to undervalue a chapter like this, since it is but a collection of names--some of which are quite unknown--and is made up of barren details promising little material for profitable reflection.
Yet a thoughtful reader will be interested here, and discover the germs and suggestions of great truths; for the subject is man, and man, too, considered in reference to God’s great purpose in the government of the world. This chapter “is as essential to an understanding of the Bible, and of history in general, as is Homer’s catalogue, in the second book of the Iliad, to a true knowledge of the Homeric poems and the Homeric times.” The Biblical student can no more undervalue the one than the classical student the other.


1. It is not vague and general, but descends to particulars. The forgers of fictitious documents seldom run the risk of scattering the names of persons and places freely over their page. Hence those who write with fraudulent design deal in what is vague and general.

2. Heathen literature when dealing with the origin of nations employs extravagant language. The early annals of all nations, except the Jews, run at length into fable, or else pretend to a most incredible antiquity. National vanity would account for such devices and for the willingness to receive them. The Jews had the same temptations to indulge in this kind of vanity as the other nations around them. It is therefore a remarkable circumstance that they pretend to no fabulous antiquity. We are shut up to the conclusion that their sacred records grew up under the special care of Providence, and were preserved from the common infirmities of merely human authorship.

3. Here we have the ground plan of all history.

II. THAT HISTORY HAS ITS BASIS IN THAT OF INDIVIDUAL MEN. The general lesson of this chapter is plain, namely, that no man can go to the bottom of history who does not study the lives of those men who have made that history what it is.

III. THAT MAN IS THE CENTRAL FIGURE OF SCRIPTURE. Infidels have made this characteristic of revelation a matter of reproach; but all who know how rich God’s purpose towards mankind is, glory in it, and believe that great things must be in store for a race which bus occupied so much of the Divine regard.

IV. THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT OF HISTORY TOWARDS AN END. All the interest centres successively in one people, tribe, and family; then in One who was to come out of that family, bringing redemption for mankind. “Salvation is of the Jews.” The noblest idea of history is only realized in the Bible. Those of the world had no living Word of God to inspire that idea. That book can scarcely be regarded as of human origin which passes by the great things of the world, and lingers with the man who “believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (T. H. Leale.)

Circumstances attendant on man

Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstances, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstances. It is character that builds an existence out of circumstance. Our strength is measured by our plastic power. From the same materials one man builds palaces, another hovels; one warehouses, another villas; bricks and mortar are mortar and bricks until the architect can make them something else. Thus it is that, in the same family, in the same circumstances, one man rears a stately edifice, while his brother, vacillating and incompetent, lives forever amid ruins; the block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weakly becomes a stepping stone in the pathway of the strong. (T. Carlyle.)

Oneness of humanity

A clear conception of the import of this marvellous chapter should enlarge and correct our notions in so far as they have been narrowed and perverted by our insular position. We should recognize in all the nations of the earth one common human nature. “God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth.” This reflection is both humbling and elevating. It is humbling to think that the cannibal is a relative of ours; that the slave crouching in an African wood is bone of our bone; and that the meanest scum of all the earth started from the same foundation as ourselves! On the other hand, it is elevating to think that all kings and mighty men, all soldiers renowned in song, all heroes canonized in history, the wise, the strong, the good, are our elder brothers and immortal friends. If we limit our life to families, clans, and sects, we shall miss the genius of human history, and all its ennobling influences. Better join the common lot. Take it just as it is. Our ancestors have been robbers and oppressors, deliverers and saviours, mean and noble, cowardly and heroic; some hanged, some crowned, some beggars, some kings; take it so, for the earth is one, and humanity is one, and there is only one God over all blessed for evermore! If we take this idea aright we shall get a clear notion of what are called home and foreign missions. What are foreign missions? Where are they? I do not find the word in the Bible. Where does home end; where does foreign begin? It is possible for a man to immure himself so completely as practically to forget that there is anybody beyond his own front gate; we soon grow narrow, we soon become mean; it is easy for us to return to the dust from whence we come. It is here that Christianity redeems us; not from sin only, but from all narrowness, meanness, and littleness of conception; it puts great thoughts into our hearts and bold words into our mouths, and leads us out from our village prisons to behold and to care for all nations of mankind. On this ground alone Christianity is the best educator in the world. It will not allow the soul to be mean. It forces the heart to be noble and hopeful. It says, “Go and teach all nations”; “Go ye into all the world”; “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others”; “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, heaped up, and running over.” It is something for a nation to have a voice so Divine ever stirring its will and mingling with its counsels. It is like a sea breeze blowing over a sickly land; like sunlight piercing the fogs of a long dark night. Truly we have here a standard by which we may judge ourselves. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” If we have narrow sympathies, mean ideas, paltry conceptions, we are not scholars in the school of Christ. Let us bring no reproach upon Christ by our exclusiveness. Let us beware of the bigotry of patriotism, as well as of the bigotry of religion. We are citizens of the world: we are more than the taxpayers of a parish. A right view of this procession of the nations will show us something of the richness and graciousness of Christ’s nature. What a man must he have been either in madness or in Divinity who supposed that there was something in himself which all these people needed! (J. Parker, D. D.)

The planting of nations great responsibility

The one point to which I would draw your attention is that which lies upon the very surface of this history, and to which, as a great law imprinted by God upon our race, I wish to call your special notice. It is the degree in which the original features of the founders of a race reproduce themselves in their descendants, so as to become the distinct and manifest types of national life. This is so plain here that it has rarely escaped some observation. The few words wherein, according to the wont of patriarchal times, Noah, as the firstborn priest of his own family, pronounces on his sons his blessing and his curse, sketch in outline the leading characteristics of all their after progeny. Thus, the “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem,” can hardly fail to convey to the heater’s mind the impression that devotion to, and a trust in God, as his portion, marked the character of the firstborn of Noah. And so it proved in fact, for it was the line of Abraham and the Semitic race, in the tribes of Israel and Judah, which filled this office of the priests of mankind for two thousand years. So also with regard to the second son of Noah. Sensuality and filial irreverence manifestly stained his character. In the future of such a man lay naturally cruelty--the inseparable companion--and degradation--the unfailing consequence--of lust. A “servant of servants” should he be. He who disregarded the duties of a son should lose the place of a brother: he who sacrificed to sensual appetite every highest duty, should in the end barter for it his own liberty; and his character, too, has through unnumbered generations reproduced itself in his descendants. Without entering upon the difficult task of tracing in some of its details the outline of the Hamitic race, it is clear beyond all contradiction, that through past ages, and even to the present day, the nations which manifestly sprung from his loins are marked by these characteristics--lust, cruelty, and servitude. The character of Japhet is perhaps, at first sight, less plainly to be traced in his father’s benediction. His words would seem, however, to point to a character marked less strongly than that of his firstborn by piety towards God, but possessed of those family virtues with which, in the course of things, an increasing posterity is commonly connected and endued with the practical activity and vigour, which, as opposed to the more contemplative character of Shem, were essential to that subduing of the earth, which must accompany its replenishment by the enlarging seed. Beyond this lay the unexplained and mysterious blessing of his future dwelling in the tents of Shem, pointing probably, in the personal life of the patriarch, to the pious rest into which the later years of a virtuous activity would so probably subside. And all this has plainly marked the Japhetic races: their increase has furnished the nations of the Gentiles; whilst family virtue, and that practical activity which to this day has so wonderfully subjected the material earth to its obedience, are the distinction of their blood. In all these cases, then, we may trace on the broadest scale the action of that of which I have spoken, as a law impressed upon our common nature, that nations, in their after generations, bear, repeat and expand the character of their progenitor. And then, further, we may observe adumbrations of a mode of dealing with men which seems to imply that in His bestowal of spiritual gifts, God deals with them after some similar law, Hence, then, we may conclude further, that, by the laws of grace as well as of nature, there is a reproduction in the after seed of the character of the progenitor. Now, it is to the application of this principle to our past history and our present duty, that I would specially invite your notice. And first, FOR THE FACT. Since the opening of the historical period, there has been scarcely any national planting of the earth through emigration, until within the last three centuries. Even those events of far distant times, which most resembled it, were widely different. For they were rather irruptions than emigration; and the great wave of life which they brought into some new land, first cast out races in possession, often as numerous as, and commonly more civilized than, their invaders, and who not unfrequently tinged their subduers with their religion, their manners, and their language. The direct replenishment of the earth for the last three hundred years by the Japhetic family, is altogether different. These emigrations have set forth exclusively from Christian lands. They have been directed to vast tracts of thinly peopled countries; and they have borne to them men who have been, in the fullest sense of the words, founders of nations. In this work, we have borne a larger share than any other people. Now, with what an awful character of responsibility does the truth which we have before considered invest such acts! A sensual seed will produce a degraded people; a godless seed will grow into an atheistic empire; nay, even the lesser evils of a worldly, or a sectarian origin, will mark and renew themselves in successive generations. How plainly, then, must it be one of the very highest duties of a Christian people to provide all that is needful to bless and hallow such a national infancy:--to plant a chosen seed, and not a refuse; to send forth with them that faith, which alone can exalt and renew the race of man in its purest form, and with every advantage for its reproduction! How far, then, has England, which has been the chiefest of the nations in this sacred work, acted up to her responsibilities? Let North America,--let Australasia answer. How scanty in its measure--how imperfect in its form--how divided in its character--was the Christianity we mingled with the abundant seed of man which we scattered broadcast over North America; how fearful a paternity of crime did we assume, when we conceived and almost executed the enormity of planting the antipodes with every embodiment of reckless wickedness, and giving it no healing influence of our holy faith! What then must be herein our guilt and shame! But our chief concern is not with the past: it is with that present in which the future lies enfolded. Never has the tide of emigration risen so high as now; never were we so freely planting the earth with our energetic, increasing race as the seed of future empires; never, then, did the duty of planting it aright press so heavily upon us: and what is the prime essential for its adequate discharge? Surely, far beyond all other, that with the seed of fallen man we plant that Church of Christ, through which God the Holy Ghost is pleased to work for his recovery. This, and no less than this, can fulfil our obligations. (Bishop Samuel Wilberforce.)

In their nations

The characteristics of a nation

1. It is descended from one head. Others may be occasionally grafted on the original stock by intermarriage. But there is a vital union subsisting between all the members and the head, in consequence of which the name of the head is applied to the whole body of the nation. In the case of Kittim and Dodanim we seem to have the national name thrown back upon the patriarchs who may have themselves been called Keth and Dodan. Similar instances occur in the subsequent parts of the genealogy.

2. A nation has a country or “land” which it calls its own. In the necessary migrations of ancient tribes, the new territories appropriated by the tribe, or any part of it, were naturally called by the old name, or some name belonging to the old country. This is well illustrated by the name of Gomer, which seems to reappear in the Cimmerii, the Cimbri, the Cymry, the Cambri, and the Cumbri.

3. A nation has its own “tongue.” This constitutes at once its unity in itself and its separation from others. Many of the nations in the table may have spoken cognate tongues, or even originally the same tongue. Thus the Kenaanite, Phoenician and Punic nations had the same stock of languages with the Shemites. But it is a uniform law, that one nation has only one speech within itself.

4. A nation is composed of many “families,” clans, or tribes. These branch off from the nation in the same manner as it did from the parent stock of the race. (Prof. J. G. Murphy.)

Ham’s posterity

1. The most cursed man may have a numerous seed: it enlargeth the curse.

2. Cursed ones bring out sometimes an eminent rebellious seed to hasten vengeance (Genesis 10:8).

3. The greatest judgments will not keep wicked ones from sin though being but a little escaped from them.

4. Under a wise providence, power and violence is suffered to rise and spring in the earth (Genesis 10:8).

5. It is the property of giants in sin and earthly power to hunt to death God’s saints to His face.

6. God makes in vengeance the names of such wicked ones a proverb (Genesis 10:9).

7. The beginning and chief of all the power of wicked ones is but confusion, and the place of wickedness. Babel and Shinar (Genesis 10:10).

8. Wicked potentates are still invading others to enlarge themselves (Genesis 10:11).

9. Edifying cities, and places of strength, is the wickeds’ security.

10. Great cities they may have, but such as are under the eye and judgment of God (Genesis 10:12). (G. Hughes, B. D.)



Nimrod was not merely a giant or mighty one in hunting, but also a cruel oppressor and bloody warrior. He is represented by some ancient historians as having renewed the practice of war, which had for some time been abandoned for agriculture, and hence the well-known couplet--

“Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began, A mighty hunter, and his prey was man.”

Obscurity rests, and ever shall rest, on his particular achievements, although his figure and name have been found of late in Nineveh. What animals he slew, what weapons he employed, what battles he fought, with the blood of what enemies he cemented the cities which he built, how long he lived and where, how and where he died, are not recorded either in profane history or in the Book of God. Imagination figures him as another Hercules, clad in the skins of lions, and pursuing his prey with sounding bow and fiery eye over the vast plains of Asia, and when wild beasts are not to be found, turning his fury against his neighbours. Such men are the ragged and menacing shadows which the sun of civilization casts before it; their “strong heart is fit to be the first strong heart of a people”; their crimes, for which they must answer to God, are yet made useful to God’s purpose, and from the blood they shed springs up many a glorious harvest of arts and sciences, of culture and progress. Without questioning their guilt or the evil they do, or seeking to solve the mystery why they exist at all, we see many important ends which their permission answers; and acknowledge that the page of history were comparatively tame, did it want the red letters which record the names of a Nimrod, a Nebuchadnezzar, a Charlemagne, a Henry the Eighth, a Rienzi, and a Napoleon. (G. Gilfillan.)

Gospel archery

My text sets forth Nimrod as a hero when it presents him with broad shoulders and shaggy apparel and sun-browned face, and arm bunched with muscle--“a mighty hunter before the Lord.” I think he used the bow and the arrows with great success practising archery. I have thought if it is such a grand thing and such a brave thing to clear wild beasts out of a country, if it is not a better and braver thing to hunt down and destroy those great evils of society that are stalking the land with fierce eye and bloody paw, and sharp tusk and quick spring. I have wondered if there is not such a thing as Gospel archery, by which these who have been flying from the truth may be captured for God and heaven. The archers of olden times studied their art. They were very precise in the matter. The old books gave special directions as to how an archer should go, and as to what an archer should do. But how clumsy we are about religious work. How little skill and care we exercise. How often our arrows miss the mark.

1. In the first place, if you want to be effectual in doing good, you must be very sure of your weapon. There was something very fascinating about the archery of olden times. Perhaps you do not know what they could do with the bow and arrow. Why, the chief battles fought by the English Plantagenets were with the long-bow. They would take the arrow of polished wood, and feather it with the plume of a bird, and then it would fly from the bowstring of plaited silk. The broad fields of Agincourt, and Solway Moss, and Neville’s Cross heard the loud thrum of the archer’s bowstring. Now, my Christian friends, we have a mightier weapon than that. It is the arrow of the Gospel; it is a sharp arrow; it is a straight arrow; it is feathered from the wing of the dove of God’s Spirit; it flies from a bow made out of the wood of the cross. Paul knew how to bring the notch of that arrow on to that bowstring, and its whirr was heard through the Corinthian theatres, and through the courtroom, until the knees of Felix knocked together. It was that arrow that stuck in Luther’s heart when he cried out: “Oh, my sins! Oh, my sins!” In the armoury of the Earl of Pembroke, there are old corslets which show that the arrow of the English used to go through the breastplate, through the body of the warrior, and out through the backplate. What a symbol of that Gospel which is sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and body, and of the joints and marrow! Would to God we had more faith in that Gospel!

2. Again, if you want to be skilful in spiritual archery, you must hunt in unfrequented and secluded places. The good game is hidden and secluded. Every hunter knows that. So, many of the souls that will be of most worth for Christ and of most value to the Church are secluded. They do not come in your way. You will have to go where they are.

3. I remark, further, if you want to succeed in spiritual archery, you must have courage. If the hunter stand with trembling hand or shoulder that flinches with fear, instead of his taking the catamount, the catamount takes him. What would become of the Greenlander if, when out hunting for the bear, he should stand shivering with terror on an iceberg? What would have become of Du Chaillu and Livingstone in the African thicket, with a faint heart and a weak knee? When a panther comes within twenty paces of you, and it has its eye on you, and it has squatted for the fearful spring, “Steady there.” Courage, O ye spiritual archers! There are great monsters of iniquity prowling all around about the community. Shall we not in the strength of God go forth and combat them? We not only need more heart, but more backbone. What is the Church of God that it should fear to look in the eye any transgression?

4. I remark again, if you want to be successful in spiritual archery, you need not only to bring down the game, but bring it in. I think one of the most beautiful pictures of Thorwaldsen is his “Autumn.” It represents a sportsman coming home and standing under a grapevine. He has a staff over his shoulder, and on the other end of that staff are hung a rabbit and a brace of birds. Every hunter brings home the game. No one would think of bringing down a reindeer or whipping up a stream for trout, and letting them lie in the woods. At eventide the camp is adorned with the treasures of the forest--beak, and fin, and antler. If you go out to hunt for immortal souls, not only bring them down under the arrow of the Gospel, but bring them into the Church of God, the grand home and encampment we have pitched this side the skies. Fetch them in; do not let them lie out in the open field. They need our prayers and sympathies and help. That is the meaning of the Church of God--help. O ye hunters for the Lord! not only bring down the game, but bring it in. (Dr. Talmage.)


1. The last mention of the Church’s line is not the least in God’s account.

2. Fruitfulness is given to the Church of God, for its continuance on earth.

3. Visible distinction hath God made between the lines of the world and of the Church.

4. Heber’s children are the true Church of God.

5. The name and blessing of Shem is on that Church.

6. Sharers in the promise are especially brethren.

7. The first in birth may be last in grace (Genesis 10:21).

8. Out of the same holy stock may arise enemies to the Church as well as the right seed (Genesis 10:22). (G. Hughes, B. D.)


1. Syrians may arise from the Father of the Church according to the flesh, very enemies to it.

2. God’s mind is to keep the line of His Church distinct; from all who turn aside (Genesis 10:23).

3. The line of the Church is but short in respect of the world (Genesis 10:24).

4. Memorable as well as terrible is that division of people and tongues which God hath made (Genesis 10:25).

5. Saints have been careful to keep in memory such judgments of division; the naming of the child (Genesis 10:25).

6. Numerous is the seed departed from the Church (Genesis 10:26; Genesis 10:29).

7. God has given a dwelling place to degenerate seed (Genesis 10:30).

8. The Church hath its family, tongue, place, and people, distinct from all (verse 37). (G. Hughes, B. D.)

Copyright Statement
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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Genesis 10:19". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

The Pulpit Commentaries




I. THE historical credibility of the present section has been challenged.

1. On account of a fancied resemblance to the ethnographic mythologies of Greece, the genealogical table of the nations has been relegated to the category of fictitious invention. It has been assigned by many critics to a post-Mosaic decried, to the days of Joshua (Delitzsch), to the age of Hebrew intercourse with the Phenician Canaanites (Knobel), to the era of the exile (Bohlen); and the specific purpose of its composition has been declared to be a desire to gratify the national pride of the Hebrews by tracing their descent to the first-born son of Noah, that their rights might appear to have a superior foundation to those of other nations (Hartmann). But the primogeniture of Sham is at least doubtful, if not entirely incorrect, Japheth being the oldest of Noah's sons (vide Genesis 5:32; Genesis 10:21); while it is a gratuitous assumption that not until the days of the monarchy, or the exile, did the Israelites become acquainted with foreign nations. The authenticity and genuineness of the present register, it is justly remarked by Havernick, are guaranteed by the chronicler (Genesis 1:1). "In the time of the chronicler nothing more was known from antiquity concerning the origin of nations than what Genesis supplied. Supposing, then, that some inquiring mind composed this table of nations from merely reflecting on the nations that happened to exist at the same period, and attempting to give them a systematic arrangement, how could it possibly happen that his turn of mind should be in such complete harmony with that of the other? This could only arise from the one recognizing the decided superiority of the other's account, which here lies in nothing else than the historical truth itself belonging to it" (Intro; § 17). And the historical truthfulness of the Mosaic document is further strikingly authenticated by the accredited results of modern ethnological science, which, having undertaken by a careful analysis of facts to establish a classification of races, has divided mankind into three primitive groups (Shemitic, Aryan, Turanian or Allophylian), corresponding not obscurely to the threefold arrangement of the present table, and presenting in each group the leading races that Genesis assigns to the several sons of Noah; as, e.g; allocating to the Indo-European family, as Moses has done to the sons of Japheth, the principal races of Europe, with the great Asiatic race known as Aryan; to the Shemitie, the Assyrians, Syrians, Hebrews, and Joktauite Arabs, which appear among the sons of Sham in the present table; and to the Allophylian, the Egyptians, Ethiopians, Southern Arabs, and early Babylonians, which the primitive ethnologist of Genesis also writes among the sons of Ham.

2. The narrative of the building of the tower of Babel has also been impugned, and that chiefly on two grounds: viz.,

II. The literary unity of the present section has been assailed. Tuch ascribes Genesis 10:1-32. to the Elohist and Genesis 11:1-9 to the Jehovist; and with this Bleek and Vaihinger agree, except that they apportion Genesis 10:8-12 to the Jehovist. Davidson assigns to him the whole of Genesis 10:1-32; with the exception of the expression "every one after his tongue" (Genesis 10:5), the similar expressions (Genesis 10:20, Genesis 10:31), the story of Nimrod commencing at "he began" (Genesis 10:8), Genesis 10:21, and the statement beginning "for" (Genesis 10:25), all of which, with Genesis 11:1-9, he places to the credit of his redactor. But the literary unity of the entire section is so apparent that Colenso believes both passages, "the table of nations" and "the confusion of tongues," to be the work of the Jehovist; and certainly the latter narrative is represented in so intimate a connection with the former that it is much more likely to have been composed by the original historian than inserted later as a happy afterthought by a post-exilian editor.


It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this ethnological table. Whether regarded from a geographical, a political, or a theocratical standpoint, "this unparalleled list, the combined result of reflection and deep research," is "no less valuable as a historical document than as a lasting proof of the brilliant capacity of the Hebrew mind." Undoubtedly the earliest effort of the human intellect to exhibit in a tabulated form the geographical distribution of the human race, it bears unmistakable witness in its own structure to its high antiquity, occupying itself least with the Japhetic tribes which were furthest from the theocratic center, and were latest in attaining to historic eminence, and enlarging with much greater minuteness of detail on those Hamitic nations, the Egyptian, Canaanite, and Arabian, which were soonest developed, and with which the Hebrews came most into contact in the initial stages of their career. It describes the rise of states, and, consistently with all subsequent historical and archaeological testimony, gives the prominence to the Egyptian or Arabian Hamites, as the first founders of empires. It exhibits the separation of the Shemites from the other sons of Noah, and the budding forth of the line of promise in the family of Arphaxad. While thus useful to the geographer, the historian, the politician, it is specially serviceable to the theologian, as enabling him to trace the descent of the woman's seed, and to mark the fulfillments of Scripture prophecies concerning the nations of the earth. In the interpretation of the names which are here recorded, it is obviously impossible in every instance to arrive at certainty, in some cases the names of individuals being mentioned, while in others it is as conspicuously those of peoples.

Genesis 10:1

Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah (cf. Genesis 5:1; Genesis 6:9), Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Not the order of age, but of theocratic importance (vide Genesis 5:32). And unto them were sons born (cf. Genesis 9:1, Genesis 9:7, Genesis 9:19, Genesis 9:22) after the flood. An indication of the puncture temporis whence the period embraced in the present section takes its departure.

Genesis 10:2

The sons of Japheth are first mentioned not because Japheth was the eldest of the three brothers, although that was true, but because of the greater distance of the Japhetic tribes from the theocratic center, the Hamites having always been much more nearly situated to and closely connected with the Shemites than they. The immediate descendants of Japheth, whose name, ἰ αì πετος, occurs again in the mythology of a Japhetic race, were fourteen m number, seven sons and seven grandsons, each of which became the progenitor of one of the primitive nations. Gomer. A people inhabiting "the sides of the north" (Ezekiel 38:6); the Galatae of the Greeks (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 1.6); the Chomarii, a nation in Bactriana on the Oxus (Shulthess, Kalisch); but more generally the Cimmerians of Homer ('Odyss.,' 11.13-19), whose abodes were the shores of the Caspian and Euxine, whence they seem to have spread themselves over Europe as far west as the Atlantic, leaving traces of their presence in the Cimhri of North Germany and the Cymri in Wales (Keil, Lange, Murphy, Wordsworth, 'Speaker's Commentary ). And Magog. A fierce and warlike people presided over by Gog (an appellative name, like the titles Pharaoh and Caesar, and corresponding with the Turkish Chak, the Tartarian Kak, and the Mongolian Gog: Kalisch), whose complete destruction was predicted by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29.); generally understood to be the Scythians, whose territory lay upon the borders of the sea of Asoph, and in the Caucasus. In the Apocalypse (Genesis 20:8-10) Cog and Magog appear as two distinct nations combined against the Church of God. And Madai. The inhabitants of Media (Mada in the cuneiform inscriptions), so called because believed to be situated περιÌ μεσην τηÌ ν ασιì αν (Polyb. 5.44) on the south-west shore of the Caspian And Javan. Identical with ἰ αì ων (Greek), Javana (Sanscrit), Juna (Old Persian), Jounan (Rosetta Stone); allowed to be the father of the Greeks, who in Scripture are styled Javan (vide Isaiah 66:19; Ezekiel 27:13; Daniel 8:21; Daniel 10:20; Joel 3:6). And Tubal, and Meshech. Generally associated in Scripture as tributaries of Magog (Ezekiel 38:2, Ezekiel 38:3; Ezekiel 39:1); recognized as the Iberians and Moschi in the north of Armenia, between the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates, and the Black Sea (Josephus, Knobel, Lange, Kalisch). And Tiras. The ancestor of the Thraciaus (Josephus), of the Tyrrheni, a branch of the Pelasgians (Tuch), of the Asiatic tribes round the Taurus (Kalisch), in support of which last is a circumstance mentioned by Rawlinson, that on the old Egyptian monuments Mashuash and Tuirash, and upon the Assyrian Tubal and Misek, stand together as here. Tiras occurs nowhere else in Scripture.

Genesis 10:3

And the sons of Gomer; Ash-kenaz. Axenus, the ancient name of the Euxine, is supposed to favor Phrygia and Bithynia as the locality possessed by Askenaz (Bochart); Iskus; equivalent to Ask, Ascanios, the oldest son of the Germanic Mannus, to point out Germany as his abode (Jewish commentators); but Jeremiah 51:27 seems to indicate the region between the Euxine and the Caspian. Kalisch, following Josephus, identifies the name with the ancient town Rhagae, one day's journey to the south of the Caspian. Murphy and Poole, on the authority of Diodorus Siculus, believe the Germans may have been a colony of the Ashkenians. And Riphath. Diphath (1 Chronicles 1:6)—the Paphlagonians (Josephus); more generally the tribes about the Riphaean mountains, on the north of the Caspian (Knobel, Kalisch, Clericus, Rosenmüller, Murphy, ' Speaker's Commentary'); but both are uncertain (Keil). And Togarmah. Mentioned again in Ezekiel 27:14; Ezekiel 38:6; the Phrygians (Josephus), the Cappadocians (Bochart), the Armenians (Michaelis, Gesenius, Rosenmüller), the Taurians, inhabiting the Crimea (Kalisch). The tradition preserved by Moses Chorensis, that the ancestor of the Armenians was the son of Thorgom, the son of Comer, is commonly regarded as deciding the question.

Genesis 10:4

And the sons of Javan; Elizhah. The isles of Elishah are praised by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:7) for their blue and purple; supposed to have been Elis in the Peloponnesus, famous for its purple dyes (Bochart); AEolis (Josephus, Knobel); Hellas (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch); without doubt a maritime people of Grecian stock ('Speaker's Commentary'). And Tarshish. Tarsus in Cilicia (Josephus); but rather Tartessus in Spain (Eusehius, Michaelis, Bochart, Kalisch). Biblical notices represent Tarshish as a wealthy and flourishing seaport town towards the west (vide 1 Kings 10:22; Psalms 48:7; Psalms 72:10; Isaiah 60:9; Isaiah 66:19; Jeremiah 10:9; Ezekiel 27:12). Kittim. Chittim (Numbers 24:24); Citium in Cyprus (Josephus), though latterly the name appears to have been extended to Citium in Macedonia (Alexander the Great is called the king of Chittim, 1 Macc. 1:1; 8:5), and the colonies which settled on the shores of Italy and Greece (Bochart, Keil, Kalisch). Isaiah 23:1, Isaiah 23:12; Daniel 11:30 describe it as a maritime people. And Dodanim. Dordona in Epirus (Michaelis, Rosenmüller); the Dardaniaus, or Trojan's (Gesenius); the Daunians of South Italy (Kalisch); the Rhodani in Gaul, reading as in 1 Chronicles 1:7 (Bochart). Josephus omits the name, and Scripture does not again mention it.

Genesis 10:5

By these were the isles of the Gentiles. Sea-washed coasts as well as islands proper (cf. Isaiah 42:4 with Matthew 12:21). Isaiah (Genesis 20:6) styles Canaan an isle (cf. Peloponnesus). The expression signifies maritime countries. Divided in their lands; every one after his tongue. Indicating a time posterior to the building of Babel (Genesis 11:1). After their families ἐ ν ταῖ ς φυλαῖ ς αὐ τῶ ν (LXX.); in their tribes or clans, a lesser subdivision than the next. In their nations. The division here exhibited is fourfold:

The first defines the territory occupied, and the second the language spoken by the Japhethites; the third their immediate descent, and the rough the national group to which they severally belonged.

Genesis 10:6

And the sons of Ham. These, who occupy the second place, that the list might conclude with the Shemites as the line of promise, number thirty, of whom only four were immediate descendants. Their territory generally embraced the southern portions of the globe. Hence the name Ham has been connected with חָמַס, to be warm, though Kalisch declares it to be not of Hebrew, but Egyptian origin, appearing in the Chme of the Rosetta Stone. The most usual ancient name of the country was Kern, the black land. Scripture speaks of Egypt as the land of Ham (Psalms 78:51; Psalms 105:23; Psalms 106:22) Cush. Ethiopia, including Arabia "quae mater est," and Abyssinia "quae colonia" (Michaelis, Rosenmüller). The original settlement of Cush, however, is believed to have been on the Upper Nile, whence he afterwards spread to Arabia, Babylonia, India (Knobel, Kalisch, Lange, Rawlinson). Murphy thinks he may have started from the Caucasus, the Caspian, and. the Cossaei of Khusistan, and. migrated south (to Egypt) and east (to India). Josephus mentions that in his day Ethiopia was called Cush; the Syriac translates ἀ νη Ì ρ ἀ ιθιì οψ (Acts 8:27) by Cuschaeos; the ancient Egyptian name of Ethiopia was Keesh, Kish, or Kush ('Records of the Past, Genesis 4:7). The Cushites are described as of a black color (Jeremiah 13:23) and of great stature (Isaiah 45:14). And Mizraim. A dual form probably designed to represent the two Egypts, upper and lower (Gesenius, Keil, Kalisch), though it has been discovered in ancient Egyptian as the name of a Hittite chief, written in hieroglyphics M'azrima, Ma being the sign for the dual. The old Egyptian name is Kemi, Chemi, with obvious reference to Ham; the name Egypt being probably derived from Kaphtah, the land of Ptah. The singular form Mazor is found in later books (2 Kings 19:24; Isaiah 19:6; Isaiah 35:1-10 :25), and usually denotes Lower Egypt. And Phut. Phet (Old Egyptian), Phaiat (Coptic); the Libyans in the north of Africa (Josephus, LXX; Gesenins, Bochart). Kalisch suggests Buto' or Butos, the capital of the delta of the Nile. And Canaan. Hebrew, Kenaan (vide on Genesis 9:25). The extent of the territory occupied by the fourth son of Ham is defined in Genesis 10:15-19.

Genesis 10:7

And the sons of Cush; Seba. Meroe, in Nubia, north of Ethiopia (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 2. 10). And Havilah. εὐ ΐ λαÌ (LXX.); may refer to an African tribe, the Avalitae, south of Babelmandeb (Keil, Lange, Murphy), or the district of Chaulan in Arabia Felix (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Wordsworth). Genesis 10:29 mentions Havilah as a Shemite territory. Kalisch regards them as "the same country, extending from the Arabian to the Persian Gulf, and, on account of its vast extent, easily divided into two distinct parts" (cf. Genesis 2:11). And Sabtah. The Astaborans of Ethiopia (Josephus, Gesenius, Kalisch); the Ethiopians of Arabia, whose chief city was Sabota (Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange, Keil). And Raamah. ρεì γμα (LXX.); Ragma on the Persian Gulf, in Oman (Bochart, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Lange). And Sabtechah. Nigritia (Targum, Jonathan), which the name Subatok, discovered on Egyptian monuments, seems to favor (Kalisch); on the east of the Persian Gulf at Samydace of Carmania (Bochart, Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange). And the sons of Raamah; Sheba. The principal city of Arabia Felix (1 Kings 10:1; Job 1:15; Job 6:19; Psalms 72:10, Psalms 72:15; Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20; Ezekiel 27:22; Joel 3:8); occurs again (Genesis 5:28) as a son of Joktan; probably was peopled both by Hamites and Shemites. And Dedan. Daden on the Persian Gulf (vide Isaiah 21:13; Jeremiah 49:8; Ezekiel 25:13; Ezekiel 27:12-15).

Genesis 10:8

And Cush begat—not necessarily as immediate progenitor, any ancestor being in Hebrew styled a father—Nimrod; the rebel, from maradh, to rebel; the name of a person, not of a people;—Namuret in ancient Egyptian. Though not one of the great ethnic heads, he is introduced into the register of nations as the founder of imperialism. Under him society passed from the patriarchal condition, in which each separate clan or tribe owns the sway of its natural head, into that (more abject or more civilized according as it is viewed) in which many different clans or tribes recognize the sway of one who is not their natural head, but has acquired his ascendancy and dominion by conquest. This is the principle of monarchism. Eastern tradition has painted Nimrod as a gigantic oppressor of the people's liberties and an impious rebel-against the Divine authority. Josephus credits him with having instigated the building of the tower of Babel. He has been identified with the Orion of the Greeks. Scripture may seem to convey a bad impression of Nimrod, but it does not sanction the absurdities of Oriental legend. He began to be a mighty oneGibbor (vide Genesis 6:4); what he had been previously being expressed in Genesis 10:5in the earth. Not ἐ πι τῆ ς γῆ ς (LXX.), as if pointing to his gigantic stature, but either among men generally, with reference to his widespread fame, or perhaps better "in the land where he dwelt, which was not Babel, but Arabia (vide Genesis 10:6).

Genesis 10:9

He was a mighty hunter. Originally doubtless of wild beasts, which, according to Bochart, was the first step to usurping dominion over men and using them for battle. "Nempe venationum prsetextu collegit juvenum robustam manum, quam talibus exercitus ad belli labores induravit" ('Phaleg.,' 54.12). Before the Lord.

1. ἐ ναντιì ον κυριì ου (LXX.), in a spirit of defiance.

2. Coram Deo, in God's sight, as an aggravation of his sin—cf. Genesis 13:3 (Cajetan).

3. As a superlative, declaring his excellence—of. Genesis 13:10; Genesis 30:8; Genesis 35:5; 1 Samuel 11:7; John 3:3; Acts 7:20 (Aben Ezra, Kimchi, Kalisch, ' Speaker's Commentary').

4. With the Divine approbation, as one who broke the way through rude, uncultivated nature for the institutions of Jehovah (Lange). Cf. Genesis 17:18; Genesis 24:40; 1 Samuel 11:15; Psalms 41:12. Probably the first or the third conveys the sense of the expression. Wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the (a) mighty hunter before the Lord. The precise import of this is usually determined by the view taken of the previous phrase.

Genesis 10:10

And the beginning of his kingdom. Either his first kingdom, as contrasted with his second (Knobel), or the commencement of his sovereignty (Keil, Kalisch), or the principal city of his empire (Rosenmüller); or all three may be legitimately embraced in the term reshith, only it does not necessarily imply that Nimrod built any of the cities mentioned. Was Babel. Babylon, "the land of Nimrod" (Micah 5:6), the origin of which is described in Genesis 11:1, grew to be a great city covering an area of 225 square reties, reached its highest glory under Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:30), and succumbed to the Medo-Persian power under Belshazzar (Daniel 5:31). The remains of this great city have been discovered on the east bank of the Euphrates near Hillah, where there is a square mound called "Babil" by the Arabs (Rawlinson's 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 1. Genesis 1:1-31). And Erech. The Orchoe of Ptolemy, identified by Rawlinson as Wurka, about eighty miles south of Babylon. And Accad. ἀ ρχαì δ (LXX.); the city Sittace on the river Argade (Bochart); Sakada, a town planted by Ptolemy below Ninus (Clericus); Accete, north of Babylon (Knobel, Lange); identified with the ruins of Niffer, to the south of Hillah (Keil); with those of Akkerkoof, north of Hillah (Kalisch). Rawlinson does not identify the site; George Smith regards it as "the capital of Sargon, the great city Agadi, near the city of Sippara on the Euphrates, and north of Babylon ('Assyrian Discoveries,' Genesis 12:1-20.). And Calneh. Calno (Isaiah 10:9); Canneh (Ezekiel 27:23); Ctesiphon, east of the Tigris, north-east of Babylon (Jerome, Eusebius, Bochart, Michaelis, Kalisch); identified with the ruins of Niffer on the east of the Euphrates (Rawlinson). In the land of Shinar. Babylonia, as distinguished from Assyria (Isaiah 11:11), the lower part of Mesopotamia, or Chaldaea.

Genesis 10:11

Out of that land went forth Asshur, the son of Shem (Genesis 10:22; LXX; Vulgate, Syriac, Luther, Calvin, Michaelis, Dathe, Rosenmüller, Bohlen). i.e. the early Assyrians retired from Babylon before their Cushite. invaders, and, proceeding northward, founded the cities after mentioned; but the marginal rendering seems preferable: "Out of that land went (Nimrod) into Asshur," or Assyria, the country northeast of Babylon, through which flows the Tigris, and which had already received its name from the son of Shem (the Targums, Drusius, Bochart, Le Clerc, De Wette, Delitzsch, Keil, Kalisch, Lange, et alii). And builded Nineveh. The capital of Assyria, opposite Mosul on the Tigris, afterward§ became the largest and most flourishing city of the ancient world (Jonah 3:3; Jonah 4:11), being fifty-five miles in circumference (Diod; Genesis 2:3), and is now identified with the ruins of Nehbi-yunus and Kouyunjik. And the city Rehoboth. Rehoboth-ir, literally, the streets of the city (cf. Platea, a city in Boeotia), a town of which the site is unknown. And Calah. The mounds of Nimroud (Layard and Smith), though Kalisch and Murphy prefer Kalah Shergat (about fifty miles south of Nineveh), which the former authorities identify with Asshur, the original capital of the country.

Genesis 10:12

And Resen, i.e. Nimrod, between Kalah Shergat and Kouyunjik (Kalisch); but if Calah be Nimroud, then Rosen may be Selamiyeh, a village about half way, between Nineveh and Calah, i.e. Kouyunjik and Nimroud, ut supra (Layard). The same. Rosen (Kalisch), which will suit if it was Nimroud, whose remains cover a parallelogram about 1800 feet in length and 900 feet in breadth; but others apply it to Nineveh with the other towns as forming one large composite city (Knobel, Keil, Lange, Wordsworth). Is a great city. With this the record of Nimrod's achievements closes. It is generally supposed that Nimrod flourished either before or about the time of the building of the tower of Babel; but Prof. Chwolsen of St. Petersburg, in his 'Ueber die Ueberreste der Altbabylonischen Literatur,' brings the dynasty of Nimrod down as late as 1500 B.C; relying principally on the evidence of an original work composed by Qut ami, a native Babylonian, and translated by Ibnwa hachijah, a descendant of the Chaldaeans, and assigned by Chwolsen to one of the earlier periods of Babylonian history, in which is mentioned the name of Nemrod, or Nemroda, as the founder of a Canaanite dynasty which ruled at Babylon. Perhaps the hardest difficulty to explain in connection with the ordinary date assigned to Nimrod is the fact that in Genesis 14:1-24; which speaks of the reigning monarchs in the Euphrates valley, there is no account taken of Nineveh and its king—a circumstance which has been supposed to import that the founding of the capital of Assyria could not have been anterior to the days of Abraham. But early Babylonian texts confirm what Genesis 14:1-24. seems to imply—the fact of an Elamite conquest of Babylonia, B.C. 2280, by Kudur-nanhundi (Kudurlagamar, the Chederlaomer of Genesis), who carried off an image of the goddess Nana from the city Erech (vide 'Assyrian Discoveries,' Genesis 12:1-20; 'Records of the Past,' vol. 3.), so that this difficulty may be held to have disappeared before the light of archaeological discovery. But at whatever period Nimrod flourished, the Biblical narrative would lead us to anticipate a commingling of Hamitic and Shemitic tongues in the Euphrates valley, which existing monuments confirm.

Genesis 10:13

And Mizraim begat Ludim. An African tribe, a colony of the Egyptians, like the next seven, which are "nomina non singulorum hominum sed populorum" (Aben Ezra, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Murphy); probably referred to in connection with Tarshish and Put (Isaiah 66:19), with Kush and Put (Jeremiah 46:9), and in connection with Put (Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5). Lud (Genesis 10:22) was Shemitic. And Anamim. Not elsewhere mentioned; the inhabitants of the Delta (Knobel). And Lehabim. Lubim (2 Chronicles 12:3; Daniel 2:43; Nahum 3:9); Libyans (Daniel 11:43); probably the Libyaus west of Egypt (Michaelis, Kalisch, Murphy). And Naphtuhim. Nephthys, near Pelusium; on the Lake Sirbenis (Bochart); the Libyan town Napata (Kalisch); the people of Middle Egypt (Knobel).

Genesis 10:14

And Pathrusim. Pathros in Upper Egypt. And Casluhim. The Colchians, of Egyptian origin (Bochart, Gesenius); the inhabitants of the primitive Egyptian town Chemuis, later Panoplis (Kalisch). Out of whom came Philistim. The Philistines on the Mediterranean from Egypt to Joppa, who had five principal cities—Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. They are here described as an offshoot from Casluhim. The name has been derived from an Ethiopic root falasa, to emigrate; hence "immigrants" or "emigrants." Jeremiah 47:4 and Amos 9:7 trace the Philistines to the Caphtorim. Michaelis solves the difficulty by transposing the clause to the end of the verse; Bochart by holding the Casluhim and Caphtorim to have intermingled; Keil and Lange by the conjecture that the original tribe the Casluhim was subsequently strengthened by an immigration from Caphtor. Against the Egyptian origin of the Philistines the possession of a Shemitic tongue and the non-observance of circumcision have been urged; but the first may have been acquired from the conquered Avim whose land they occupied (Deuteronomy 2:28), and the exodus from Egypt may have taken place prior to the institution of the rite in question. And Caphtorim. Cappadocia (Bochart), Syrtis Major (Clericus), Crete (Calmer, Ewald), Cyprus (Michaelis, Rosenmüller), Coptos, Kouft or Keft, a few miles north of Thebes (Kalisch).

Genesis 10:15

And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn. A famous commercial and maritime town on the coast of Syria (1 Kings 5:6; 1 Chronicles 22:4; Isaiah 23:2, Isaiah 23:4, Isaiah 23:12; Ezekiel 27:8); here including Tyre. From the mention of the circumstance that Sidon was Canaan's firstborn, we may infer that in the rest of the table the order of seniority is not followed. And Heth. The father of the Hittites (Genesis 23:3, Genesis 23:5), identified by Egyptologers with the Kheta, a powerful Syrian tribe.

Genesis 10:16

And the Jebusite. Settled at and around Jerusalem (Joshua 15:8; 19:10, 19:11; 1 Chronicles 11:4, 1 Chronicles 11:5). And the Amorite. On both sides of the Jordan, though dwelling chiefly in the Judaean mountains (Genesis 14:7; Joshua 10:5), to which the name "mountaineer," from "Amor," elevation (Gesenius), is supposed to refer. And the Girgasite. The name only is preserved (Joshua 24:11).

Genesis 10:17

And the Hivite. "Villagers" (Gesenius); "settlers in cities" (Ewald); their localities are mentioned in Genesis 34:2; Joshua 9:1, Joshua 9:7; Joshua 11:3; 6:3. And the Arkite. Inhabitants of Arka, a city of Phoenicia (Josephus): afterwards called Caesarea Libani; its ruins still exist at Tel Arka, at the foot of Lebanon. And the Sinite. The inhabitants of Sin. Near Arkf are a fortress named Senna, ruins called Sin, and a village designated Syn.

Genesis 10:18

And the Arvadite,—dwelt in Arvad, Aradus, now Ruad (Josephus)—and the Zemarite,—Simyra, a city of Phoenicia (Bochart, Michaelis, Gesenius, Kalisch) whose ruins are still called Sumrah—and the Hamathite. The inhabitants of Hamath, called Hammath Rabbah (Amos 6:2); Epiphaneia by the Greeks; now Hamah. And afterwards—i.e. subsequent to the formation of these distinct tribes by the confusion of tongues—were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

Genesis 10:19

And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon (its northern boundary), as thou comesti.e. as thou goest, in the direction of—to Gerar,—between Kadesh and Shur (Genesis 20:1)—unto Gaza (now called Guzzeh, at the south-west corner of Palestine); as thou gout, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim (vide Genesis 19:24),—Callirrhoe (Hieronymus, Jerusalem Targum, Josephus, Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch); possibly a variation of Laish and Leshem, a Sidonian city near the sources of the Jordan (Murphy).

Genesis 10:20

These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations (vide Genesis 10:5).

Genesis 10:21

Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber,—as Ham of Canaan (Genesis 9:22; vide Genesis 9:24)—the brother of Japheth the elder. Either the eldest brother of Japheth (Syriac, Arabic, Vulgate, Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Kalisch); or the brother of Japheth who was older (LXX; Symmachus, Onkelos, Raschi, Aben Ezra, Luther, Clerieus, Michaelis, Dathe); or the elder of Japheth's brothers, as distinguished from Ham the younger, i.e. the son who was older than Ham, But younger than Japheth (Murphy, Quarry; vide Genesis 5:32). Even to him were children born.

Genesis 10:22

The children of Shem were twenty-six in number, of whom five were sons. Elam. Elymais, a region adjoining Snaiana and Media, stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Rod Sea; the people first met with as Persians. And Asshur. The ancestor of the Assyrians (vide Genesis 10:11). And Arphaxad. A region in the north of Assyria; the Arrhapacitis of Ptolemy (Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch). The explanation of the name is "fortress of the Chaldaeans ' (Ewald); "highland of the Chaldaeans" (Knobel). And Lud. The Lydians of Asia Minor, to which they appear to have migrated from the land of Shem (Josephus, Bochart, Keil, Kalisch). And Aram. "The high land;" Mesopotamia being the Aram of the two rivers, and Syria the Aram of Damascua

Genesis 10:23

And the children of Aram; Uz, from whom was named the land of Uz (Job 1:1), south-east of Palestine, a tract of the Arabia Deserta. And Hul. In Armenia (Josephus); that part called Cholobetene, or house of Hul (Bochart); the Hylatae of Syria, near the Emesenes (Delitzsch); Coele-syria (Michaelis); Huleh, near the sources of the Jordan (Murphy). And Gether—of uncertain situation—and Mash—traced in Mous Masius of Armenia (Bochart).

Genesis 10:24

And Arphaxad begat Salah. The nation descended from him has not been identified, though their name, "Extension," may imply that they were early colonists. And Salah begat Eber. The father of the Hebrews or Emigrants (vide Genesis 10:21).

Genesis 10:25

And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg. "Division," from palg, to divide; cf. πεì λαγος and pelagus, a division of the sea. For in his days was the earth divided. At the confusion of tongues (Bochart, Rosenmüller, Keil, Lange, Murphy); at an earlier separation of the earth's population (Delitzsch), of which there is no record or trace. And his brother's name was Joktan. Father of the Arabians, by whom he is called Kachtan.

Genesis 10:26-30

And Joktan begat Almodad. Usually said to be Yemen. And Sheleph. The Salapenoi of Ptolemy, belonging to the interior of Arabia. And Hazarmaveth. Hadramaut, southeast of Arabia (Bochart, Michaelis). And Jerah. Contiguous to Hadramaut. And Hadoram. Adramitae of Ptolemy, or the Atramitae of Pliny (Bochart) And Uzal. Awzal, the capital of Yemen (Bochart). And Diklah. The palm-bearing region of Arabia Felix (Bochart); a tribe between the mouth of the Tiber and the Persian Gulf (Michaelis). And Obal, and Abimael, whose settlements are not known. And Sheba. Vide supra, Genesis 10:7. And Ophir. In Arabia; probably in Oman, on the Persian Gulf (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Keil), though it has also been located in India (Josephus, Vitringa, Gesenius, Delitzsch). The gold of Ophir celebrated (1 Kings 9:27, 1 Kings 9:28; 2 Chronicles 9:10, 2 Chronicles 9:13, 2 Chronicles 9:21). And Havilah. The Chaulan in Arabia Felix, but vide supra, Genesis 10:7. And Jobab. The Jobabitae of Ptolemy, near the Indian Sea (Michaelis, Rosenmüller); but more probably a tribe in Arabia Deserta if Jobab—Arabic jebab, a desert (Bochart, Gesenius, Kalisch). All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesha. The seaport of Muza (Bochart); Messene, at the mouth of the Tigris (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch). As thou goest into Zephar. Zafar or Dhafari, on the coast of the Hadramut. The difficulty of identifying a seaport town with a mountain is got over (Kalisch) by reading "to the" instead of a mount of the east—the thunderous range of hills in the vicinity.

Genesis 10:31, Genesis 10:32

These are the sons of Shorn, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. The pedigree of the Shemite tribes is closed with the customary formula (vide Genesis 10:5); that which follows being the concluding formula for the entire table of nations. These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations (literally, according to their Tholdoth, or historical developments), in their nation,: and by these (literally, from the) were the nations divided (or, did the nations scatter themselves) in the earth after the flood.


Genesis 10:32

The ethnological register.


1. It declares all the successive families of mankind to have sprung from a common stock. Diverse as they flow are in their geographical situations, ethnic relations, physical capabilities, national peculiarities, according to the doctrine of this genealogical table they all trace their origin to Noah and his sons.

2. It condemns all those theories which derive man from several pairs. Equally the heathen superstition which assigned to each particular region its own Autochthones, and the modern scientific dogma of varieties of species and distinct centers of propagation is here condemned. Even now ethnologists, archaeologists, and philologists of the highest repute lend their sanction to the sublime sentiment of the great Mars' hill preacher, that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell upon all the face of the earth." The anatomical structure of the human frame, especially of the brain and skull, the physiological properties and functions possessed by the body, the psychological nature of man, and the power of indefinite propagation, which are the same in all nations, with the ascertained results of comparative grammar, which have already traced back all existing languages to three primitive branches, tend in a powerful degree to confirm the doctrine which this table teaches.

3. It implies certain other truths on which Scripture with equal emphasis insists, such as the brotherhood of man, the universal corruption of the race, and the necessity and universality of Christ's redemption.


1. It asserts the fact of the division. It states that in the days of Peleg the earth's population was divided. The means employed are described in the succeeding chapter.

2. It confirms the truth of this division. Had the confusion at Babel not occurred. and the subsequent dispersion not followed. this table could not have been written. Its existence as a literary document in the time of Moses authenticates the fact which it reports.

3. It defines the extent of this division. It shows that the scattered race were to be split up into nations, families, tongues.

III. ILLUSTRATES THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE RACE. The geographical distribution of the earth's population was—

1. Effected in an orderly manner. They were neither scattered promiscuously nor suffered to wander and settle at hazard. Divided into tribes and nations according to their tongues and dialects of speech, they were allocated to distinct portions of the earth's surface.

2. Specially adapted to the characters and destinies of the several nations. The operation of purely natural principles makes it impossible that tribes can permanently settle in countries that are either incapable of yielding to them a maintenance or affording an outlet to their powers. More extensive information would doubtless enable the suitability of each locality in this table to the occupying people to be exhibited; but in broad outline it is perceptible even here—Japheth, whose destiny it was to spread abroad, being established on the coasts of the Euxine, the Caspian, and the Mediterranean; Ham finding rest in the warmer climates, whose enervating influences tended largely to develop his peculiar character, and ultimately to lay him open to subjection by the more vigorous races of the North; and Shem, whose function in the Divine economy it was to conserve religion and religious truth, being concentrated mainly in the Tigris and Euphrates valley.

3. The result of Divine appointment. Moses (Deuteronomy 32:8) and Paul (Acts 17:26) conspire to represent the allocation of territory to the different races of mankind as the handiwork of God (the special means employed for the breaking up of the originally united family of Noah's sons is detailed in the ensuing chapter); the import of which is, that nations have a God-assigned title to the countries which they occupy.

4. The Divinely-ordered distribution of the earth's population is capable of being disturbed by the sinful interference of man. Instances of this appear in the present table, e.g. the intrusion of the Cushite into Shinar, and of the Canaanite into what originally belonged to Skein.

IV. PREDICTS THE FUTURE OF THE RACE. As it were, the separation of the earth's population into races and the moving of them outward to their respective habitations was the starting of them on the lines along which it was designed they should accomplish their respective destinies and common work. They were meant to overspread the globe; and this was the initiation of a great movement which would only terminate in the complete occupation of their God-given heritage.


1. The equal rights of men.

2. The sinfulness of wars of aggression.

3. The hopefulness of emigration.


Genesis 10:8


1. His ancestral pedigree—a Cushite.

2. His early occupation—a hunter of wild beasts, a pioneer of civilization.

3. His rising ambition—he began to be a "Gibber," or mighty one.

4. His regal authority—the beginning of his kingdom was Babel.

5. His extending empire—out of that land went he forth into Asshur.

6. His posthumous renown: "Wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod."—W.

Genesis 10:15-19

The Canaanites.






1. Wicked men and nations may greatly prosper.

2. Prosperity sometimes leads to greater wickedness.

3. The greatest prosperity cannot turn aside the punishment of sin.—W.

Genesis 10:25

Peleg, or the division of the people.

I. WHEN IT TOOK PLACE. In the fourth generation after the Flood.


1. By the Divine interposition.

2. By the confusion of tongues.


1. To punish sin.

2. To separate the Church.

3. To occupy the earth.

IV. BY WHAT IT WAS REMEMBERED. The naming of Eber's son.


1. To read well the signs of the times.

2. To understand well the cause of God's judgments.

3. To remember well the gift of God's mercies.—W.

Genesis 10:32


I. THEIR ROOTS. Individuals.


1. As to time, after the Flood.

2. As to cause, Divine impulse.

3. As to instrumentality, variation of speech.


1. A common head.

2. A common tongue.

3. A common land.

IV. THEIR DESTINIES. To overspread the earth.—W.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". The Pulpit Commentary. 1897.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
And the
13:12-17; 15:18-21; Numbers 34:2-15; Deuteronomy 32:8; Joshua 12:7,8; 14:1-21
as thou comest
Genesis 20:1; 26:1
Heb. Azzah.
Judges 16:1; Jeremiah 25:20
13:10-13; 14:2; 18:20; 19:24,25; Hosea 11:8
Reciprocal: Genesis 11:31 - the land;  Genesis 12:5 - and into;  Genesis 12:6 - Canaanite;  Genesis 13:7 - Canaanite;  Joshua 10:41 - Gaza;  Judges 6:4 - till thou come;  1 Kings 4:24 - Azzah;  2 Chronicles 14:13 - Gerar;  Job 38:20 - the bound;  Jeremiah 47:1 - Gaza;  Mark 7:24 - Tyre;  Acts 12:20 - Tyre

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

SONS OF HAM, Genesis 10:6-20.

The three first sons of Ham settled in Northern Africa. 1) The Ethiopians (Cushites) of the Upper Nile. 2) The Egyptians (Mizraim) of the Lower Nile. 3) The Libyans (the Phutites) west of the Egyptians, in the east of Northern Africa. The Cushites appear to have removed from the high North-east, (of Central Asia,) passing over India, Babylonia, and Arabia, in their course towards the south. The Canaanites settled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan, and gave their name to the country.

The name Poeni (Φοινος ) blood-red, denotes the original Hamitic colour of the Phenicians. Eastward from these the various families of the Hamites occupied the whole country of Arabia to the Persian Gulf; and under Nimrod they became the people of the first great empire, Babylonia. See Lange.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.The territory of the Canaanites is now described, in general terms, as commencing at the Phenician city of Sidon and running southward to Gerer and Gaza, cities of the Philistines, then spreading eastward to the great plain of Siddim, which is now covered by the southern portion of the Dead Sea, but which, at the time this narrative was written, was occupied by the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim. This statement shows that this chapter must have been written at least as early as the time of Abraham. The location of Lasha is unknown, although Jerome, and others following him, identify it with Callirhoe, north-east of the Dead Sea. But there are no remains there, and the identification is doubtful.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.