You know those Old Testament chapters of the Bible that just need to be skipped because they are nothing but names that can’t be pronounced and have zero other useful information? Genesis Table of Nations Chapter 10 is that Chapter. I teach on Sundays and work chapter by chapter so here we are Chapter 10 and what can be done? [I have been here before. Check out Genesis 5 a book of generations]

These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood. Genesis 10:1 ESV

Repopulating the World

Noah and his family unload from the Ark in the harsh newly destroyed post flood world and they spread out to make a name for themselves. Someone in the family kept a record of all the cousins, grand babies, and nephews and we call this record from Genesis the Table of Nations. This genealogy is important enough that we have an entire chapter of the Bible to review thousands of years after the families are long gone.

My struggle as a teacher is to organize this data in a way that is presentable and we can make sense of. Here is a hierarchy chart of the names recorded. I know there is no good way to read this but I put it in here for visual reference. There are three Sons of Noah. Japheth, the oldest, Ham, and Shem. First thing to jump off the page is that Shem’s family has great, great, great, great grandsons so my guess is Shem is the Biblical family tree. And that guess is proven right because later in the Bible we will find that Abraham is a direct descendant of Shem the son of Noah.

Henry Morris in his commentary The Genesis Record highlights the path the descendants of Noah take as they dispersed into this new world. Europe, Russian, and India descendance flow out from Noah’s Oldest son Japheth. The peoples of Africa, Egypt, Asia are descendant of Ham. And the peoples of Shem would be the Hebrews as well as Persians, Asia Minor, and North Africa.

This chart represents the foundations of a new and dangerous world. These families were starting over and building nations. Every person alive on this planet. No matter the color of their skin or the culture they were raised could, if possible, trace their family back to one of these listed in this chart. Everyone who is alive is a direct descendant of Noah who built the Ark.

People Who Founded the World We See Today

Some of the names in the Table of Nations from Genesis are famous and even though Noah knew God over the generations they rebelled against him as people are likely to do. But God has not forgotten these rebellious nations.

Noah’s SonDescendantHebrewHebrew MeaningBiblical Reference
JapethMagogמָגוֹגLand of GogEzekiel 39, Revelation 20
JapethJavanיָוָןIonia or GreeceIsaiah 66
HamNimrodנִמְרֹדRebelionMicha 6
ShemPelegפֶּלֶגDivision1 Chronicles 1

18 “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. Isaiah 66:18-19 ESV

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. Revelation 20:7-8 ESV

Saxons, Goths, and Britons

I am of a British background so my ancestor would be Japheth since his children worked their way into Europe. There is more history backing this up than one might think is available. There is a fascinating book After the Flood that focuses on Europe and the genealogies that are recorded in antiquity from this land. Where did these people come from? One might think it is a mystery but there is evidence that points back to Japheth and the blood lines of kings.

Chart from After the Flood by Bill Cooper

From Adam to Abraham to Jesus

In addition to Genesis Chapter ten the book of Chronicles chapter one repeats this same information but connects this chart to Abraham. The past is distant and hard to see clearly but to think that we have a full record of generations from Adam to Jesus is astounding.

Paul makes the connection even more clear in his letter to Rome. Death came from the first man Adam and we all share in that death. But life in the Spirit comes through the perfect man Jesus. This is the point and purpose of the Bible. To point us to Jesus. All the history and the details we need to know God are right here.

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Romans 5:12;15-17 ESV

If you enjoyed reading the Table of Nations from Genesis then click the like button, leave a comment, or ask a question! A word about this topic that I did not address. There is only one race and we are all sinners but any dive into genealogies is not complete without talking about racism and it is addressed by the New Testament. Christ ends race.

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