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Genesis 10

10
Table of the Nations.#Verse 1 is the fourth of the Priestly formulas (2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 11:10) that structure Part I of Genesis; it introduces 10:2–11:9, the populating of the world and the building of the city. In a sense, chaps. 4–9 are concerned with the first of the two great commands given to the human race in 1:28, “Be fertile and multiply,” whereas chaps. 10–11 are concerned with the second command, “Fill the earth and subdue it.” (“Subdue it” refers to each nation’s taking the land assigned to it by God.) Gn 9:19 already noted that all nations are descended from the three sons of Noah; the same sentiment is repeated in 10:5, 18, 25, 32; 11:8. The presupposition of the chapter is that every nation has a land assigned to it by God (cf. Dt 32:8–9). The number of the nations is seventy (if one does not count Noah and his sons, and counts Sidon [vv. 15, 19] only once), which is a traditional biblical number (Jgs 8:30; Lk 10:1, 17). According to Gn 46:27 and Ex 1:5, Israel also numbered seventy persons, which shows that it in some sense represents the nations of the earth.This chapter classifies the various peoples known to the ancient Israelites; it is theologically important as stressing the basic family unity of all peoples on earth. It is sometimes called the Table of the Nations. The relationship between the various peoples is based on linguistic, geographic, or political grounds (v. 31). In general, the descendants of Japheth (vv. 2–5) are the peoples of the Indo-European languages to the north and west of Mesopotamia and Syria; the descendants of Ham (vv. 6–20) are the Hamitic-speaking peoples of northern Africa; and the descendants of Shem (vv. 21–31) are the Semitic-speaking peoples of Mesopotamia, Syria and Arabia. But there are many exceptions to this rule; the Semitic-speaking peoples of Canaan are considered descendants of Ham, because at one time they were subject to Hamitic Egypt (vv. 6, 15–19). This chapter is generally considered to be a composite from the Yahwist source (vv. 8–19, 21, 24–30) and the Priestly source (vv. 1–7, 20, 22–23, 31–32). Presumably that is why certain tribes of Arabia are listed under both Ham (v. 7) and Shem (vv. 26–28). 1These are the descendants of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, to whom children were born after the flood.
2#1 Chr 1:5–10. The descendants of Japheth: Gomer,#Gomer: the Cimmerians; Madai: the Medes; Javan: the Greeks. Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras.#Ez 38:2. 3The descendants of Gomer: Ashkenaz,#Ashkenaz: an Indo-European people, which later became the medieval rabbinic name for Germany. It now designates one of the great divisions of Judaism, Eastern European Yiddish-speaking Jews. Diphath and Togarmah. 4The descendants of Javan: Elishah,#Elishah: Cyprus; the Kittim: certain inhabitants of Cyprus; the Rodanim: the inhabitants of Rhodes. Tarshish, the Kittim and the Rodanim. 5From these branched out the maritime nations.
These are the descendants of Japheth by their lands, each with its own language, according to their clans, by their nations.
6The descendants of Ham: Cush,#Cush: biblical Ethiopia, modern Nubia. Mizraim: Lower (i.e., northern) Egypt; Put: either Punt in East Africa or Libya. Mizraim, Put and Canaan. 7The descendants of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.
8Cush#Cush: here seems to be Cossea, the country of the Kassites; see note on 2:10–14. Nimrod: possibly Tukulti-Ninurta I (thirteenth century B.C.), the first Assyrian conqueror of Babylonia and a famous city-builder at home. became the father of Nimrod, who was the first to become a mighty warrior on earth. 9He was a mighty hunter in the eyes of the Lord; hence the saying, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter in the eyes of the Lord.” 10His kingdom originated in Babylon, Erech and Accad, all of them in the land of Shinar.#Shinar: the land of ancient Babylonia, embracing Sumer and Akkad, present-day southern Iraq, mentioned also in 11:2; 14:1. 11From that land he went forth to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir#Rehoboth-Ir: lit., “wide-streets city,” was probably not the name of another city, but an epithet of Nineveh; cf. Jon 3:3. and Calah, 12as well as Resen, between Nineveh and Calah,#Calah: Assyrian Kalhu, the capital of Assyria in the ninth century B.C. the latter being the principal city.
13#1 Chr 1:11–16. Mizraim became the father of the Ludim, the Anamim, the Lehabim, the Naphtuhim, 14the Pathrusim,#The Pathrusim: the people of Upper (southern) Egypt; cf. Is 11:11; Jer 44:1; Ez 29:14; 30:13. Caphtorim: Crete; for Caphtor as the place of origin of the Philistines, cf. Dt 2:23; Am 9:7; Jer 47:4. the Casluhim, and the Caphtorim from whom the Philistines came.
15Canaan became the father of Sidon, his firstborn, and of Heth;#Heth: the biblical Hittites; see note on 23:3. 16also of the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward, the clans of the Canaanites spread out, 19so that the Canaanite borders extended from Sidon all the way to Gerar, near Gaza, and all the way to Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, near Lasha.
20These are the descendants of Ham, according to their clans, according to their languages, by their lands, by their nations.
21To Shem also, Japheth’s oldest brother and the ancestor of all the children of Eber,#Eber: the eponymous ancestor of the Hebrews, that is, the one to whom they traced their name. children were born. 22#1 Chr 1:17–23. The descendants of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud and Aram. 23The descendants of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Mash.
24Arpachshad became the father of Shelah, and Shelah became the father of Eber. 25To Eber two sons were born: the name of the first was Peleg, for in his time the world was divided;#In the Hebrew text there is a play on the name Peleg and the word niplega, “was divided.” and the name of his brother was Joktan.
26Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were descendants of Joktan. 30Their settlements extended all the way from Mesha to Sephar, the eastern hill country.
31These are the descendants of Shem, according to their clans, according to their languages, by their lands, by their nations.
32These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their origins and by their nations. From these the nations of the earth branched out after the flood.
10
1 These are the generations of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and of the sons who were born to them after the great flood.
2 The sons of Japheth were Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
3 And then the sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
4 And the sons of Javan were Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.
5 The islands of the Gentiles were divided by these into their regions, each one according to his tongue, and their families in their nations.
6 And the Sons of Ham were Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan.
7 And the sons of Cush were Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dadan.
8 And then Cush conceived Nimrod; he began to be powerful on the earth.
9 And he was an able hunter before the Lord. From this, a proverb came forth: 'Just like Nimrod, an able hunter before the Lord.'
10 And so, the beginning of his kingdom was Babylon, and Erech, and Accad, and Chalanne, in the land of Shinar.
11 From that land, Assur came forth, and he built Nineveh, and the streets of the city, and Calah,
12 and also Resen, between Nineveh and Calah. This is a great city.
13 And truly, Mizraim conceived Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, Naphtuhim,
14 and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, from whom came forth the Philistines and the Caphtorim.
15 Then Canaan conceived Sidon his firstborn, the Hittite,
16 and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, the Girgashite,
17 the Hivite, and the Arkite: the Sinite,
18 and the Arvadian, the Samarite, and the Hamathite. And after this, the peoples of the Canaanites became widespread.
19 And the borders of Chanaan went, as one travels, from Sidon to Gerar, even to Gaza, until one enters Sodom and Gomorrah, and from Admah and Zeboiim, even to Lesa.
20 These are the sons of Ham in their kindred, and tongues, and generations, and lands, and nations.
21 Likewise, from Shem, the father of all the sons of Heber, the elder brother of Japheth, sons were born.
22 The sons of Shem were Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
23 The sons of Aram were Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.
24 But truly, Arphaxad conceived Shelah, from whom was born Eber.
25 And to Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth became divided, and his brother's name was Joktan.
26 This Joktan conceived Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, Jerah
27 and Hadoram, and Uzal and Diklah,
28 and Obal and Abimael, Sheba
29 and Ophir, and Havilah and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan.
30 And their habitation extended from Messa, as one sojourns, even to Sephar, a mountain in the east.
31 These are the sons of Shem according to their kindred, and tongues, and the regions within their nations.
32 These are the families of Noah, according to their peoples and nations. The nations became divided according to these, on the earth after the great flood.