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Genesis 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.
The story about Noah’s sons and their families
1This is the story about Noah’s sons and their families. His sons were Shem, and Ham, and Jafeth, and after that big flood, they had kids too.
The tribes from Jafeth’s family
2-5A long time later, the people that were born into Jafeth’s family split up into different tribes and nations. Each tribe had their own language, and their own country. Jafeth’s sons were Gomer, and Magog, and Madayi, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshek, and Tiras.
The tribes that were from Jafeth’s son Gomer and his family were the Ashkenaz mob, and the Rifath mob, and the Togarmah mob.
The tribes that were from Jafeth’s son Javan and his family were the Elishah mob, and the Tarshish mob, and the Kit mob, and the Rodan mob.
Javan’s people lived near the sea.
The tribes from Ham’s family
6The people that were born into Ham’s family split up into different tribes too, and each tribe had their own language, and their own country. Ham’s sons were Cush, and Egypt, and Put, and Canaan.
7The tribes that were from Ham’s son Cush and his family were the Seba mob, and the Havilah mob, and the Sabtah mob, and the Ramah mob, and the Sabteca mob. And the tribes that were from Ramah and his family were the Sheba mob, and the Dedan mob.
8One of the men that was born into Cush’s family was called Nimrod. After he grew up, he became a strong fighter. 9He was the best hunter in the world too. Whenever people talked about good hunters, they said things like this, “That man is a really good hunter. He is just like Nimrod, the best hunter in the world.”
10Nimrod controlled the country called Babylonia, and he was the boss over the cities called Babel, and Erek, and Akad. 11After that, Nimrod got the country called Assyria, and he built the towns called Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah. 12Then he built a big town called Resen. It was between Nineveh and Calah.
13The tribes that were from Ham’s son Egypt and his family were the Lud mob, and the Anam mob, and the Lehab mob, and the Naftuh mob, 14and the Pathrus mob, and the Casluh mob, and the Caftor mob. (Later the Philistia nation were from the Caftor mob.)
15Ham’s youngest son was called Canaan. Canaan had 2 sons. His 1st son was called Sidon, and his other son was called Heth. 16The tribes that were from Canaan and his family were the Jebus mob, and the Amor mob, and the Girgash mob, 17and the Hiv mob, and the Arek mob, and the Sin mob, 18-19and the Arvad mob, and the Zemar mob, and the Hamath mob. All those tribes were from Canaan, and they went as far north as the town called Sidon, and as far south as the town called Gaza, and as far east as the towns called Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboyim, near Lasha.
20They were all the tribes and nations that were from Ham and his family. Each tribe had their own country, and their own language.
The tribes from Shem’s family
21Shem was Jafeth’s older brother. The Eber mob are from Shem’s family. 22Shem’s sons were Elam, and Asshur, and Arfaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
23The tribes that were from Shem’s son Aram and his family were the Uz mob, and the Hul mob, and the Gether mob, and the Mash mob.
24Shem’s son Arfaxad had a son called Shelah, and he had a son called Eber. 25Eber had 2 sons. The 1st son was called Peleg, and his young brother was called Joktan. That name Peleg means split up. He got that name because all the people split up into different tribes after he was born.
26The tribes that were from Eber’s son Joktan’s family were the Almodad mob, and the Shelef mob, and the Hazarmaveth mob, and the Jerah mob, 27and the Hadoram mob, and the Uzal mob, and the Diklah mob, 28and the Obal mob, and the Abimayel mob, and the Sheba mob, 29and the Ofir mob, and the Havilah mob, and the Jobab mob. 30All of those people were born into Joktan’s family. Their country was in the mountains in the east, the country you see if you go from Mesha all the way to Sefar.
31They were all the tribes and nations that were from Shem’s family. Each tribe had their own country, and their own language.
32That is the big list of all the families and tribes that were born into Noah’s family. They split up into their own nations, and they went everywhere after the big flood.