One more week!
Wow! I can’t believe “In the Beginning God” Bible study is almost complete.
This is just Part One of our study of the book of Genesis; we have three more parts to go. I pray you have grown in knowledge of the Truth and are walking closer to God as a result of getting into His Word.
It does your spirit good to get into the Word, rightly divide it, and write it upon your heart.
Thank you for being patient with me while I took a brief break from the study to care for my mom. She was with my family for two and a half weeks. Alzheimer’s is a dreadful disease. I hate seeing what it is doing to my mom. While the moments of frustration were there, God gave us moments of laughter, but there were tears too. They were tears of refreshing, but tears of sorrow, also. A prayer for patience was constantly on my lips, and truthfully, I failed miserably, but God is rich in His mercy. While I remember my own impatience and frustration, my mother doesn’t. That’s grace right there. Roles were reversed as I took on simple tasks such as: drying her hair, cooking for her, making her bed, and washing her clothes. She wanted to help me time and time again, and I probably should have let her help a time or two, but truthfully, it was just easier to do those tasks myself. Maybe my failure of allowing her to help was wrong, but in the long run it made things run a bit smoother in the world that is Alzheimer’s care. For all those times she served our family growing up, the time has come to repay her with a smidgen of acts of service back to her, when, in reality, she went far above and beyond all those years ago to care for our family.
Well, let’s dive into this study of the Table of Nations.
At first, it looks like a bunch of names. Hard names, but, oh, the wealth of information in those names. Those names are our ancestors. Perhaps you know which of the sons of Noah you hail from, but maybe you have no clue. I hope after this lesson you’ll have a clearer idea of your bloodline.
Is Japheth one of your patriarchs?
Or is it Ham?
Maybe all three? It is a possibility.
All people of the earth are descendants of at least one of these three men. And we are all related. Noah and Adam are our GRANDS. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all part of the human race, we just have different skin colors. We may have cultural differences along with differences in our skin shades, but we are all the same, HUMAN. We ARE the descendants of Noah. We should not have division across the lines of color, but sadly we do.
In the Table of Nations, 70 nations are listed.
Chapter 10 begins with Japheth who is the oldest son of Noah. There is some disagreement on Japheth being the oldest, but Scripture seems to be clear on this in verse 21 of this chapter. He is the father of 14 nations. Japheth has seven sons: Gomer, Magog, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. Scripture further reveals to us the grandsons of Japheth born to two of his sons: Gomer and Javan. The sons and grandsons of Japheth are noted as Gentiles in verse 5 and seem to be the first settlers along the coast, but eventually expanded further north of Mesopotamia.
I want to include an interesting portion from a book I used a few years back with my kids during our home school studies. Its title is: Genesis: Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick.
“…These descendants spread mostly throughout Europe, and one branch in India. Indian and European peoples and their languages are so similar that we refer to them as a group by the term Indo-European.
The Greeks claim Japheth as their forefather, through his son Javan. In fact, they worshiped Japeth as Iapetos, the son of heaven and earth. In Rome he was called Iupater, which in time became Jupiter.
Japheth’s son Gomer dwelt in the northern lands (Ezekiel 38:6) Gomer’s son Ashchenaz fathered the Germans, and the names Scandia and Saxony possible retain something of Ashchenaz in them. Gomer’s son Ripath became the Paphlagonians who settled near the Black Sea and may have given his name to Europe itself. Gomer’s other son Togarmah became lost to history when the Assyrians conquered and dispersed them.
A recent discovery has turned up some Gomerites in the Far East. They are the Miao mountain tribe of southwest China who claim to be descended from Japheth through Gomer.
Japheth’s three sons, Magog, Meshcech and Tubal mentioned several times in the Old Testament, as well as the New. They founded Georgia and other northern countries and gave their names to the Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk. …. Some of these tribes moved west instead of north; the Irish Celts… traced their history back through Magog.
At least one son of Japheth did not travel far. He is Madai, who became the Medes that we read about in the Bible as part of the Medo-Persian kingdom.
Tiras’s descendants were known in ancient times by several names, but always as invaders and pirates. Tiras was worshipped as Thor, the god of war. His name lives on in Troy, Taurus mountains, and the Etruscan area of Italy.
The Welsh (Britons) and Saxons, as well as the Irish Celts …., have histories wherein they trace their lineage back through Japheth. In summary, Japheth fathered …. all the nations north and west of Babel, as well as the Aryans in India, the Maio in the East, and the Medes who stayed .… in the Middle East (Beechick, pp. 80-81).”1
Ham, the youngest son of Noah, is listed next in the Table of Nations. Ham had four sons: Cush, Mizaim, Put, and Canaan. We also have a listing of his grandsons in Scripture. A total of 30 nations (not races) descended from Ham. Cush is the nation of Ethiopia. Mizraim is Egypt. Put is the nation of Libya. Canaan stayed in the Mesopotamia area and settled what later became known as the nation of Israel when the Israelites, led by Joshua, went in and took the land after wandering in the desert for 40 years. Joshua had been told by God to destroy all the Canaanites, but some Canaanites (they were pagans and were very wicked) lived due to their cunning deception toward Joshua and the Twelve Tribes of Israel (see the book of Joshua for details). Ham also had descendants who settled in the Arabian Peninsula. Ham’s descendants are known as Hamites. It is also believed that Native Americans are descendants of Ham, although it is believed some groups of Native Americans were of Japheth’s lineage.
Ham’s most famous grandson, Nimrod, “…led the rebellion at Babel before the people dispersed to their various lands and nations. He was worshiped in Sumer by the name Amar-utu, later in Babylon by the name Marduk, and in Rome by the name Bacchus (Bar-Cush, meaning son of Cush).”2 (Beechick, 81) We’ll look at Nimrod a little more next week when we review Chapter 11 of Genesis.
Shem, the middle son, fathered 26 nations. His sons are: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. Aram fathered Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad was the father of Salah. Salah was the father of Eber, and Eber fathered Peleg and Joktan. Peleg means division and refers to the state of the nations of their day. Eber is the name from which we get the word Hebrew. The Israelites, or Hebrews, were descendants of Eber. Joktan’s offspring are also mentioned. They are Almodad, Sheeph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Johab. The sons of Joktan dwelled in an unknown area called Mesha in the area called Sephar. Sephar is said to be now called Zafari, a seaport town in Yemen. There is some controversy about Joktan’s descendants as some say they moved to what is now known as India, but it seems to generally be accepted that they settled in the Arabian Peninsula.
As verse 32 states: These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these nations were divided on the earth after the flood.
Do you know what son or sons of Noah you descend from? I know with confidence that I descend from Japheth, but I could easily have Shem or Ham’s blood running through my veins, as well. I’m of European descent and Native American, too, but for all I know, there could be more. It would be fun to have a DNA test done one day to determine my ancestry lineage. Has anyone following along with this study had a DNA test? Where you surprised? Or otherwise? I’d love to know.
Come back next week when we wrap up this study of the first eleven chapters of Genesis. I’ll also have information on when Part Two: Abraham the Patriarch (tentative title) will begin. The start date has changed from my original plans due to unforeseen, but necessary breaks I had to take. And thank you for sticking with me so far. Hope you’ll be with me through this entire study of the book of Genesis. The beginnings of this world we live in are rich in truths which are founded on the eternal foundation emphasized in the first four words in Scripture: “In the Beginning God…”
Blessings to my Bible Study friends,
Below, you will find next week’s Homework which I forgot to include with the post on June 26. Sorry about that!!!
Homework Assignment for next week:
Scripture Reading: Genesis 11
Suggested Scripture Memorization: Genesis 11:8
“So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.”
1.What does verse 1 tell us?
2.Where did they come to dwell?
3.What did they use for stone? What did they use for mortar?
4.What were they going to build?
5.What did the people declare would have its top in the heavens?
6.What did they desire for themselves from building a city and tower?
7.What was their fear?
8.Who came down to view their city?
9.What does verse 6 mean when it uses the phrasing, “now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them”?
10.Who is the US in verse 7? What were their plans to cause to happen to the people?
11.What happened to the people who built the city?
12.What is name of this city built on the Plains of Shinar? Why was this name given to the city?
13.Verse 10 starts out with which of Noah’s son’s genealogy? What was the purpose to mention this son’s genealogy and not the other two?
14.What is the name of Shem’s son in verse 10. How old was Shem when this son was born? Were there other sons and daughters? How old was Shem when he died?
15.What was Arphaxad’s son’s name? How old was Arphaxad when his first recorded son was born? How old was Arphaxad when he died?
16.What was Salah’s son’s name? How old Was Salah when his first recorded son was born? How old was Salah when he died?
17. Who was Eber the father of? How old was Eber when his son was born? Do you remember what Peleg means? (See Genesis 10: 25)
18.Who was Peleg the father of? How old was Peleg when his son was born? How old was Peleg when he died?
19.Who was Reu the father of? How old was Reu when his son was born? How old was Reu when he died?
20. Who was Serug the father of? How old was Serug when his son was born? How old was Serug when he died?
21. Nahor was 29 years old when he fathered Terah. Nahor was the grandfather of which three men?
22.Verse 27, begins with the genealogy of what man? What new information do we learn about one of his sons?
23.What happened to Haran? (Please list his father’s name and his native land in your answer.)
24.Who was Abram’s wife?
25.Who was Nahor’s wife? What was her relationship to him? (Read verse 29 closely to find the answer.)
26.What do we discover about Abram’s wife in verse 30?
27.Who does Terah take with him out of Ur? Where were they going? Where do they end up living?
28.How old was Terah when he died in Haran?
1Beechick, Ruth. Genesis: Finding Our Roots. Pollock Pines, CA: Arrow Press, 1997.
For Further Information:
What Josephus said about the Table of Nations:
A general discussion of disputes over the Table of Nations accuracy: https://www.gotquestions.org/table-of-nations.html
Interesting study on the Table of Nations: (By adding this link I’m not saying I agree with this person’s assessment, only that it is interesting. The author is an old-earth creationist whereas the young-earth creationist view makes more sense to me.)
Table of Nations:
And there’s much more interesting info out there…