GENESIS 10 - 11






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Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. The sons of Japheth wereGomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. Genesis 10:1-5


Anthropologically and ethnologically speaking, this is probably the most important document in man's possession today, because it records the earliest lines of the human race. The biblical scholar, H. S. Miller, tells us that 70 nations are found in this account ... all of which came from Noah's three sons. I believe these boys were triplets, Japheth being the first born (Gen. 10:21).

    Fourteen nations are found here in Japheth's genealogy. They are as follows:

           From Magog ... the Scythians, Slavs, Russians, Bulgarians, Bohemians, Poles, Slovaks and Croatians.

           From Madai ... the Indian, Iranic, Mede, Persian, Afgan and Kurdish peoples.

           From Javan ... the Romance peoples, the Greeks, Romans, French, Spanish, Portuguese and others.

           From Tiras ...  the Thracians, Teutons, Germans, Angles, Saxons and Anglo-Saxons. In general, these were the light skinned and European peoples whose territories ranged from the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

In general, these were the light skinned and European peoples whose territories ranged from the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.



The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD." And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). Mizraim begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, and Casluhim (from whom came the Philistines and Caphtorim). Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite; the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. These were the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands and in their nations. Genesis 10:6-20


    Thirty nations are found in the descendants of Ham here. They were dark skinned peoples, the majority of which lived south of Palestine. Ham has been handed a “bad rap” by many. But it should be noted that from him came two of the world’s earliest and greatest civilizations … namely, the Egyptians and the Babylonians. The greatest personality among Ham's descendants was Nimrod. We are told he was a mighty hunter before the Lord. His reputation was so great that he became a legend among early mankind. They even had a saying about him … like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. He was the founder of the cities of Babel and Nineveh, which become the capital cities of Babylon and Assyria.



And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder. The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations. These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood. Genesis 10:21-32   


    Twenty-six nations are found among the descendants of ShemThey comprise the Semitic, Oriental, and Mongoloid peoples. Eber is thought to be the grandfather of Abraham. It was probably from him that the name Hebrew (Eberooo) was derived.

Incontrovertible archaeological evidence that supports these genealogies in Genesis 10 and 11 can be seen in the DNa inscription on Darius the Great’s tomb in Iran.


At the top left on the face of the tomb above, a list is provided of the peoples Darius 1 conquered and ruled over. Tim McClard comments on this inscription as follows:

Every one of those ancient civilizations can be traced back in history to the three sons of Noah...Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives and their immediate descendants as listed in Genesis 10. These are real names in real history. Darius 1 was not a mythological figure, and neither were the nations he conquered, implying that the eight people who stepped out of the ark and their immediate descendants listed in Genesis 10 were also real historical figures. Noah's story is NOT a myth. I have provided an English translation of the salient portion of the Darius Tomb Inscription. I have also provided the list of Nations and their corresponding connection to Genesis 10 (in bold letters) ...

* Media - (from MADAI - son of JAPHETH)

* Elam - (from ELAM - son of SHEM)

* Parthia - (from MAGOG - son of JAPHETH)

* Aria - (from MAGOG - son of JAPHETH)

* Bactria - (from GETHER - son of ARAM - son of SHEM)

* Sogdia - (from MAGOG - son of JAPHETH)

* Chorasmia - (from MAGOG - son of JAPHETH)

* Drangiana - *Arachosia - *Sattagydia - *Gandhara [Gadâra] - *India [Hiduš] - (from JOKTAN - son of EBER - son of SHELAH - son of ARPHAXAD - son of SHEM)

* The haoma-drinking Scythians, the Scythians with pointed caps, the Scythians across the sea [Sakâ] - (from MAGOG son of JAPHETH)

* Babylonia - (from NIMROD? - son of CUSH - son of HAM)

* Assyria (from ASHER - son of SHEM)

* Arabia (from ARPHAXAD - son of SHEM)

* Egypt (from MIZRAIM - son of HAM)

* Armenia - (from HUL - son of ARAM - son of SHEM)

* Cappadocia (from MESECH - son of JAPHETH) * * Lydia - (from LUD son of SHEM)

* the Greeks, the petasos-wearing Greeks [Persian - Yaunâ] - (from JAVAN son of JAPHETH)

* Thrace (from TIRAS - son of JAPHETH)

* Libyans - (from PUT son of HAM)

* the Nubians - (from CUSH - son of HAM)

     Finally, take special note of this man, Peleg (10:25). His name comes from the Hebrew word palag ... meaning split or divide. His father, Eber, gave him that name because, as our text says, in his days the earth was divided. This statement is also found in the genealogy in First Chronicles 1:19 as well. In the early 1900's, geologists became aware that all the continents of Earth were originally just one large landmass. This is the clear biblical presentation as well as found in day 3 of the creation account in Genesis 1. At a conference in 1926, they named this original supercontinent Pangaea. According to them, millions of years ago Pangaea broke up and its pieces drifted apart forming all the continents that we see today. I believe the passage here in Genesis 10:25, points to the true breaking up of Pangaea in relatively recent human history ... around 4500 years ago. I believe this is what is cited as occurring during the days of Peleg and after which he was named.



Doubtless, it was quite a shock to mankind when the earth began to divide. Eber’s world, suddenly and drastically, began to pull apart. Some creationists object to this interpretation, however, insisting that it would have necessitated enormous earthquakes, tsunamis, and other immensely destructive effects. However, if this dividing of the earth took place under the superintending hand of God (as seems to be calmly implied here) ... then, the destructive effects that would ordinarily accompanying such an event could have been greatly minimized …  if not eliminated altogether. The simple straight-forward way it is presented to us here in the Word of God seems to indicate that was the case and I, for one, believe that is what happened. The humans of Eber’s day must have looked on in utter amazement as the widening gaps between landmasses became more and more distant until the receding shorelines could no longer be seen.

Obviously, God had a great purpose for these monumental changes in Earth's topography. You will remember that it was his desire that men should scatter and populate the whole Earth. This event would certainly have been a major factor in insuring that objective. It may also be the best explanation for a multitude of mysterious similarities between, say, the Aztec pyramids of South America and the Egyptian pyramids of North Africa, as well as a plethora of other similarities in peoples, architectures and mores that are found on the different continents today. In addition, the dividing up of Pangaea into today's separate continents set the stage for the various nations and empires that God had preordained.



Now the whole earth had one language and 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. Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." Genesis 11:1-4



It is always predictable that sinful men can be counted on to do the exact opposite of the will of God. God told Noah to be fruitful, and multiply, and fill up the earth (9:1). To obey, however, man would have to agree to divide up. However, these descendants of Noah had no intention of doing that. Rather, they proceeded to do the exact opposite. They plotted to stay together lest they become scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth (11:4).

They said, We’re gonna build ourselves a city … and … We’re gonna make a name for ourselves. Obviously, they considered themselves captains of their own ship and the prime determining factors of their own destiny. In James 4:13-16, we read,

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Psalm 138:6, says,

Though the LORD is on high, yet he regards the lowly; but the proud he knows from afar.

The Proud ... such were the people who set out to build the Tower of Babel. But they were setting themselves up for a huge surprise.



But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:5-9


When we read … the Lord came down to see the city, we are not reading that he had to come down to find out what was going on. Rather, we are reading that the Lord himself come down, in bodily form, to personally inspect the city that these descendants of Noah were building. Our God is a hands-on God, you see. I believe this was yet another pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember again, such appearances are called … theophanies.

After his personal inspection, the Lord decided to supernaturally intervene at Babel, so that his will for humanity would continue to be carried out. Instantaneously, he created the basis for the wide variety of human languages that we find in our world today … planting them in the individual minds of the men of Babel, as he saw fit. Suddenly, the inhabitants of Babel could no longer understand one another, much less work together, and therefore were forced to separate … scattering them over the earth as originally commanded. This is the true origin of human languages. Later, these people were further divided by the breaking apart of Pangaea during the days of Peleg, as we previously discussed.

The Lord's words here … let us go down and confuse their language … is another allusion to the Trinity. We first encountered this kind of expression back in 1:26, where we read … And God said, 'Let us make man in our image'.

Before we move on, I would like to mention that there is a very exciting and fascinating archaeological site in southern Turkey that I believe to be the remains of the Tower of Babel. It is called Gobekli Tepe. It is located just a few hundred miles from where the ark came to rest in the mountains of Ararat. The site is massive and the German archaeologists who have been working there since 1994 have only excavated about 5 percent of it.

Gobekli Tepe consists of large circular megalithic structures made up of stone columns with caps that are designed to support timbers. Mysteriously, the site was never used for residency but, according to the archaeologists, had some sort of religious or cultic significance. And, for reasons unknown, its construction was abandoned and then actually covered back over by its builders. Carbon dating dates the site at 12,000 BC, making it the oldest known unified construction by man on Earth (7000 years before the pyramids of Egypt). It is so unusual that the History channel (4/29/2011) speculated that aliens may have been constructing it! But, in my opinion, Gobekli Tepe has all of the earmarks of being the remains of the uncompleted construction of the Tower of Babel. I believe that to be the case for the following reasons:

     1. It is in the right area 400 some miles east of Mount Ararat … it is just where you would expect the remains of the Tower of Babel to be. The biblical text says … as people moved eastward they found a plain in Shinar (NIV). This gives us the general location for the Tower of Babel. Shinar is an ancient name that has a long history. The name has an etymology of many nuances and interpretations. Later in history, it became the name for the land of the Babylonian empire. The Old Babylon Period is dated from 2000 to 1595 BC; the Middle Babylonian Period from 1595 to 1000 BC; and the Neo-Babylonian Period from 1000 to 539 BC. Gobekli Tepe is located in the extreme northern end of the ancient land of Shinar.

     2. It is post-Flood the earliest known site of a coordinated, large scale, construction by humans.

     3. A multitude of stone carved animals, birds and insects adorn its pedestals, pointing to Noah’s immediate descendants from the ark.

     4. It was built atop a hill … 1000 feet above the valley floor below. Obviously, intended to be impressive and visible for miles around.

     5. It was deliberately recovered over by its builders before it was abandoned. This is one of its greatest mysteries. Why would its builders cease construction and then go to all the effort of hauling tons of earth and rock back to cover over their previous work? May I suggest that they did so out of fear. They covered it up because, after God’s powerful intervention, they were terrified to proceed. And … lest provoke God to further anger … they buried it! That certainly is a more plausible explanation than the History channel’s alien hypothesis, is it not? Pictures of the Gobekli Tepe site can be found at:


More ruins of Tower of Babel.Column of ruins of Tower of Babel.


Carbon dates, by the way, are not set in stone. There are many variables and assumptions that can throw a carbon date off. Therefore, dates obtained by carbon dating should be carefully examined, both as to the methodology used and the assumptions that are arrived by them.

Ruins of the Tower of Babel photo.


From our study back in Genesis 5, we learned that the Flood ended around 2619 BC. This gave mankind 600 years or so to repopulate the earth before the time when the Tower of Babel began to be built. Determining the actual population numbers of these early men is difficult because there are so many variables, not the least of which was the fact that they lived so much longer than we do. Calculating their number at the end of 600 years ... beginning with only 8 people and a growth rate of 0.02 ... their number would have increased to 1,133,947. If we calculated their number after just 300 years with a growth rate of .035, their number would have been 234,560. If you would like to work with the figures for yourself, go to:





This is the genealogy of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and begot Arphaxad two years after the flood. After he begot Arphaxad, Shem lived five hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, and begot Salah. After he begot Salah, Arphaxad lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters. Salah lived thirty years, and begot Eber. After he begot Eber, Salah lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters. Eber lived thirty-four years, and begot Peleg. After he begot Peleg, Eber lived four hundred and thirty years, and begot sons and daughters. Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu. After he begot Reu, Peleg lived two hundred and nine years, and begot sons and daughters. Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Serug. After he begot Serug, Reu lived two hundred and seven years, and begot sons and daughters. Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor. After he begot Nahor, Serug lived two hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and begot Terah. After he begot Terah, Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years, and begot sons and daughters. Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Genesis 11:10-26


Here, the writer records the line of Shem, through whom Messiah would come. Like the genealogy found in chapter 5, this is also an interlocking genealogy. Interlocking genealogies ensure the exact record and age of each person involved. In all, eleven generations are recorded here, and we will find that longevity, after the Flood, has now been cut in half. During the 365 years that this genealogy covers, if each man had 8 children, and each of his children had 8 children, and so on ... by the time of Abraham, the population of the earth would have been around 100 million.



This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child. And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran. Genesis 11:27-32


We come now to a very important turning point in the book of Genesis. Up to this point, we have studied four events: The Creation, The Fall, The Flood and The Tower of Babel. Now, Genesis will take up four persons: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. So, here at the end of Terah’s genealogy, we come to this man, Abram. His name   means father. Later, God will change his name to Abraham, which means father of a multitude.

Terah was Abraham’s dad and he had three boys. I believe they were triplets. One of them, Haran, died before Abram's family left their home of origin in Ur of the Chaldees. They were just a family of idol worshipers. Yet, when God called to Abram, he responded ... believing and obeying God … and thereby … for all time … became the father of all who trust and believe in the true and living God. As we have it later in the book … And Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness (15:6).

By Abraham’s descendants, God would raise up a people for his name’s sake ... namely, the Jewish people. They would come into being through Abraham’s grandson, Israel (Jacob).

Furthermore, it would be through the Abrahamic covenant that God would give the land of Palestine to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession (13:15).

Finally, we will see that Abraham fathered the Arabic peoples, as well, through his son Ishmael.

So, God's Word will now take up this remarkable saint, Abraham. He is very, very special in the history of God's revelation of himself to mankind.


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

All rights reserved.


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