Genesis 10: God’s infallible Word.
“This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites. 5 (From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.) 6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteka. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, ‘Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.’ 10 The first centres of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah 12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah – which is the great city. 13 Egypt was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 14 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites. 15 Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, 16 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered 19 and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon towards Gerar as far as Gaza, and then towards Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, as far as Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations. 21 Sons were also born to Shem, whose elder brother was Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek. 24 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber. 25 Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan. 26 Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan. 30 The region where they lived stretched from Mesha towards Sephar, in the eastern hill country. 31 These are the sons of Shem by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations. 32 These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.” NIV
God is in control, overseeing the development and progress of human history. Names matter to Him. People are of concern to Him. ‘Noah’s three sons left a mixed legacy to the world, but the Lord of the nations was still in charge, and history is still His story.’ Warren W. Wiersbe.
In the previous story, as we have noted, Shem and Japheth set examples we should follow, in showing loving-kindness to brothers in their weakness. We must always bear in mind our own frailties and fallibility. But Ham is not to be copied. Look particularly at (9:18, 22, 26 and 27), and on into chapter 10. Think about how these words came true in the later history between the Israelites and the Canaanites. Stand in awe as you consider how God’s Word must prevail. Warren Wiersbe points out that the conquest of Canaan was a victory of faith in God’s promises, and it explains why God admonished Joshua to meditate on God’s Word (Josh.1:8).
This chapter shows in more detail what was said as a general statement in (9:19; see also 9:1 and 7) ‘The Semitic races have been the source of religious light and teaching to the world. God has been known in their tents. The Japhetic races are they great colonisers and populators of the world, overflowing their own boundaries and participating in the religious privileges of the Shemites or Semites. The progressive ideas of the race of Japheth, which of course includes the Indo-European race, have also pervaded the world. The Hamitic races, of which Canaan was one, have always gravitated downward.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary,’p.18.
‘’Nimrod’’ (8-12) is mentioned ‘in parenthesis’ because he was the founder of a great empire. His importance lies in this, that the nations he founded played an important part in the history of Israel, and one of them, Babel, will feature in the next chapter. The word ‘’mighty’’ refers to a champion – someone superior in strength and courage. (It is used re David’s special bodyguards in 1 Kings 1:8 and 10). ‘The image of Nimrod in the text isn’t that of a sportsman hunting game but rather of a tyrant ruthlessly conquering men and establishing an empire. He built four cities in Shinar (Babylonia) and four more in Assyria. Both Babylon and Assyria became the enemies of Israel and were used of God to chasten His disobedient people.’ Warren W. Wiersbe.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord that you, the Most High, rule in the affairs of men.