Genesis 10

Noah’s offspring

11 BCE to 10 BCE

This is the biblical genealogy according to the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, which outlines the descendants of Noah’s three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth after the Flood. Each of these sons is traditionally considered the progenitor of different groups of people:

  • Shem is traditionally considered the ancestor of the Semitic peoples, which include the Jews, Arabs, and others. His descendants are listed with significant individuals and groups, like Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, and others, leading down to Abraham and his descendants, which include Isaac and Jacob (Israel).
  • Ham is traditionally considered the ancestor of peoples in Africa and parts of the Near East, including the Egyptians (Mizraim), Ethiopians (Cush), Libyans (Put), and Canaanites. His descendants are associated with various ancient peoples and regions.
  • Japheth is traditionally considered the ancestor of the Indo-European peoples, which include the Greeks (Javan), Medes (Madai), and others. His descendants are associated with various groups known from classical antiquity.

The genealogy serves multiple purposes in the biblical narrative, including providing a mythic history for the peoples of the ancient world, explaining the relationships between different nations, and situating the story of Abraham and his descendants within a larger world history.

Noah (950 years)
|-- Shem (600 years)
|   |-- Elam
|   |-- Asshur
|   |   |-- Nimrod (Founder of Babel, Asshur, Nineveh, and other cities)
|   |
|   |-- Arphaxad (438 years)
|   |   |-- Shelah (433 years)
|   |       |-- Eber (464 years)
|   |           |-- Peleg (239 years, lived during the division of the Earth)
|   |           |   |-- Reu (239 years)
|   |           |       |-- Serug (230 years)
|   |           |           |-- Nahor (148 years)
|   |           |               |-- Terah (205 years, died in Haran)
|   |           |                   |-- Abraham (175 years, natural death)
|   |           |                       |-- Isaac (180 years, natural death)
|   |           |                           |-- Jacob (147 years, natural death)
|   |           |
|   |           |-- Joktan
|   |               |-- Almodad
|   |               |-- Sheleph
|   |               |-- Hazarmaveth
|   |               |-- Jerah
|   |               |-- Hadoram
|   |               |-- Uzal
|   |               |-- Diklah
|   |               |-- Obal
|   |               |-- Abimael
|   |               |-- Sheba
|   |               |-- Ophir
|   |               |-- Havilah
|   |               |-- Jobab
|   |
|   |-- Lud (Lydians)
|   |
|   |-- Aram (Arameans/Syrians)
|       |-- Uz
|       |-- Hul
|       |-- Gether
|       |-- Mash
|-- Ham
|   |-- Cush (Ethiopians)
|   |   |-- Seba
|   |   |-- Havilah
|   |   |-- Sabtah
|   |   |-- Raamah
|   |   |-- Sabteca
|   |   |-- Sheba
|   |   |-- Dedan
|   |
|   |-- Mizraim (Egyptians)
|   |   |-- Ludim
|   |   |-- Anamim
|   |   |-- Lehabim
|   |   |-- Naphtuhim
|   |   |-- Pathrusim
|   |   |-- Casluhim (from whom the Philistines came)
|   |   |-- Caphtorim
|   |
|   |-- Put (Libyans)
|   |
|   |-- Canaan (Canaanites)
|       |-- Sidon (Sidonians)
|       |-- Heth (Hittites)
|       |-- The Jebusites
|       |-- The Amorites
|       |-- The Girgashites
|       |-- The Hivites
|       |-- The Arkites
|       |-- The Sinites
|       |-- The Arvadites
|       |-- The Zemarites
|       |-- The Hamathites
|-- Japheth
    |-- Gomer (Cimmerians)
    |   |-- Ashkenaz (Scythians)
    |   |-- Riphath (Paphlagonians)
    |   |-- Togarmah (Armenians)
    |-- Magog (Scythians)
    |-- Madai (Medes)
    |-- Javan (Ionians/Greeks)
    |   |-- Elishah (Eolians)
    |   |-- Tarshish (Tartessians in Spain)
    |   |-- Kittim (Cypriots)
    |   |-- Dodanim (Rhodians)
    |-- Tubal (Tubalu/Tabal)
    |-- Meshech (Mushku/Muscovy)
    |-- Tiras (Thracians)

Lived during the division of the Earth

The phrase “lived during the division of the Earth” refers to an event described in the Bible, specifically in Genesis 10:25, associated with Peleg, one of the descendants of Shem. According to the verse, “Unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided…”

The exact meaning of “the earth was divided” has been subject to different interpretations:

  1. Linguistic and Cultural Division: Some scholars and traditions interpret this division as the splitting of human languages and cultures at the Tower of Babel. This event, described in Genesis 11, led to the dispersal of humanity across the earth into different linguistic and cultural groups. Since the account of the Tower of Babel follows the genealogies that include Peleg, some believe that “the division of the earth” refers to this linguistic and cultural fragmentation.
  2. Geographical Division: Another interpretation is that this phrase refers to a physical, geographical division, such as changes in the landscape or the separation of landmasses. This could be understood in terms of significant geographical changes or natural disasters that altered the earth’s surface, although there is no detailed biblical account of such an event specifically tied to Peleg’s time.
  3. Tribal or Territorial Division: It could also refer to the division of territories among different families, tribes, or peoples as they spread out and settled in different regions of the world.

The first interpretation aligns most closely with the subsequent biblical narrative and the traditional Jewish and Christian interpretations, seeing this division primarily in terms of the social and linguistic fragmentation at Babel. The exact nature of the division, whether it was linguistic, geographical, or both, remains a subject of theological interpretation and debate.

The text

[1] Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
[2] The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
[3] And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
[4] And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
[5] By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
[6] And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
[7] And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
[8] And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
[9] He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
[10] And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
[11] Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
[12] And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
[13] And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
[14] And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.
[15] And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,
[16] And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,
[17] And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
[18] And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
[19] And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
[20] These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.
[21] Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
[22] The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
[23] And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.
[24] And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.
[25] And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.
[26] And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazar-maveth, and Jerah,
[27] And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,
[28] And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
[29] And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.
[30] And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.
[31] These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
[32] These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

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