SECTION TWO - NOAH
THE FAMILY OF NATIONS
The Cimmerians, on the shores of the Caspian Sea.The first son, Gomer, is generally identified (by Herodotus, Plutarch, and other ancient writers) with the district of Cimmeria, north of the Black Sea.
They live in the neighborhood of Ararat, Armenia. In later Jewish literature, Ashkenaz is used to denote GERMANY; hence, ASHKENAZIM, Jews hailing from Germanic countries. Some ethnologists think the name Ashkenaz has also been preserved under the names Scandia and Saxon, as colonists from Germany made their way into Denmark and its northern islands and to the western shores of the continent. Other descendants of Ashkenaz remained in a region of Armenia which, according to Strabo, was called Sakasene.
Peoples of Asia Minor (Celts, Cimerians, Cimbri, Scotch, Welsh, Irish, Briton, Gael, Cymri, Gauls (French)). First settled north of Black Sea. Then spread south west to the extremities of Europe. Josephus identifies Riphath as the ancestor of the Paphlagonians. Another possibility is the Carpathians. There is even a slight possibility that the name Europe was originally a corruption of Riphath.
The third son of Gomer, Togarmah, is almost certainly the ancestor of the ancient people known as Armenians. The Armenian traditions themselves claim this. Some have also claimed (the Jewish Targums) that Germany was derived from Togarmah. Turkey and Turkestan also have a possible etymological connection with Togarmah.
Returning to Japheth, we find his second son, Magog, listed. This name can mean "the place of Gog," and so quite possibly referred to Georgia, a region near the Black Sea still known by that name. Josephus says that Magog (or Gog) was the ancestor of the Scythians, who also originally inhabited the Black Sea area.
Magog is commonly associated in the Bible with two other sons of Japheth- Meshech and Tubal (especially Ezekiel 38:2). Meshech clearly is preserved in the name Muskovi (the former name of Russia) and Moscow. Tubal is known in the Assyrian monuments as the Tibareni, and probably has been preserved in the modern Russian city of Tobolsk. In Ezekiel 38:2 they are associated with "Rosh," (Translated "chief" in the King James Version.) a name from which modern "Russia" was derived. Generally speaking, therefore, these three sons of Japheth-Magog, Meshech, Tubal- can be considered as the progenitors of the modern Russian peoples.
According to all authorities, is the ancestor of the Medes. They settled in what is now Persia and perhaps were in part (along with the Semitic Elamites) ancestors of the Persians as well. It was evidently through this group of Japhethites that the Aryans developed, who later migrated into India to become the progenitors of the Indian peoples.
It is also well established that the name Javan is the original form of Ionia, which was the same as Greece. The same word is translated "Javan" in some Old Testament passages, "Greece" in others. Both Japheth and his son Javan are considered to be the original founders of the Greeks.
Javan is listed as the father of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. "Hellas" is a form of "Elishah," which came to be applied to Greece as a whole (note Hellespont, Hellenists, etc.). The Iliad mentions the Eilesian people; the Tell el Amarna tablets and the Ugaritic tablets mention the Alasians, people apparently from Cyprus.
Tarshish has been variously identified with Tartessos in Spain and with Carthage in North Africa. Both of these, however, were Phoenician cities and the Phoenicians were Canaanites. It is possible that the descendants of Tarshish may have been early settlers of Spain and North Africa, but that the Phoenicians were later more prominent in their development.
Kittim is almost certainly a reference to Cyprus and possibly, to some extent, to the Greek mainland as well. It is just possible that the term "Ma-Kittim" (the land of Kittim) may have given rise to the name Macedonian.
Dodanim is the same, evidently, as Rodanim (I Chronicles 1:7). His name is probably preserved today in the geographical names Dardanelles and Rhodes.
The last-name- son of Japheth, Tiras, became the ancestor of the Thracians, according to Josephus. There is also a possibility that Tiras gave rise to the Etruscqans of Italy.
The descendants of Japheth spread all over Europe, with one major branch heading eastward into Persia and India. It is especially to the descendants of Japheth that the term "Gentiles" was applied.
The sons of Ham were Cush (probably the same as Kish), Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. "Cush" is the same in the Bible as "Ethiopia," and is usually so translated. The Cushites apparently first migrated southward into Arabia, and then crossed the Red Sea into the land now known as Ethiopia. The Tell el Amarna tablets call this land "Kashi."
Mizraim is the ancestor of the Egyptians, and is the customary name for Egypt in the Bible. Egypt is also called "the land of Ham" (Psalm 105:23, etc.), suggesting that Ham accompanied his son Mizraim in the original settlement of the Nile Valley. Since "Mizraim" is a plural form, this may not have been the exact form of his name originally; and some writers have suggested that the semi-legendary founder of Egypts first dynasty, Menes, was the same as Mizraim.
Phut, in the Bible, is the same as Libya, applied to the region of North Africa west of Egypt. This identification was confirmed by Josephus.
Canaan is, of course, the ancestor of the Canaanites and gave his name to the land of Canaan.
Five of the sons of Cush are listed: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah.
Was one of those who migrated from southwestern Arabia across the Red Sea, into the region now known as the Sudan, giving his name to the Sabeans (Isaiah 45:14). There is uncertainty as to the exact relationship between the people descended from Seba and those from several men named Sheba (Genesis 10:7; 10:28; 25:3). People called Sabeans are known in both Arabia and Africa. Josephus identifies "Saba" as the city of "Meroe," in upper Egypt.
HAVILAH, SABTAH, and SABTECHAH
All seem to have been located in Arabia. Another "Havilah" was a Semite, son of Joktan (Genesis 10:29). Sabtah has been identified with the ancient city of Sabatah in Arabia.
Raamah also settled in Arabia, but is specially mentioned as the father of Sheba and Dedan. He is the only one of the sons of Cush whose own sons names are listed. Presumably, in their day, Sheba and Dedan were unusually well known, a presumption which may account for the fact that, later, two of Abrahams grandsons through Keturah were apparently named after them.
Although Cush and all his other sons moved south and west into Arabia and Africa, his most illustrious son settled in the Tigris-Euphrates valley, apparently remaining there even after the rest of the three Noahic families had been compelled, the confusion of tongues, to move away.
Now we come to a man who is very famous in Scripture Nimrod Bar Cush. Nimrod was apparently the youngest son of Cush, and perhaps felt something of a moral kinship with his Uncle Canaan, who had been the youngest son of Ham and the special designee of the Noahic curse.
Cush, as Hams oldest son, had apparently resented this curse more and more as the years passed by. By the time Nimrod was born, the resentment had become so strong that he gave his son a name meaning "Let us rebel!" The inference is that Cush trained Nimrod from childhood to be a leader in a planned and organized rebellion against Gods purposes for mankind.
Thus Nimrod "began to be a mighty one in the earth," (Genesis 10:8) and he soon had all the Hamites-and possibly many of the Semites and Japhethites-under his influence and leadership. They finally settled in the fertile plain of Shinar (a name probably later identified as Sumer) and began to build a great complex of cities, with "the beginning of his kingdom at Babel."
Nimrod became a "mighty tyrant in the face of Jehovah." He was a "hunter" in the sense that he was implacable in searching out and persuading men to obey his will. The Jerusalem Targum says:
And thats ware our Hebrew Text comes in Genesis 10:9 "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord."
The reference to Nimrods hunting prowess suggests that wild beasts were thought to be a real source of danger at the time and that Nimrod acquired a heros reputation by protecting the population against them. Skill at hunting game animals for food for his family would hardly be so unusual as to warrant making his name a proverb to the generations to come, as the text indicates.
Nimrod was a man of great ability and energy and was evidently the leader of the group that built Babel (Genesis 11:4,8,9), which then formed the capital city of the region over which he became king. Though God had instructed man to establish human governmental systems, He could hardly have intended them to assume the form developed by Nimrod-a great empire comprising a complex of cities centered at Babylon.
These cities included Erech, Accad, and Calneh in Shinar. Erech (also called Uruk) is one hundred miles southeast of Babylon, and was the legendary home of Gilgamesh, hero of the Babylonian flood story. Its excavation yielded examples of very ancient writing, long antedating the time of Abraham. Accad was immediately north of Babylon. Also spelled Akkad and Agade in the monuments, the city gave its name to the Akkadian empire, essentially synonymous with the Sumerian empire. Calney has apparently not yet been identified; but all were in the land of Shinar, presumably equivalent to Sumer, and identified in later Scriptures (Daniel 1:2) as Babylonia.
From Babel, Nimrod also "went forth into Assyria", where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth, Resen, and Calah. Nineveh was situated on the upper Tigris River as Babylon was on the Euphrates. Nineveh was roughly two hundred miles north of Babylon and Assyria were subsequently conquered by Semites, but the Hamite Nimrod was the founder and first emperor of both of them. Ninevehs two satellite cities, Rehdoboth and Resen, have not been definitely identified.
Calah, however, has been excavated, on the Tigris about twenty miles south of Nineveh. It is still called "Nimrud," after its founder. Resen was said to be between Nineveh and Calah, so that the entire complex of cities was called "a great city," that is, a large metropolitan area. The Assyrian legends speak of "Ninus" as the founder of Nineveh. This is evidently a form of "Nimrod."
The sons of Mizraim (the founder of Egypt) are next listed. All are shown as the names of peoples, with the plural "im" ending. Unfortunately, most of these (Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim) have not yet been identified. They were evidently important tribes in or near Egypt at the time of the writing of Genesis 10. Perhaps they later moved south and west into other parts of Africa.
The Pathrusim dwelt in Pathros, or Upper Egypt. The text says that the Philistines, well known in later Biblical history, came out of the Casluhim, who are otherwise unknown. Another group, the Caphtorim, who are also identified, in the Bible, with the Philistines (Amos 9:7; Jeremiah 47:4). Secular writings generally place the origin of the Philistines on the island of Crete, and identify Caphtor as Crete. It seems probable that these two sons of Mizraim, ancestors of the Casluhim and Cjaphtorim, kept their families together, later migrating to Crete and still later, in successive waves, to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean to the land later known as Philistia.
Hams youngest son, Canaan, was very prolific, having eleven sons and an unknown number of daughters. The eldest was Sidon, the progenitor of the Phoenicians. This was written before the founding of Tyre, the sister city of Sidon.
Heth is undoubtedly ancestor of the Hittites (Genesis 23:10), who ruled a great empire centered in Asia Minor for over eight hundred years, apparently migrating there originally from the home of their brothers in Canaan.
Hittites were present in the land of Canaan during the time of Abraham (Genesis 15:19-21), and apparently reached the heights of their power in Asia Minor sometime later. They were still a great power at the time of Solomon a thousand years later (II Chronicles 1:17).
There is some evidence that, when the Hittite empire finally crumbled, the remnant of the people fled eastward. The Cuneiform monuments record the name of the Hittites as "Khittae," and this may well have been modified later to "Cathay" as they settled again in the Far East. Archaeologists have noted a number of similarities between the Hittites and the Mongoloids. Both are known, for example, to have pioneered in the art of smelting and casting iron and in the breeding and training of horses.
The other nine sons of Canaan were the progenitors of the Canaanite tribes that inhabited the land when the Israelites arrived. The Jebusites, apparently descended from a man named Jebus, were early inhabitants of Jerusalem (Joshua 15:63). The Amorites were one of the most prominent tribes, with their name sometimes used as representative of all the Canaanites (Genesis 15:16). The Amarna letters call all these tribes the "Amurru."
Although the Girgasites are mentioned frequently in the Bible, their location has not been determined. The Hivites are also frequently mentioned, and some of their cities have been identified archaeologically all the way from Sidon to Jerusalem. The Arkites seem to have been centered in the region around Tell Arka in Syria. The Arvadites lived in Arvad, a port city of the Phoenicians, and the Zemarites about six miles south of Arvad in a town identified in the Amarna letters as Sumur and still known today as Sumra. The Hamathites are associated with the prominent Syrian city Hamath, mentioned frequently in later Biblical history.
The Sinites are intriguing. It is possible that they may have been an insignificant Canaanite tribe, but the similarity of the name to other Biblical names (like, the wilderness of sin, mount sinai, Sinim) suggests that their influence may have been greater than commonly realized.
The tendency of many early tribes toward ancestor worship and actual deification of ancestors may be reflected in the frequent use of the name "Sin" in connection with the ancient pantheon of deities. One of the most important Assyrian gods was "Sin." The particular son of Canaan named Sin, thus, may have been prominent enough in his time not only to give his name to a wide region in the land of Canaan but also to exert great influence in the Sumerian-Assyrian homeland of the Canaanites. The deified "Sin" was said in the monuments found in Ur to have established "laws and justice" among men.
The Biblical mention of a people in the Far East named "Sinim" (Isaiah 49:12), together with references in ancient secular histories to people in the Far East called "Sinae," at least suggests the possibility that some of Sins descendants migrated eastward, while others went south into the land of Canaan. It is significant that the Chinese people have always been identified by the prefix "Sino-" (like , Sino-Japanese War; Sinology, the study of Chinese history). The name "Sin" is frequently encountered in Chinese names in the form "Siang" or its equivalent. The Mongoloid peoples, American Indians came from Hamitic line.
After naming the tribes descended from Canaan, the Bible makes the significant statement that "afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad." The Hittites spread to Asia Minor and perhaps the Sinites to China. The others may well have spread out as well. It is only of the Canaanites that this statement is made, suggesting thereby that these tribes eventually spread out more than any of the others.
"And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem;" Genesis 9:26
The meaning is, Blessed be the God who will, in the days to come, keep His promise to the descendants of Shem-the Israelites-the promise to give unto them the land of Canaan for a possession, and to be their God and their guide.
Shem lists his own descendants to the fifth generation in some cases, whereas Hams genealogy extends to only the third generation and Japheths to only the second.
It is interesting that Shem is identified first as "the father of all the children of Eber" and "the brother of Japheth the elder." In the day and place in which this was written, the children of Eber were presumably well known; so this reference would have lent additional interest to the account.
It is from "Eber" that the term "Hebrew" has apparently been derived. Abraham, for example, was called a Hebrew (Genesis 14:13), indicating that he was of the children of Eber. There is some indication that the people described in certain archaeological monuments as "the Habiru" were not the Israelites, but other tribal descendants of Eber.
Elam is the ancestor of the Elamites, well known in both Scripture and the monuments. Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, was the apparent leader of the confederacy which invaded Canaan during the days of Abram (Genesis 14:4,5). The ancient city of Susa, or Shushan, east of Mesopotamia, was their capital. The Elamites apparently later merged with others, especially the Medes (descendants of Madai and thus of Japheth) to form the Persian empire.
Asshur was evidently the founder of the Assyrians. However, as noted in Genesis 10:11, Nimrod and his followers later invaded the land of Asshur and there founded Nineveh (later to become the capital) and a number of other cities. Consequently, the Assyrian people and culture were a mixture of both Semitic racial stock and Hamitic (Babylonian) culture, language, and religion.
Little is known of Arphaxad except that he was in the direct line leading to Abraham. A region known as Arrapachitis in Assyria may stem from his name.
Lud probably was the ancestor of the Lydians, in Asia Minor, at least according to Josephus. A similar name, however (Ludim-Genesis 10:13), is listed as Hamitic in descent.
The fifth son was Aram, father of the Aramaeans, the same as the Syrians. These people also became a great nation, even finally seeing their Aramaic language adopted as almost a common language for the leading nations of the ancient world, including Assyria and Babylonia. Some of the Old Testament (portions of Daniel and Ezra) was apparently originally written in Aramaic, and it was a common spoken language among the Jews at the time of Christ.
Four sons of Aram are listed, even though none of the children of three of Shems sons are named. Probably the children of Aram had more direct contact with the descendants of Abraham than the others in the early days. Little is known of these four. Ur evidently gave his name to a region in Arabia which later was Jobs homeland (Job 1:1; Jeremiah 25:20). The others (Hul, Gether, Mash) are essentially unknown at this late date, but evidently were important in the days from Shem to Moses.
Genesis 10:25 is the most intriguing verse in the Semitic section of the Table of Nations. Eber had two sons, Peleg and Joktan, of whom Peleg was the one to be in the chosen line. More about Joktan is given in verses 26 through 30.
Peleg-or rather, the event associated with his name-is of more interest today. "In his days was the earth divided."
Evidently this was a most memorable event, and Eber named his son in commemoration of it. The name Peleg means "division." There is the possibility that Peleg is the ancestor of a people known as the Pelasgians.
1) The most obvious interpretation of this verse is that the division was the division of the peoples at the Tower of Babel. It is significant that some such division is mentioned here in Genesis 10:5 ("By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations") and Genesis 10:32 (" .by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood"). These verses seem clearly to refer to a linguistic and geographic division, rather than to an actual splitting of the continents. This is especially clear in verse 5, where the division is specifically "after his tongue."
2) If it is ever actually proved that the earth once was a single land mass that somehow split apart, with the segments gradually drifting away to form the present continents, then indeed this verse might be understood to refer to such an event. The word for "divided" (Hebrew palag) in (10:25) is different from the word for "divided" (Hebrew parad) in verses 5 and 32.
In any case, it is not at all necessary to postulate continental drifting in order to account for the populations now found in remote parts of the globe. Migrations undoubtedly took place across the former land bridges at the Bering Strait and the Malaysian Strait, when the sea level was much lower than it now is, during the centuries following the Flood when much of the earths water was frozen in the great continental ice sheets of the Glacial Epoch. Furthermore, early man knew how to construct seagoing vessels (their ancestors had, after all, constructed the Ark!) and could easily have traveled from continent to continent by water, as much evidence from antiquity in fact indicates he did.
A summary verse is included here for Shem (Genesis 10:31), as it had been for Japheth (verse 5) and Ham (verse 20). Once again it is mentioned that they involved distinct family units, distinct languages (therefore, subsequent to Babel), distinct regions, and, finally, actual nations. A total of twenty-six such "nations" is listed as coming from Shem, as compared with thirty listed from Ham (not including the Philistines, as apparently referred to in an editorial insertion by Moses in verse 14) and only fourteen from Japheth. Thus a total of seventy such primeval nations is listed here by Shem in his original Table of the Nations.
We find that the later Jewish writers attached such significance to the seventy nations that the same number Seventy was the number of the children of Israel that came into Egypt from Canaan (Genesis 46:27). Later (Deuteronomy 10:22), when Israel had multiplied and was returning out of Egypt and was itself a nation-in fact, Gods chosen nation-Moses exhorted the people to "Remember the days of old ..When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel" (Deuteronomy 32:7,8).
The number seventy has ever since been peculiarly associated with the nation of Israel:
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and
of one speech.
Romans 1:18-32 graphically describes the resulting moral and spiritual deterioration of Nimrod and his followers. Willfully leaving the knowledge and worship of the true God and Creator, they began instead to worship the creation. This soon led to pantheism and polytheism and idolatry. How much of this new system of religion came by direct communication with Satan himself we do not know, but there is abundant evidence that all forms of paganism have come originally from the ancient Babylonian religion. The essential identity of the various gods and goddesses of Rome, Greece, India, Egypt, and other nations with the original pantheon of the Babylonians is well established. Nimrod himself was apparently later deified as the chief god ("Merodach," or "Marduk") of Babylon.
These pagan deities were also identified with the stars and planets-the "host of heaven"-with sun-worshipping occupying a central place. This system was formalized in the Zodiac. (See Section one Pg. 10-12), with its numerous constellations-a most remarkable construction which seems to have been the common possession of all the nations of antiquity. And behind this facade of images (both on the star charts of the heavens, and in their stone and metallic representations in the temples) of "men and birds and fourfooted beasts and creeping things" lurked a real "host of the heavens," the angelic and demonic hosts of Lucifer, the "day-star." The subsequent system of astrology is a gross corruption of the original evangelical significance of the heavenly bodies, created originally to serve in part for "signs and seasons."
Furthermore, the development of this system of idolatry and Satan-worship was accompanied by an attempt to unify all mankind under one government. Nimrod not only set up a military dictatorship but also established a priestly oligarchy, in which he himself was chief priest and later the chief object of worship. There is some indication that the queen Semiramis, a familiar name in the ancient traditions, was Nimrods wife, and that she was also an active leader of the conspiracy. According to Revelation 17:5, Babylon was the "mother of harlots and abominations of the earth".
As the people migrated eastward (or southward) from the forbidding region of Ararat, they finally came to Shinar and the fertile Mesopotamian plain, where they decided to settle and build a city. Perhaps the region reminded them of their antediluvian home, and they thought they might even be able to restore the conditions of Eden itself, for they named the rivers Tigris and Euphrates after two of the streams that had once flowed from the Garden.
The immediate descendants of Noah, of course, all spoke the same language, the same as had been spoken by men in the antediluvian period. It is probable that this was a Semitic language (perhaps even Hebrew), since the proper names of men and places in the pre-Babel period all have meanings only in Hebrew and its cognate languages. Also, it seems unlikely that Shem participated in the Babel rebellion; so it is probable that his own language was not affected by the resulting confusion of tongues. Consequently, his family would have continued speaking the same language they had always spoken.
Even their fear and admiration of their great leader Nimrod might not suffice to keep them together. Nimrod must have realized that they needed a strong religious motivation as well, a motivation powerful enough to overcome their knowledge that God had indeed commanded them to fill the whole earth.
The words "to reach" are not in the original. They would build a "tower unto heaven"-in other words, a tower dedicated to heaven and its angelic host. The signs of the Zodiac would be emblazoned on the ornate ceiling and walls of the temple, signifying the great story of creation and redemption, as told by the antediluvian patriarchs. These figures, which had once been designed only as symbolic representations on the heavens of the coming Redeemer and of Gods great plan of salvation, now began to take on the aspect of actual spiritual entities. The Virgin, whose sign among the stars once reminded men of the promised Seed of the woman, began to assume the proportions of an actual Queen of Heaven; and Leo, the great sidereal lion at the other end of the Zodiac, became a great spiritual King of Heaven. Soon the stars, the physical "host of heaven," were invested with the personalities of the angels, the invisible spiritual heavenly hosts.
But this system soon became so complicated that it required a specially devoted class of men and women to dedicate their lives to its study and interpretation, so that they might guide the people in their devotions and sacrifices and in the ordering of their lives As the consciousness of Gods personal nearness receded, so did their concern to obey Him. But also, this absence of true spiritual communion left a spiritual vacuum in their souls which could only be satisfied by some other kind of personal spiritual communion.
From some such beginning soon emerged the entire complex of human
"religion-an evolutionary pantheism, promulgated via a system of astrology and
idolatrous polytheism, empowered by occuldtic spiritism and demonism.
Logic of the chart below, using Shem as an example.