CH. 10:1-11:26.





I. THE historical credibility of the present section has been challenged.


1. On account of a fancied resemblance to the ethnographic mythologies of

Greece, the genealogical table of the nations has been relegated to the

category of fictitious invention. It has been assigned by many critics to a

post-Mosaic period, to the days of Joshua (Delitzsch), to the age of

Hebrew intercourse with the Phenician Canaanites (Knobel), to the era of

the exile (Bohlen); and the specific purpose of its composition has been

declared to be a desire to gratify the national pride of the Hebrews by

tracing their descent to the first-born son of Noah, that their rights might

appear to have a superior foundation to those of other nations (Hartmann).

But the primogeniture of Shem is at least doubtful, if not entirely incorrect,

Japheth being the oldest of Noah’s sons (see ch. 5:32; 10:21);

while it is a gratuitous assumption that not until the days of the monarchy,

or the exile, did the Israelites become acquainted with foreign nations. The

authenticity and genuineness of the present register, it is justly remarked by

Havernick, are guaranteed by the chronicler (ch. 1:1). “In the time

of the chronicler nothing more was known from antiquity concerning the

origin of nations than what Genesis supplied. Supposing, then, that some

inquiring mind composed this table of nations from merely reflecting on the

nations that happened to exist at the same period, and attempting to give

them a systematic arrangement, how could it possibly happen that his turn

of mind should be in such complete harmony with that of the other? This

could only arise from the one recognizing the decided superiority of the

other’s account, which here lies in nothing else than the historical truth

itself belonging to it” (Intro., § 17). And the historical truthfulness of the

Mosaic document is further strikingly authenticated by the accredited

results of modern ethnological science, which, having undertaken by a

careful analysis of facts to establish a classification of races, has divided

mankind into three primitive groups (Shemitic, Aryan, Turanian or

Allophylian), corresponding not obscurely to the threefold arrangement of

the present table, and presenting in each group the leading races that

Genesis assigns to the several sons of Noah; as, e.g., allocating to the Indo-

European family, as Moses has done to the sons of Japheth, the principal

races of Europe, with the great Asiatic race known as Aryan; to the

Shemitie, the Assyrians, Syrians, Hebrews, and Joktauite Arabs, which

appear among the sons of Shem in the present table; and to the

Allophylian, the Egyptians, Ethiopians, Southern Arabs, and early

Babylonians, which the primitive ethnologist of Genesis also writes among

the sons of Ham (cf. Rawlinson’s ‘Hist. Illus. of O.T.,’ p. 23).


2. The narrative of the building of the tower of Babel has also been

impugned, and that chiefly on two grounds: viz.,


(a) an incorrect derivation of the term Babel, which is now said to have no

connection whatever with the confusion of tongues, but to be the word

Babil,” the house or gate of God, or “Bab-Bel,” the gate or court of

Bolus; and


(b) an incorrect explanation of the present diversity of tongues among

mankind, which modern philology has now shown to be due to local

separation, and not at all to a miraculous interference with the organs or

the faculty of speech. To each of these objections a specific reply will be

returned in the exposition of the text (q.v.); in the mean time it may be

stated that there are not wanting sufficiently numerous testimonies from

ancient history, archaeological research, and philological inquiry to

authenticate this most interesting portion of the Divine record.


II. The literary unity of the present section has been assailed. Tuch

ascribes this chapter to the Elohist and chapter11:1-9 to the Jehovist;

and with this Bleek and Vaihinger agree, except that they apportion

ch. 10:8-12 to the Jehovist. Davidson assigns to him the whole of

Genesis 10., with the exception of the expression “every one after his

tongue(v. 5), the similar expressions (vs. 20, 31), the story of Nimrod

commencing at “he began” (v. 8), v. 21, and the statement beginning

for (v. 25), all of which, with ch.11:1-9, he places to the

credit of his redactor. But the literary unity of the entire section is so

apparent that Colenso believes both passages, “the table of nations” and

the confusion of tongues,” to be the work of the Jehovist; and certainly

the latter narrative is represented in so intimate a connection with the

former that it is much more likely to have been composed by the original

historian than inserted later as a happy afterthought by a post-exilian




                                                Genesis 10


1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham,

and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah (compare ch. 5:1; 6:9), 

Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Not the order of age, but of theocratic importance

(see ch. 5:32). And unto them were sons born (compare ch.  9:1, 7, 19,

after the flood. An indication of the puncture temporis (point of time) whence

the period embraced in the present section takes its departure


2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal,

and Meshech, and Tiras.  The sons of Japheth are first mentioned not because

Japheth was the eldest of the three brothers, although that was true, but because

of the greater distance of the Japhetic tribes from the theocratic center, the

Hamites having always been much more nearly situated to and closely connected

with the Shemites than they. The immediate descendants of Japheth, whose name, 

Ἰάπετος - Japetos  occurs again in the mythology of a Japhetic race, were fourteen

m number, seven sons and seven grandsons, each of which became the progenitor

of one of the primitive nations. Gomer. A people inhabiting "the sides of the

north" (Ezekiel 38:6); the Galatae of the Greeks (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 1:06); the

Chomarii, a nation in Bactriana on the Oxus (Shulthess, Kalisch); but more

generally the Cimmerians of Homer ('Odyss.,' 11:13-19), whose abodes were

the shores of the Caspian and Euxine, whence they seem to have spread

themselves over Europe as far west as the Atlantic, leaving traces of their

presence in the Cimhri of North Germany and the Cymri in Wales (Keil, Lange,

Murphy, Wordsworth, 'Speaker's Commentary )And Magog. A fierce and warlike

people presided over by Gog (an appellative name, like the titles Pharaoh and

Caesar, and corresponding with the Turkish Chak, the Tartarian Kak, and the

Mongolian Gog: Kalisch), whose complete destruction was predicted by

Ezekiel (Ezekiel  chapters 38 and 39.); generally understood to be the Scythians,

whose territory lay upon the borders of the sea of Asoph, and in the Caucasus.

In the Apocalypse (Revelation 20:8-10) Gog and Magog appear as two distinct

nations combined against the Church of GodAnd Madai. The inhabitants of

Media (Mada in the cuneiform inscriptions), so called because believed to be

situated περὶ μεσην τὴν Ασίαν - peri mesaen taen Asian - about the middle of

Asia  (Polyb. 5:44) on the south-west shore of the Caspian And Javan. Identical

with Ἰάων - Jaon - John (Greek), Javana (Sanscrit), Juna (Old Persian), Jounan

(Rosetta Stone); allowed to be the father of the Greeks, who in Scripture are

styled Javan (see Isaiah 66:19Ezekiel 27:13Daniel 8:2110:20Joel 3:6). 

And Tubal, and Meshech. Generally associated in Scripture as tributaries of

Magog (Ezekiel 38:2-3 39:1); recognized as the Iberians and Moschi in the

north of Armenia, between the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates, and the

Black Sea (Josephus, Knobel, Lange, Kalisch). And Tiras. The ancestor of the

Thraciaus (Josephus), of the Tyrrheni, a branch of the Pelasgians (Tuch), of

the Asiatic tribes round the Taurus (Kalisch), in support of which last is a

circumstance mentioned by Rawlinson, that on the old Egyptian monuments 

Mashuash and Tuirash, and upon the Assyrian Tubal and Misek, stand together

as here. Tiras occurs nowhere else in Scripture.


3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

And the sons of Gomer; Ash-kenaz. Axenus, the ancient name of the Euxine,

is supposed to favor Phrygia and Bithynia as the locality possessed by

Aske-naz (Bochart); Iskus; equivalent to Ask, Ascanios, the oldest son of

the Germanic Mannus, to point out Germany as his abode (Jewish

commentators); but Jeremiah 51:27 seems to indicate the region between

the Euxine and the Caspian. Kalisch, following Josephus, identifies

the name with the ancient town Rhagae, one day's journey to the south of

the Caspian. Murphy and Peele, on the authority of Diodorus Siculus,

believe the Germans may have been a colony of the Ashkenians.

And Riphath. Diphath (1 Chronicles 1:6) - the Paphlagonians

(Josephus); more generally the tribes about the Riphaean mountains,

on the north of the Caspian (Knobel, Kalisch, Clericus, Rosenmüller,

Murphy, ' Speaker's Commentary'); but both are uncertain (Keil).

And Togarmah. Mentioned again in Ezekiel 27:14;38:6; the

Phrygians (Josephus), the Cappadocians (Bochart), the

Armenians (Michaelis, Gesenius, Rosenmüller), the Taurians,

inhabiting the Crimea (Kalisch). The tradition preserved by Moses

Chorensis, that the ancestor of the Armenians was the son of Thorgom,

the son of Gomer, is commonly regarded as deciding the question.


4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

And the sons of Javan; Elizhah. The isles of Elishah are praised by

Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:7) for their blue and purple; supposed to have been

Elis in the Peloponnesus, famous for its purple dyes (Bochart); AEolis

(Josephus, Knobel); Hellas (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch); without

doubt a maritime people of Grecian stock ('Speaker's Commentary').

And Tarshish. Tarsus in Cilicia (Josephus); but rather Tartessus in

Spain (Eusehius, Michaelis, Bochart, Kalisch). Biblical notices represent

Tarshish as a wealthy and flourishing seaport town towards the west

(see 1 Kings 10:22; Psalm 48:7; 72:10; Isaiah 60:9; 66:19; Jeremiah 10:9;

Ezekiel 27:12). Kittim. Chittim (Numbers 24:24); Citium in Cyprus (Josephus),

though recently the name appears to have been extended to Citium in

Macedonia (Alexander the Great is called the king of Chittim, 1 Maccabees

1:1; 8:5), and the colonies which settled on the shores of Italy and Greece

(Bochart, Keil, Kalisch). Isaiah 23:1, 12; Daniel 11:30 describe it as a

maritime people. And Dodanim. Dordona in Epirus (Michaelis,

Rosenmüller); the Dardaniaus, or Trojan's (Gesenius); the Daunians

of South Italy (Kalisch); the Rhodani in Gaul, reading as in

1 Chronicles 1:7 (Bochart). Josephus omits the name, and Scripture

does not again mention it.


5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every

one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.  By these were

the isles of the Gentiles. Sea-washed coasts as well as islands proper (compare

Isaiah 42:4 with Matthew 12:21). Isaiah (Genesis 20:6) styles Canaan an

isle (compare Peloponnesus). The expression signifies maritime countries.

Divided in their lands; every one after his tongue. Indicating a time

posterior to the building of Babel (ch. 11:1). After their families

Ἐν ταῖς φυλαῖς αὐτῶν - En tais phulais auton - after their famileis;

tribes  (Septuagint); in their tribes or clans, a lesser subdivision than

the next. In their nations. The division here exhibited is fourfold:


·         geographical,

·         dialectical,

·         tribal, and

·         national


The first defines the territory occupied, and the second the language

spoken by the Japhethites; the third their immediate descent, and

the fourth the national group to which they severally belonged.


6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

And the sons of Ham. These, who occupy the second place, that the

list might conclude with the Shemites as the line of promise, number thirty,

of whom only four were immediate descendants. Their territory generally

embraced the southern portions of the globe. Hence the name Ham has been

connected with חָמַס, to be warm, though Kalisch declares it to be not of

Hebrew, but Egyptian origin, appearing in the Chime of the Rosetta Stone.

The most usual ancient name of the country was Kern, the black land.

Scripture speaks of Egypt as the land of Ham (Psalm 78:51; 105:23;

106:22)  Cush. Ethiopia, including Arabia "quae mater est," and Abyssinia

"quae colonia" (Michaelis, Rosenmüller). The original settlement of Cush,

however, is believed to have been on the Upper Nile, whence he

afterwards spread to Arabia, Babylonia, India (Knobel, Kalisch, Lange,

Rawlinson). Murphy thinks he may have started from the Caucasus, the

Caspian, and. the Cossaei of Khusistan, and. migrated south (to Egypt)

and east (to India). Josephus mentions that in his day Ethiopia was called

Cush; the Syriac translates ἀνὴρ Ἀιθίοψ - anaer Aithiopsi - a man of

Ethiopia (Acts 8:27) by Cuschaeos; the ancient Egyptian name of Ethiopia

was Keesh, Kish, or Kush ('Records of the Past, 4:7). The Cushites are

described as of a black color (Jeremiah 13:23) and of great stature

(Isaiah 45:14). And Mizraim. A dual form probably designed to represent

the two Egypts, upper and lower (Gesenius, Keil, Kalisch), though it has

been discovered in ancient Egyptian as the name of a Hittite chief

(circa B.C. 1300, contemporary with Rameses II.), written in

hieroglyphics M'azrima, Ma being the sign for the dual. The old

Egyptian name is Kemi, Chemi, with obvious reference to Ham; the

name Egypt being probably derived from Kaphtah, the land of Ptah.

The singular form Mazor is found in later books (II Kings 19:24;

Isaiah 19:6), and usually denotes Lower Egypt. And Phut.

Phet (Old Egyptian), Phaiat (Coptic); the Libyans in the north of

Africa (Josephus, Septuagint, Gesenins, Bochart). Kalisch suggests Buto

or Butos, the capital of the delta of the Nile. And Canaan. Hebrew,

Kenaan (see here on ch. 9:25). The extent of the territory occupied by

the fourth son of Ham is defined in vs. 15-19.


7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and

Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and

Dedan.  And the sons of Cush; Seba. Meroe, in Nubia, north of

Ethiopia (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 2. 10). And Havilah. Αὐιλὰ (Septuagint);

may refer to an African tribe, the Avalitae, south of Babelmandeb

(Keil, Lange, Murphy), or the district of Chaulan in Arabia Felix

(Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Wordsworth). V. 29 mentions Havilah as a

Shemite territory. Kalisch regards them as "the same country,

extending from the Arabian to the Persian Gulf, and, on account

of its vast extent, easily divided into two distinct parts" (compare

ch. 2:11). And Sabtah. The Astaborans of Ethiopia (Josephus,

Gesenius, Kalisch); the Ethiopians of Arabia, whose chief city

was Sabota (Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange, Keil). And Raamah.

Ρέγμα - Regma (Septuagint); Ragma on the Persian Gulf, in Oman

(Bochart, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Lange). And Sabtechah. Nigritia

(Targum, Jonathan), which the name Subatok, discovered on Egyptian

monuments, seems to favor (Kalisch); on the east of the Persian

Gulf at Samydace of Carmania (Be-chart, Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange).

And the sons of Raamah; Sheba. The principal city of Arabia Felix

(1 Kings 10:1; Job 1:15; 6:19; Psalm 72:10, 15; Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah

6:20; Ezekiel 27:22; Joel 3:8); occurs again (here v. 28) as a son

of Joktan; probably was peopled both by Hamites and Shemites.

And Dedan. Daden on the Persian Gulf (see Isaiah 21:13; Jeremiah

49:8; Ezekiel 25:13; 27:12-15).


8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

And Cush begat - not necessarily as immediate progenitor, any ancestor

being in Hebrew styled a father - Nimrod; the rebel, from maradh, to rebel;

the name of a person, not of a people; - Namuret in ancient Egyptian.

Though not one of the great ethnic heads, he is introduced into the

register of nations as the founder of imperialism. Under him society

passed from the patriarchal condition, in which each separate clan or

tribe owns the sway of its natural head, into that (more abject or

more civilized according as it is viewed) in which many different

clans or tribes recognize the sway of one who is not their natural

head, but has acquired his ascendancy and dominion by conquest.

This is the principle of monarchism. Eastern tradition has painted

Nimrod as a gigantic oppressor of the people's liberties and an impious

rebel-against the Divine authority. Josephus credits him with having

instigated the building of the tower of Babel. He has been identified

with the Orion of the Greeks. Scripture may seem to convey a

bad impression of Nimrod, but it does not sanction the absurdities

of Oriental legend. He began to be a mighty one - Gibbor (see ch. 6:4);

what he had been previously being expressed in v. 5 - in the earth.

Not ἐπι τῆς γῆς  - epi taes gaes - in the earth; land - (Septuagint),

as if pointing to his gigantic stature, but either among men generally,

with reference to his widespread  fame, or perhaps better "in the land”

where he dwelt, which was not Babel, but Arabia (see v. 6).




                                    Nimrod (v. 8)


1. His ancestral pedigree — a Cushite.

2. His early occupation — a hunter of wild beasts, a pioneer of civilization.

3. His rising ambition — he began to be a “Gibber,” or mighty one.

4. His regal authority — the beginning of his kingdom was Babel.

5. His extending empire — out of that land went he forth into Asshur.

6. His posthumous renown: “Wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod.”


9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said,

Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.  He was a

mighty hunter. Originally doubtless of wild beasts, which, according to

Bochart, was the first step to usurping dominion over men and using

them for battle. "Nempe venationum prsetextu collegit juvenum

robustam manum, quam talibus exercitus ad belli labores induravit"

 ('Phaleg.,' 54:12). Before the Lord.


1. Ἐναντίον κυρίου - Enantion kuriou -  before Yahweh -

(Septuagint), in a spirit of defiance  (Augustine, Keil, Murphy, Bush).


2. Coram Deo, in God's sight, as an aggravation of his sin -

 compare ch. 13:3 (Cajetan).


3. As a superlative, declaring his excellence - compare ch. 13:10;

30:8; 35:5; 1 Samuel 11:7; John 3:3; Acts 7:20 (Aben Ezra, Kimchi,

Kalisch, ' Speaker's Commentary').


4. With the Divine approbation, as one who broke the way through

rude, uncultivated nature for the institutions of Jehovah (Lange).

Compare ch.17:18; 24:40; 1 Samuel 11:15; Psalm 41:12. Probably

the first or the third conveys the sense of the expression. Wherefore

it is said, Even as Nimrod the (a) mighty hunter before the Lord.

The precise import of this is usually determined by the view taken

  of the previous phrase.


10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad,

and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.  And the beginning of his kingdom.

Either his first kingdom, as contrasted with his second (Knobel), or the

commencement of his sovereignty (Keil, Kalisch), or the principal city

of his empire (Rosenmüller); or all three may be legitimately embraced

in the term reshith, only it does not necessarily imply that Nimrod built

any of the cities mentioned. Was Babel. Babylon, "the land of Nimrod"

(Micah 5:6), the origin of which is described in ch. 11:1, grew to be a

great city covering an area of 225 square miles, reached its highest glory

under Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:30), and succumbed to the Medo-Persian

power under Belshazzar (ibid. ch. 5:31). The remains of this great city have

been discovered on the east bank of the Euphrates near Hillah, where there

is a square mound called "Babil" by the Arabs (Rawlinson's 'Ancient

Monarchies,' vol. 1. Genesis 1). And Erech. The Orchoe of Ptolemy,

identified by Rawlinson as Wurka, about eighty miles south of Babylon.

And Accad. Ἀρχάδ - Archad - Accad  (Septuagint); the city Sittace

on the river Argade (Bochart); Sakada, a town planted by Ptolemy below

Ninus (Clericus); Accete, north of Babylon (Knobel, Lange); identified

with the ruins of Niffer, to the south of Hillah (Keil); with those of

Akkerkoof, north of Hillah (Kalisch). Rawlinson does not identify the

site; George Smith regards it as "the capital of Sargon, the great city

Agadi, near the city of Sippara on the Euphrates, and north of Babylon

('Assyrian Discoveries,' Genesis 12.). And Calneh. Calno (Isaiah 10:9);

Canneh (Ezekiel 27:23); Ctesiphon, east of the Tigris, north-east of

Babylon (Jerome, Eusebius, Bochart, Michaelis, Kalisch); identified

with the ruins of Niffer on the east of the Euphrates (Rawlinson).

In the land of Shinar. Babylonia, as distinguished from Assyria

(Isaiah 11:11), the lower part of Mesopotamia, or Chaldaea.


11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the

city Rehoboth, and Calah,  Out of that land went forth Asshur, the son of

Shem (v. 22; Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac, Luther, Calvin, Michaelis, Dathe,

Rosenmüller, Bohlen). i.e. the early Assyrians retired from Babylon

before their Cushite. invaders, and, proceeding northward, founded the

cities after mentioned; but the marginal rendering seems preferable:

"Out of that land went (Nimrod) into Asshur," or Assyria, the country

northeast of Babylon, through which flows the Tigris, and which had

already received its name from the son of Shem (the Targums,

Drusius, Bochart, Le Clerc, De Wette, Delitzsch, Keil, Kalisch, Lange,

et alii). And builded Nineveh. The capital of Assyria, opposite Mosul

on the Tigris, afterwards became the largest and most flourishing city

of the ancient world (Jonah 3:3;  4:11), being fifty-five miles in

circumference (Diod., 2:3), and is now identified with the ruins of

Nehbi-yunus and Kouyunjik (Layard's 'Nineveh,' vol 2. pp. 136 ff.).

And the city Rehoboth. Rehoboth-ir, literally, the streets of the city

(compare Platea, a city in Boeotia), a town of which the site is unknown.

And Calah. The mounds of Nimroud (Layard and Smith), though Kalisch

and Murphy prefer Kalah Shergat (about fifty miles south of Nineveh),

which the former authorities identify with Asshur, the original capital

of the country.


12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

And Resen, i.e. Nimrod, between Kalah Shergat and Kouyunjik (Kalisch);

but if Calah be Nimroud, then Resen may be Selamiyeh, a village about

half way, between Nineveh and Calah, i.e. Kouyunjik and Nimroud, ut

supra (Layard). The same. Resen (Kalisch), which will suit if it was

Nimroud, whose remains cover a parallelogram about 1800 feet in

length and 900 feet in breadth; but others apply it to Nineveh with

the other towns as forming one large composite city (Knobel, Keil,

Lange, Wordsworth). Is a great city. With this the record of Nimrod’s

achievements closes. It is generally supposed that Nimrod flourished

either before or about the time of the building of the tower of Babel; but

Prof. Chwolsen of St. Petersburg, in his 'Ueber die Ueberreste der

Altbabylon-ischen Literatur,' brings the dynasty of Nimrod down as late

as , relying principally on the evidence of an original work composed by

Qut ami, a native Babylonian, and translated by Ibnwa hachijah, a

descendant of the Chaldaeans, and assigned by Chwolsen to one of the

earlier periods of Babylonian history, in which is mentioned the name

of Nemrod, or Nemroda, as the founder of a Canaanite dynasty which

ruled at Babylon (see an excellent paper on this subject in Turner's

'Biblical and Oriental Studies,' Edin., A. and C. Black, 1876). Perhaps

the hardest difficulty to explain in connection with the ordinary date

assigned to Nimrod is the fact that in Genesis 14, which speaks of the

reigning monarchs in the Euphrates valley, there is no account taken

of Nineveh and its king - a circumstance which has been supposed to

import that the founding of the capital of Assyria could not have been

anterior to the days of Abraham. But early Babylonian texts confirm

what Genesis 14. seems to imply - the fact of an Elamite

conquest of Babylonia, B.C. 2280, by Kudur-nanhundi (Kudurlagamar,

the Chederlaomer of Genesis), who carried off an image of the

goddess Nana from the city Erech (see 'Assyrian Discoveries,' Genesis 12;

'Records of the Past,' vol. 3.), so that this difficulty may be held to

have disappeared before the light of archaeological discovery. But at

whatever period Nimrod flourished, the Biblical narrative would lead

us to anticipate a commingling of Hamitic and Shemitic tongues in

the Euphrates valley, which existing monuments confirm (cf. 'Records of

the Past,' vol. 3. p. 3).


13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and

Naphtuhim,  And Mizraim begat Ludim. An African tribe, a colony of the

Egyptians, like the next seven, which are "nomina non singulorum hominum

sed populorum" (Aben Ezra, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Murphy);

probably referred to in connection with Tarshish and Put (Isaiah 66:19),

with Kush and Put (Jeremiah 46:9), and in connection with Put

(Ezekiel 27:10; 30:5). Lud (v. 22) was Shemitic. And Anamim.

Not elsewhere mentioned; the inhabitants of the Delta (Knobel).

And Lehabim. Lubim (II Chronicles 12:3; Daniel 2:43; Nahum 3:9);

Libyans (Daniel 11:43); probably the Libyaus west of Egypt (Michaelis,

Kalisch, Murphy). And Naphtuhim. Nephthys, near Pelusium; on the

Lake Sirbenis (Bochart); the Libyan town Napata (Kalisch); the people

of Middle Egypt (Knobel).


14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and

Caphtorim.  And Pathrusim. Pathros in Upper Egypt. And Casluhim.

The Colchians, of Egyptian origin (Bochart, Gesenius); the inhabitants

of the primitive Egyptian town Chemuis, later Panoplis (Kalisch).

Out of whom came Philistim. The Philistines on the Mediterranean

from Egypt to Joppa, who had five principal cities - Gaza, Ashdod,

Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. They are here described as an

offshoot from Casluhim. The name has been derived from an

Ethiopic root falasa, to emigrate; hence "immigrants" or "emigrants."

Jeremiah 47:4 and Amos 9:7 trace the Philistines to the Caphtorim.

 Michaelis solves the difficulty by transposing the clause to the

end of the verse; Bochart by holding the Casluhim and Caphtorim

to have intermingled; Keil and Lange by the conjecture that the

original tribe the Casluhim was subsequently strengthened by

an immigration from Caphtor. Against the Egyptian origin of the

Philistines the possession of a Shemitic tongue and the non-

observance of circumcision have been urged; but the first may

have been acquired from the conquered Avim whose land they

occupied (Deuteronomy 2:28), and the exodus from Egypt may

have taken place prior to the institution of the rite in

question. And Caphtorim. Cappadocia (Bochart), Syrtis Major

(Clericus), Crete (Calmer, Ewald), Cyprus (Michaelis, Rosenmüller),

Coptos, Kouft or Keft, a few miles north of Thebes (Kalisch).


15 And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,

And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn. A famous commercial and

maritime town on the coast of Syria (1 Kings 5:6; 1 Chronicles 22:4;

Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Ezekiel 27:8); here including Tyre. From the

mention of the circumstance that Sidon was Canaan's firstborn, we

may infer that in the rest of the table the order of seniority is not

followed. And Heth. The father of the Hittites (ch. 23:3, 5),

  identified by Egyptologers with the Kheta, a powerful Syrian tribe.


16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 

And the Jebusite. Settled at and around Jerusalem (Joshua 15:8;

Judges 19:10-11; 1 Chronicles 11:4-5). And the Amorite. On both sides

of the Jordan, though dwelling chiefly in the Judaean mountains

(ch. 14:7; Joshua 10:5), to which the name "mountaineer," from

"Amor," elevation (Gesenius), is supposed to refer. And the Girgasite.

The name only is preserved (Joshua 24:11).


17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

And the Hivite. "Villagers" (Gesenius); "settlers in cities" (Ewald);

their localities are mentioned in ch. 34:2; Joshua 9:1, 7; 11:3;

Judges 6:3. And the Arkite. Inhabitants of Arka, a city of Phoenicia

(Josephus): afterwards called Caesarea Libani; its ruins still exist

at Tel Arka, at the foot of Lebanon. And the Sinite. The inhabitants

of Sin. Near Arka     are a fortress named Senna, ruins called Sin,

and a village designated Syn.


18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and

afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

And the Arvadite, - dwelt in Arvad, Aradus, now Ruad (Josephus) -

and the Zemarite, - Simyra, a city of Phoenicia (Bochart, Michaelis,

Gesenius, Kalisch) whose ruins are still called Sumrah - and the

Hamathite. The inhabitants of Hamath, called Hammath Rabbah

(Amos 6:2); Epiphaneia by the Greeks; now Hamah. And afterwards -

i.e. subsequent to the formation of these distinct tribes by the

confusion of tongues - 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. And the border of the

Canaanites was from Sidon (its northern boundary), as thou comest -

i.e. as thou goest, in the direction of - to Gerar, - between Kadesh and

Shur (ch. 20:1) - unto Gaza (now called Guzzeh, at the south-west

corner of Palestine); as thou gout, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and

Admah, and Zeboim (see ch. 19:24) even unto Lasha. - Callirrhoe

(Hieronymus, Jerusalem Targum, Josephus, Rosenmüller, Keil,

Kalisch); possibly a variation of Laish and Leshem, a Sidonian city

near the sources of the Jordan (Murphy).


20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues,

in their countries, and in their nations.  (see v. 5)





                        The Canaanites (vs. 15-19)







·         LESSONS:


1. Wicked men and nations may greatly prosper.

2. Prosperity sometimes leads to greater wickedness.

3. The greatest prosperity cannot turn aside the punishment of sin.


21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother

of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.  Unto Shem also,

the father of all the children of Eber, - as Ham of Canaan (ch. 9:22, 24)

- the brother of Japheth the elder. Either the eldest brother of Japheth

(Syriac, Arabic, Vulgate, Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Kalisch); or the brother

of Japheth who was older (Septuagint, Symmachus, Onkelos, Raschi,

Aben Ezra, Luther, Clerieus, Michaelis, Dathe); or the elder of

Japheth's brothers, as distinguished from Ham the younger, i.e.

the son who was older than Ham, But younger than Japheth (Murphy,

Quarry; see ch. 5:32). Even to him were children born.


22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud,

and Aram.  The children of Shem were twenty-six in number, of whom five

were sons. Elam. Elymais, a region adjoining Snaiana and Media, stretching

from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea; the people first met with as Persians.

And Asshur. The ancestor of the Assyrians (see v. 11). And Arphaxad.

A region in the north of Assyria; the Arrhapacitis of Ptolemy (Rosenmüller,

Keil, Kalisch). The explanation of the name is "fortress of the Chaldaeans '

(Ewald); "highland of the Chaldaeans" (Knobel). And Lud. The Lydians of

Asia Minor, to which they appear to have migrated from the land of Shem

(Josephus, Bochart, Keil, Kalisch). And Aram. "The high land;" Mesopotamia

being the Aram of the two rivers, and Syria the Aram of Damascua


23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

And the children of Aram; Uz, from whom was named the land of Uz

(Job 1:1), south-east of Palestine, a tract of the Arabia Deserta.

And Hul. In Armenia (Josephus); that part called Cholobetene, or house

of Hul (Bochart); the Hylatae of Syria, near the Emesenes (Delitzsch);

Coele-syria (Michaelis); Huleh, near the sources of the Jordan (Murphy).

And Gether - of uncertain situation - and Mash - traced in Mous Masius

of Armenia (Bochart).


24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

And Arphaxad begat Salah. The nation descended from him has not been

identified, though their name, "Extension," may imply that they were early

colonists. And Salah begat Eber. The father of the Hebrews or Emigrants

(see v. 21


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.

And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg. "Division,"

from palg, to divide; compare πέλαγος - pelagos - open sea - and pela gus,

a division of the sea. For in his days was the earth divided. At the confusion

of tongues (Bochart, Rosenmüller, Keil, Lange, Murphy); at an earlier

separation of the earth's population (Delitzsch), of which there is no

record or trace. And his brother's name was Joktan. Father of the Arabians,

by whom he is called Kachtan.





                        Peleg, or The Division of the People (v. 25)


I. WHEN IT TOOK PLACE. In the fourth generation after the Flood.




1. By the Divine interposition.

2. By the confusion of tongues.




1. To punish sin.

2. To separate the Church.

3. To occupy the earth.


IV. BY WHAT IT WAS REMEMBERED. The naming of Eber’s son.


·         LEARN:


1. To read well the signs of the times.

2. To understand well the cause of God’s judgments.

3. To remember well the gift of God’s mercies.


26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, 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.  And Joktan begat Almodad.

Usually said to be Yemen. And Sheleph. The Salapenoi of Ptolemy,

belonging to the interior of Arabia. And Hazarmaveth. Hadramaut,

southeast of Arabia (Bochart, Michaelis). And Jerah. Contiguous to

Hadramaut. And Hadoram. Adramitae of Ptolemy, or the Atramitae of

Pliny (Bochart) And Uzal. Awzal, the capital of Yemen (Bochart).

And Diklah. The palm-bearing region of Arabia Felix (Bochart);

a tribe between the mouth of the Tiber and the Persian Gulf (Michaelis).

And Obal, and Abimael, whose settlements are not known. And Sheba.

v. 7. And Ophir. In Arabia; probably in Oman, on the Persian Gulf

(Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Keil), though it has also been located

in India (Josephus, Vitringa, Gesenius, Delitzsch). The gold of Ophir

celebrated (1 Kings 9:27-28; II Chronicles 9:10, 13, 21). And Havilah.

The Chaulan in Arabia Felix, but see v. 7. And Jobab. The Jobabitae

of Ptolemy, near the Indian Sea (Michaelis, Rosenmüller); but more

probably a tribe in Arabia Deserta if Jobab = Arabic jebab, a desert

(Bochart, Gesenius, Kalisch). All these were the sons of Joktan.

And their dwelling was from Mesha. The seaport of Muza

(Bochart); Messene, at the mouth of the Tigris (Michaelis,

Rosenmüller, Kalisch). As thou goest into Zephar. Zafar or

Dhafari, on the coast of the Hadramut. The difficulty of identifying

a seaport town with a mountain is got over (Kalisch) by reading

"to the" instead of a mount of the east - the thunderous range of hills

in the vicinity.


31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues,

in their lands, after their nations.  The pedigree of the Shemite tribes is

closed with the customary formula (see v. 5); that which follows being the

concluding formula for the entire table of nations.


32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations

(literally, according to their Tholdoth, or historical developments), in their

nations: and by these (literally, from these) were the nations divided (or,

did the nations scatter themselves)  in the earth after the flood.    





The Ethnological Register  (v. 32)




1. It declares all the successive families of mankind to have sprung from a

common stock. Diverse as they flow are in their geographical situations,

ethnic relations, physical capabilities, national peculiarities, according to

the doctrine of this genealogical table they all trace their origin to Noah

and his sons.


2. It condemns all those theories which derive man from several pairs.

Equally the heathen superstition which assigned to each particular region

its own Autochthones, (an original or indigenous inhabitant of a place).and

the modern scientific dogma of varieties of species and distinct centers

of propagation is here condemned. Even now ethnologists, archaeologists,

 and philologists of the highest repute lend their sanction to the sublime

sentiment of the great Mars’ hill preacher, that “God hath made of one

blood all nations of men for to dwell upon all the face of the earth.”

(Acts 17:26) 


            (a)  The anatomical structure of the human frame, especially

                   of the brain and skull,

            (b)  the physiological properties and functions possessed

                   by the body,

            (c)  the psychological nature of man, and the power of indefinite

                   propagation, which are the same in all nations, and,

            (d)  with the ascertained results of comparative grammar,

                   which have already traced back all existing languages to

                   three primitive branches,


tend in a powerful degree to confirm the doctrine which this table teaches.


3. It implies certain other truths on which Scripture with equal emphasis

insists, such as:


            (a)  the brotherhood of man,

            (b)  the universal corruption of the race, and

            (c)  the necessity and universality of Christ’s redemption.




1. It asserts the fact of the division. It states that in the days of Peleg the

earth’s population was divided. The means employed are described in the

succeeding chapter.


2. It confirms the truth of this division. Had the confusion at Babel not

occurred. and the subsequent dispersion not followed. this table could not

have been written. Its existence as a literary document in the time of Moses

authenticates the fact which it reports.


3. It defines the extent of this division. It shows that the scattered race

were to be split up into nations, families, tongues.



geographical distribution of the earth’s population was:


1. Effected in an orderly manner. They were neither scattered

promiscuously nor suffered to wander and settle at hazard. Divided into

tribes and nations according to their tongues and dialects of speech, they

were allocated to distinct portions of the earth’s surface.


2. Specially adapted to the characters and destinies of the several nations.

The operation of purely natural principles makes it impossible that tribes

can permanently settle in countries that are either incapable of yielding to

them a maintenance or affording an outlet to their powers. More extensive

information would doubtless enable the suitability of each locality in this

table to the occupying people to be exhibited; but in broad outline it is

perceptible even here{


            (a) Japheth, whose destiny it was to spread abroad,

            being established on the coasts of the Euxine, the Caspian,

            and the Mediterranean;


            (b)  Ham finding rest in the warmer climates, whose enervating

            influences tended largely to develop his peculiar character, and

            ultimately to lay him open to subjection by the more vigorous

            races of the North; and{


            (c) Shem, whose function in the Divine economy it was to conserve

            religion and religious truth, being concentrated mainly in the Tigris

            and Euphrates valley.


3. The result of Divine appointment. Moses (Deuteronomy 32:8) and

Paul (Acts 17:26) conspire to represent the allocation of territory to the

different races of mankind as the handiwork of God (the special means

employed for the breaking up of the originally united family of Noah’s

sons is detailed in the ensuing chapter); the import of which is, that

nations have a God-assigned title to the countries which they occupy.


4. The Divinely-ordered distribution of the earth’s population

is capable of being disturbed by the sinful interference of man.

Instances of this appear in the present table, e.g. the intrusion of the

Cushite into Shinar, and of the Canaanite into what originally belonged

to Shem.



separation of the earth’s population into races and the moving of them

outward to their respective habitations was the starting of them on the lines

along which it was designed they should accomplish their respective

destinies and common work. They were meant to overspread the globe;

(Isaiah 45:18 - “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself

that formed the earth and made it, He created i t not in vain, He formed it to

be inhabited, I am the Lord and there is none else.”) and this was the initiation

of a great movement which would only terminate in the complete occupation

of their God-given heritage.




1. The equal rights of men.

2. The sinfulness of wars of aggression.

            3. The hopefulness of emigration.






                        Nations (v. 32)


I. THEIR ROOTS. Individuals.




1. As to time, after the Flood.

2. As to cause, Divine impulse.

3. As to instrumentality, variation of speech.




1. A common head.

2. A common tongue.

3. A common land.


IV. THEIR DESTINIES. To overspread the earth.




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