The Descendants of Noah  
Genesis Ten


            Genesis Ten is the story of the descendants of the three sons of Noah. These were their descendants who were born after the flood. Genesis 10:1-5 lists the descendants of Japheth. The descendants of Ham are listed in Genesis 10:6-20. The descendants of Shem are found in Genesis 10:21-31. Genesis 10:32 gives a one sentence summary of these events. The word translated "generations" in Genesis 10:1 means descendants. This chapter provides a look at the close relatives of Noah. When Noah's three sons are named together Japheth is named last. It seems unusual that here his descendants are named first. Japheth is the father of the Caucasian race. In Genesis 10:5 the word "Gentiles" is used in our Bible for the first time. “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” The descendants of Ham were the people who settled the African continent and the land of Canaan. Nimrod was one of his famous descendants. He became a mighty hunter in the earth and before the Lord. Ham's family established Babel that was later called Babylon. In modern geography, it is the region along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers from Kuwait to Iraq. It is note worthy that Noah's descendants built many cities. The descendants of Canaan are names more familiar in later Bible history. Among them are the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites and the Hivites. The descendants of Canaan, Ham’s son, were the godless people who inhabited the land of Canaan when the Jews came in to possess it. Shem is the father of the eastern people. Some of these people were the people living when the languages were confused at the tower of Babel. A political division took place in the days of Peleg, a descendant of Shem. Uz is mentioned here and the land of Uz is seen in the book of Job. The entire earth was populated and divided after the flood by these three sons of Noah and their descendants. "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." (Genesis 10:32)


            The people who descended from Japheth -- Genesis 10:1-5: It is of interest that when the sons of Noah were named together Japheth is always named last. Here God lists Japheth’s descendants first. At the Tower of Babel God divided the people. The people were divided by language and by clan. God always does things in an orderly way so the division was orderly. When He changed the language of the people those closely related to one another could speak the same language. Those who spoke the same language slowly gathered and as their number grew they moved to seek new and better places to live. After that division Japheth's family traveled west and north. His descendants were Greeks, people of India, Germany, Wales, Russian people, and European people. Japheth's descendants are the Caucasian race. The movement of these people lasted for several centuries. The populations of the family units grew so they moved toward the north and toward the west. Noah had said that God would enlarge Japheth. "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." (Genesis 9:27) In Genesis 10:5 we read, "By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations."


            The people who descended from Ham -- Genesis 10:6-20: Ham's family settled along the Mediterranean and then into North Africa. Ham's family also settled in Ethiopia. Seba is associated with the descendants of Ham. This was the home of the queen who visited Solomon. (1 Kings 10:1-7) She said of Solomon, "Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard." (1 Kings 10:7) God specifically named one of Ham's descendants as Nimrod who is called a "mighty hunter." Apparently he was a man who ruled much of the world. He could have been largely responsible for building of the Tower of Babel. The origin of the sinful Canaanite people who lived in Palestine was the lineage of Ham. Much idolatry and false worship finds it history in the descendants of Ham. Their civilizations was so corrupted that God commanded the Children of Israel to completely destroy them when they came into the Land of Canaan. God Said, "But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God." (Deuteronomy 20:16-18)


            The people who descended from Shem -- Genesis 10:21-31: Shem was a part of the righteous lineage through whom the Messiah was born. The Shemites were the chosen race through which God made His entrance into the world. Hence, the lineage of the Messiah would be through Shem. The spiritual promise God made to Abraham came to all people on earth through the lineage of Shem as the Messiah; the Lord Jesus Christ was his descendant. "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:3) In Genesis 10:25 we read this simple statement, "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." (Genesis 10:25) The earth was already divided physical. The islands of the Gentiles were already there before this division. (Genesis 10:5) This was a political division or it was the division of the languages of the people.


            The people who descended from Noah's sons -- Genesis 10:32: God gave a simple but powerful concluding statement of the events and people described in Genesis ten. "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.' (Genesis 10:32) This statement is in our Bible so that we can be reminded that everyone on earth today is a descendent of one of Noah's sons People are so different and people are all over the world. From Noah's sons came the three major races of people Caucasian (white), Mongoloid (yellow) and Negroid (black.) Within these races there is the possibility of many variations of race.


            It matters not what race you may be or which of Noah's sons you descended from God loves you and He wants you to go to heaven. Also Jesus gave his life for every man. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9) Anyone who will obey the gospel can become a Christian. Will you obey God now? To become a Christian hear the word (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27) Let us be righteous and live for and with the Savior.