Genesis 9:28–10:32

928 Noah lived 350 years after the flood. Altogether, 29 Noah’s days were 950 years. Then he died.

101 These are the descendants of Noah’s sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After the flood they sired sons.

2 Japheth had Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 Gomer’s sons: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 Javan’s sons: Elishah, Tarshis, Kittim, and Rodanim. 5 From these, the Sea Peoples divided into languages and clans and spread out. [These are the sons of Japheth.]

6 Ham had Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 7 Cush’s sons: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. Raamah’s sons: Sheba and Dedan. 8 Cush begot Nimrod, the first warrior on earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter. So it was said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD. 10 He began his kingdom with Babylon, Erech, and Accad—all in the land of Shinar. 11 Asshur rose and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and 12 Resen, (a great city between Nineveh and Calah). 13 Mizraim bore the Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhims, 14 Pathrusim, Casluhim, and the Caphrorim, from whom arose the Philistines. 15 Canaan’s sons: Sidon and Heth, 16 the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites. The Canaanite clans dispersed. 19 Their boundary was from Sidon through Gerar to Gaza and to Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim to Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham according to their languages and clans.

21 Sons were also born to Shem, father of all the sons of Eber and older brother of Japheth.

22 Shem had Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 Aram’s sons: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24 Arpachshad’s son: Shelah. Shelah begot Eber. 25 Eber’s had two sons. One was named Peleg for in his time the earth was split apart. His brother was Joktan. 26 Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All of these were Joktan’s sons. 30 Their settlements went from Mesha to Sephar in the eastern highlands. 31 These are the sons of Shem—their clans and tongues, lands and nations.

32 These are the clans of Noah according to their generations. From these, the nations of the earth branched out after the flood.

A short genealogy is followed by a fulsome one—unto seventy generations, a biblical number for a sizable or complete list. The command was to be fruitful and multiply. Multiplication has occurred. At question is the fruitfulness, the quality of each generation as the people ebb and flow, are endangered and flourish.

As this Table of Nations proceeds, it fluctuates in its criteria for national identity—geography, ethnicity, and language.

Within this long catalog of the compiler’s known world, the genealogy is in the reverse birth order of Noah’s sons: Japheth, Ham, and Shem.

From Japheth, we only hear of the grandchildren and further generations of two of his seven sons. Included are the Sea Peoples.

Ham, the one whose line, through Canaan, was to be enslaved by his brothers, has the longest report. Of note, Ham had three more sons than the Noah-cursed Canaan. One of these, Cush, begat Nimrod—mighty warrior and hunter. These are notably different characteristics than Noah’s orientation toward the soil. It sounds as if Nimrod also founded a Mesopotamian empire that included Babylon. We will hear more of that empire in chapters and books to come.

The cursed Canaanites inhabit a wide swath of the current Palestine/Israel. Their land includes the infamous Sodom and Gomorrah we will hear about in Abram’s story coming shortly.

Shem’s lineage will be the one we will directly follow, but there will be encounters galore with the rest of the relatives.

For now, note Eber (sounds like what we know as Hebrews). One of Eber’s sons, Peleg, is associated with the earth splitting apart and we will follow one side of this split (different from previous interactions of creation where it is just one “family” that multiplies). The line of Noah to Shem to Eber to Peleg will bring us to a more detailed genealogy in the next chapter leading to Abram and Sarai.

There is a unity here in all that follows Noah. From this single source, post-Flood multiplication is going strong.

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