Coachlight Bible Study – Genesis Lesson XXVI

Genesis Chapter 10 - The Table of Nations

Chapter ten of the book of Genesis, commonly called the Table of Nations, truly stands alone in the sea of ancient literature.  There is no document, concerning ancient nations from any of the other ancient writings man has found to date, that can compare to chapter 10.  Even the highest critics have to admit that this chapter is a remarkable and accurate historical document.

We will quote from a leading authority on the archeology of the Near East, Dr. William F. Albright. Dr. Albright, although not being a believer in the infallibility of Scripture, nevertheless writes:

“It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature, without a remote parallel, even among the Greeks, where we find the closet approach to a distribution of peoples in genealogical framework….The table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document.”

This quote is found in the 1936 volume of Robert Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible on page 25.

Chapter ten contains the only link between the historic nations of antiquity and the prehistoric times of Noah.  The grandsons and great grandsons of Noah are listed along with the cities or regions that they established.  There is absolutely no other source that has been unearthed by archeologists that is comparable in accuracy or in scope.

Chapter ten of Genesis is really a family record.  Shem was the son most interested in the coming Seed, and would be the logical patriarch to have kept the record.  Shem lived for 502 years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10-11), and this would encompass the entire period of The Table of Nations.  The sons of Japheth and Ham are only given to the third generation after the Flood, whereas Shem’s generations are given to the sixth.  The reason for this probably is that Shem lost touch with the other two family branches after Babel.

Today, we are conditioned because of the teaching of evolution to think in terms of races of people.  The Bible does not teach the concept of race – only nations.  All peoples are descended Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, & Japheth.

















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.

Genesis 10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

Genesis 10:3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

Genesis 10:4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. {Dodanim: or, as some read it, Rodanim}

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.


I. The Sons Of Japheth – Spread All Over Europe – First Gentiles

A. The name Japheth is found in literature as Iaptos – Father of the Greeks

B. Japheth is found in literature as Iyapeti – Father of the Aryans in India

C. Japheth’s Seven Sons

1. Gomer

a. Identified by Herodotus & Plutarch with the district of Cimmeria

b. This is located north of the Black Sea

c. This survives today as Crimia

d. One branch moved west – survives today as Germany & Cambria (Wales)

e. Gomer’s sons

1. Ashkenaz – Jews associate with Germany

a. Today, German Jews are called Ashkenazi

b. Ashkenaz has been preserved as Scandia & Saxon

c. Other descendants remained in Armenia called Sakasene by Strabo

2. Riphath

a. Josephus identifies as the ancestor of the Paphlagonians

b. There is evidence that his descendants are ancestor of Carpathians

c. The word “Europe” was actually a corruption of Riphath

3. Togarmah

a. The ancestors of the Armeians, by the Armenian customs

b. The Jewish Targums claim that Germany was derived from Togarmah

2. Magog – Means “The Place of Gog”

a. Usually referred to as Georgia – Near the Black Sea still named that

b. Josephus claims Gog was the ancestor of Scythians – also by Black Sea

c. Biblically associated with two other sons – (Ezekiel 38:2) – Meshech & Tubal

d. All three were the progenitors of modern Russian peoples

3. Meshech – Preserved in the names of:

a. Muskovi - Former name for Russia

b. Moscow

4. Tubal –

a. Known in Assyrian Monuments as Tiberini

b. In Ezekiel 38:2 – Associated with Rosh – From which Russia came

5. Madai – Ancestor of the Medes

a. Settled in what is now Persia

b. These and Semetic Elamites were the ancestors of the Persians

c. These Japhethites moving east became the progenitors of the Aryans

6. Javan – The original form of Ionia which is Greece

a. The same word is translated “Javan” or “Greece” in the Old Testament

b. Both Javan and his son are considered the fathers of the Greeks

c. Javan’s sons

1. Elishah Hellas is a form of Elishah – (Note: Hellespont & Hellensits)

a. The Illiad mentions the Elisian people

b. Tell el Amarna & Ugartic tablets mention the Alasians from Cypress

2. Tarshish – Associated with Tartessos in Spain & Carthage in North Africa

a. Both however became Phoenician cities (Cananites)

b. Tarshish founded them first

3. Kittim

a. Associated with Cypress & Greek Mainland

b. Makittim (Land of Kittim) gave rise to the name Macedonia

4. Dodanim – Same as Rodanim (I Chronicles 1:7)

a. Preserved today as Dardanelles

b. Preserved today as Rhodes

7. Tiras 

a. Ancestor of the Thracians according to Josephus

b. Gave rise to the Etruscans of Italy


Genesis 10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

Genesis 10:7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

Genesis 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

Genesis 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

Genesis 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. {Babel: Gr. Babylon}

Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

Genesis 10:12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

Genesis 10:13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

Genesis 10:14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,)and Caphtorim.

Genesis 10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,

Genesis 10:16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

Genesis 10:17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

Genesis 10:18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

Genesis 10:19  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. {Gaza: Heb. Azzah}

Genesis 10:20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.


II. The Sons Of Ham – Hittites to Asia Minor – Sinites to China

A. Cush

1. Same as Kish

2. Same in the Bible as Ethiopia

3. Migrated south to Arabia, then crossed the Red Sea to Ethiopia

4. Tell el Amarna Tablets call them the Kashi

5. Cush’s Sons

a. Seba

1. Migraded from SW Arabia across the Red Sea to Sudan

2. Gave his name to the Sabeans (Isaiah 45:14)

3. Josephus identifies Saba as the city of Meroe in upper Egypt

b. Havilah, Sabtah, & Sabtechah all located in Arabia

c. Raamah also setted in Arabia

1. Father of Sheba & Dedan

2. The only son of Cush whose sons are listed

d. Nimrod – Settled in Tigress-Euphrates River Valley

1. Had kinship with with his uncle Canaan

2. His name means, “Let Us Rebel”

3. Nimrod trained to rebel against God

4. Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord

5. Quote From The Jerusalem Targum:


“He was powerful in hunting and in wickedness before the Lord, for he was a hunter of the sons of men, and he said to them, ‘Depart from the judgement of the Lord, and adhere to the judgement of Nimrod!’  Therefore it is said, ‘As Nimrod the strong one, strong in hunting, and in wickedness before the Lord’.”


B. Mizraim

1. Ancestor of the Egyptians

2. Egypt called the land of Ham – (Psalm 105:23)

3. Some say the first dynasty Menes came from Mizrim

4. Sons of Mizrim

a. Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, & Naphtuhim have not yet been identified

b. Paththrusim – Dwelt in Pathros (Upper Egypt) Progenitor of Phylistines

C. Phut

1. Same in the Bible as Libya

2. North Africa West of Egypt – Region confirmed by Josephus

D. Canaan – Ancestor of the Canaanites

1. Canaan’s eldest was Sidon – Progenitor of Phonecians

2. Heth – Ancestor of the Hittites – Asia Minor

a. Hitties great empire for 800 years

b. When they crumbled they moved East

c. Cuneiform monuments record the Hittites as Khittae

d. Modified later as Cathay

3. The other 9 progenitors of Canaanite tribes

a. Jebusites descended from a man named Jebus

b. Amorites – One of the most prominent – Called Amaru by Armarna Letters

c. Girgasites – Don’t know location – Mentioned often in Bible Study

d. Hivites – Cities dug up from Sidon to Jerusalem

e. Arkites – Located close to Tell Arka in Syria

f. Arvadites – Lived in Arvad – principal city of Phoenicians

g. Zemarites – located six miles south of Arvad in Sumur by Amarna Tablets

h. Hamathites – Associated with Syrian city Hamath

i. Sinites – Note Mt. Sinai & Sinim

1. These early peoples had ancestor worship

2. An important Assyrian god was Sin

3. Bible references people of far East as Sinim (Isaiah 49:12)

4. Chinese people have been known by sin (Syno-Japanese war, Sinology)

5. Sin is preserved today as Siang

6. (Hitties – Khittae – Cathay)  (Sinites – Sinim – China)


Genesis 10:21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

Genesis 10:22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. {Arphaxad: Heb. Arpachshad}

Genesis 10:23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

Genesis 10:24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber. {Salah: Heb. Shelah}

Genesis 10:25 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. {Peleg: that is Division}

Genesis 10:26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

Genesis 10:27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,

Genesis 10:28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,

Genesis 10:29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.

Genesis 10:30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.

Genesis 10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

Genesis 10:32 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.


III. The Sons Of Shem – Father of Eber – Came The Term Hebrew

A. Elam

B. Asshur

C. Arphaxad

D. Lud

E. Aram



IV. Do We Really Have Different Races?


What is a ‘race’? How did different skin colors come about? What are the consequences of false beliefs about ‘race’? Are black people the result of a curse on Ham?

A. Bible teaches that all humans on earth descended from Noah (Genesis 1-11)

B. Today we have different groups called by evolutionists - races

1. With different features & characteristics

2. The most obvious is skin color

3. Many use this as an excuse to doubt Biblical record

4. Many believe that various groups evolved separately over millions of years

5. This does not square with biological evidence

C. The Bible teaches that the people that descended from Noah:

1. Had one language

2. They disobeyed God’s command to fill the earth by all living in one place

3. God confused their language

4. This confusion caused a breakup of the population into smaller groups

a. Genetics shows skin colors can develop in a few generations

b. Genetics shows people groups not been separated by large amounts of time

D. There is only one race – The human race –

1. The Bible Teaces that God ….


…. hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; (Acts 17:26)


2. The Bible distinguishes groups by tribes and Nations – Not by race

3. All peoples can interbreed and produce fertile offspring

4. Actually DNA differences between individuals are trivial – less than 2%





E. Many think since there are different skin colors

1. there must be many pigments

2. Such as yellow, red, black, & white


F. The important factor that determines skin color is the amount of melanin

1. There is only one pigment – Melanin – A Dark brown pigment

1. Albinos have no melanin – Canot produce melanin

2. If we produce just a little melanin – We are European or white

3. If our skin produced a great deal of melanin – We would be very dark skinned

4. Between these extremes there are all the different shades of brown


G. This principle is not only true of skin color - The Chinese eye differs from the Caucasian eye in fat content



H. What does melanin do? - Protects the skin against ultraviolet light damage

a. Too little melanin & very sunny environment - easily sunburn and skin cancer.

b. Much melanin & little sun - Lack of vitamin D - a bone disorder such as rickets.


I. We are not born with a genetically fixed amount of melanin –

1. We have a genetically fixed potential to produce a certain amount

2. The amount increases in response to sunlight.

(For example, you may have noticed that when your Caucasian friends (who spent their time indoors during winter) headed for the beach at the beginning of summer they all had more or less the same pale white skin color. As the summer went on, however, some became much darker than others. )


J. How did many skin colors rise in a short time – (Actually shades of melanin)

1. Very black marries a very white – Mulattos result (Mid brown offspring)

2. Mulattos marry – Offspring may be any color from very dark to very light)


V. Heredity

A. Each of us carries DNA information – Like a blueprint of the finished building

1. Determines whether we are humans or animals

2. Determines characteristics like eye color, stature, long nose, etc.

B. At fertilization – All information of the person’s makeup is present

1. Most of this information is in the DNA

2. This ignores other factors such as exercise & diet


C. Illustration of the coding in the DNA - piece of string like Morse code:

1. String could make up the ‘word’ help – With long & short beads & spaces

2. With a long enough string the entire Bible could be written

3. This is similar to the information in the chemical strings of DNA

a. This is the most efficient storage of information system known

b. It is copied and reshuffled from generation to generation


D. The ‘Word’ gene is a small part of the genetic information

1. It concerns only one type of enzyme

2. In other words: A portion of the message string with only one specification

3. Example: One gene has info for making hemoglobin

a. This is the protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells

b. If the gene has been damaged by mutation – Instructions are faulty

c. This could make a crippled form of hemoglobin – if any

d. Diseases such as sickle celled anemia can result


E. From where do the genes and the information come?

1. Half from the father – Or the sperm

2. Half from the mother – Or the egg

3. So, genes come in pairs

4. In the hemoglobin example:

a. Damaged gene from one parent can instruct to build defective hemoglobin

b. It is possible to inherit from the other parent a gene with the right instructions

5. We all carry 100’s of genetic mistakes – usually covered up by other parent


VI. Skin Color – Dark is Dominant

A. Dark Skinned Combo

1. Skin color is governed by more than one pair of genes

2. For simplicity let’s assume there are only two

a. These are located at positions A and B on the chromosomes

1. One form of the gene, ‘M,’ ‘says’ to make lots of melanin

2. Another form of the gene, ‘m,’ says to only make a little melanin

b. In A – A pair such as MaMa, or Mama – Make a lot, some, or little melanin

c. In B – A pair such as MbMb, or Mbmb -– Make a lot, some, or little melanin

d. Only one A or B pair goes to each sperm or egg

e. These could only produce offspring like themselves

f. So, black skinned people could only have Ma, or Mb in both sperm & Egg

g. This combo can only produce very dark skinned offspring





B. Light Skinned Combo - Likewise, very light people, with mama or mbmb, could only produce like themselves






C. Brown Skinned Combo – Mulatto -  MamaMbmb (the offspring of an MaMaMbMb and mamambmb union,






D. The Punnet Square Illustrates that if Noah’s sons were mulatto

1. The left side shows four different gene combos from the father

2. The top gives the combos possible from the mother

3. Remember each parent can only pass on one of each pair of genes

4. Locate a sperm gene combo & follow to the column below - egg gene combo

5. The intersection gives the genetic makeup of the offspring

6. For example:  Mamb sperm and an maMb egg would produce MamaMbmb

5. This is just the same as the parents.

6. The other possibilities mean that five levels of melanin (shades of color) can result in the different offspring of such a mulatto marriage

7. This is roughly indicated by the level of shading in the diagram.

8. If three gene pairs were involved, seven levels of melanin would be possible.

9. Thus – A range of  colorsa from very dark to very light can result in only one generation



E. If people with MaMaMbMb who are ‘pure’ black (in the sense of having no genes for lightness at all), were to intermarry and migrate to a place where their offspring could not marry people of lighter color, all their descendants would be black—a pure ‘black line’ would result.


F. If ‘white’ people (mamambmb) were to marry only other whites and migrate to a place where their offspring could not marry darker people, a pure (in the same sense) ‘white line’ would result—they would have lost the genes needed to produce a large amount of melanin and be black.


G. It is thus easily possible, beginning with two middle-brown parents, to get not only all the ‘colors,’ but also people groups with stable shades of skin color.


H. But what about people groups that are permanently middle-brown, such as we have today? Again, this is easily explained. If those with genes MaMambmb or in mamaMbMb no longer intermarry with others, they will be able to produce only mid-brown offspring—as in the punnet square


I. But if either of these lines were to interbreed again with the other, the process would be reversed. In a short time, their descendants would show a whole range of colors, often in the same family. Figure 6 shows what were called Britain’s most amazing twins. One is obviously quite light in complexion, while the other is clearly darker-skinned.




Of course, this is not amazing at all when you do the exercise on paper, based on what we have discussed. (A clue if you want to do it yourself: mother cannot be MaMaMbMb. Also, the twins are obviously not identical twins, which are derived from the same egg—that is, monozy-gous).


J. If all people on earth were to intermarry freely, and then break into random groups that kept to themselves, a whole new set of gene combinations could emerge. It may be possible to have almond eyes with black skin, blue eyes with black, tightly curled hair, etc. We need to remember, of course, that the way in which genes express themselves is much more complex than this simplified picture. For example, sometimes certain genes are linked together. However, the basic point is unaffected.


K. Even today, within a particular people group you will often see a feature normally associated with another people group. For instance, you will occasionally see a European with a broad flat nose, or a Chinese person with very pale skin or Caucasian eyes. Most scientists now agree that, for modern humans, ‘race’ has little or no biological meaning. This also argues strongly against the idea that the people groups have been evolving separately for long periods.






VII. What Really Happened?

A. We can now reconstruct the true history of the people groups, using:

1. The information given by the Creator himself in the Book of Genesis.

2. The background information given above.

3. Some consideration of the effect of the environment.


B. The first created man, Adam, from whom all other humans are descended, was created with the best possible combination of genes—for skin color, for example.

1. A worldwide flood destroyed all humans except Noah & his family

2. This flood greatly changed the environment.

3. Afterwards, God commanded the survivors to multiply and cover the earth.

4. About a hundred years later, people chose to disobey God

5. They united in building a city, with the Tower as the religious focal point


C. From Genesis 11, we understand that up to this time there was only one language.

1. God judged the people’s disobedience by imposing different languages

2. They could not work together against God.

3. The confusion forced the people to scatter over the earth as God intended.


D. So all the people groups—black Africans, Indo-Europeans, Mongolians, and others—have come into existence since Babel.


E. Noah and his family were probably mid-brown, with genes for both dark and light skin,

1. A medium skin color would seem to be the most generally suitable - dark enough to protect against skin cancer,

2. Yet light enough to allow vitamin D production.

3. As all the factors for skin color were present in Adam and Eve, they would most likely have been mid-brown as well, with brown eyes and brown (or black) hair.

4. In fact, most of the world’s population today is still mid-brown.


F. After the flood, for the few centuries until Babel, there was only one language and one culture group.

1. There were no barriers to marriage within this group.

2. This would tend to keep the skin color of the population away from the extremes.

3. Very dark and very light skin would appear, of course,

4. But people would be free to marry someone lighter or darker than themselves

5. This kept the color average color roughly the same.


G. The same would be true of characteristics other than skin color

1. Distinct differences in appearance never emerged – You need to

2.  Break the large breeding group into smaller groups and keep them separate

3.  This would be true for animal as well as human populations, Biologists know