It’s fascinating to think of our entire population starting from a family of eight (Noah, his wife, there three sons, and three daughters-in-law). Although I love learning about history, I’m no historian…or geographer. So, I found this great explanation of how Genesis Ten relates to our world today. It is simply copy and pasted from Bible History Online and may be accessed by clicking HERE.
Origin of Nations and Races
The sons of Noah were Shem, Ham, and Japheth… these three sons of Noah represented the three great races of mankind. The above (below) shows God’s dispersion of the nation’s after they migrated from the Tower at Babel.
Shem (Heb. “Name”) was Noah’s oldest son and part of Noah’s family of eight who survived the great flood. Shem and his wife were childless before the flood, but after the flood Shem bore a son at 110 years of age. He was father to five sons who became the fathers of the five Semitic nations as shown below. Shem was actually the father of the nations of the ancient Near East including the Israelites and the Jewish religion, and therefore Judaism, Islam, and Christianity sprang from the line of Shem. The Semites were particularly known for their religious zeal.
The Five Semitic Nations:
- Elam (The Persians) settled northeast of the Persian Gulf.
- Asshur (The Assyrians) the Biblical name for Assyria, settled between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.
- Arphaxad (The Babylonians) settled in Chaldea.
- Lud (The Lydians) settled in Asia Minor, but some of them sailed across the Mediterranean and settled in northern Africa.
- Aram (The Syrians) the Biblical name for Syria, located north and east of Israel.
Ham (Heb. “hot” or “Black”) was Noah’s second oldest son and part of the family of eight who survived the great flood. Ham and his wife bore 4 sons who became the fathers of the nations of Africa. Ham’s fourth son Canaan was prophetically cursed because he gazed at his fathers nakedness while he was drunk. This curse would mean later that Canaan would lose his land to the Hebrews and would be subservient to the descendants of Shem. The Hamites were known for their physical endurance.
The Four Hamitic Nations:
- Cush (The Ethiopians) settled in Ethiopia south of Egypt, also early in their history some of them migrated to an area north of the Persian Gulf (Gen. 10:8-10).
- Mizraim (The Egyptians) the Bible name for Egypt, settled in northeastern Africa.
- Phut (The Libyans) sometimes translated Libya, settled in northern Africa.
- Canaan (The Canaanites) settled above Africa east of the Mediterranean (Later was given to the Hebrews).
Japheth (Heb. “God will Enlarge)”) was Noah’s third oldest son and part of the family of eight who survived the great flood. Japheth and Shem were both greatly blessed for respecting their father Noah. Noah’s blessing on Japheth was far reaching for all of his descendants being the European (Caucasian) nations that were mentioned in Genesis 10. The Japhethites were known for their intellectual activity.
The Seven Japhetic Nations:
- Gomer (The Cimmerians) settled north of the Black Sea, but afterwards his descendants probably occupied Germany, France, Spain and the British Isles.
- Magog (The Scythians) lived north of the Caspian Sea.
- Madai (The Medes) settled south of the Caspian Sea.
- Javan (The Ionians or Greeks) Javan is the Hebrew name for Greeks, they settled in Greece.
- Tubal (The Turks) lived south of the Black Sea.
- Meshech (The Slavs) lived between the Black and Caspian Seas,
- Tiras (The Etruscans) located west of the Black Sea.