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Genesis 10

1This is the story of the descendants of Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After the great flood, they fathered many children. # 10:1 This begins the second ten-generation account in Genesis, and it is incredibly important for understanding human history. This chapter contains what many have described as the “Table of Nations,” the earliest ethnological table found in the literature of the ancient world. Virtually all the names included here have been verified and found in archeological sites over the past one hundred years. There are precisely seventy names mentioned here, and seventy followers of Jesus were sent out as a testimony that the gospel of his kingdom is meant for all people (see Luke 10:1–24). This chapter includes more than the names of people; it lists the names of cities, tribes, and nations. The underlying theme in this chapter is that God determines the boundaries of nations and the seasons of history. See Pss. 82:8; 96:7–10; Jer. 10:7.
Descendants of Japheth
2The sons of Japheth were Gomer, # 10:2 Gomer means “complete” and was the ancestor of the ancient Cimmerians who are believed to have originated in southern Russia and northern Iran. Gomer is mentioned in Ezek. 38:6 as an ally of Gog and enemy of Israel. Romans, Gauls, Germans, Celts, Armenians, and Britons could all be considered as descendants of Japheth and Gomer. Magog, # 10:2 Magog means “region of Gog,” and became the Scythian (Iranian) or Tartar (Russian) tribe. One church father, Jerome, states they were “Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India.” It is possible that the Chinese, Japanese, Alaskans, Russians, and Native Americans could be traced back as descendants of Japheth and Magog. Madai, # 10:2 Madai means “middle land” and was the ancestor of the Medes who lived east of Assyria, south of the Caspian Sea. It is possible that the descendants of Madai (the Medes) also include the Persians. See Isa. 13:17; 21:2; Jer. 51:11, 28. Javan, # 10:2 Javan means “Ionia” or “Greece” and is the ancestor of a branch of Greek people. Tubal, # 10:2 Tubal means “brought forth” and in contemporary scholarship is identified as Tabal, an Anatolian state and region north of the Black Sea, identified in Assyrian sources. There is a city in Russia named “Tubolsk.” Meshech, # 10:2 Meshech means “drawing out” and was the ancestor of a people identified by Assyrian records as the “Muscu” and by Josephus as the Cappadocian “Mosocheni” (or “Mushki,” possibly Moscow). and Tiras. # 10:2 Tiras, or Tirana, meaning “desire,” was the ancestor of the Thracians, who were also called “Sea People.” According to the Book of Jubilees, they inhabited four islands in the Mediterranean. They possibly include the people who settled in the Balkans, Romania, Bulgaria, Moravia, and Italy.
3The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, # 10:3 Ashkenaz means “scattered” and was the ancestor of the northern Indo-Germanic tribes and the father of the Saxons and Scandinavians. Riphath, # 10:3 Riphath means “spoken” and was the ancestor of those that settled in Carpathia and Paphlagonia. and Togarmah. # 10:3 Togarmah means “you will break her.”
4The sons of Javan were Elishah, # 10:4 Elishah means “God of the coming,” or “God of the coming one,” and he was the ancestor of those who populated modern-day Cyprus. He is mentioned in Ezek. 27:7 as the source of the purple dye shipped to Tyre. Tarshish, # 10:4 Tarshish means “yellow stone” and is mentioned twenty-eight times in the Bible but is difficult to identify. Some believe he was the ancestor of those who settled in southern Turkey, although there is evidence that Tarshish was the ancestor of Sardinia or Tartessus (in Spain). See 1 Kings 10:22; Jer. 10:9; Jonah 1:3. Cyprus, # 10:4 Or “Kittim,” which means “bruisers” and is an ancient name for Cyprus. There is a Cyprian city named Kition. and Rhodes. # 10:4 Or “Dodanim” or “Rodanim” (see 1 Chron. 1:7). Dodanim means “leaders” and is most often associated with Greece (e.g., the cities of Rhodes, Dardanelles).
5All of Japheth’s descendants lived in their respective tribes and regions, each group speaking its own language. From there, the people spread to distant shores and faraway lands.
Descendants of Ham
6The sons of Ham # 10:6 The Hamites are listed in four primary subgroups from south to north. The first three are in Africa and last in the land bridge between Africa and Asia. were Ethiopia, # 10:6 Or “Cush” or “Kesh” (Egyptian), whose descendants settled in Ethiopia and southern Sudan. Egypt, # 10:6 Or “Mizraim,” which means “land of the Copts,” whose descendants settled in Egypt. Libya, # 10:6 Or “Put,” which means “a bow,” whose descendants settled in Libya and possibly Somalia. See Jer. 46:9. and Canaan. # 10:6 The descendants of Canaan settled in Palestine (Phoenicia).
7The sons of Cush were Seba, # 10:7 Seba means “drink” and is the ancient name for Meroë in northeast Africa. See Ps. 72:10; Isa. 43:3. Havilah, Sabtah, # 10:7 This is the only place Sabtah (“striking”) is mentioned in the Bible. It is likely a region in southern Arabia. Raamah, # 10:7 Raamah means “horse’s mane” and is perhaps a south Arabian city mentioned in ancient inscriptions. See Ezek. 27:22. and Sabteca. # 10:7 The descendants of Sabteca settled eastward in Samudake, along the Persian Gulf.
The sons of Raamah were Sheba # 10:7 The descendants of Sheba, which means “an oath,” were the Sabaeans who lived in southwest Arabia and were trading merchants. See Isa. 60:6. and Dedan. # 10:7 The descendants of Dedan, which means “lowlands,” are mentioned as traders with caravans of camels. See Isa. 21:13; Jer. 25:23; 49:8. Dedan may be identified as the modern-day oasis of Al-‘Ula in northern Arabia or possibly Kuwait.
8Cush also had a son named Nimrod, who became known as the first mighty conqueror. # 10:8 Or “strong man” or “giant” (LXX). 9He was a mighty despot before Yahweh # 10:9 Or “a mighty hunter before Yahweh.” Nimrod was a hunter of men (not simply animals), a potentate, and a terrorist. See Jer. 16:16. Some etymological studies link Nimrod to the word for “rebel” or “we will rebel.” Nimrod was the first despot and anarchist. Many believe that Nimrod was also named “Marduk,” whom scholars identify as the god of the Babylonian religions. His wife was Semiramis. They bore a child that is identified by some as the Egyptian Osiris and the Hindu Vishnu. See 1 Chron. 1:10. . There was a saying, “Like Nimrod, a mighty despot before Yahweh.” 10The centers of his kingdom # 10:10 Or “The beginnings of his kingdom.” , Babel, # 10:10 Or “Babylon,” which means “confusion,” “mixed,” or “chaos.” Babel was a famous city on the Euphrates in modern Iraq. Erech, # 10:10 A region southeast of Babylon known as “Uruk” (modern Warka). Erech means “long.” and Akkad, # 10:10 A city north of Babylon known as “Agade.” Akkad means “subtle.” were in the land of Shinar. # 10:10 Or “Babylonia.” 11From there, he went into Assyria and built the cities of Nineveh, # 10:11 Nineveh, which means “abode of the god Ninus,” was the capital of Assyria and is located 250 miles northwest of Baghdad. It is presently identified with the mounds of Kuyunjik and Nebi Yunus, which means “the prophet Jonah.” Rehoboth-Ir, # 10:11 Rehoboth-Ir means “[city of] broad streets.” Calah, # 10:11 Calah, which means “enthusiasm,” was one of the four great cities of Assyria. 12and Resen # 10:12 Resen, which means “fountainhead,” was one of the four great cities of Assyria. (which is between the great city of Calah # 10:12 This is modern Nimrud in Iraq, south of Mosul. It is likely called “the great city” because it was at one time the royal capital of the Assyrians. and Nineveh).
13Egypt # 10:13 Or “Mizraim.” was the father of the Ludites, # 10:13 The Ludites, which means “firebrands,” are difficult to identify. They were known as warriors and descendants of the Egyptian people. Some scholars see them as Lybians and others as Lydians. Anamites, # 10:13 The Anamites, which means “affliction of the waters,” were an unidentified people who were descendants of Egypt. Lehabites, # 10:13 The Lehabites were considered descendants of Libya. See 2 Chron. 12:3; 16:8; Dan. 11:43. Naphtuhites, # 10:13 Naphtuhites may mean “people of the [Nile] delta.” 14Pathrusites, # 10:14 The Pathrusites (related to the word Pathros, meaning “southland”) were inhabitants of Upper Egypt. See Jer. 44:15. Casluhites, and Caphtorites (the ancestors of the Philistines). # 10:14 Some scholars link this parenthetical information with the previously noted Casluhites. The Philistines were from the area of the Aegean Sea and invaded the lands of Canaan and Egypt in the thirteenth century BC. See Amos 9:7.
15Canaan was the father of Sidon # 10:15 Sidon, which means “hunting,” likely represents all of Phoenicia. See Judg. 18:7; 1 Kings 5:6; 16:31. (his firstborn), the Hittites, # 10:15 Or “Heth” (which means “terror”), the father of the Hittites, a dominant tribe in Canaan. 16the Jebusites, # 10:16 The Jebusites, which means “people of the threshing floor,” were the ancient inhabitants of Jebus, a stronghold that was conquered by David when he established Jerusalem. David purchased the plot of land upon which the temple would later be built from Araunah, the Jebusite. See Josh. 15:8; 2 Sam. 5:6–9; 24:18–25. the Amorites, # 10:16 The Amorites, which means “talkers,” inhabited the promised land west of the Jordan before the arrival of the Israelites. See Amos 2:9–10. the Girgashites, # 10:16 The Girgashites, which means “clay-dwellers,” lived to the east of Lake Galilee. 17the Hivites, # 10:17 The Hivites, which means “villagers,” were located in the vicinity of Gibeon (see Josh. 9:7; 11:19) near Shechem (see Gen. 34:2) and near Mt. Hermon (see Josh. 11:3). the Arkites, # 10:17 Beginning with the Arkites, which means “gnawing,” vv. 17–18 list inhabitants of cities. The Arkites are identified with modern Arqa in Lebanon. the Sinites, # 10:17 The Sinites, which means “those of clay,” are connected to an unidentified city, likely near Arqa in Lebanon. See 1 Chron. 1:15. 18the Arvadites, # 10:18 The Arvadites, which means “those who break loose,” are connected to a coastal city in Lebanon, known today as Ruad. See Ezek. 27:8, 11. the Zemarites, # 10:18 The Zemarites, which means “double woolen,” are a people of a city south of Arvad. and the Hamathites. # 10:18 The Hamathites, which means “fortress dwellers,” are the people of the city of Hamath, modern Hama in Syria. See Num. 13:21; Josh. 13:5; Judg. 3:3. The families of the Canaanites eventually scattered across 19the Canaanite territory extending from Sidon toward Gerar # 10:19 Gerar, which means “lodging place,” was a Philistine town in Gaza, modern-day Umm. to Gaza # 10:19 Gaza, which means “the strong one,” was a Philistine city in the southwest coastal region of Israel, modern Gaza City. including Sodom, # 10:19 Sodom, which means “burning,” was a Canaanite city located in the region of the Dead Sea, possibly identified with Tell el-Hammam in Jordan near the Israeli border, and was destroyed by God’s judgment of fire and brimstone. See Gen. 19:1–29. Gomorrah, # 10:19 Gomorrah, which means “submersion,” was a Canaanite city, perhaps a twin city of Sodom located in the region of the Dead Sea. Admah, # 10:19 Admah, which means “red earth,” was a Canaanite city in the Siddim Valley. and Zeboiim, # 10:19 Zeboiim, which means “gazelles,” was a neighboring city of Sodom. as far as Lasha. # 10:19 Lasha, which means “fissure,” was a city of the Dead Sea Valley. 20These were the descendants of Ham by families, lands, languages, and nations.
Descendants of Shem
21Shem, the older brother of Japheth, also had sons and was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber, who were also known as “Hebrews.” # 10:21 Eber, which means “the region beyond” or “the opposite side,” was the eponymous ancestor of the Hebrews.
22The sons of Shem were Elam, # 10:22 Elam, which means “eternal one” or “eternity,” settled in Babylonia. His people’s capital city was Susa. See Gen. 14:1; Isa. 11:11. Assyria, # 10:22 Or “Asshur,” the Hebrew word for “Assyria.” Arphaxad, # 10:22 Arphaxad, which means “he cursed the breast,” is associated with Babylon, and some Jewish scholars identify him as the founder of the Chaldean city of Ur, the future home of Abram. Lud, # 10:22 Lud, which means “strife,” settled in northern Africa and may be the ancestor of the Lydians of Anatolia. and Aram. # 10:22 Aram, which means “exalted,” refers to the Arameans who eventually settled in Syria. Through their influence the Aramaic language shaped commerce and diplomacy.
23The sons of Aram were Uz, # 10:23 Uz, which means “woodland,” was the land of Job, possibly in Arabia. Hul, # 10:23 Hul, which means “circle,” was the ancestor of a Syrian people group, possibly the Armenians. Gether, # 10:23 Gether, which means “fear,” according to Josephus, was the ancestor of the Bactrians of Central Asia. and Mash. # 10:23 Or “Meshech” (LXX; see 1 Chron. 1:17). Mash means “drawn out.”
24Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, # 10:24 Shelah means “sent/shot forth [like a prayer].” the father of Eber.
25-26Eber was the father of two sons: Peleg, (or “Division,” # 10:25–26 Or “Earthquake.” for during his lifetime the earth was divided), # 10:25–26 “Division” is a play on words for Peleg, which means “disperse,” “divide,” or “cut into channels.” The Hebrew word ’eretz, which means “earth,” is more commonly translated “land.” In that case, “the earth was divided” could point to a tectonic dividing of the continents during the lifetime of Peleg. The Greeks call the Aegean Sea the “Archipelago,” or the “first sea.” There is some evidence to link this with the scientific theory of continental drift; the parting of the continents during the days of Peleg. Most scholars, however, view this “division” as the dividing of languages and dispersing of nations at the Tower of Babel. and his brother Joktan, # 10:25–26 Joktan, which means “he will be made little,” was the ancestor of various Arabian tribes. His Arabic name means “wakeful.” the father of Almodad, # 10:25–26 Almodad means “not measured,” or “God is friend” (LXX). Sheleph, # 10:25–26 Sheleph, which means “drawn out,” was the possible ancestor of various Yemenite tribes. Hazarmaveth, # 10:25–26 Hazarmaveth, which means “oasis of Mot” or “the god of death,” was the possible ancestor of people who settled east of Yemen. He is equated with modern Hadramawt in Yemen. Jerah, # 10:25–26 Jerah, which means “moon” or “month,” likely settled in south Arabia. 27Hadoram, # 10:27 Hadoram, which means “the god Hadad is exalted,” was the possible ancestor of the Yemenite people (the Sabeans). Uzal, # 10:27 Uzal (or “Azal”) was the ancient name of Sanaa, capital of Yemen. Diklah, # 10:27 Diklah means “date palm.” 28Obal, # 10:28 Obal means “stripped bare.” There are a number of possible locations in Yemen of a city once named Obal. Abimael, # 10:28 Abimael means “a father sent by God” or “truly, God is my father.” Abimael was an ancestor of Arabian tribes. Sheba, # 10:28 Descendants of Sheba settled in southern Arabia. Sheba is sometimes identified with the entire Arabian Peninsula. See 1 Kings 10:1–10. 29Ophir, # 10:29 Ophir is known as the east coast of Arabia and is frequently connected to gold, i.e., “the gold of Ophir.” Havilah, # 10:29 This Havilah is not believed to be the same Havilah mentioned in Gen. 2:11. This region of Havilah was in Arabia toward the Red Sea. and Jobab. # 10:29 Jobab, which means “desert,” is an unknown region likely located in Arabia. All the descendants of Joktan 30lived in the territory that extends all the way from Mesha # 10:30 Mesha, which means “freedom,” is the region on the east coast of the Red Sea. toward the eastern hills of Sephar. # 10:30 Sephar, which means “a numbering,” is the hilly region near the Red Sea. 31These were the families of Shem according to their genealogies, by their families, lands, languages, and nations. 32After the flood, Noah’s descendants formed nations as the people spread throughout the earth.

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Genesis 10: TPT





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