Genesis 10

1 These are the descendants of Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; children were born to them after the flood.
2 The descendants of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
3 The descendants of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
4 The descendants of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.
5 From these the coastland peoples spread. These are the descendants of Japheth in their lands, with their own language, by their families, in their nations.
6 The descendants of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan.
7 The descendants of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.
8 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first on earth to become a mighty warrior.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord."
10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, and Accad, all of them in the land of Shinar.
11 From that land he went into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and
12 Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.
13 Egypt became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim,
14 Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, from which the Philistines come.
15 Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,
16 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites,
17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites,
18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
19 And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon, in the direction of Gerar, as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
20 These are the descendants of Ham, by their families, their languages, their lands, and their nations.
21 To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born.
22 The descendants of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram.
23 The descendants of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
24 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah; and Shelah became the father of Eber.
25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother's name was Joktan.
26 Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,
27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,
28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba,
29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the descendants of Joktan.
30 The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar, the hill country of the east.
31 These are the descendants of Shem, by their families, their languages, their lands, and their nations.
32 These are the families of Noah's sons, according to their genealogies, in their nations; and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

Genesis 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

The sons of Noah, of Japheth, of Ham. (1-7) Nimrod the first monarch. (8-14) The descendants of Canaan, The sons of Shem. (15-32)

Verses 1-7 This chapter shows concerning the three sons of Noah, that of them was the whole earth overspread. No nation but that of the Jews can be sure from which of these seventy it has come. The lists of names of fathers and sons were preserved of the Jews alone, for the sake of the Messiah. Many learned men, however, have, with some probability, shown which of the nations of the earth descended from each of the sons of Noah To the posterity of Japheth were allotted the isles of the gentiles; probably, the island of Britain among the rest. All places beyond the sea from Judea are called isles, ( Jeremiah 25:22 ) . That promise, ( Isaiah 42:4 ) , The isles shall wait for his law, speaks of the conversion of the gentiles to the faith of Christ.

Verses 8-14 Nimrod was a great man in his day; he began to be mighty in the earth, Those before him were content to be upon the same level with their neighbours, and though every man bare rule in his own house, yet no man pretended any further. Nimrod was resolved to lord it over his neighbours. The spirit of the giants before the flood, who became mighty men, and men of renown, ( Genesis 6:4 ) , revived in him. Nimrod was a great hunter. Hunting then was the method of preventing the hurtful increase of wild beasts. This required great courage and address, and thus gave an opportunity for Nimrod to command others, and gradually attached a number of men to one leader. From such a beginning, it is likely, that Nimrod began to rule, and to force others to submit. He invaded his neighbours' rights and properties, and persecuted innocent men; endeavouring to make all his own by force and violence. He carried on his oppressions and violence in defiance of God himself. Nimrod was a great ruler. Some way or other, by arts or arms, he got into power, and so founded a monarchy, which was the terror of the mighty, and bid fair to rule all the world. Nimrod was a great builder. Observe in Nimrod the nature of ambition. It is boundless; much would have more, and still cries, Give, give. It is restless; Nimrod, when he had four cities under his command, could not be content till he had four more. It is expensive; Nimrod will rather be at the charge of rearing cities, than not have the honour of ruling them. It is daring, and will stick at nothing. Nimrod's name signifies rebellion; tyrants to men are rebels to God. The days are coming, when conquerors will no longer be spoken of with praise, as in man's partial histories, but be branded with infamy, as in the impartial records of the Bible.

Verses 15-32 The posterity of Canaan were numerous, rich, and pleasantly seated; yet Canaan was under a Divine curse, and not a curse causeless. Those that are under the curse of God, may, perhaps, thrive and prosper in this world; for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us. The curse of God always works really, and always terribly. Perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work so that others can see it; or a slow curse, and does not work soon; but sinners are reserved by it for a day of wrath Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing. Abram and his seed, God's covenant people, descended from Eber, and from him were called Hebrews. How much better it is to be like Eber, the father of a family of saints and honest men, than the father of a family of hunters after power, worldly wealth, or vanities. Goodness is true greatness.

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Heb Mss Sam Gk See 1 Chr 1.7: MT [Dodanim]
  • [b]. Compare verses 20, 31. Heb lacks [These are the descendants of Japheth]
  • [c]. Cn: Heb [Casluhim, from which the Philistines come, and Caphtorim]
  • [d]. That is [Division]

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 10

This chapter gives an account of the posterity of the three sons of Noah, by whom the world was peopled after the flood, Ge 10:1 of the posterity of Japheth, Ge 10:2-5 of the posterity of Ham, Ge 10:6-20 and of the posterity of Shem, Ge 10:21-32.

Genesis 10 Commentaries