Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and to them were sons born after the flood.…
1. It is descended from one head. Others may be occasionally grafted on the original stock by intermarriage. But there is a vital union subsisting between all the members and the head, in consequence of which the name of the head is applied to the whole body of the nation. In the case of Kittim and Dodanim we seem to have the national name thrown back upon the patriarchs who may have themselves been called Keth and Dodan. Similar instances occur in the subsequent parts of the genealogy.
2. A nation has a country or "land" which it calls its own. In the necessary migrations of ancient tribes, the new territories appropriated by the tribe, or any part of it, were naturally called by the old name, or some name belonging to the old country. This is well illustrated by the name of Gomer, which seems to reappear in the Cimmerii, the Cimbri, the Cymry, the Cambri, and the Cumbri.
3. A nation has its own "tongue." This constitutes at once its unity in itself and its separation from others. Many of the nations in the table may have spoken cognate tongues, or even originally the same tongue. Thus the Kenaanite, Phoenician and Punic nations had the same stock of languages with the Shemites. But it is a uniform law, that one nation has only one speech within itself.
4. A nation is composed of many "families," clans, or tribes. These branch off from the nation in the same manner as it did from the parent stock of the race.
(Prof. J. G. Murphy.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.