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.
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(1) Shem, Ham, and Japheth.—This is the un-deviating arrangement of the three brothers. (See Note on Genesis 9:24; Genesis 10:21.)

Genesis 10:1. Although this chapter may appear to some unprofitable, it is indeed of great use. 1st, It gives us a true, and the only true account of the origin of the several nations of the world. 2d, It discovers and distinguishes from all other nations, the people in which God’s church was to be preserved, and from which Christ was to come. 3d, It explains and confirms Noah’s prophecy concerning his three sons, and makes the accomplishment of it evident. 4th, It enables us to understand many other parts of Scripture, as well prophetical and poetical, as historical and doctrinal. It is therefore well worth our attention. These are the sons of Noah, Shem, &c. — Although Shem is always named first, when the sons of Noah are enumerated, because he was the progenitor of Abraham and of Christ, and because the church of God was continued in his line, yet it is generally thought he was the youngest of the three, and that Japheth, though always mentioned last, was the eldest.

10:1-7 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, Jer 25:22. That promise, Isa 42:4, The isles shall wait for his law, speaks of the conversion of the gentiles to the faith of Christ. - Section VIII - The Nations

- Japheth

2. גמר gomer, "Gomer, completion; related: complete;" Κιμμέριοι Kimmerioi. מגוג māgôg, "Magog, Caucasian, Skyth." מדי māday, "Madai, middle: Mede." יון yāvān, "Javan"; Ἰάων Iaōn; "Sanskrit, Javana; Old Persian, Juna." תבל tubāl, "Tubal"; Τιβαρηνοὶ Tibareenoi. משׁך meshek, "Meshek, drawing possession, valor"; Μόσχοι Moschoi, תירס tı̂yrās, "Tiras;" Θρᾷξ Thrax.

3. אשׁכנו 'ashkenaz, "Ashkenaz," Ἀσκάνιος Askanios. ריפת rı̂ypat, "Riphath," ὄρη Ῥίπαια oree Ripaia, תגרמה togarmâh "Togarmah, Thorgom, ancestor of the Armenians."

4. אלישׁה 'elı̂yshâh, "Elishah;" Ἧλις Eelis, Ἑλλὰς Hellas, Αἰολεῖς Aioleis. תדשׁישׁ tarshı̂ysh, "Tarshish, breaking, fastness: Tartessus, Tarsus, Tyrseni." כתים kı̂tı̂ym, "Kittim, smiters; Citienses;" Κᾶρες Kares; דדנים dodānı̂ym, "Dodanim, Dodona, Dardani."

5. אי 'ı̂y, "meadow, land reached by water, island; related: be marked off or bounded (by a water line)." גוי gôy, "nation; related: be born;" γεγάασι gegaasi.

The fifth document relates to the generations of the sons of Noah. It presents first a genealogy of the nations, and then an account of the distribution of mankind into nations, and their dispersion over the earth. This is the last section which treats historically of the whole human race. Only in incidental, didactic, or prophetic passages do we again meet with mankind as a whole in the Old Testament.

The present chapter signalizes a new step in the development of the human race. They pass from the one family to the seventy nations. This great process covers the space of time from Noah to Abraham. During this period the race was rapidly increasing under the covenant made with Noah. From Shem to Abraham were ten generations inclusive; and, therefore, if we suppose the same rate of increase after as we have supposed before, there would be about fifteen million inhabitants when Abraham was thirty years of age. If, however, we take eight as the average of a family, and suppose eleven generations after Shem at the one hundredth year of Abraham's life, we have about thirty million people on the earth. The average of the three sons of Noah is higher than this; for they had sixteen sons, and we may suppose as many daughters, making in all thirty-two, and, therefore, giving ten children to each household. The present chapter does not touch on the religious aspect of human affairs: it merely presents a table of the primary nations, from which all subsequent nationalities have been derived.

Genesis 10:1-2

The sons of Japheth. - Japheth is placed first, because he was, most probably, the oldest brother Genesis 9:24; Genesis 10:21, and his descendants were the most numerous and most widely spread from the birthplace of mankind. The general description of their territory is "the isles of the nations." These were evidently maritime countries, or such as were reached by sea. These coastlands were pre-eminently, but not exclusively, the countries bordering on the north side of the Mediterranean and its connected waters. They are said to belong to the nations, because the national form of association was more early and fully developed among them than among the other branches of the race. There is, probably, a relic of Japheth in the, Ιαπετὸς Iapetos, Japetus of the Greeks, said to be the son of Uranus (heaven), and Gaea (earth), and father of Prometheus, and thus in some way connected with the origin or preservation of the human race.

Fourteen of the primitive nations spring from Japheth. Seven of these are of immediate descent.

(1) Gomer is mentioned again, in Ezekiel EZechariah 38:6, as the ally of Gog, by which the known existence of the nation at that period is indicated. Traces of this name are perhaps found in the Κιμμέριοι Kimmerioi, (Homer, Odyssey Ezekiel 11:14; Herodotus Ezekiel 1:15; Ezekiel 4:12), who lay in the dark north, in the Krimea, the Kimbri who dwelt in north Germany, the Kymry, Cambri, and Cumbri who occupied Britain. These all belong to the race now called Keltic, the first wave of population that reached the Atlantic. Thus, the Γομαρεῖς Gomareis, of Josephus (Ant. 1:6.1) may even be identified with the Galatae. This nation seems to have lain to the north of the Euxine, and to have spread out along the southern coasts of the Baltic into France, Spain, and the British Isles.

(2) Magog is mentioned, by Ezekiel EZechariah 38:6, as the people of which Gog was the prince. It is introduced in the Apocalypse Rev 20:8, as a designation of the remote nations who had penetrated to the ends or corners of the earth. This indicates a continually progressing people, occupying the north of Europe and Asia, and crossing, it may be, over into America. They seem to have been settled north of the Caspian, and to have wandered north and east from that point. They are accordingly identified by Josephus (Ant. 1:6.1) with the Skyths, and include the Mongols among other Skythic tribes.

(3) Madai has given name to the Medes, who occupied the southern shore of the Caspian. From this region they penetrated southward to Hindostan.



Ge 10:1-32. Genealogies.

1. sons of Noah—The historian has not arranged this catalogue according to seniority of birth; for the account begins with the descendants of Japheth, and the line of Ham is given before that of Shem though he is expressly said to be the youngest or younger son of Noah; and Shem was the elder brother of Japheth (Ge 10:21), the true rendering of that passage.

generations, &c.—the narrative of the settlement of nations existing in the time of Moses, perhaps only the principal ones; for though the list comprises the sons of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, all their descendants are not enumerated. Those descendants, with one or two exceptions, are described by names indicative of tribes and nations and ending in the Hebrew im, or the English "-ite."Noah’s posterity, Genesis 10:1. Sons of Japheth, Genesis 10:2-5. Of Ham, Genesis 10:2-14; among whom Nimrod the first monarch and tyrant; he reigns in Babel, &c., Genesis 10:10. Asshur builds Nineveh, &c., Genesis 10:11. Sons of Canaan, Genesis 10:15. Their border, Genesis 10:19. Of Shem, Genesis 10:21-31.

This chapter, though it may seem to some unprofitable, as consisting almost wholly of genealogies, yet hath indeed great and manifold uses.

1. To show the true original of the several nations; about which all other authors write idly, fabulously, and falsely; and thereby to manifest the providence of God in the government of the world and church, and the truth and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

2. To discover and distinguish from all other nations that people or nation in which God’s church was to be, and from which Christ was to come.

3. That Noah’s prophecy concerning his three sons might be better understood, and the accomplishment of it made evident.

4. To explain divers prophetical predictions and other passages of Scripture, as will appear in the sequel. For the better understanding of this chapter, compare with it 1 Chronicles 1:4-24. And consider these three things.

1. In the search of these genealogies we must avoid both carelessness, for the reasons now mentioned, and excessive curiosity about every particular person here named, and the people sprung from him; which is neither necessary nor profitable, nor indeed possible now to find out, by reason of the great changes of names, through length of time, loss of ancient records, differences of languages, extinction of families, conquest and destruction of nations, and other causes. It may suffice that divers of them, and those the most eminent, are evident and discernible at this day, as will appear in the progress, by which we may and ought to presume the truth of the rest, whose names are lost in the public confusions of the world in former ages, of whom I shall therefore be silent, and only speak of the principal persons, and that briefly.

2. The same people which were originally seated in one place did ofttimes shift their places, or at least sent forth colonies; and that sometimes into places far distant from their brethren, as appears from the ancient and famous expeditions mentioned in sacred and profane story. So you must not wonder if you meet with the same people in divers countries.

3. In general, the world was divided into three parts, whereof the more eastern parts were allotted to Shem and his issue, the more southern parts to Ham, and the more northern parts of it to Japheth.

Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah,.... The genealogy of them, and which is of great use to show the original of the several nations of the world, from whence they sprung, and by whom they were founded; and to confute the pretended antiquity of some nations, as the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Chinese, and others; and to point out the particular people, which were to be the seat of the church of God for many ages, and from whom the Messiah was to spring; which seems to be the principal view of the history of Moses, and of this genealogy, with which should be compared 1 Chronicles 1:1 Shem, Ham, and Japheth; see Genesis 5:32.

and unto them were sons born after the flood; for they had none born to them either before the flood or in it; they were married before the flood, for their wives went into the ark with them; but it does not appear they had any children before, though they then were near an hundred years old; and if they had, they were not in the ark, and therefore must perish with the rest, which is not likely: Shem's son Arphaxad was born two years after the flood, Genesis 11:10 when the rest were born, either his or his brethren's, is not said; however they were all born after the flood; though some pretend that Canaan was born in the ark (y), during the flood, for which there is no authority; yea, it is confuted in this chapter, where Canaan stands among the sons of Ham, born to him after the flood.

(y) See Bayle's Dictionary, vol. 10. art. "Ham", p. 587.

{a} Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

(a) These generations are here recited, partly to declare the marvellous increase, and also to set forth their great forgetfulness of God's grace towards their fathers.

1. Now these are the generations] The title of a new section in P; see note on Genesis 2:4.

Verse 1. - Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah (cf. Genesis 5:1; Genesis 6:9), Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Not the order of age, but of theocratic importance (vide Genesis 5:32). And unto them were sons born (cf. Genesis 9:1, 7, 19, 22) after the flood. An indication of the puncture temporis whence the period embraced in the present section takes its departure. Genesis 10:1Descendants of Japhet. - In Genesis 10:1 the names of the three sons are introduced according to their relative ages, to give completeness and finish to the Tholedoth; but in the genealogy itself Japhet is mentioned first and Shem last, according to the plan of the book of Genesis as already explained in the introduction. In Genesis 10:2 seven sons of Japhet are given. The names, indeed, afterwards occur as those of tribes; but here undoubtedly they are intended to denote the tribe-fathers, and may without hesitation be so regarded. For even if in later times many nations received their names from the lands of which they took possession, this cannot be regarded as a universal rule, since unquestionably the natural rule in the derivation of the names would be for the tribe to be called after its ancestor, and for the countries to receive their names from their earliest inhabitants. Gomer is most probably the tribe of the Cimmerians, who dwelt, according to Herodotus, on the Maeotis, in the Taurian Chersonesus, and from whom are descended the Cumri or Cymry in Wales and Brittany, whose relation to the Germanic Cimbri is still in obscurity. Magog is connected by Josephus with the Scythians on the Sea of Asof and in the Caucasus; but Kiepert associates the name with Macija or Maka, and applies it to Scythian nomad tribes which forced themselves in between the Arian or Arianized Medes, Kurds, and Armenians. Madai are the Medes, called Mada on the arrow-headed inscriptions. Javan corresponds to the Greek Ἰάων, from whom the Ionians (Ἰάονος) are derived, the parent tribe of the Greeks (in Sanskrit Javana, old Persian Junâ). Tubal and Meshech are undoubtedly the Tibareni and Moschi, the former of whom are placed by Herodotus upon the east of the Thermodon, the latter between the sources of the Phasis and Cyrus. Tiras: according to Josephus, the Thracians, whom Herodotus calls the most numerous tribe next to the Indian. As they are here placed by the side of Meshech, so we also find on the old Egyptian monuments Mashuash and Tuirash, and upon the Assyrian Tubal and Misek (Rawlinson).
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