In Search of... The Origin of Nations
CHAPTER TWO: THE MYSTERIOUS TABLE OF NATIONS
The purpose of this chapter is to give the reader a basic framework to understand the meaning of Genesis 10 (the Table of Nations), the importance of names and the origin of nations. I could have delved a lot deeper into the pre-Flood world, Noah's Flood, the meaning of Genesis 9:20-27; the structure of Gen 10; the meaning of names; Babel; mythology and the writers of the 17th to late 19th centuries and such like. But as these subjects have been covered adequately elsewhere, it is not appropriate to duplicate the works of others (although I will endeavour to cover them in a future book). The basis for this book is the modern identity of the nations listed in Genesis. The other topics (above) may be further researched by reading the works listed at the end of this chapter.
Further, Genesis 10 continues the story of people God has decided to covenant with - that is, to enter in a relationship by creating the ground rules. He chooses whom He wishes to covenant with; mankind cannot choose to covenant with Him. As such, He selects His covenant people based on criteria He, in His wisdom, knows. More on this later in the chapter.
However, before discussing Genesis chapter ten, let us briefly encounter Noah's Flood and also his three sons. Who were they and what can be learned from their names and their sons and grandsons names - can their interpretation have anything to do with modern nations.46
UPON COMPLETION OF THIS CHAPTER, THE READER WILL KNOW:
and understand the basic structure and meaning of the Table of Nations and realise the uniqueness and importance of it the importance of typology such as bulls in Scripture and how they relate to this Table and see its relationship to prophecy and understand it is an aspect of the Gospel message and is intertwined in God's plan for mankind more about some of the researchers who studied this topic in previous centuries
The Bible, Racial Origins and Awesome Floods
The experts themselves are confused about racial origins. For example, some feel that the Africans evolved from the primates of Africa, while others feel they migrated out of Asia after evolving there. Concerning the Australian Aboriginals, some feel they evolved in Australia isolated from Asia, others feel they migrated to Australia 40,000 years ago, while still others say that this migration occurred 10,000 or even 4,000 years ago. Why such confusion? Simply because they ignore the Word of God and secondly, they confuse the pre-Flood races with post-Flood races, believing that there are no terminating points between these periods, but instead that these various periods run fluidly into each other. If only they read and believed the Bible.
Almost any historical or anthropological work discussing the period c4,000 - c2,300 BC will mention that different races were extant on the earth at that period of time. Evidence of Afroids may be found on slate palettes in Egypt (dated to c3,200 BC), or fossils in Nubia (dated to c3,000 BC).
Many of the cities that were built prior to the flood, were rebuilt afterwards (take Jericho for example), and many of the languages were carried on through the flood by Noah and his sons. And the races which existed prior to the flood were, likewise, carried through the flood and later populated the same geographical locations as their predecessors.
[THE AUTHORS MISTAKINGLY BELIEVE NOAH’S FLOOD WAS WORLDWIDE; IT WAS NOT! SEE THE TRUTH ABOUT NOAH’S FLOOD UNDER MY “MISCELLANEOUS” SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt
But the Bible tells us that a great flood occurred prior to the creation of Adam:
"and darkness was upon the face of the deep [waters covering the earth]. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2).
During the time of Noah, another great flood struck the earth:
"and, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; And everything that is in the earth shall die" (Gen. 6:17)
Legends from all over the globe attest to this great flood.47
[BUT THIS SECOND MAJOR FLOOD WAS NOT WORLDWIDE - Keith Hunt]
So, where did the races originate from? God created Adam and Eve, and through Noah, one humankind: "and God hath made of one [blood or man] all nations" (Acts 17:26).48
Repeatedly, the earth has been engulfed in enormous upheavals which consign scenes from gripping movies such as Volcano and Dante's Peak to mere blips. Scientists reckon immense devastation and catastrophism upon the earth occur at regular, virtually cyclical periods.
In Genesis 1:1 -2 we are told:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was [became] without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters"
Several matters may be teased out of this scripture which we generally seldom hear about. Firstly, philological studies of "moved" is taken to mean "to brood" like a bird or dove fluttering over his offspring. Others feel that there may be an inference here to hover or coast in the air like an eagle (compare Deut 32:11). Here we find God showing great care for the re-forming of the earth prior to the creation of humankind. What happened prior to Adam's creation?
If we are to accept dating methodologies indicating that the earth is about 4.6 billion years old, God was indeed active in creative expression long prior to creation of man. It would seem that God may have been busy with various physical creative expressions over a long time. Here are some of the biochronological eras or epochs which we are told earth history may be divided into (I use them here for sake of argument and do not enter into debates about the dating of the age of the earth and related issues)
Archeozoic Proterozoic (the Precambrian era - 4.6 billion to 600 millions years ago)
Paleozoic (including the Cambrian, Orovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian eras - 600-230 million years ago)
Mesozoic (including the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous eras - 230- 67 million years ago)
Cenozoic (Tertiary and Quaternary eras - 67 million years ago to recent times).
It is thought that the word "blood" is not in the original; for different races have different blood groups, not the same. King James Authorized Version: "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation ..."
………..Is there inference in Genesis 1:1-2 of the end of the Holocene period with God intervening to reverse the great flooding all over the earth in readiness for conditions for human existence? This may indeed be the case; and if it is, it may give credence to the theory that God cleanses the planet prior to creative activity. He is the God of fiat creation, not a God guiding evolutionary development. As such, He may determine to create at various times, according to His great will and wisdom.
He created man after readying the earth for him at the end of the Holocene period. [STRICTLY A THEORY AND GUESS WORK WITH NO PROOF FROM THE BIBLE ITSELF; THE WATERS WERE UPON THE EARTH; GOD’S SPIRIT MOVED OVER THE WATERS; THEN THE REST OF GENESIS ONE - Keith Hunt]
But this was not the last time God 'baptised' and cleansed the earth.
Gradually, historians, in general, are settling on dating of ancient history by reducing events downwards slightly. This has been occurring for some time and now seems to be reaching toward finalization with the assistance of great works such as A Test of Time by David Rohl. For instance it may be that the great flooding recorded in Mesopotamian history and which historians dated at about 2,650BC, could be determined at about 2304BC, 'coinciding' with Noah's worldwide Flood [NOPE IT WAS NOT A WORLDWIDE FLOOD - Keith Hunt]. Great Middle Eastern emperors, heroes and villains, may now be seen to be descendants of Noah. For instance, Assur may have been Sargon of Akkad - an area that we shall explore in a later chapter. Some decades ago he was dated at 3,200BC, but gradually this was reduced with the rest of the dating of the Middle Eastern records to 2,500BC and further since to about 2,100BC. As such, I shall not be involving myself in the chronology and dating debate. Such a debate between the current school of thought and the various positions within the reductionist school are beyond the scope or requirement of this book. Instead, it is best for this book to generally go along with current dating methods until alternative viewpoints become concrete.
But let us turn to Noah himself. His name means comfort, consolation, rest or regeneration (Gen 5:29). As in Christ's day, the world was wicked (Gen 6:5-9). Like Christ, he was spiritually just, represented a certain ethnic line and walked with God (Gen 6:9); both he and Christ were preachers of righteousness (2Pet 2:5) and had great faith (Heb 11:7); this faith was demonstrated by obedience to God (Gen 6:22; 7:4,10; 8:4,10,12).
In considering Noah's ark, and without going into detailed typology in this chapter, the pitch (probably resin) which covered the ark represents atonement (Heb "kaphar" = atonement), the period prior to the flood is type of the events leading up to the tribulation; the flood itself the height of the tribulation and Day of the Lord (cp Luke 17:26-27; Rev 12:15-17). On 1 Tishri Noah looked out on the new world. We know that Christ will possibly return on 1 Tishri (the Feast of Trumpets) too, to commence His millennial reign. Noah, at that time, commenced his 7th century at which time he saw and received the 'promised land'. Similarly, Christ will commence the final 1,000 of the 7,000 years of God's Plan at His return. We also know that God made a covenant with Noah - possibly a type of the New Covenant which Christ will finalise at His return (Is 54:8-10; Gen 9:9).
[THERE IS NO SUCH 7,000 YEAR PLAN OF GOD; THE BIBLE IS TOTALLY SILENT ON THE MATTER; THE IDEA OF MAN BEING CREATED IN 4004 B.C. WAS BISHOP USHER’S IDEA OF BIBLE CHRONOLOGY. IF IT WAS CORRECT AND GOD IS WORKING ON A 7,000 YEAR PLAN….. WE HAVE PASSED THE 6,000 YEARS AND ARE ALREADY INTO THE 7,000 YEAR!! IT IS ALL A VERY INCORRECT THEOLOGY; THE SO-CALLED “RED INDIANS” OF NORTH AMERICA HAVE A HISTORY GOING BACK AT LEAST 10,000 YEARS. ALL OF THIS “CHRONOLOGY STUFF” IS GONE INTO MORE IN-DEPTH ON THIS WEBSITE IN VARIOUS STUDIES - Keith Hunt]
Christ preached to the demon spirits, in Noah's day. It would appear that He may have given them warning about their ultimate punishment which will be fulfilled at the end time. Noah's Flood was a type of the Day of the Lord at which time their punishments will be metered out (IPet 3:19-20). Interestingly, in the following verse the Flood is likened to baptism.
But while God has promised that the earth will not be submerged by water (Gen 9:15), He has also predicted that it will be consumed by fire (a foretaste will be the coming Day of the Lord so graphically portrayed in the Book of Revelation). This consumption or baptism of the world blends beautifully with the Gospel message and plan of God to offer salvation to all.
Earth's Coming Baptism of Fire!
Just as there was the worldwide flood prior to Adam (although not covering all land) followed by the much greater Noahician flood, so the Day of the Lord with its fires and plagues will destroy much of the earth, but not all of the earth like the final fire after the millennium will do.
[WOW….. A VERY BAD THEOLOGY ON THE TWO FLOODS……VERY BAD INDEED! - IT WAS THE FIRST FLOOD THAT WAS THE GREATEST BY FAR, SO GREAT IT IS HARD FOR THE HUMAN MIND TO COMPREHEND THE FORCE AND DESTRUCTION THAT TOOK PLACE….WAR BETWEEN THE COVERING CHRUB (WHO BECAME SATAN THE DEVIL) AND HIS ANGELS (NOW DEMONS) AND GOD AND HIS ANGELS, JUST OBLITERATED THE DINOSAUR WORLD, AND THE EARTH BECAME COVERED WITH WATER - Keith Hunt]
After the second resurrection, the Devil, Beast, False Prophet and the unrighteous, will be cast into the terrible lake of fire (Rev 20:10). It would appear that the lake of fire will then spread and engulf the entire earth and even the entire universe will eventually be cleansed and recreated, made ready for new creations. Peter writes of this most incredible event in history:
"... the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Pet 3:10)
We are told in Micah that "the mountains shall be molten under Him….as wax before a fire”(Mic 1:4) as the earth is cleansed. Compare also Luke 3:5.
[NOTHING IS SAID THAT THE UNIVERSE WILL BE MODIFIED OR NOT….. OUR PART OF THE MILKY WAY WILL BE MODIFIED AS THE NEW EARTH WILL NOT NEED A PHYSICAL SUN….LAST CHAPTERS OF REVELATION. BUT HOW MUCH OF OUR GALAXY OR UNIVERSE WILL BE MODIFIED WE ARE NOT TOLD - Keith Hunt]
Our own Sun is a most fascinating body: it is an average sized star as far as we know; it's heat is generated by the nuclear fusion of its hydrogen into helium. One day, our glorious Sun will run out of finite hydrogen energy, in billions of years time. Of course, God may intervene and speed that process up in due course. In any event, it will begin to burn helium instead of hydrogen, becoming a "Red Giant" and rise to at least 100 times its current size, engulfing much of the inner solar system.
Eventually the sun will exhaust its supply of Helium fuel and shrink in size, lose its heat gradually and begin to die, becoming a mere White Dwarf star (cp Rev 21:23; 22:5).
From the above three examples, it would seem that God has plunged or baptised the earth into the most catastrophic immersions in water and yet to come fire. While this is of course speculative, nevertheless, it seems to fit a model that He performs such feats from time-to-time. The earth was prepared for man via gigantic flooding; followed by the Noachian Flood and the fiery inferno yet to come.
[GLAD THE AUTHOR SAID “SPECULATIVE” - THE SUN WILL NOT BE NEEDED WHEN THE NEW EARTH COMES; AND GOD THE FATHER IS ON EARTH; THE ENTERAL JUST HAS TO SAY “BE GONE” AND IT WILL JUST DISAPPEAR - Keith Hunt]
Finally, Peter seems to tie these three together in 2 Pet 3:5-7,12:
" ... by the word of God the heavens were of old [creation of the earth], and the earth standing out of the water and in the water [Holocene period?] [NOPE IT WAS THE DINOSAUR WORLD - Keith Hunt]
"Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished [Noahician worldwide Flood]: [NOPE NOT NOAH’S FLOOD AT ALL, IT WAS THE FLOOD OF GENESIS 1:1-2 - Keith Hunt]
"But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition for ungodly men ... wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness [the final re-creation of the Universe]". [NOPE DOES NOT SAY UNIVERSE; HEAVENS PLURAL…. OUR HEAVEN OF CLOUDS AND UNIVERSE HEAVEN BUT DOES NOT INDICATE HOW MUCH OF THE UNIVERSE WILL BE CHANGED ETC. - Keith Hunt]
In time order, the evil are engulfed by fire (Rev 20:10-15; Mai 4:3), followed by the inauguration of the New Heavens and New Earth (Rev 21:1) from which the evil are absent (v8). Sequentially, it would appear that God may bring forward by billions of years the folding up of the physical universe after the lake of fire has spread and engulfed (ie baptised) the entire earth. From there it will engulf the universe, preparing the way for a new creation with dimensions, sights, colours, sounds, and experiences that we cannot even possibly imagine at this stage. However Rev 21 & 22 gives us at least some insights and clues.
[THE AUTHOR IS MOVING INTO IDEAS ABOUT A NEW COMPLETE UNIVERSE THAT IS NOT GIVEN TO US IN SCRIPTURE; IT IS VERY SPECULATIVE SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE - Keith Hunt]
From the above we can ascertain the following consistency: God practices methods of cleansing via immersion or baptism prior to His involvement with a new creation.
Before the entire universe is re-created, God wants us all to be re-created and the first step along that rocky road is simple water baptism. Let us now explore the baptism of the people of God found in both Old and New Testaments.
Old Testament Baptism
"Water is the element naturally used for cleansing the body and its symbolical use entered into almost every cult, and into none more completely than the Jewish, whose ceremonial washings were proverbial" ("Baptism", International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia).52
The Dead Sea Scrolls also depict the baptism ritual as something practised by much of Jewry at that time. To this day Jews practice baptism for both male and female converts who immerse themselves in a ritual bath53.
Long before the Jews practised baptism, pre-Christian baptism is found in the Old Testament. For instance, the passing of Israel through the Red Sea on the final Day of Unleavened Bread, was likened to a baptism by Paul (I Cor 10:1-2). And further baptismal and resurrection typology may be found in the crossing of the Jordan River which was a type of entering the Kingdom of God followed by pulling down the strongholds of the enemy (Joshua 3:15-17; 2 Cor 10:4).
In the Wilderness, at the Tabernacle, the Levites were cleansed via sprinkling of water - a type of baptism - to purify them in preparation in service to God and man (Num 8:6-7,11,21). Similarly Christians must be cleansed and sanctified by sprinkling (Heb 10:22; 1 Cor 11:28; 2 Cor 7:1; Titus 2:14).
"Baptism", International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Vol 1, page 418; Telushkin, 1991:625
Further, the Levites had to be bathed or washed clean in water in Ex 29:4 "one of the ceremonial washings referred to in Heb. 6.2, and rendered "baptisms" according to Bullinger's, Companion Bible54). Similarly, Christians have been baptised and must be 'baptised' by the washing of the spirit each and every day until they die (1 Cor 6:11;2 Cor 7:1; Eph 5:25-26). And by connecting Titus 3:5 with 2 Cor 4: 16 and Eph 4:22-24 we can see that we must be washed clean each day by the water and the blood.
Other washing rituals may be found in Lev 14:9; Num 19:18 which are evidently types of Christian cleansing and purification at baptism. Not just the baptism with water upon repentance. But daily washings of the Spirit of God.
How neatly and precisely the Gospel message of the future Kingdom of God and salvation fits into the message of the Flood and consequent message of the Table of Nations.
All nations descended from Adam and Noah
All races, black, yellow or white, have the same parents: Adam and Eve. According to Genesis 5:4-5, Adam and Eve had various sons and daughters. Josephus records the Jewish tradition that there were 33 sons and 23 daughter in all.55
Undoubtedly God created within Eve ova (egg cells) for each major race. Thus some of her offspring would have been black, some yellow and some white, (this may have also been true of Noah's wife's offspring).
[MAYBE, IT WAS, BUT MAYBE NOT; THE COLOR OF RACES ETC. MAY HAVE COME LATER; WE ARE SIMPLY NOT TOLD; YET IT DID HAPPEN AT SOME POINT IN TIME - Keith Hunt]
Devoid of perversion and governmental and media encouragement, it is quite normal, completely natural, for persons of similar characteristics (but of the opposite sex) to be attracted to each other.
Thus Adam and Eve's brothers and sisters would have married each other, as there were no others to marry. They would have gravitated automatically to someone of like characteristics (skin color, features or behaviour). Over time their descendants would have separated out into different races, marrying into their own unique stock. A similar situation arose again after the flood of Noah.
After the flood the various races, sub-races and nations gradually developed as they inbred to create certain characteristics and natures in each. It was not wrong in the misty past for one to interbreed with a close relative. Abram married his half-sister, Sarai (Gen. 20:12, 11:27-29) and Nahor married his niece, Milcah (Gen. 11:27-29).
Later God forbade such marriages as by then national characteristics were fully developed. Such unions had also become harmful genetically and socially and were therefore to be considered as "sin" with subsequent punishments (Lev. 18:1-18). As such, all nations extant on the earth today may be traced clear back to Genesis 10 - the table of nations.56
One Bantu creation myth describes the first people as red which is a common description of white people in early descriptions by darker peoples. Russians were known as Rustians for their rusty hair; and a northern Nigerian word of whites is "Batuli" which can also men red. (Wassermann 1974: 15).
The Table of Nations
This unique table is found in two separate places in the Bible - Genesis 10 and 1 Chronicles 1 - it is the key to understanding national history and prophecy. It would behove us all to read through these two chapters thoroughly. Further, it may be appropriate to consider what specialists have to say on this important subject and I have several quotes following. You will also find others at the end of this chapter.
Professor Albright, a leading authority on Middle East archeology writes of this wonderful table:
"It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature without a remote parallel even among the Greeks ... The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document ... [it] shows such remarkable 'modem' understanding of the ethnic and linguistic situation in the modem world, in spite of all its complexity, that scholars never fail to be impressed with the author's knowledge of the subject."57
It is truly a remarkable work, unsurpassed in world history. Another historian, Profesor Hannay, states:
"... the Xth Chapter of Genesis is very well known, but I venture to think that the majority of those who know it are ignorant of its real nature".58
Professor Kautz concurs:
"The so-called Table of Nations remains, according to all results of monumental explorations, an ethnographic original document of the first rank which nothing can replace".59
Professor Los similar agrees:
"The Table of Peoples of Genesis X can, in respect of its ethnological value, hardly be valued highly enough. It is therefore very interesting that the grouping of peoples into families has been effected here in a manner which was unknown to the rest of antiquity and which only our own century has come into use again with the help of comparative philology".60
Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, adds a little more to our knowledge of this mysterious "table" in his famous Antiquities:
"After this [Babel] they were dispersed abroad on account of the difference of their languages, and went out by colonies everywhere, and each colony took possession of that land unto which God led them, so that the whole continent was filled with them, both the inland and maritime countries".61
Albright: 1955:4. Von Fange cl980:1 agrees: "The Table of Nations found in Genesis 10 is the most remarkable of all ancient genealogical documents".
Richards states: "This chapter contains the oldest known ethnographic document in existence. It identifies, using location, language, or descent, the tribal groups that became the peoples of the world known in ancient times. Modem research has shown this table of nations to be a strikingly accurate record of nations and peoples that existed many centuries before the writing of the Old Testament." (Richards 1993: 32)
It would be a little silly for us to speculate that God intended to inform His physical and spiritual Israel about peoples that were not in existence or unknown to them. It would appear that the intent was rather to inform readers of the Word that all nations descend from Noah and his three sons. [NOPE NOAH’S FLOOD WAS NOT WORLDWIDE; BUT ALL WERE DESCENDANTS OF ADFAM AND EVE - Keith Hunt]. And that further, God Almighty is the One who permits or even determines national destinies. The picture we get is that no matter how diverse mankind, we all have a common origin ……….
It should come as no surprise to us that the Bible contains this amazing genealogy of the family of nations as it does of others such as 1 Chron 1 and Luke 1. For many societies, even so-called primitive ones, have kept extensive genealogical records or censuses for a number of reasons (see Neh 7:5. 64; 12: 22-23). Similarly, God has a Book of Life listing all of those with whom He is working.62 (see Rev 3:5)
God has not left out any nation from the Genesis family tree, whether they are referred to directly or indirectly. He loves them all and no people is ignored. They are all mentioned in the Bible and history - not under their present day names, but under their ancient names of Bible times. It is a list which incorporates all of the names of actual persons, tribes and places extant at the time of writing, projected into the past, based on historical records kept by Moses, under the inspiration of God Himself. "The tribal names stand for real individuals from whom the nations were believed to have descended".63
The great family tree where every nation of the earth has sprung, must be thoroughly understood, if we are to trace each branch to their present locations. Bear in mind that it is God who makes and breaks peoples. It is He who would lead them to their destinations, bless them or curse them.
The powerful God of the universe who created all that is, inspired the Bible in its entirety from Genesis to Revelation. In it are precious gems of truth laid deep inside for us to dig out. He has constructed a work, the Word of God, which is designed to exercise the human mind with the express purpose of ensuring that we inculcate within us His amazingly interesting and mighty mind. However, given all of the above, is it really important to understand and it expand our knowledge of the Gospel. Indeed, is this chapter a part of the Gospel message in any way? Dr John Pilkey thinks so:
"The descent of the nations from Noah is an interpretive crux intimately related to the evangelical Gospel".64
Why should this be? It is because the Gospel has to do with the future Kingdom of God on earth and the place all of the nations will have in that Kingdom. It has to do with the future millennial rule of the Messiah on earth and the glory all nations will give to God in the knowledge that He is offering them eternal life. And it has to do with all those whom God is reaching on this planet, no matter what background, who are offered salvation as a free gift, should they repent and obey Him. Finally it has to do with who will receive the birthright and rule with the Messiah.
An open letter of introduction in Project Genesis 10, no 1, page 4. Dr Pilkey in a taped interview further stated: "Some Christian scholars who use Schlegel's term 'Table of the Nations' may not realize that the German introduced this term for the explicit purpose of discrediting the universal authority of the Bible in defining the origins of nations ... For Schlegel the phrase ‘Table of Nations’ meant that Genesis 10 was a mere summation of nations in random proximity to Palestine in the days of Moses" (Project Genesis 10, no 1, page 19). However, today a 'table' means a list or schedule, and as such has legitimate usage.
Of further interest is that, while many historians come with some baggage and are often-times imbued with nationalism or some philosophical or political bent, they are thus biased in their historical narratives. However, it may seem remarkable to them, if only they knew, that the historian Moses, author of Genesis including chapter 10, was remarkably unbiased. He is truthful, and gives us a run-down of the sins and problems of the ancestors of Israel. This incredible restraint "suggests the hand of God upon him", writes Arthur Custance.65
There are several ways of interpreting Genesis 10:
it is mere allegory and has now real substance or literal meaning
the chapter has geographic meaning and is not an ethnological account of ancient nations and modern identities
it refers to historical nations
it is all of the above and, in addition, has prophetic undertones (that is the avenue taken in this volume).
In particular, it is recognized that the Table lists peoples (e.g. Dodanim or Kittim - the 'im' denoting plural) and not mere place-names or names of individuals alone. It is primarily concerned with father-son-descendants (tribal) delineations.
Perhaps the majority of authors and researchers interpret Genesis as geographic representation of regions rather than literal races, including, to some degree, the famous Dr A H Sayce. According to Archer's “A Survey of Old Testament Introduction,” he was "overhasty in surrendering the genetic reliability of Genesis 10 and interpreting it as merely a description of geographical relationships at a time when Canaan was under Egyptian domination ... Even G. E. Wright... concedes that this list is arranged on the whole from a racial point of view".66
The fact is, either God's Word is true and can be trusted, or it is without credibility.
This book brings forth further proof to substantiate the Bible as the Word of God. It is also of interest that God chose to scatter the nations at Babel for a number of reasons. And it should also be of interest that God used language as a means to scatter the nations. As any anthropologist or linguist will tell you, language is one of the primary modes of maintaining cultural transmission and ethnic identity.
As such, language is one of the ways of tracing the migrations and origin of peoples and this method will be employed as needed in this book. And where did so many languages originate this side of the Flood: at the tower at Babel.67 God shattered the common cause of man, to ensure that man's evil did
65 Custance 1975: 65. Yet many others who acknowledge the importance of this chapter, see it as perplexing, problematic and not fitting into their understanding of reality. Whilst they have produced important and very useful books on the subject, it is a shame that they do not understand the reality and literalness of Genesis 10. See Driver 1930: 174; Ullendorff 1968: 5; Gayre 1973:17; Sayce 1928:65.
66 Archer 1964: 212
67 The tower of Babel appears to be the first major construction programme after the Flood. "The original Tower rose up in a series of enormous terraces. Herodotus describes a series of eight superimposed stages, each one somewhat smaller than the one below it. The uppermost terrace formed the base of a temple that looked out far over the land. The base of the tower was 288 feet on a side, the total height of Tower and temple also 288 feet. The first stage was 105.6 feet in height, the second, 57.6 feet; the third, fourth, fifth and sixth, 19.2 feet each; and the Temple of Marduk 41 feet in height. The temple housed the most important god in the Babylonian pantheon. The walls of the temple were plated with gold, and decorated with enamelled brickwork of a bluish hue, which glittered in the sun, greeting the traveler's eye from afar ... Every large Babylonian city had its ziggurat, but none compared with the Tower of Babel. Fifty-eight million bricks went into the Tower's construction, and the whole land-scape was dominated by its terraced mass. The Tower of Babel was built by slaves" (Ceram 1973: 289,290)
not reach its climax prior to His time-frame. He frustrated their communication to undermine their common bond and thus divided or shattered them to ensure that they migrate to their destined and appointed portions of this wonderful earth (Acts 17:26).68
[UNDER MY “HISTORY” SECTION AT THE BOTTOM YOU WILL FIND TWO BOOKS THAT GIVE YOU SOME IDEA OF THE AGE BEFORE NOAH’S FLOOD AND THE TOWER OF BABEL - “SECRETS OF LOST RACES” AND “TREASURES OF LOST RACES” - A MUST READ FOR UNDERSTANDING WHY GOD CUT OFF THE RISE OF TECHNOLOGY BEFORE BABEL - Keith Hunt]
"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them [when specific nations should have the pre-eminance] and the exact places where they should live [their specific location so that they might maintain their identity]" (New International Version of the Bible).
Scripture is replete with types - typological people, practices or creatures which portray spiritual counterparts or future events. This duality of Scripture takes digging and a figurative magnifying glass to find these wonderful and pleasurable treasures. It is not easy to dig deep into the Word of God - it takes some mental exercise and self-discipline, but, above all, the leading of God's Spirit.
With this in mind, notice the typological bulls sacrificed during the Feast of Tabernacles (Numbers 29:12-38) in reduced numbers each day, viz:
Another is counted for the Last Great Day, but of the 70 sacrificed during the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jewish Talmud asks: "To what do these seventy bullocks correspond? To the seventy nations"69 listed in the mysterious Table of Nations. A footnote reads: "Seventy is the traditional number of Gentile nations, and the seventy bullocks are offered to make atonement for them".
There are 70 individuals mentioned in the table. But why 70? Seventy signifies perfect spiritual order and completeness, being 7x10.70 It indicates that all the world's nations are listed in the table.
In Israel, the priests were the ruling class in terms of religious matters. In God's sacrificial system, bullocks were offered to make atonement for them (Lev 4:3) while Israel as a nation were also to sacrifice a bullock for national sins (Lev 4:13-14). In contrast a leader was to sacrifice a male goat (Lev 4:22-23) while the common people sacrificed a female kid or female lamb (Lev 4: 27-28, 32). Thus the Jewish interpretation of the 70 bulls seems reasonable as the bulls relate to rulers, leaders and nations. In Genesis 10 where we find the Table of Nations, we also find, alongside the name of Noah, 70 other names, representing the 70 nations.
68 Ross 1981: 120. See also Ps 55:9
"One wonders if Gen. 10 was not in the thinking of Paul when he asserts that God has "made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation (Acts 17:26)." (Hamilton 1990: 346)
69 Sukkah: 55b
71 The Book of Jasher, chapter 7, lists some other descendants, which may have a basis in historical fact: sons of Magog -Elichanaf and Lubal; children of Madai - Achon, Zeelo, Chazoni, Lot; sons of Tubal - Ariphi, Kesed, Taari; sons of Meschech - Dedon, Zaron, Shebashni; sons of Tiras - Benib, Gera, Lupirion, Gilak; sons of Phut - Gebul, Hadan, Benah, Adan; sons of Ashar (Assur) - Minis and Mokil; sons of Arphachshad - Shelach, Anar, Ashcol.
We see then, that there are 70 nations in at least 16 basic family groups (16 being the number of Noah's grandsons). Races and nations are these families grown big and therefore nations are merely families grown big! The sooner we realize that, the sooner we'll settle our differences and cooperate with one another. Zechariah 14:17 for instance calls nations 'families'.
Several other scriptures bear the bull typology out: in Ps 68:30 gentile kings are likened to bulls; as is the arrogance of Assyria (Is 10:13); the rulers and leaders of Edom (Is 34:7) and Babylon as well (Jer 50:27). We know from the Scriptures that there is organization in Satan's Kingdom (Eph 6:12; Col 1:16; 2:15) which he uses to manipulate and control this world's nations. One such unseen evil spiritual force over a nation is described by Daniel as the "prince of the kingdom of Persia", a very powerful demon (Dan 10:13, 20). Another was the "prince of Grecia". These spirit rulers over fleshly nations may be the bull demons of ancient mythology - very powerful gods in the religious belief systems of these civilizations. David himself seems to have been surrounded and attacked by these vile bull forces when he cried out to God to deliver him from them (Ps 22:12,21).
These demons stand behind and influence human leaders. Those who have read the accounts in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 which discuss the king of Tyre and king of Babylon respectively, are forced to acknowledge that these scriptures alternate between a human leader and an evil spirit being. These evil spirits are identified with stars and astrology. In contrast, God's people rely on God alone and His Word, the Bible.72
A Woman Rides the Bull Beast
All over the ancient Middle East we find reference to the bull which is used as a symbol of strength and fertility as well as to bull gods. El, the supreme deity of the decadent Canaanite pantheon, was often called "the Bull El" (he was a fertility god). Baal, the god of fertility, storms, rain and vegetation is also called the Bull. Similarly among the Hittites, Aramaeans and Babylonians, the bull gods were a dominant feature of their religions, not to mention the many bull and calf-cults linked closely to the Egyptian god Horus. Cattle cults among the Cushitic peoples of Ethiopia and India may be found to this day and we shall meet them in the section dealing with Ham. In Mithraism, bull worship was an important aspect of their beliefs.
In Babylonia, figures of bull gods guarded the entrance into temples, houses and gardens (in contrast the lion of Judah was utilized extensively in the British Empire - more on the British empire in chapter 15). During the Assyrian period a human face was added: at Khorsabad colossal human-headed winged bulls were found at the palace of Sargon II. To the Babylonians these bulls were actually spirits which brought both good and evil upon mankind (demons sometimes bring good upon someone to deceive and to lead astray) and which filled the air and they produced storms and thunderbolts. Demons may indeed bring good to deceive, followed by evil. Their practices and ministers may appear to be of the light, but in reality they represent the darkness (2 Cor 11:13-15). Note also that these bull gods or extremely powerful demons, filled the air which is one of the thoughts Paul may have had in mind when he condemned the "prince of the power of the air" and "spiritual wickedness in high places" (Gr the heavenlies) in the letter to the Ephesians (Eph 2:2; 6:12). There may also be another connection to the heavenlies: the bull was in reality the constellation of Taurus of the star Gudana - the bull of heaven.
Such bull-worshipping practices were condemned and outlawed in the Bible: Ex 32; Josh 24:2; 1 Kings 12:28; Hos 8:5; 13:2. The sexual perversions, false doctrines and weird practices were such a
72 Various Scriptures on these false gods or 'stars' include Ju 5:19-20; Is 24: 21-22; Eph 6:12; Deut 32; 8-9; 29:26; Acts 7:43; Jer 49:1; 46:15; Ex 12:12;
stench to God that Israel was to wipe out these religions from their land. Unfortunately this was never successfully accomplished.
In pagan Rome, a bull was killed for the baptism of blood at the Roman Taurobolium in honour of the deities such as Mithra. In a trench, the blood of the bull dripped over (or 'baptised') the initiate and drenched his body. He even drank the warm blood. Afterwards he came from this literally bloody baptism, believing that he was purified from sins and 'born again for eternity'. In contrast, a Christian is covered in water at his or her baptism, washed clean metaphorically by the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, and must then absorb Christ's flesh and blood by symbolically eating and drinking of it (John 6:53-56), undertaking a process of spiritual growth until finally being resurrected.
In any event, the mythology surrounding a particular bull is fascinating. The supreme deity of Greek mythology was Zeus. He had various other names such as Ombrios (rain god), Keraunos (lightning), Pater (father), and Soter (Saviour). In the myths he fell in love with Europa, a beautiful daughter of Agenor, king of Phoenicia. Entranced by her, he assumed the shape of an animal or beast - a white bull, and mingled with the herds of Agenor while Europa was gathering flowers. When she came upon him she gently caressed him and had the courage to sit upon his back. Taking advantage of this situation, they went to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea where he whisked her over the sea off to Crete at which point he took on his normal form and she bore him three sons. This Hellenic tradition, was, however, derived from pre-Hellenic ideas of the moon-priestess triumphantly riding on the sun-bull. Figurines of this lady riding the bull beast may be found throughout the eastern Mediterranean region.
Europa, according to one tradition, was the Great Goddess as mother of the continent of Europe. This is where prophecy fits in. Turn to the book of Revelation, chapter 17, verse 2. Here we are told about a great whore who sat upon many waters and in verse 3 she also sat upon a scarlet coloured beast. It may well be that what is meant is that she sat on the beast on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in similitude to Europa. God inspired these words and it seems likely that John borrowed the basic imagery or broad concept, at least in part, from this Hellenistic legend. Why? Because in so doing He is indicating how thoroughly pagan the roots of the whore and the beast are. Further, as they spring from Phoenicia (land of the Canaanites), it shows us a little more of the origin and mind of the religion symbolized by the whore. The Canaanites were among the original Babylonians, and as such the carriers of their religion. And the name of Europa shows us that the continent of Europe is deceived and seduced by her.
It may be no coincidence that this imagery is now being utilized by the great European Union - a revival of and the continuum of the Roman Empire's successor power - the Holy Roman Empire. The Roman beast system was carried by an ancient church which roots are clearly Babylonian/Canaanite.
On the cover of Europe magazine (May 1984) a stamp to celebrate European Community landmarks, portray the beautiful Europa riding the bull, over the sea, assisted by a cherub. Seven years later, in the 9 December 1991 Time magazine (page 13) a women riding the bull while she is holding aloft the European flag is used to picture the European movement. In The Australian 16 September 1996 an article appeared on the approaching European currency ("Europe's Currency of Hope"). The currency unit symbol of the Bank of Europe is portrayed as a winged bull surrounded by the European stars from the European flag. Winged bull? This was an Assyrian symbol and for those that understand history and prophecy, it may be no coincidence that the Bank of Europe will be based in Germany wherein dwell the descendants of ancient Assur (Gen 10:22). And finally, the new Greek Euro Currency shows a woman riding a bull beast (the coin was distributed in January 2002). It may also be more than passing interest to observe that the goddess Inana, more ancient than Europa, was often portrayed as riding on the back of a lion, signifying her co-operation with this terrible beast - this is an indication of how far back the legend may originate.
Eventually, 10 horns of the beast (these may be bull horns) turn upon the whore and devour her (Rev 17:16).
Note the following old poem:
"There once was a lady from Niger,
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger;
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside,
And a smile on the face of the tiger"
Later the beast will be destroyed by Jesus Christ Himself. Thus ends the whore and the beast— Europa and the bull imagery finding its final end.
Identity of Nations Lost - Until Today
God led the human families to settle where He knows it is best for them. God would have taken into account the climate, weather, vegetation, and the proximity to like nations. He settled them in locations best suited to their potential, their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. The Great God of the universe left traces and clues to their wanderings for us to discover today.
One major clue they left behind were their names or a trace of their names recorded by historians, which were given to various tribes within the nation or given to place names. It should be remembered, though, that sometimes several nations in history have similar names. For example several nations were known as 'Hittites'.73 This may cause confusion and has tended to "fox" certain writers on the topic.
Another point to remember is that the names of each of the forefathers of these nations reflect their characters and that of their progenitors. It is said that about half of what we are mentally (character, nature and personality) is inherited; and the other half is due to our environment.74
We are told in scripture that: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches" (Prov. 22:1) and "A good name is better than precious ointment" (Eccl. 7:1). Thus, in the Bible, a name is something to be taken seriously, and not to be a word meant for phonetic beauty alone - it was given as a sacred act (witness the naming of Israel and others in Genesis, Christ himself etc). In the sacred language of Sanskrit, for example, it "had a magical self-fulfilling power".75 It was not so long ago (a mere few decades) that it was believed that a name placed upon a new-born babe would result in it fulfilling the characteristics of the name. This is exactly what we find in Genesis 10.
One excellent article on this topic is "Ethnology and the Study of Proper Names" in Anthropological Linguistics which has the following pertinent observations:
"a proper name works, i.e. denotes an entity, because it has been rightfully bestowed and consequently 'belongs to' its bearer ... For example, the Delaware Indians consider "a
73 Wiseman: 1973:197
74 in the Growth and Decline of Intelligence" (1975).
75 Smith 1984: 293
person and his name (are) one" (Weslager 1971)... In many societies the personal name is considered to be part of, or identical with, the soul, self, or personality of its bearer ... For the Basotho, a Bantu speaking people, the descriptive meaning of a name influences the character of its bearer "a man usually behaves in accordance with his name" (Mohome 1972: 171) ... People in Surinam who behave badly may be said to have 'ruined their names'".76
Just as many old societies knew this to be the case, so these scriptures are pointing out that a name has meaning. A name describes one's reputation, one's entire character. I will be discussing certain of the names of Noah's descendants in the main body of this book.
For example, the descendants of Simeon and Levi, sons of Israel, are described as sometimes being a violent, cruel people, taking after their forefathers (Gen 49:5-7; 34:24-31). But having certain characteristics which may be described as "negative", is no excuse for anyone or any nation to behave unseemly. We should try and suppress the negative, inherited traits within us, and instead reinforce those which are positive. We must overcome ourselves. All humans are born with ingrained traits.77 But unlike animals, our traits do not have to overwhelm us - once we become aware of them we can choose to go with them or to go in a different direction. Our instincts were made extremely weak in us so as to allow us to be free moral agents. Behavioural scientists and social engineers have seized on this to try and mould men into the image that they wish us to be.
As we have seen, in the Bible a nation is named after its ancestor. And so it was most often in the classical world.78 As they migrated, the nations were given new and different names by observers - friend and foe alike - so that they even changed their own names eventually. But many kept their original names until recent centuries. Anciently, they all kept their original names. Dorothea in The Name Book maintains the ancient tradition and understanding that
"Your name is a very important aspect of your personality, and this book has been compiled so that you may recognize the character-building value in understanding its meaning...
"Our Western culture does not give the same importance to the meaning of names as has been given in the past... Each name carries its own message ... the heritage, significance and spiritual application inherent in a name".79
As the language of nations changed, gradually, over the decades and centuries, so did their names. However, as we shall shortly be discovering, it is quite possible to trace their names back through history to the original. For further information on the Biblical perspective of names see Arthur Custance's book The Flood: Local or Global?, chapter 1 "Names as Different Societies Have Viewed Them" and chapter 2 "Names as Scripture Views Them".
Time, language change, corrupted traditions, lies by their enemies - all this has helped conceal the identity of the nations. Even many of the books published prior to circa 1930 which were not overly
76 Bean 1980: 305-316
77 Whether social engineers like it or not, there are certain biological bases for human social behaviour (See Hinde, (1974) and Wilson (1975)) as studies of both humans and the animal world show. No matter how far apart upon this planet cultures have developed, no matter how separated, they all basically, have similar social rules and values. This is particularly true of the family, sexual behaviour and taboos, murder, male-female roles, etc. (Jack: 1977: 153). Mankind, then, has natural biological tendencies - which some may call "mild instincts". Let us not overlook genetic factors working in each of us (Evans: 1978: 27).
78 Hoeh: 1957: 4
79 Austin 1982:5. See also Rushdoomy 1973: 125-27
influenced by atheistic evolutionary theories are not all that helpful. Evolution is a theory which has openly attempted to deride the Biblical, historical and traditional accounts of national origins. The evolutionists wish to:
1. “Prove" that we humans evolved from the hominids (so called ape-men).
2. Hide the fact that there were two major migrations of peoples from the Middle Eastern region. Irish etymologist, John Cohane, writes that "the most logical conclusion is that in prehistoric times instead of one there were two dispersions from the Mediterranean."80
3. “Prove" that all nations are not in the image of God and that no one can be traced back to their forefathers.
Why then, is this Table so important? Allow me to list several reasons:
1. Chapter 10 of Genesis reveals God's will and His plan for the nations.
2. It gives the correct classification of nations.
3. The table proves the Bible to be inspired.
4. Finally, it reveals the future history of the races when linked with the prophecies. It is when we know the identity of nations that we can understand prophecy. The Bible reveals history and wars to be titanic struggles between races out of greed or the will to survive, and not just between conflicting ideologies.
It is not studied much nowadays, but was certainly popular in the 17th and until the early 20th centuries. Scholars such as George Stanley Faber,81 Samuel Bochart, Alexander Hislop, Jacob Bryant and others thought deeply on this subject and developed some fascinating material which you will see quoted in this book. But with the rise of Darwinism, 'myelography' died and modern ideas on man's origin arose, clouding and deceiving the true origin of man and his various races, sub-races, nations, ethnic groups, tribes and clans. Others more recently who have shown an interest in this great truth are: Dr Herman L Hoeh, Dr Pilkey, Prof A H Sayce, George Rawlinson, Col Gayre of Gayre, Arthur C Custance and Bill Cooper. Their works are all referred to in this volume and are helpful to some degree.82
Noah's Three Sons and National Prophecy
The Bible was not designed to be read from Genesis to Revelation alone. So let us dig deep into His precious Word and discover yet more of His truth. In the book of Proverbs we are told:
"Yea, if thou criest after knowledge,
And liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver,
And searchest for her as for hid treasure;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God" (Prov 2:3-5).
"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing:
But the honor of kings is to search out a matter"
80 Cohane: 1973:21
81 see Feldman & Richardson 1972: 396-99 (chapter on George Stanley Faber)
82 Dr Hoeh's ideas I find to be the most insightful and interesting of the lot.
These Biblical principles are of great value for a Christian to hold on to. The Word of God has hundreds of references to the positive attributes of knowledge. However, those who wish to water-down the truth, will almost invariably turn to 1 Cor 8:2 which states that knowledge puffs up - but they do not look at the context, for it is referring to worldly knowledge, not God's Word or positive knowledge. They also seem to always turn to2 Cor 11:3 which encourages us to have the "simplicity that is in Christ". By so doing they try and intimate that we must not study the depths of God's Word as it is too complicated. Can you believe it? The original Greek in 2 Cor 11:3 should actually be translated as "guilelessness", not "simplicity". God does not wish us to be simple ("How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?" - Prov 1:22).
Then, of course, they turn to Eccl 12:12 which says that "of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh". They do not see that it does not say that you shouldn't write books; and it does not say you shouldn't study. It says that much study causes weariness - something that few would have a problem with, except students. But we must use Scriptures in their Biblical context such as: 2 Tim 2:15; 1 Tim 4:13; Prov 15:28; 25:2; Acts 17:11 before public statement generated by jealousy and the spirit of competition, are made (usually without right of reply).
Our Bible is filled with hundreds of fascinating topics to research and devour - we should be feasting upon His Word. Yet due to the watering-down and leaving behind valuable truths, Christians have felt unfulfilled, starved of the meat and tremendous truths they could otherwise have enjoyed. We need a varied diet from God's Word. Instead, they endure meaningless and meandering talks masquerading as 'sermons' often seeded with politically correct terms and ideas, not emanating from God. When, in fact, they are the product of lazy and uninspired men.
Why Prophecy? A second rate subject?
Why is it that the constant excuse from some quarters is that all we need at this time is for sermons on Christian living alone. As if prophecy, typology and other vast areas of His Word have nothing to do with Christian living. Of course detailed, accurate prophecy is closely related to Christian living for the following reasons:
* it keeps the bride excitedly anticipating the bridegroom (Matt 25:1-13);
* it leads you to repentance, to God's Law and to a close relationship with Him (this is the theme of the prophets and the greatest prophet of all, Jesus Christ);
* if we understand it, we will be in a position to escape the terrors which will descend upon the earth. We are charged to watch (this includes watching world events, the wish-washy condition of the Church and our spiritual states) (Luke 21:36; Matt 24:42; 25:13);
* as we are living in the Latter Days, it behoves us to know the signs of the times and how world events line up with prophecy to enable us to warn a sick and dying world (Ezek 3:17; 33:1-7; Jer 6:17, 27);
* “Where there is no vision the people perish" (Prov 29:18). The RSV translates "vision" as "prophecy". The Hebrew word "hazon" is translated similarly elsewhere (see 2 Chron 32:32; Dan 8:1; Ob 1). Should we neglect these futuristic warning words of God, we will perish (see 1 Sam 3:1; Lam 2:9);
prophecy is a major proof of the Bible;
* and prophecy, by its very nature, encourages us to want to dig deeper and deeper into God's Word, to uncover its other precious nuggets.
The Apostle Peter wrote:
"neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ [Christ's knowledge - the Word of God]. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off...
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (2 Pet 1:9, 19. See 2 Cor 4:6)
I see nothing in Peter's statements which legitimizes the watering-down of His truths or prophecy. With that said, let us explore an aspect of God's Word which many have watered-down tremendously.
God chooses to Covenant with certain people
Throughout the Bible we have a theme of God covenanting with certain people - it is something that is essential for a relationship between Him and those that He decides, in His eternal and unfathomable wisdom He choose certain people which developed into a line with which He worked with. The line extended from Seth through to Noah, Shem, Arphaxad and down the generations to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel):
1 Ch 16:13 O seed of Israel His servant, sons of Jacob, His chosen ones.
1 Ch 16:14 He is Jehovah our God. His judgments are in all the earth.
1 Ch 16:15 Be always mindful of His covenant, the Word He commanded to a thousand generations,
1 Ch 16:16 which He made with Abraham, and of His oath to Isaac.
1 Ch 16:17 And He has confirmed the saying to Jacob for a Law, to Israel for an everlasting covenant.
Psa 135:4 For Jehovah has chosen Jacob to Himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure.
Eze 34:30 And they shall know that I, Jehovah their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people, says the Lord Jehovah.
Eze 34:31 And you My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the Lord Jehovah.
Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will cut a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah,
Jer 31:32 not according to the covenant that I cut with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant of Mine they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Jehovah, [emphasis mine]
We shall visit the following ancient Biblical patriarchs (and subsequent descendants) God chose to covenant with and grant the birthright to:
• Shem inherited the birthright instead of Japheth
* Arphaxad instead of Assur
* Isaac instead of Ishmael and Keturah's descendants
* Jacob instead of Edom
What and Why a Birthright?
Throughout the Bible the concept of a birthright is absolutely intertwined with the firstborn. That is, the firstborn inherits the birthright and has expectations of primogeniture. The Hebrew root for both birthright and firstborn is bkr and is common to both words.
Under the birthright system, the eldest son has special legal claim to a double portion of the inheritance and other blessings. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:
"The right belonging naturally to the firstborn son, whether the offspring of a legal wife or a concubine. Such a person ultimately became the head of the family, the line being continued through him. As firstborn he inherited a double portion of the paternal estate.
"Discoveries at Mari, Nuzi, and Alakah, however, show that the father could disregard the law of primogeniture and divert the birthright to a younger son, as in the case of Reuben (Gen. 48:22; 49:3f), of Shimri (1 Chron. 26:10), and of Joseph's children as they were blessed by Jacob (Gen. 48:13-20). They also indicate that the firstborn son by a concubine could be displaced if the father subsequently had a son by his legal wife (cf. Gen 21:10). In the Deuteronomic version of the law, a provision is made prohibiting the father from making the younger son the possessor of the birthright just because his mother was especially beloved (Dt. 21:15ff.)...
"On succeeding to the family property, the firstborn was responsible for maintaining the younger sons, the widow or widows, and any unmarried daughters, as well as exercising authority over the household as a whole. As the firstborn of God, Israel was accorded the protection of a loving and provident heavenly Father (Ex. 4:22f; Jer. 31:9)".83
The birthright was normally given to the firstborn male, who would use that wealth and blessings to serve and lead the family. This practice also served to ensure that no disputes would erupt over the inheritance after the father's death (see also Deut 21:17; 2 Kings 2:9). Under certain conditions, the firstborn may lose the birthright (due to sexual impurity, disdain or uncaring attitude toward the birthright etc).
Further light is thrown on the subject by The New Bible Dictionary which states that the firstborn was:
"considered 'the beginning of his [a father's] strength' ... the acme of his ... power ... He ranked highest after the father ... In cases of misconduct it could be shifted to another son ... The firstborn inherited twice as much as every other son".84
We find that the birthright holders are also the people whom God covenants with. He calls people or nations to covenant with - they become His sons (the sons of God) if they agree to be bound by an agreement between Him and them. For example, Israel became the firstborn by covenanting with God in Exodus 19 & 20. As such, they inherited more than the other non-Israelitish nations and became the prime people God has been working with and have been set up as world leaders. This is
83 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1979 edition, article "Birthright"
84 The New Bible Dictionary, article "Firstborn"
God's prerogative, but a hard point to swallow in a world where social Marxism has become so popular.
Now turn to Deuteronomy 32, also written by Moses who laments the following about Israel:
Deu 32:5 They have corrupted themselves: they are not His sons; it is their blemish; they are a crooked and perverse generation. Deu 32:6 Do you thus give back to Jehovah, Oh foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father who bought you? Has He not made you and established you? Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you. Deu 32:8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam [God brought about the different races from the beginning], He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the sons of Israel, [in Genesis 11 they tried to mix together, exactly like they tried to do prior to the Flood. See also Acts 17:26] Deu 32:9 For Jehovah's portion is His people. Jacob is the lot of His inheritance, [how like Noah and his posterity became God's people]
Here, Moses is very likely writing a parallel to Genesis 6, and is warning Israel not to do what their forefathers, the 'sons of God', did. The similarities between these two chapters are no accident - Moses wrote both of them.
Genesis 6 we are told:
Gen 6:1 And it happened, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and when daughters were born to them,
Gen 6:2 the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were good. And they took wives for themselves from all whom they chose.
Gen 6:3 And Jehovah said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, in his erring; he is flesh. Yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.
Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days. And also after that, when the sons
of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore to them, they were mighty men
who existed of old, men of renown.
Gen 6:5 And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every
imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
In this context, in Genesis chapter 6, we find some interesting comments by Moses. Indeed, the context is marriage between male and female and therefore ancestries - sexual impurity for those that operate outside of the marriage bounds is strongly inferred. Referring to the pre-flood environment that Noah had to endure, The Book ofJasher which contains various Jewish traditions, states:
"And the judges and rulers [possibly Sethites] went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals ... And Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord chose him and his children to raise up seed from them upon the face of the whole earth." (chapter iv, verses 18,21).
This shows that the sins of the pre-Flood world included wrong marriages and mixing species. The hint is obvious that human species must have been mixed too. Larry Richards in Bible Difficulties Solved writes:
"The sons of God who ‘saw that daughters of men were beautiful’ and ‘married any of them they chose’ have puzzled Jewish and Christian commentators alike. It is clear that the text regards this as unnatural and a terrible sin. In the rest of the Old Testament the phrase sons of God is used for either angels ... or human beings who enjoyed a covenant relationship with the Lord ... It is .... likely that the text refers to intermarriage between the godly line of Seth and the line of Cain" (page 28). [emphasis mine]
The antagonism between the line of Seth (the 'sons of God') and the line of Cain extends back to Genesis 4 where Cain, son of Adam and Eve, is punished for slaying his brother Abel and consequently cursed. It would appear that Cain was the firstborn (verse 1) and Abel the younger brother.
Indeed, if the 'righteous line' (and sons of God) that the Commentaries decades ago used to refer to (i.e. the line from Seth through Noah, Shem down to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) are 'the sons of God', this would not be unique, as the Church members are the spiritual sons and daughters of God. Given that Israel is typological of the Church, Israel were the physical 'sons of God' continuing the 'righteous line'. Ephraim, which often represents Israel as a whole, is called God's dear son in Jer 31:20.
So, Israel are the physical sons of God even to this day, just as the Church is comprised of spiritual sons of God. Similarly the Church inherits the spiritual birthright as God's firstfruits as typified by Israel (cf Is 61:6-7; Rom 8:23; James 1:18) and Christ as God's firstborn, also inherits the universe above all others (I Cor 15:20; Col 1:15,18; Heb 1:6; 12:23; Rev 1:5). The spiritual Cainites and Babylonians are bitterly opposed to the Church as Satan considers himself more worthy than Christ to inherit all things. Below I present a chart indicating similarities between the line of Cain and Babylon which assists in understanding this concept:
Line of Cain
Slew Abel and Enoch (Gen 4:8 23-24)
Abel symbolically cries out from the ground (Gen 4:10)
Cain had a mark placed on him (Gen 4:15)
Cain wondered east of Eden, possibly where
Babylon was later founded (Gen 4:16)
He was driven from Eden, away from God's presence (Gen 4:16)
Cain's punishment was too much for him to bear (Gen 4:13)
Slew God's servants (Rev 18:2, 24)
God's people symbolically cry out from the ground (Rev 6:9-11)
Babylon also has a mark (Rev 13:17; 14:9;19:20)
The demons will be kept imprisoned below
Babylon during the Millennium (Rev 18:2. See Jude 13)
Babylon is marked for destruction and will be
put out of God's presence (Rev 16:2,18; 18:2)
Babylon's punishment will be too great to bear
too (Rev 18:16-19)
Tension between the inheritor of the birthright and the one rejected, occurs regularly in the Scriptures and continues down the ages from Seth to Noah (a direct descendant of Seth) and onwards from his descendants as we shall see.
We will explore the concept of birthright shifts and displacements later in the book.
Marriage is an essential part of this covenant to such an extent, that marriage is held sacred in the scriptures and God's covenant to both Israel and the Church is actually a marriage covenant with God displaying the male or husband role in these covenants.
In Paradise to Prison. Studies in Genesis further light is thrown on this:
"... they did not sin in taking wives, but in taking wives "of all which they chose" ... the sons of God took "whichever" women they chose, without regard to their spiritual status (if the sons of God were Sethites) or to their royal status (if the sons of God were kings)
They took women that they chose, contrary to God's will. The problems of the pre-Flood world are like those today with violence, over-population and mixing of species (both human and animal).
Genesis 6:9 seems to recall Gen 5:
Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Gen 5:2 He created them male and female, and blessed them. And He called their name man in the day when they were created. Gen 5:3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years and fathered a son in his own likeness, after his own image. And he called his name Seth.
The author, Moses, seems to recall Genesis 5 in the following chapter, by using similar language and referring back to the righteous line, Seth.
Much is made of genealogies in Genesis (for example chapters 5, 10, 11, 25, 30, 49). This must have been of great interest to Moses, the author of Genesis and the other books of the Pentateuch: a simple read of them shows his intense jealousy to preserve Israel, the relationship of Israel to surrounding nations, the numbering of the tribes of Israel, marriage laws and who was married to whom and so on. Within this context, there can be no doubt that God had covenant people in the pre-flood world, the Sethites followed by a certain line through Noah, Shem, Arphaxad clear down the generations to Abraham (Gen 11:11-12:3).
One skeptic admits:
"Even the genealogies were made to play their part; they either served to sidetrack those who rebelled against God (Cain, Japheth, Ham, Canaan) or to connect the believers in a straight line from Adam to Abraham. Quite the opposite of the pagans, who made no attempt to fit their mythology with their king lists and annals".86
Now turn to Deuteronomy 32, also written by Moses:
Deu 32:5 They have corrupted themselves: they are not His sons; it is their blemish; they are a crooked and perverse generation. Deu 32:6 Do you thus give back to Jehovah, Oh foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?
85 Davis 1986: 114
86 Livingston 1974:149
Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you. Deu 32:8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam [See also Acts 7:26] Deu 32:9 For Jehovah's portion is His people. Jacob is the lot of His inheritance, [how like Noah and his posterity became God's people]
Here, Moses is very likely writing a parallel to Genesis 6, and is warning Israel not to do what their forefathers, the 'sons of God', did. The covenant people, Israel, fell into the same mistakes as their forebears, the line of Seth (sons of God) which led to the destruction of the world by a great flood. It is prophesied that such would be more-or-less emulated in today's world. In Luke 17 were are told that the end-time will be very degenerate, as in Noah's day:
Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it also shall be in the days of the Son of Man.
Luk 17:27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:28 So also as it was in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
Luk 17:29 but the day Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the heaven and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 Even so it shall be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed, [see also Matt 24:38].
As it was with God's covenant people anciently, so it became with Israel centuries later and once again, in these last days.
As we saw earlier in this study, Noah's three sons, Shem, Japheth and Ham, gave rise to the three fountain heads of the earth's population.87 In the Institutes of Menu, an ancient Aryan history dated c. 1,280 B.C. we are told similarly of one, Satypurata, who had three sons. His eldest was Jyapet, (Japheth?). The other two were named C'harma (Ham?), and Sharma (Shem?). Here we have the Aryans, a people who, it seems, remember Noah and his three sons almost 1,000 years after the event.
Ham's descendants, as we shall shortly see, were dark skinned. He is identified with duskiness. In the book of Psalms we are told that "Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham". (Psa. 105:23, 27; 106:22; 78:51)
There is a play on words in the Hebrew, for the word for Ham is "Kemi", meaning "black".89 Professor Waddell explains that the ancient name for Egypt was Khaaesshi Land, Khamasi, or Hamasi.90 Strong tells us that the Hebrew for "Ham" is "Cham"or "Khawn". This word, he relates, means "hof'or "warm", "from the tropical habitat"- implying that his descendants were dark.91
Japheth, on the other hand means "expansion" In Hebrew his name is Yepheth, or Yifan, which
implies a large, populous, or expanding race.
87 Wylie:1860: 1: 10
88 Custance: 1975:35
89 Graves: 1964: 122
90 Waddell: 1929: 270-271
91 Strong: 1890: #2526
What of Shem?
Strong tells us that his name is "An appellation as a mark or memorial of individuality, by implication honour, authority, character".92 As we shall see, individuality, honour and authority (including a covenant relationship with God and also birthright blessings) was carried through Shem's son, Arphaxad. The original descendants of Shem dwelt in northern Mesopotamia, toward the Caucasus Mountains, and not only in the south as many believe.93
A great key to unlocking the mysteries of the stupendous Table of Nations, then, is ancient traditions and legends. In fact, sometimes it becomes quite simple, as some nations actually tell you who their father was. The Phoenicians and Arabs are two examples of this.
The nations of Europe, especially, under the evolutionary influence, no longer recognize the truth that they ultimately derive from the Middle East. They have rejected knowledge of their roots.94 However, revealed in this book is the knowledge that they require to once again come to know their roots. And not only them, but every nation under the sun.
God is the One who guides nations95 and as such we must rely on Him in all humility, to show us flimsy, insignificant little humans, where Noah's descendants are today.
Let us, in the next chapter, begin the exploration into one of the most exciting and interesting detective stories possible for anyone to undertake.
Noah's Three Sons. Zondervan Publishing, Grand rapids, Michigan.
Davis, J D (1975)
Paradise to Prison. Studies in Genesis. Bake Book House, Grand Rapids,
Michigan. Chapter 10 "The Earth's Population", pp l35-53.
Hoerth A (et al) (eds) (1994)
Peoples of the Old Testament World. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Jones, AT (1887)
The Peopling of the Earth. Pacific Press, Oakland, California.
Jones, AT (1904)
The Empires of the Bible. Review & Herald, Washington, DC.
Los, J (1967)
"The Table of Peoples of the Tenth Chapter of Genesis", Mankind
Quarterly. Vol 7: 144-152
Origin Of Nations. Scribner, New York.
Ross, A P (1988)
Creation and Blessing. A Guide to the Study of Exposition of Genesis.
Baker Book House, Michigan. Chapter 16, "The Table of Nations", pp221-232.
Rouse, ML (1906)
"The Bible Pedigree of the Nations", Journal of the Transactions of the
Victoria Institute. Vol 38: 123-153.
Sayce, A H(1928)
Races Of The Old Testament. Lutterworth Press, Surrey.
Simon, J (1959)
The Geography and Topographical Texts of the Old Testament. E.J. Brill, Leiden, Holland. Chapter 1, "The Biblical World", pp 1-93.
The Anchor Bible. Genesis. Doubleday Publishers, New York. Chapter 11.
"The Table of Nations.", pp64-73.
Westerman, C (1974)
Genesis 1-11. A Commentary, (translated by J J Scullion, 1984, English
edition). Augsburg Publishing House, USA. Chapter "Genesis 10:1-32.
The Table of Nations".
Wiseman, D J (ed) (1973) (various editors) (1971)
Peoples of Old Testament Times. Oxford University Press, London.
Encyclopaedia Judaica. Encyclopaedia Judaica Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
Israel. Art. "Nations, The Seventy", pp 882-86
92 Ibid: #8034
93 Gayre: 1973:25. Dr. Gayre is also founder of the journal Mankind Quarterly. Finally the Shemitic peoples (not the Japhetic peoples) distinguished themselves from the other races because they had white skins. This was something which they had great pride in. They claimed that Adam was white, according to Professor Sayce. (Sayce: 1928: 26). Genesis 9:27 reads: "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in tents of Shem and Canaan shall be his servants. The "tents" here refers to the Great Tent or Tabernacle of Shem who was a follower of God. (cf. Ps. 84:10; 120:5) (Bullinger: c 1890:15) and in the previous verse we are told: "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem". Why Shem? Because it is through his descendants (particularly Arphaxad and then Abraham (see Gen. 28:13-14)) that truth (light) would be shed abroad on the earth - through God's chosen people. Ross 1980: 224 further illuminates this part of Genesis: "The purpose of this section in Genesis, then, is to portray the characteristics of the three branches of the human race in relation to blessing and cursing".
95 See Job 12:23; Is 40:15, Dan 4:35
Notes on Shem, Ham and Japheth by Ray C Stedman:
"...this answers a very widespread distortion of this passage that has been accepted for many, many years which says that the curse fell on the Negro people. The mark of it was a black skin, and therefore they are destined to be servants among mankind. But the Canaanites, as far as we know, were not black-skinned people ... Thus there was loosed in society an evil element which has spread throughout the entire race since, and breaks out in sexual perversions from place to place. This is the biblical explanation for these things ...
TO BE CONTINUED
USING THE GENESIS 10 PEOPLES OUTLINE OF SHEM, HAM, AND JAPHETH,
HAROLD HEMENWAY HAS DONE A STUDY OF WHERE THOSE NATIONS ARE TODAY.
YOU’LL FIND IT UNDER “THE PROPHETS” SECTION - STUDIES 225 AND 226,
CALLED “WHO THE NATIONS WERE/WHO THEY ARE TODAY”