Daily Distinctives, February 27, 2018 – What in the World?

The world is a mighty big place, but when we run into someone while traveling and they happen to be from our hometown or near where we live, whether we know them or not there is a connection. I can’t tell you how many times I have said, “Small world,” to someone who I was related to by geography or an event. And after reading the events leading up to and beyond the time of the great flood of Noah’s time and understanding that his descendants were responsible for the population of the earth I can imagine how often they could use the idiom, “small world.” The fact is that while the earth has not changed much in size since the creation, the nations have grown and the population has grown with them. There are an estimated 3 Billion people on the planet now (ever wonder who is responsible for the counting?).

But as we come to chapter 10 of Genesis we come to what is commonly referred to as the “Table of Nations” as it is in this chapter that we find the origins of the many nations of the known world and the variety of ethnicities that make up the “skin kaleidoscope” we call humanity. And so, in chapter 10 we find the various origins of the races and peoples all of whom are descendants of Noah and his progeny. Now, as I alluded to in earlier studies, the Bible has a way of stressing the importance of the lineage leading to Christ and gives a lion share of time or volume, rather, to those branches of the human family tree upon which hangs the fruit of salvation in Jesus Christ. And so, picking up in chapter 10 we read:

[Gen 10:1 NKJV] Now this [is] the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.
[Gen 10:2 NKJV] The sons of Japheth [were] Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.

Now I am not much of a historian, although I do love history, I am even less of a genealogist. I have friends and family members that make a big deal of genealogy, and while I understand the importance of knowing where you come from, there is little or no benefit from knowing. For example, in my own family tree, it is my understanding that I am a descendant of the famous Civil War General, Robert E. Lee. I like to joke with people and say on my Dad’s side of the family (Greek) that I am descendant of Alexander the Great! But really, even if I were, about the only thing it would accomplish in my life is bragging rights at best. And so when it comes to genealogies I tend to lean on greater minds than my own to help me understand the significance of these people. I will say that I have made it a personal endeavor to show honor to the names mentioned in the Bible by trying my best to pronounce each name and not simply skip over them. These guys, after all, have their names in the greatest Best Seller of all times! God thought it important enough for these names to be listed in the canon of Scripture and so they are worth a pause to at least honor them. Beyond that, many of the names listed here are responsible for the birth of nations and ethnicities and so from that perspective, they are worthy, in my opinion, of a little respect.

And so in the first two verses, we see Noah and his sons, and then the line of Japheth is broken down for us. Now, I might add that there are likely names that are omitted. Even though I am sure they were important people, none-the-less, they did not make the canon because they do not contribute to the thesis, if you will. That is, they really did not do anything remarkable to warrant their mention in the Scripture. It is unlikely that I will ever be a famous historical figure and do something worthy of gracing the pages of the history books, but as long as my name makes it into the Lambs Book of Life I will have no complaints at all!

[Gen 10:3 NKJV] The sons of Gomer [were] Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.

What I learned about these descendants of Noah is Gomer was likely the father of the ancient Sumerians which would comprise the Germanic people. Magog was probably the forefather of the Scythians, which would put them somewhere in the area of Russia.  Madai was likely a candidate for the father of the Medes. Javan, who is relevant to my family history was likely the father of the Greeks. Then we have Tubal and Meshech, scholars believe that Meshech actually is the ancient Moskobi, or what we call modern-day Moscow. Tubal is believed to be the father of what is the modern Tublanx (which I still cannot find on any map), and Tairas, of course, is the Taircians (of course). Togarmah is arguably believed to be the father of the Armenians but the Ashkenaz, again, Germanic is likely what we find from the lineage of Japheth and more or less make up the Asian European nations.

[Gen 10:4 NKJV] The sons of Javan [were] Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

Now, while I could not find much on these names, I know they are important, because, well if they would become the Greeks then that is the line that I find my family origins. My great-grandfather grew up in Greece, about 50 or so miles north-east of Athens in a village called Lavadiea, which I understand holds a particularly interesting history where a historical battle ensued from what I am told.

[Gen 10:5 NKJV] From these the coastland [peoples] of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.

Now, I have not been to Greece, but it is on my bucket-list. From what I understand the waters of the coastal Mediterranean Sea are second-to-none. I can’t wait to go, LORD willing.  The other names listed which include Tarshish, Elisha, Kittim, and Dodanim also make up certain areas of Europe, Scandinavia, and probably even England. It is presumed that the Caucasian race descended from Japheth.

[Gen 10:6 NKJV] The sons of Ham [were] Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
[Gen 10:7 NKJV] The sons of Cush [were] Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah [were] Sheba and Dedan.

At this point, you are likely wondering, “Is he actually going to go through all of these names?” Well, I could, but I probably won’t (other than to give each a shot at pronunciation in memoriam). But these names listed above are likely the forefathers of the people of the African continent, the Phonecians and some of which are presumed to have headed East to make up a portion of the Asian cultures. But we get a little break from the names here as the Bible takes care to mention a little bit of information about the names listed. Some of these names and locations will likely be familiar to you as you read them.

[Gen 10:8 NKJV] Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.
[Gen 10:9 NKJV] He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.”
[Gen 10:10 NKJV] And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
[Gen 10:11 NKJV] From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah,
[Gen 10:12 NKJV] and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that [is] the principal city).

Now here we see that the author takes some time to bring up this guy Nimrod. It says that he began to be a mighty one on the earth. A better translation would be that “he was a mighty tyrant in the face of the LORD.” On the surface, you would think this guy was Ted Nugent or something, but while he was indeed a  “hunter” in the sense that he hunted animals, apparently, this guy was more of a hunter of souls. He was an apostate and the founder of a great Babylonian religious system (mystery Babylon). His mother Semiramis would be called by adherents of this faith, the queen of heaven and would actually be worshipped. Interestingly, the devil knows no bounds when creating counterfeits as Semiramis would claim that Nimrod did not have a father; that he was born while she was a virgin.

While Nimrod was known for his hunting prowess, as he was seemingly proficient with the bow and arrow, he protected people and rose in popularity as he had the capabilities of warding off carnivores that threatened the lives of humans who sought him out for protection. It is said that one day while he was out hunting wild boar that one of these vicious creatures attacked him and killed him. What amazes me is that again, he is given these Christ-like similarities. Apparently, the story continues that he laid there in the woods dead for three days and then returned to life. Now, what blows my mind is that the people celebrated his “resurrection” by coloring eggs and holding festivals around the spring season. Sound familiar? But get this. They say that he was also born on December 25th and that the people celebrated his birth by giving gifts to each other, cutting trees down and bringing them into their homes and adorning them with silver and gold, and then gathering for drunken orgies. Wowzer, that sounds way familiar in our culture. But think about this. It was only a few short generations after Noah’s death that all this began taking place. But what I find most intriguing is how this worship of Nimrod and his mother Semiramis (who was also called Astarte- where we get the name Easter) has infiltrated the church throughout church history. I think this is why we need to focus more intently than ever on the WORD of God and not man instituted traditions. It is too easy for Satan to get a foothold when we open the door so wide for him.

We also see that Nimrod began the kingdom of Babel. And as we will see, LORD willing, in our continued study through Genesis, Babel is the place where they build the tower in an attempt to reach the heavens. It was Nimrod who would begin this mystery Babylon religion where worshipping the stars was a central theme. And so we see the origins of astrology here as well. Of course, we know that it would be an impossibility for the people to build towers of stone to reach the heavens. These were more likely Ziggerauts of sorts that were used as observatory platforms to stargaze.



[Gen 10:13 NKJV] Mizraim begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim,
[Gen 10:14 NKJV] Pathrusim, and Casluhim (from whom came the Philistines and Caphtorim).
[Gen 10:15 NKJV] Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth;
[Gen 10:16 NKJV] the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite;
[Gen 10:17 NKJV] the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite;

This is interesting because if you look at a lot of Japanese names they begin with S-I-N as in Sinite. Just a neat little aside I thought worth mentioning here.

[Gen 10:18 NKJV] the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed.
[Gen 10:19 NKJV] And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.

Oh, look here. Gaza, Canaanites, Sodom Gomorrah…these are some pretty familiar names that we will, LORD willing, be looking at in great detail moving forward in our studies.

[Gen 10:20 NKJV] These [were] the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands [and] in their nations.
[Gen 10:21 NKJV] And [children] were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder.
[Gen 10:22 NKJV] The sons of Shem [were] Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
[Gen 10:23 NKJV] The sons of Aram [were] Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
[Gen 10:24 NKJV] Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber.
[Gen 10:25 NKJV] To Eber were born two sons: the name of one [was] Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name [was] Joktan.
[Gen 10:26 NKJV] Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,
[Gen 10:27 NKJV] Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,
[Gen 10:28 NKJV] Obal, Abimael, Sheba,
[Gen 10:29 NKJV] Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these [were] the sons of Joktan.
[Gen 10:30 NKJV] And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east.

If anything these would make for some interesting names for babies. If you know of anyone about to have a baby and they are looking for recommendations have them try a few of these on for size. I can see it now, “this is my baby Arphaxad and his little sister Hazarmaveth.”

[Gen 10:31 NKJV] These [were] the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations.
[Gen 10:32 NKJV] These [were] the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.

Of course, we could spend the rest of the week going through all of these names and pointing out their significance both in modern history and ancient history, specifically biblical history (which I may still do at some point–just not tonight- LOL). But I did want to point out something here in verse 25 which talks about the earth being divided in the days of Peleg. Some in the scientific community talk about the theory of continental drift (which I learned as the prevailing theory when I was in school) and actually use the Genesis account to substantiate their claim. Funny how people use the Bible when it suits them. The reality though is that Peleg lived during the times of Babel. It was here that the world was literally divided by language barriers that God put into place to confound the people. I imagine he made the languages by people groups and those who spoke the same language hung out together and went their own ways. So, in essence, it more likely an ethnic drift than a physical continental drift.

But before I close out the devotional for today I do want to point out what I believe to be the origins of Texas. That’s right Texas. You see in verse 29, we see amongst the names listed, the name Jobab, which everyone knows is where we get our redneck name Joe-bob from, and so there you have it. But seriously, I do want to point out this name, because it will be relevant to later studies as this very well could be a variation of the name Job which will ultimately lead us to the descendants of Abraham (and you know where that will lead us).

Prayer: LORD, what is in a name really? I know that You felt it was important to list all of these names and so they are worthy of our attention, and so I ask that you would forgive me for my ignorance and my attempt to cover it up with levity. Still, LORD, I pray that You would give me more insights into these names as I move forward in my studies. I know that there is a great significance, and while I do not see it now, I believe that You will show me when it matters most. Thank You, LORD that You care for me and Your Holy Spirit is in me to guide and instruct me in the important matters of life. I praise You for all that You are doing through these studies and hope that they will profit me spiritually as I grow closer to You through them. LORD, I lift my pastor up to You again this evening and pray that You would give him sweet rest tonight. And while his family may be gone, I know his home is not empty, because You are there with him to comfort him in the absence of his family. LORD, I thank You for the men in my Men’s group who joined me tonight in prayer for our pastor. The leaders of our church are constantly under spiritual attack because they threaten to undermine the assaults of the enemy in the lives of believers whom they shepherd. LORD be with our pastor tonight and give him sweet rest. I pray that You would prepare his heart for out time tomorrow, that it would be fruitful and that You would use this time to accomplish a work in me as well. I praise Your holy name. It is in that name that I pray. -Amen


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