Genesis 10

This verse by verse Bible study on Genesis is an inductive verse by verse study with extensive reflections, teaching points, cross-references, and applications. They are the personal study of notes of a very good doctor friend of mine. His native tongue is Mandarin, but his English is amazing as you will see below. It is refreshing to take a look at this important book of Genesis through the eyes of a believer from another culture. Without further adieu: The Scribblings According to David.

Genesis 10 Inductive Bible Study

A Whole New World

Outline

X 1. Preface Summary.

X 2-5. The Jephitites.

X 6-14. The Hamites.

X 15-31. The Semites.

X 32. Postface Summary.

Textual Summary

The genealogical and historical records of the post-Flood civilizations, according to the ancestral lines of Noah’s three sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem.

Lessons and Reflections

The Bible records actual history.
Evidence from comparative historic, demographic and linguistic studies overwhelmingly points to the veracity of the Genesis X account. Take the follow facts for example:

[a] The common ancestral language to the Indo-European tongues was found in 19th century to be the already-extinct Sanskritin India, corresponding to the genealogical records of Japheth, whom was to be enlarged (Gen. 9:27).

[b] Greeks trace their heritage back to a Chapitas, according to the writings of Aristophanes, while the Indians and Persians trace themselves back to a flood account with a man named Yapetehas as their father, both of which names are a variation of “Japheth”.

[c] Cush is the name for Ethiopia in the Bible, but his sons’ names (v.7) can be identified with places in the Arabian Peninsula, which indicated Cush went south and left descendants spreading from Africa to Arabia.

[d] Babel was the primitive city of the later Babylon, the city built for man’s glory.

[e] Eber (v.21, v24) is the root form of Hebrew, its significance was evidenced by being especially singled out in v.21.

[f] Uz (v.23) is the actual place where Job lived (Job 1:1).

[g] Peleg means divided, which probably bears witness to the Babel event recorded in the next chapter.

For more fascinating details, Cf. GTY Sermon 90-266 History in the New World preached by John MacArthur. But the point is this: it really builds up the faith of His people to know that the Bible upholds the closest scrutiny. Truth shall stand the test of time. As it is written, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isa. 40:8) The Word of God is the absolute Truth, and it is absolutely trustworthy.

History repeats itself, because people don’t change.

Nimrod, whose name means rebel, became the first human king of the first human kingdom. Even the word kingdom was first used in the Bible here in Gen. 10:10. The Age of Civil Government was potentiated when the legal principle of capital punishment was decreed to Noah, but was not physically realized until the Nimrodian empire was established. Nimrod was a mighty warrior before the Lord possibly not for hunting animals, but for killing men. And it was him who masterminded the first worldwide rebellion against God by building the towel of Babel. He was the prototype of the Anti-Christ, who will lead the final worldwide rebellion against God in the eschaton (2 Thess. 2:1-10). We should not be surprised that the sinfulness of man was carved in the stone of their soul despite the Flood Judgment. When left to their own devices, these New-Worlders turned bad just as fast as their pre-Flood ancestors.

The doctrine of Total Depravity is perhaps the most hard-to-swallow teachings of the Bible. Many Christians choke on this truth. They would happily admit that they are 50% bad, even 90%, perhaps 99.999%; but never 100% evil. Yet Scripture is unmistakably clear: “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick. Who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9) Moreover, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good, who are accustomed to doing evil.” (Jer. 13:23) As the apostle Paul commented, “There is none righteous, not even one” (Rom. 3:10). The Biblical diagnosis of our soul is terminal wickedness, beyond any human cure. Man, on his own, apart from divine intervention, is both unwilling and incapable of making any decision to believe God, follow God, please God and serve God. Repulsive as it sounds, it is the ringing truth. That’s why people hadn’t changed because of the Flood. And they never will. It wasn’t a whole new world. It may be asked in grim dismay, then, are we completely hopeless? Not so. As the prophet says, a day will come, when “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.” (Eze. 11:19) One must understand, the Work of Salvation is initiated by God, not men; accomplished by God, not men; actualized by God, not men; secured by God, not men.

God’s Promise shall surely come to pass.

The genealogical records of Noah’s three sons are bracketed by the first and the last verse of the chapter, as if to remind the readers of the command (and the promise) to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1). God’s promise shall surely come to pass. As the prophet Isaiah says, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isa. 55:10-11)

Interpretative Challenges

Why Shem is mentioned last?

The line of Shem is the line where the Messiah would come, and that’s why the record is circled around the Semites, listing their records last.

Personal Applications

Nimrod’s might undoubtedly came from God. Yet he used what God had given him for rebellion. It is possible for men, to receive all kinds of gifts and talents from God, yet be puffed up in pride. We might not go as far as Nimrod, but must guard against taking credits and stealing glory from God when He uses us for His great purposes. As Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 4:7, “For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

The Bible can be trusted, and His promises can be clinged to.

Study Genesis 11-12

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