bible study

Bible Study: Genesis 10

Chapter 10, Genesis 10:1-32, formation of nations

Genesis 10 traced the genealogy of the three sons of Noah, Shem, Japheth, and Ham, whose descendants gave rise to the different tribes and people groups of the post-flood world, who spoke different languages, and dialects. These people groups are called the table of nations. Genesis 10 listed seventy names and seventy people groups. The entire world population today are descendants of these seventy people groups from the three sons of Noah.

Verses 1-5, 1 Now this is the history of the generations of the sons of Noah and of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth were: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer were: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan were: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 Of these were the islands of the nations divided in their lands, everyone after his language, after their families, in their nations.

This is the fourth time, the word generations or genealogy was used, compare Genesis 2:4, 5:1, and 6:9. This passage traced the genealogy of Japheth down two generations. Magog is modern-day Russia. Japheth in Hebrew means to expand.

Japheth’s descendants today are the people of Europe and Asia.

Verse 6-20, 6 The sons of Ham were: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush were: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah were: Sheba and Dedan. 8 Cush became the father of Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh. Therefore it is said, “like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Yahweh”. 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 Out of that land he went into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and the great city Calah. 13 Mizraim became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14 Pathrusim, Casluhim (which the Philistines descended from), and Caphtorim. 15 Canaan became the father of Sidon (his firstborn), Heth, 16 the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Markets, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were spread abroad. 19 The border of the Canaanites was from Sidon—as you go toward Gerar—to Gaza—as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim—to Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, according to their languages, in their lands and their nations.

This passage traced the genealogy of Ham down three generations. Canaan is modern-day Israel. One of the great-grandsons of Ham was Nimrod, a violent, wicked, ruthless, and cruel religious and political dictator who built Babel, Nineveh, Shinar, and many other cities. Babel is Babylon, modern-day Iraq. Nimrod was a foreshadow of the antichrist. He was the founder of pagan religious practices and astrology in the city of Babel. He was the ring leader who started building the Tower of Babel described in Genesis 11. Just as Babel was prominent in the post-flood world, Babylon will also rise to prominence during the seven-year tribulation of the end time. Babylon will be the headquarter of the antichrist’s one world government.

Ham in Hebrews means hot. Ham’s descendants today are mainly the Africans.

Verses 21-31, 21 Children were also born to Shem (the elder brother of Japheth), the father of all the children of Eber. 22 The sons of Shem were: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram were: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah. Shelah became the father of Eber. 25 To Eber were born two sons. The name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided. His brother’s name was Joktan. 26 Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. 30 Their dwelling extended from Mesha, as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, by their families, according to their languages, lands, and nations.

This passage traced the genealogy of Shem down four generations. The genealogy of Shen is important because he was the ancestor of Abraham and Jesus Christ. Aram is modern-day Syria. Shem in Hebrews means name.

The descendants of Shem today are the Middle Eastern people and the Jews.

Verses 32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, by their generations, according to their nations. The nations divided from these in the earth after the flood.

This is a summary statement of Genesis 10. This is the fifth time, the word generations or genealogy was used, compare Genesis 2:4, 5:1, 6:9, and 10:1.


This chapter explained to us our ancestry. All of us are descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Although people lived in different countries, spoke different languages, practiced different customs and lifestyles, people belonged to one race, the human race. People share the same ancestries. People share the same blood and DNA although in different combinations and compositions. There is no place for racism and discrimination.


Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives. Thank You for salvation and justification by grace through faith in Christ. Thank You for sanctification through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the gift and promise of eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Meet Dr. Andrew C S Koh—a multi-talented individual with a diverse range of roles and achievements. He excels as an author, publisher, blogger, podcaster, Bible teacher, cardiologist, and medical director. With an impressive repertoire of 40 published books to his name, he has proven his prowess as a prolific writer. Additionally, he pursued theology studies at Laidlaw College in Auckland, New Zealand, further enriching his knowledge and expertise.

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