The Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary on Genesis

Genesis chapter 10

written by
Kraig J. Rice

This web page best viewed with an internet explorer browser

(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)
Genesis chapter ten
  Gen. 10:1 The Descendants of Noah
  A hidden number five
  The 3 races of mankind
  Gen. 10:2 - 5 The sons of Japheth
  Gen. 10:6 - 20 The sons of Ham
  Gen. 10:21 - 32 The sons of Shem
  General Jesus issued orders to disperse
Do you need to find a word, a phrase, a topic, or a scripture on this large page? Let your browser do a word search for you. Click on the edit button in the upper left hand corner of your browser. Then click "find on this page." Then type in the word, phrase, topic, or scripture that you are looking for. Keep clicking it to find all those pertinent word(s). Please allow a little time after clicking for your browser to search and respond.
I mostly quote scriptures from the Old King James Translation of the Bible (the authorized 1611 version)
Many words on this web page are color coded:

The words of God are in red that symbolize His shed blood.
The words of Scripture are in purple that symbolize His royalty.
A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.

Genesis Chapter Ten
The Descendants of Noah

"Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth- and unto them were sons born after the flood"
(Genesis 10:1).

A new beginning for mankind:
God gave mankind a second chance in saving them on the ark because God was determined that His Plan of the Ages should work. When we get saved, it is a new spiritual beginning for each of us. God expects us to follow Him but sometimes our spiritual walk is not perfect. We must keep trying to get it right. God anticipates skinned knees when we are learning how to walk... Not many folks are perfect at the start of their spiritual life because they are babes in the faith and have to be fed the milk of the Word
(Hebrews 5:12-13; 1 Peter 2:2). When an individual is a spiritually mature Christian, sometimes they can become shipwrecked on the deadly rocks of sin. We must not forget that God is loving, merciful, and forgiving. He sometimes gives an individual or more a second chance who does not deserve it. He gives second chances because of His grace. The definition of grace is unmerited favor.

Are there any examples in God's Word where God gave somebody a second chance in life? Yes, there are many but let me just mention a few. God gave Moses a second chance after the rebellion of Moses against God because of God's orders to him concerning circumcision
(Exodus 4:24-26). God gave Samson a second chance after Samson's repentance
(Judges 16:28-30). Jesus gave Peter a second chance after Peter's denial of Him
(Luke 22:31-32). God gave Saul a second chance, saved him, and changed his name to (the Apostle) Paul
(Acts 9:15-20). How is that relevant to you and I? God is the God of second chances. God gave Noah and his three sons, as representatives of the fallen human race, a second chance to get it right. So, maybe, some of us will get a second chance from Him if we really screw up the gift of life He has blessed us with. His grace goes a long way after we bow the knee to Him and see things His way.

Noah's descendants are also listed in
1 Chronicles chapter 1.

A hidden number five:
Have you observed that God mentions Shem, Ham, and Japheth over and over again in this bible book of Genesis? A one time mention of them would be sufficient but He mentions them together, by inspiration, five different times making the number five a hidden number. It is hidden as it is not readily apparent. He mentions them in
Genesis 5:32, 6:10, 7:13, 9:18, 10:1. It is no accident they are mentioned five times. What does it mean? The number five stands for God's grace and God's goodness. The message here is simple. It was not a quirk of nature that brought destruction upon the human race with a flood and it was not a quirk of nature that saved the seed of humanity from it. In other words, God was the Author of the flood and the Author of the salvation of mankind from it. Evolution or random chance played no part in either event. God showed His grace and goodness to mankind by allowing the three sons of Noah to repopulate the earth. God as Creator, gave mankind a second chance. God prefers His grace and His mercy to save over His justice to destroy.

Where did the 3 races of mankind come from? What color was Jesus?
Just as God did not tell us what languages that he gave to those folks in ancient Babylon, so He never told us about the 3 major races of mankind upon the earth. Some folks think that because Noah had 3 sons, then each one may have had a different skin color. Or, some folks think that God changed the color of their skin at the same time that He changed their language so they would be more inclined to separate from one another and go in different directions to repopulate the world. What race and color was Jesus? Since Jesus did not have an earthly biological father, then He could have been any racial color that He wanted to be or any combination thereof. The yellow race thinks that Jesus was yellow, the black race thinks that Jesus was black, and the white race thinks that Jesus was white. The answer is simply that we do not know any of these answers. However, we do know that the bloodline of Jesus was through Shem.

Generally, the descendants of Japheth went to Europe, the descendants of Ham went to Africa, and descendants of Shem went to the near east and far east.

"Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations"
(Genesis 10:2-5).

The sons of Japheth:
Japheth means "opened, enlarged, fair, or persuading." The sons of Japheth became heads of tribes that went to different parts of our earth. Mostly, the sons of Japheth spread north into Europe. It does not matter what color your skin is- it matters what color your spiritual heart is.

"Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim. And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha. These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations"
(Genesis 10:6-20).

The sons of Ham:
Ham means "hot, heat, or brown." The sons of Ham became heads of tribes that went to Africa. Cush went to Ethiopia, Mizraim went to Egypt, and Canaan went to the land by the Mediterranean Sea. Extreme wickedness was found in this branch of Noah's family tree. "Eventually the territory of Canaan Sodom and Gomorrah." God reminds us here that, later, violence and sin found full expression in the descendants of Canaan in the 5 cities of the plain. They are listed here: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Lasha. These 5 cities were totally destroyed by God
(Genesis chapter 19).

"Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born. Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber. And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, and Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, and Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, and Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east. These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood"
(Genesis 10:21-32).

The sons of Shem:
Shem means "renown" or "name " and Peleg means "division." The sons of Shem became heads of tribes. Mostly, the sons of Shem spread to all parts of Asia. From Shem came Eber and from Eber came the Hebrews.
The blood line of Christ flowed from Shem through Arphaxad.

What is the relevance of knowing these three family groups? It is believed you and I racially belong to one or more of these family groups. DNA appears to confirm that. In spite of some physical differences in appearance, all of mankind is the same internally. For example, all of mankind shares the same basic anatomy, the same blood types, the same spiritual ability to accept Christ, the power to reason, the same ability to procreate with another person of a different race, and other similarities not mentioned here.

General Jesus ordered mankind to disperse and multiply:
Jesus Christ is a man's Man and that is one reason He is titled the Son of Man. It took a real Man to do what He did for us on the cross of Calvary- to hang there bruised, bleeding, thirsty, being in agonizing pain from the wounds in His body, suffering humiliation, feeling the sting of rejection, dying a slow death, and so much more. He earned my respect and love for what He did for me that day. But He was not just a Person of sacrifice for that time but is a mighty military General of supreme importance- the Lord of Armies (hosts). He is that because He is eternally existent. We do not see the military side of Him very much in the gospels but we do see it in other sections of scripture
(Genesis 18:1; Joshua 5:13-15). Moses had been an Egyptian general before His spiritual conversion experience
(2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). At the burning bush, General Jesus ordered General Moses to Egypt on a mission to free God's people held there in slavery
(Exodus 3:4). That makes General Jesus a General over generals or a general of generals. Because He is supreme, other such titles are given to Him such as King of Kings and Lord of lords
(Revelation 17:14, 19:16). My point is that the General Jesus and the other Members of the Holy Trinity gave military orders to mankind to disperse. But mankind ignored those orders. Therefore mankind was brought up on charges of insubordination and punished. What was mankind's punishment? Mankind was separated from itself. The one world language was changed into many languages to help mankind disperse into all the world.

Teacher, would you mind explaining that further? Ok, God's will was clear to them, "...God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them:
"Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth..."
(Genesis 9:1).

God had ordered mankind to scatter over the earth and repopulate it. But mankind rebelled and refused to obey God. Instead they settled together in Babylon. And Satan found fertile ground there in the hearts of those people.

This sets the stage for us to progress to the next chapter in this amazing book of the bible.

Genesis chapter 11

Commentary Topics Index

Genesis chapter 9

Bible Commentary Index

Click on the button to go to the Genesis commentary index

The Christian Counter
As of April 1, 2013