Genesis Chapter Ten, The Root Of The Nations... 

In our study of Genesis chapter ten, we will look at the origin of the nations of today. We will see that we are all related as the root of all peoples can be traced back to the sons of Noah.

Genesis 10:1

"This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah's sons, who themselves had sons after the flood." NIV translation

As we saw in chapter 9, Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives were the only people that came out of the ark and God told them to multiply. Since these were the only people that survived the flood, we are all related to them and to each other because of them.

Genesis 10:2

"The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras." NIV translation

The name Japheth means enlarged and his seven sons are listed. As we shall see, he has the largest number of sons listed. It is interesting to note that we are only given the descendants of two of his sons. The sons of Japheth would go on to populate what we call Europe and Northern Asia.

Genesis 10:3

"The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah." NIV translation

The name Gomer means complete or come to a sudden stop or termination. The name is mentioned again as an army that will join in the final rebellion against God (see Ezekiel 38). The name Askenaz can mean leap upon like fire. While the meaning of the name Riphath has been lost, to a Hebrew audience the name would have sounded like healers. The name Togarmah does not occur as a Hebrew word but in it is the word gerem meaning bone and is widely believed to mean bone breaker.

Genesis 10:4 & 5

"The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittim, and the Rodanim. (From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)" NIV translation

The name "Javan" means "miry" and gives the impression of getting stuck in the mud. The sons of Javan would become the settlers of most of Europe after the Tower of Babel. The term "maritime peoples" speaks of the fact that they would settle on the islands and the coast along the Mediterranean Sea.