Genesis 9:18,19 says, “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.”
All of the nations that were formed after the flood are a result of the three sons of Noah. Genesis 10 describes the descendants of the three sons of Noah. Generally, the descendants of Japheth went into Europe and northwestern Asia. The descendants of Ham went into Africa. And the descendants of Shem went east into Asia.
The three general skin colors, white, black, and yellow come from the three sons of Noah. I mention this because when the antiChrist is described as a leopard in Revelation 13, it is describing the antiChrist’s nationality. A leopard is a yellow animal with black spots and a white belly. The antiChrist will be a mixture between a Jew, an African, with some white in him. He will be a representative from all three of the sons of Noah.
If we look at the strengths and weaknesses of each son of Noah and their descendants, we find that each son finds their strengths and weaknesses centered around a particular part of the triune nature of man. Man is a body, soul, and spirit. Ham tends to center around the physical (body), Japheth is around the intellectual (soul), and Shem is around the religious (spiritual). There are many exceptions and yet this is the general rule.
When I consider myself, a white man with western European ancestry, I find my strengths in the intellectual realm. However, I also know that my greatest chance for failure (sin and pride) is also within the intellectual realm. For the descendants of Japheth, pride comes in the form of: I am better than you (in the eyes of God) because I am smarter than you. Every “ism” of the last few centuries that has raised itself up in pride has found its roots in Japheth. Consider humanism, rationalism, and evolutionism just for starters. If you would like, I could add enviromentalism and the list goes on and on.
Asians should consider that every major false religion of today comes from the descendants of Shem. Their pride is found in: I am better than you because I am more religious than you. However, the descendants of Shem are also exceptionally strong disciples of Christ when their spirituality is a strength.
Those of African (Hamitic) descent would do well to consider that their biggest struggle with pride usually comes from the physical realm (the flesh) and in particular if you look at the end of Genesis 9, with sexual sin. However, the descendants of Ham have been able to use physical blessings for the cause of Christ. They were the original explorers developing navigation and surveying techniques. They were the first cultivators of most of the basic food staples of the world, as well as the first to domesticate most animals. They were the great builders of the ancient world. And today, consider the platform that faithful Christian athletes have and the impact that they have on society as a whole.
What I will do with the remaining part of this lesson is to go through the many different sons listed in Genesis 10 and try to identify where they settled and what peoples they represent.
Sons of Japheth – Japheth has 7 sons listed and then 2 of those sons have 3 and 4 sons listed respectively. Hopefully, you can see the number seven here tied with the Gentiles and remember that the number 7 is very frequently tied to the Church. As a little bonus here: Japheth even has 7 letters in his name.
Gomer – He is the father of the Galatians or Phrygians, and also the Gauls of Asia Minor (north of Judea). Gomer’s descendants then moved north and west. The Welsh sprang from the Gauls and of course the French. The old name for the Welsh language is Gomeraeg.
Magog – He is the father of the Russians to the north of Judea. His descendants are also called Scythians in the New Testament.
Madai – He is the father of the Medes so often connected with the Persians in scriptures, for example Darius the Mede. There are a few who also connect this man with Macedonia.
Javan – He is the father of the Greeks. In Daniel 8:21, the king of Greece is called the king of Javan.
Tubal – He is the father of the Iberians from whom the Spanish came. The Albanians also have Tubal as their father.
Meshech – He is the father of the Cappadocians and Moscheni in the mountains in the northeast of Cappadocia. Cappadocia is at the center of modern day Turkey. Some also place the Muscovites as descendants of Meshech. Mechech is the old name for Moscow, Russia. The Meshchera lowlands located around Moscow still hold the original name.
Tiras – He is the father of the Thracians and in Thrace was a river called Atyras which has his name at its root.
Gomer has three sons mentioned. They are Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
Ashkenaz – He settled in Asia Minor first and then his descendants moved into Germany.
Riphath – He settled in Asia Minor near Pontus.
Togarmah – He is the father of the Turks and Phrygians. Some also place his descendants a little farther east in Galatia.
Javan has four sons mentioned. They are Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
Elishah – He is the father of the Elysaeans or the AEolians. There are many places in Greece which have his name.
Tarshish – Tarsus, the birthplace of the Apostle Paul gets its name from this man. Some also make this man the father of the Celts who moved into Spain, France, and Germany.
Kittim – He is the father of Italians (Romans), and also those from Cyprus and Macedonia.
Dodanim – He seems to be the father of those who settled the island of Rhodes and also there is a city in Epirus called Dodona which contains his name.
Sons of Ham
Ham has 4 sons listed. They are Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan.
Cush – He is the father of the Ethiopians.
Mizraim – He is the father of the original Egyptians and his name can still be found there today.
Phut – He is the father of the Libyans.
Canaan – His descendants first moved into modern day Israel. They were chased out by Joshua and God and then as Genesis 10:18 says, “they spread out.” There is even evidence of them in Ireland. It is also very reasonable to believe that the North and South American Indian tribes can trace their ancestry back to Canaan. Some may have even been dropped off by the Phoenicians to settle new areas.
Cush has 5 sons listed and then the 6th, Nimrod has a special place because of his leadership in the Babel rebellion against God. The sons of Cush are Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, Sabtecha, and of course Nimrod.
Seba – He is the father of the Sabaeans mentioned in Job. They plundered Job’s cattle. These people settled in the Arabian desert.
Havilah – These people settled in what is today the country of Yemen or was called Arabia Felix.
Sabtah – He is the father of the Sabathenes people who also settled in the same general region of Havilah mentioned above.
Raamah – He is the father of the Ragmaeans who settled in Arabia Felix near the Persian Gulf.
Sabtecha – He is the father of the Saraceni people of the northern parts of Arabia.
Raamah has two sons listed. They are Sheba and also Dedan.
Sheba – He is the father of a people from Arabia Felix also called Sabeans (not those from the desert mentioned in Job).
Dedan – His descendants settled near the Persian Gulf in Arabia.
Nimrod is the 6th son of Cush. He settles in the plain of Shinar which is Babylon. He is actually in Shem’s land, specifically Asshur’s as is mentioned in verse 11. I will talk more about Nimrod in the next lesson.
Mizraim (Egypt) has 7 sons listed. They are Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim. These names could also refer to the people coming from a man such as Ludim being the name of the people in general and the name of the son being Lud.
Ludim – He is the father of the African Ethiopians where Cush was the father of the Arabian Ethiopians.
Anamim – These were a people of shepherds (found in the name) who were near both Egypt and African Ethiopia (maybe Nubians).
Lehabim – These people settled in western Egypt and were also tied to Libya.
Naphtuhim – Although some place these people on the Mediterranean Sea coast in northern Egypt, they more likely settled central Egypt.
Pathrusim – This is the people who settled upper Egypt with Pathros being the father.
Casluhim – These are the inhabitants of a country called Casiotis (Mount Casius) at the entrance of lower Egypt. The scripture tells us that the Philistines, who are frequently the adversaries of Israel, came from this people.
Caphtorim – These people seem to be the Cappadocians who originally came out of Egypt.
Canaan has 2 sons listed: Sidon and Heth. He also has nine other people groups associated with him.
Sidon – He was Canaan’s firstborn and he is the father of the great sea people, the Phoenicians.
Heth – He was the father of the Hittites who dwelt in the south of the land of Canaan.
Jebusites – These are a people who settled around Jerusalem. As an interesting side note, there is an island near Spain, Ibissa, which was a Phoenician colony formerly called Ebusus where these people also setttled as part of the families of the Canaanites spreading abroad.
Amorites – These are a people who dwelt on both sides of the Jordan river.
Girgasites – These are a people from which the Gergesene of Matthew 8 got their name. This is the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee.
Hivites – These people dwelt in Hermon, the eastern part of Canaan.
Arkites – These people dwelt in modern day Lebanon and were also called the Arcaeans.
Sinites – A people who dwelt in the wilderness of Sin (think Sinai desert) or also maybe a city called Sin near Arca. There is good reason to believe that these people also moved east as the Canaanites spread abroad and settled China and Japan. Sinology is the study of Chinese history. The name “Sin” is frequently encountered in Chinese names in the form of “Siang.” A people from the Far East, named Sinim are mentioned in Isaiah 49:12. As these people continued to move east across the Bering Straight, there is a good possibility that some of the North American Indian tribes find Sin as their forefather.
Arvadites – This people inhabited an island in the Phoenician Sea and are linked with the Sidonians.
Zemarites – These people inhabited a land near Lebanon. There is a city in Benjamin’s land (Joshua 18) named Zemaraim that may have been originally founded by this people.
Hamathites – This people settled between Damascus and the Mediterrranean Sea. Hamath is mentioned several times in the OT.
Sons of Shem
Shem has 5 sons listed. They are Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
Elam – He was the father of the Persians. His descendants settled in modern day Iran (and Iraq).
Asshur – He is the father of the Assyrians. His land seems to be the land that Nimrod conquered and ruled.
Arphaxad – He is the father of the Chaldeans so often connected with Babylon in the scriptures.
Lud – He is the father of the Lydians who settled in Asia Minor.
Aram – He is the father of the Syrians. Aramaic as a language gets its name from this man.
Aram has 4 children mentioned. They are Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
Uz – He is said to be the founder of Damascus. His descendants also settled in Edom.
Hul – His descendants settled Armenia and also in Syria.
Gether – It is probable that this man’s descendants settled in the Decapolis (east of the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee). Gadara may have gotten its name from this man.
Mash – This man’s descendants settled in Armenia around Ararat.
Arphaxad has one son listed who is named Salah. There are several generations mentioned as coming through this one man.
Salah – His name signifies a sending forth. His name is found in the latter part of Methuselah’s name whose name was given to be prophetic of the flood. Selah as mentioned in the Psalms is almost always part of a verse which is connected with the second coming of Christ. As a side note and slight rabbit trail, when Cainan is added between Arphaxad and Sala in Luke 4, most consider this a scribal error. It is not. Cainan is the 13th generation from Adam and this part of the passage is prophetic and has to do with the rapture (Arphaxad), the antiChrist (Cainan), and the second coming of Christ (Sala or Salah or Selah). The Susians came from this man.
Eber – He is the son of Salah. It is from him that we get the name Hebrews for the Jews.
Eber has two sons listed. They are Peleg and Joktan.
Peleg meaning division – During the life of Peleg, the earth was divided by language groups. His descendants settled around the Euphrates river (Iraq).
Joktan – Some of his descendants settled in Arabia and many also went to settle India and other areas in the far east. It seems that while Peleg settled the near east, Joktan’s settled the far east.
Joktan has 13 descendants listed. They are Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab.
Almodad – His descendants settled in Arabia.
Sheleph – These people seemed to settle in the eastern part of Arabia.
Hazarmaveth – These people seemed to have first settled a spice producing area of Arabia.
Jerah – His descendants settled around Mecca and his name is connected with the moon.
Hadoram – His descendants settled in the extreme east of Arabia near the straits of the Persian Gulf.
Uzal – His descendants settled first in modern day Yemen.
Diklah – His descendants settled at the entrance of Arabia Felix at the Red Sea where there is an abundance of palm trees. Found in the name, Diklah, in Syriac is palm trees.
Obal – His descendants settle further east, past Arabia Felix, around a bay called Abalite.
Abimael – This man seems to have first settled in the spice producing area of Arabia.
Sheba – This man gave name to a numerous people in Arabia (Sabaeans), whose country extended from the Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf.
Ophir – This man seems likely to have settled first along the Arabian Gulf but moved to settle India further east.
Havilah – This man has the same name as a descendant of Cush. Both men may have tried to settle the same area where the gold was. It is likely that this man moved to settle further east.
Jobab – These people first settled in the desert area of Arabia Felix.
The above description of the peoples mentioned in Genesis 10 is my best attempt at placing the settlement areas of different groups based on geographical clues such as city or mountain range names. The main point of Genesis 10 is that all of the people on earth today are descendants of one of the three sons of Noah.
It should be clear that the Bible does not allow for the evolutionist’s view of prehumanoid peoples slowly evolving over millions of years. Evolution is racist in its foundation. It claims that one race of people is more evolved than another. This view has had horrific results with evolution justifying the slaughter of millions over the last century. All people alive on earth today are the descendants of Noah and Mrs. Noah (maybe Naamah). We are one blood and have the strenghts and weaknesses of Shem, Ham, and Japheth in us depending on our ancestry.
In the next lesson, I will look at language, religion, and the Babel dispersion.