Genesis 10: The Table of Nations

We’ve made it to double digits! Genesis 10 is all about Noah’s sons and their lineages. Noah died at age 950, 350 years after the flood. This is around the time before 2500 BC. I split this study into two parts. The first highlights two significant characters in the table: Nimrod and Canaan. The second goes through the Table of Nations and connects descendants to historical nations (this is not just a story!).


Nimrod and Canaan

Nimrod is described as “a mighty warrior on the earth” (Genesis 10:8). His name means “The Rebel.” He was the grandson of Noah’s son, Ham. (See our study on Genesis 9 to learn more about Ham.) In Genesis 6, the spirit of the giants were mighty as well. Nimrod had command of multiple cities and founded a monarchy. The Babylonians, Assirians, and Hittites all write about him as a popular hero in the Ancient Near East. Seems like a good guy, right? Well, eventually his thirst for more led many have an affront and contempt of God, saying it was the people’s own courage, not strength through God, by which they could find happiness. We’ll learn more about what happens specifically with Nimrod in Genesis 11 (hint: the Tower of Babel).

Application: The world today continuously throws us senses of hope through “self-help.” Many remedies are offered to find permanent happiness: yoga, romantic book clubs, bars, shopping… and not that any of these are completely wrong but they are only temporary. True fulfillment, true sense of complete happiness, is found through knowing Christ is our Lord and Savior who died and washed away our sins. We, as Christians, have an amazing place to look forward to, and that is what should drive our happiness day to day.

Canaan was the son of Ham. Remember from Genesis 9, he was under a Divine curse. But the land of Canaan was prosperous and rich? Well, the curse of God always works, and it works pretty terribly. Often times we are blinded by the prosperity of this world, but “we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us” (Matthew Henry). Curses may be for the soul, come slowly, only be observable to those around us, but the day of wrath will come from the Lord. Eventually, God hardened the hearts of the Canaanites. They refused to sign a peace treaty with Israel, and Israel waged war on them under the Lord’s command.

“For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.” – Joshua 11:20


Family Tree & Nation Connections

  • Japeth – Indo-European
    • Sons:
      • Gomer – Germanic
        • French, Spanish, and Celtics descend from this line
        • Ashkenaz – Fertile Crescent
        • Togarmah – Armenians
      • Magog, Tubal, Meshech – Far North Europe (Russians)
      • Madai – Ancient Medes (Iran/Irag and later India)
      • Javan – Ancient Greeks
        • Kittim -Cyprus
        • Rodanim – Rhodes

“From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.” -Genesis 10:5

  • Ham – Africa and Far East
    • Cush
      • Nimrod – Babylon (we’ll get to the tower of Babel soon)
      • Ethiopia
    • Mizraim – Egypt
      • Sons descendants became the Philistines and Caphtorim
    • Put – Libya
    • Canaan – Israel and surrounding areas
      • Sidon – Hittites and Lebanese
      • Sinites – Potentially Oriental people
  • Shem
    • Elam – Persians
    • Asshur – Assyrians
    • Lud – Lydians in Asia Minor
    • Aram – Arameans (Syrians)
      • Uz – a region in Arabia (Job 1:1)
    • Arphaxad – Abram (we’ll learn about him soon too) and the Hebrews
      • Joktan (great-grandson)
        • Sons name’s associated with various Arabic peoples
        • Jobab – Job (the guy who ends up living in Uz above)



2 Replies to “Genesis 10: The Table of Nations”

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