This blog post will cover the devotionals #69, 70 for Genesis Chapter 10.
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 Genesis 10:1-5,21-32
In devotional #68, we discussed how Noah’s three sons were those who’d repopulate the earth after the flood wiped out humanity. Now, we’ll look at his two good lines, Japheth and Shem, whose lines we saw would be blessed for their righteousness. In devotional #70, we’ll take a look at the 'bad' line, Ham, whose lineage Noah had prophesied a curse against. Japheth, Noah’s eldest, had seven sons, but only two of his sons had sons (giving Japheth seven listed grandsons). We know that Japheth shared in the blessings that Shem received, but we aren’t told much more about Japheth’s descendants, who divided the habitable locations of the Gentiles (we see his lines listed again in 1 Chronicles 1:5-7). On the other hand, we see much more about Shem, who we believe was Noah’s youngest son. Mesha (part of Arabia) was the dwelling place of Shem's line. He had five sons, but apparently only two of his sons—Aram (his fifth son) and Arphaxad (his third son)—had sons. Arphaxad fathered Salah, who fathered Eber. We see, in 1 Chronicles 1:1-4, 24-27, that Eber was an important descendant in the line leading to other important Bible characters, such as Abraham. Thus, it should come as no surprise why Genesis 10:21 mentions that Shem was the father of all the children of Eber, despite the fact that Eber was actually his great-grandson. One of Eber’s sons was named Peleg, which Strong’s Concordance defines as, ‘earthquake’. The Bible mentions twice that Peleg was named this because the earth was divided during his time. Peleg was Shem’s great-great-grandson, born one hundred years after the flood. By that time, the earth was already fairly populated, and the confusion of the languages that was present—stemming from Babel (which was created by Ham's grandson, Nimrod)—along with the spiritual differences between Ham’s and Shem’s lines, was the division that we see mention of in the naming of Peleg. Something I find interesting is that Peleg’s brother was also named, and the Bible even shows the names of all thirteen of his sons but stops there with his lineage. The reason I find it interesting is that the Bible's clear that Peleg (not Joktan, his brother) was the man whose descendants are important to Bible history, but they still mention Joktan’s sons. Joktan’s name is defined as, ‘he will be made little’ or ‘to diminish’, ‘be of no account’, ‘be not worthy’. Perhaps this is why only his sons were named (and no more). It’s hard to know if Joktan was a different age than Peleg—but maybe he was named that way because Eber knew that his line wouldn't be the important one. Did you notice how, here in Genesis 10, Shem’s line doesn’t get described past Peleg? Since we’ll see Shem’s lineage traced, in Genesis 11, through Peleg all the way down to Abram (as seen in 1 Chronicles 1), with timelines and all—Genesis 10 basically leaves us a cliff-hanger!
 Genesis 10:6-20
Three of Ham's four sons had their own sons. All their lines would become major players in later Bible stories. 1 Chronicles 1:8-16 also lines out Ham’s lineage. Cush (his eldest) fathered Nimrod, who became a mighty man—we’re told he was a mighty hunter. In devotional #43, we discussed how there were giants in the land before the flood, and that the sons of God mated with the daughters of men, producing ‘mighty men’. The exact same usage of 'mighty man' used to describe the Antediluvians was used to describe Ham’s grandson, Nimrod: ‘bullies’ or ‘tyrants’. It’s interesting to see that what was taken away from the world in Ham’s first century was reinstated just a couple centuries later by his own grandson. In devotional #69, we mentioned that Nimrod was the man who created Babel in the land of Shinar. We’ll be talking about that much more in devotional #71. Next, we see about how, from that land, Nineveh was also built—which, if you’ll remember from the story of Jonah, was the city so wicked that God wanted to send a man to warn it so they could repent or be overthrown (sounds an awful lot like what happened with Noah and the Anti-Diluvian world). All the cities built from Cush’s line are locations in Assyria (which we see a lot of mention about in Scriptures in connection with Israel’s enemies). Ham’s son, Mizraim, fathered Casluhim, who'd become the father of the Philistines (more of Israel’s enemies). Many of the names seen given to Mizraim’s sons are attached to Egyptian history (again, enemies of Israel), and so we can see the beginnings of Egypt through Ham’s line as well. Canaan, Ham’s son who was the focus of Noah’s prophecy—fathered two named sons, and the rest are just shown as groups of people, rather than specific names. Exodus 33:2; 34:11, and Joshua 9:1; 11:3 are four passages that name various groups, which would be either driven out or later fight against God’s people: Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Four of these groups were among those listed under Canaan’s descendants. Six of the groups listed below Canaan aren’t mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. What I’d like to point out, however, is that they multiplied and spread far—and their borders are very significant: Sidon, Gerar, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Lasha. Ezekiel 28:20-24 shows us a prophecy against Sidon (Zidon), and how they’d no longer be a thorn in the side of Israel. Other passages mention Sidon’s gods, etc. We know that they had to have been very displeasing to the Lord, because Jesus makes several mentions in the New Testament about how, “It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.” This is very similar to what He says about Sodom and Gomorrah, which were also named as Ham’s borders, along with Admah and Zeboim—all four of which were destroyed in the burning cities of the plain. Gerar is defined as a Philistine city, which we saw also came from Ham’s line. I find no other mention of Lasha in the Bible. It’s interesting to note in this context that Sodom and Egypt (which are both connected with Ham’s descendants) are symbolic names used together, in Revelation 11:8, to represent a particular state of spirituality. How unfortunate that, once again, the lineage of one of the sons of the first man to repopulate the earth (like Adam's son, Cain) had to overspread the world with such unrighteousness—as opposed to the righteousness of his brothers, Shem and Japheth (like Abel and Seth)— which would lead to such negative interactions and results between the descendants of the brothers (Shem and Japheth versus Ham)—just like what happened between Cain and Abel.