Ge 10:1-32. Genealogies.
1. sons of Noah—The historian has not
arranged this catalogue according to seniority of birth; for the
account begins with the descendants of Japheth, and the line of Ham is
given before that of Shem though he is expressly said to be the
youngest or younger son of Noah; and Shem was the elder brother of
10:21), the true rendering of
generations, &c.—the narrative of
the settlement of nations existing in the time of Moses, perhaps only
the principal ones; for though the list comprises the sons of Shem,
Ham, and Japheth, all their descendants are not enumerated.
Those descendants, with one or two exceptions, are described by names
indicative of tribes and nations and ending in the Hebrew im, or
the English "-ite."
5. the isles of the Gentiles—a phrase by
which the Hebrews described all countries which were accessible by sea
(Isa 11:11; 20:6; Jer 25:22). Such in relation to them were the
countries of Europe, the peninsula of Lesser Asia, and the region lying
on the east of the Euxine. Accordingly, it was in these quarters the
early descendants of Japheth had their settlements.
6. sons of Ham—emigrated southward, and
their settlements were: Cush in Arabia, Canaan in the country known by
his name, and Mizraim in Egypt, Upper and Lower. It is generally
thought that his father accompanied him and personally superintended
the formation of the settlement, whence Egypt was called "the land of
Ham" [Ps 105:23, 27; 106:22].
8. Nimrod—mentioned as eclipsing all his
family in renown. He early distinguished himself by his daring and
successful prowess in hunting wild beasts. By those useful services he
earned a title to public gratitude; and, having established a permanent
ascendancy over the people, he founded the first kingdom in the world
10. the beginning of his kingdom—This
kingdom, of course, though then considered great, would be
comparatively limited in extent, and the towns but small forts.
11. Out of that land went forth
Asshur—or, as the Margin has it, "He [Nimrod] at the
head of his army went forth into Assyria," that is, he pushed his
conquests into that country.
and builded Nineveh—opposite the town
of Mosul, on the Tigris, and the other towns near it. This raid into
Assyria was an invasion of the territories of Shem, and hence the name
"Nimrod," signifying "rebel," is supposed to have been conferred on him
from his daring revolt against the divine distribution.
21. Unto Shem—The historian introduces
him with marked distinction as "the father of Eber," the ancestor of
23. Aram—In the general division of the
earth, the countries of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Syria, fell to his
24. Arphaxad—The settlement of his
posterity was in the extensive valley of Shinar, on the Tigris, towards
the southern extremity of Mesopotamia, including the country of Eden
and the region on the east side of the river.
25. Peleg; for in his days was the earth
divided—After the flood (Ge 11:10-16) the descendants of Noah settled at
pleasure and enjoyed the produce of the undivided soil. But according
to divine instruction, made probably through Eber, who seems to have
been distinguished for piety or a prophetic character, the earth was
divided and his son's name, "Peleg," was given in memory of that event
(see De 32:8; Ac 17:26).
32. These are the families of the sons of Noah,
after their generations, in their nations, &c.—This
division was made in the most orderly manner; and the inspired
historian evidently intimates that the sons of Noah were ranged
according to their nations, and every nation ranked by its families, so
that every nation had its assigned territory, and in every nation the
tribes, and in every tribe the families, were located by