Read 8.) Genesis 11:1-9, 10:1-32, then 11:10-32. About 100 years after the Great Flood, some hundreds of Noah’s descendants, thru his 3 sons, settled in modern-day Iraq to found one city, Babel, and build a ziggurat from which to observe the stars. This was the origin of all the world’s people groups and language types; as well as the occultic 12 signs of the zodiac. Because they were disobedient to the command God gave their forefathers in 9:7, their language was confused, and they split up, and went their separate ways, resulting in the formation of the table of nations we find in chapter 10. As I am of English descent, I almost certainly descended from Japheth, as per 10:2-5. Chapter 10 gives us an account of the sons of Japheth, and then Ham, but closes with the account of Shem, as the remainder of the story, which is about to commence with chapter 12, will focus upon one of Shem’s descendants, Abram. The Japhethites inhabited Europe, whereas the Hamitic peoples settled Asia and Africa. The Shemites remained Middle-Eastern people. We derive the time from 10:25, which says the earth was divided in the time of Peleg, and we learn that he was born approximately 100 years after the Flood from the years given us in 11:10-16. I’ve always wondered what Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth must have thought and felt like, to see what their children were doing so soon after God had judged the world with a flood. I can’t help, but think, that they must have wanted to tear their hair out!
Perhaps of greater interest for the rest of the Bible, is that which we find in 11:10 thru 32. As chapter 5 related the first 10 generations, from Adam down to Noah, so this passage relates the next 10 generations, from Noah down to the next main character we’ll see in chapter 12, Abram. From the number of years given to us, we can see that, first, they married younger and begat children sooner, and they began to live considerably shorter lives. This gives credence to the ‘vapor canopy theory’ that it provided excellent protection from many of the sun’s more harmful rays. The importance of this particular genealogical line is that it is the line down to Abram, and hence, the line of the promised Messiah; that promise given to Adam and Eve in the Garden in 3:15. Messiah would come thru Shem, and from Shem thru this next man, whom we are going to become far more acquainted with than any before him. We come to the end of a 2,100 year-long Origins or Creation Phase, and now will move into the next stage, which, beginning with Abram and Genesis 12, will continue on into the next book, Exodus, and is called The Patriarchal Phase. From this point, to Messiah, will be another 2,100 years or so. What we learn next will be critically valuable and important to all the rest of our study of the Bible; and will give proof that it is truly the Word of God! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell