Genesis 10
Pulpit Commentary
Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
Verse 1. - Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah (cf. Genesis 5:1; Genesis 6:9), Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Not the order of age, but of theocratic importance (vide Genesis 5:32). And unto them were sons born (cf. Genesis 9:1, 7, 19, 22) after the flood. An indication of the puncture temporis whence the period embraced in the present section takes its departure.
The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
Verse 2. - The sons of Japheth are first mentioned not because Japheth was the eldest of the three brothers, although that was true, but because of the greater distance of the Japhetic tribes from the theocratic center, the Hamites having always been much more nearly situated to and closely connected with the Shemites than they. The immediate descendants of Japheth, whose name, Ἰάπετος, occurs again in the mythology of a Japhetic race, were fourteen m number, seven sons and seven grandsons, each of which became the progenitor of one of the primitive nations. Gomer. A people inhabiting "the sides of the north" (Ezekiel 38:6); the Galatae of the Greeks (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 1:06); the Chomarii, a nation in Bactriana on the Oxus (Shulthess, Kalisch); but more generally the Cimmerians of Homer ('Odyss.,' 11:13-19), whose abodes were the shores of the Caspian and Euxine, whence they seem to have spread themselves over Europe as far west as the Atlantic, leaving traces of their presence in the Cimhri of North Germany and the Cymri in Wales (Keil, Lange, Murphy, Wordsworth, 'Speaker's Commentary ). And Magog. A fierce and warlike people presided over by Gog (an appellative name, like the titles Pharaoh and Caesar, and corresponding with the Turkish Chak, the Tartarian Kak, and the Mongolian Gog: Kalisch), whose complete destruction was predicted by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38, 39.); generally understood to be the Scythians, whose territory lay upon the borders of the sea of Asoph, and in the Caucasus. In the Apocalypse (Revelation 20:8-10) Gog and Magog appear as two distinct nations combined against the Church of God. And Madai. The inhabitants of Media (Mada in the cuneiform inscriptions), so called because believed to be situated περὶ μεσην τὴν Ασίαν (Polyb. 5:44) on the south-west shore of the Caspian And Javan. Identical with Ἰάων (Greek), Javana (Sanscrit), Juna (Old Persian), Jounan (Rosetta Stone); allowed to be the father of the Greeks, who in Scripture are styled Javan (vide Isaiah 66:19; Ezekiel 27:13; Daniel 8:21; Daniel 10:20; Joel 3:6). And Tubal, and Meshech. Generally associated in Scripture as tributaries of Magog (Ezekiel 38:2, 3; Ezekiel 39:1); recognized as the Iberians and Moschi in the north of Armenia, between the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates, and the Black Sea (Josephus, Knobel, Lange, Kalisch). And Tiras. The ancestor of the Thraciaus (Josephus), of the Tyrrheni, a branch of the Pelasgians (Tuch), of the Asiatic tribes round the Taurus (Kalisch), in support of which last is a circumstance mentioned by Rawlinson, that on the old Egyptian monuments Mashuash and Tuirash, and upon the Assyrian Tubal and Misek, stand together as here. Tiras occurs nowhere else in Scripture.
And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
Verse 3. - And the sons of Gomer; Ash-kenaz. Axenus, the ancient name of the Euxine, is supposed to favor Phrygia and Bithynia as the locality possessed by Aske-naz (Bochart); Iskus; equivalent to Ask, Ascanios, the oldest son of the Germanic Mannus, to point out Germany as his abode (Jewish commentators); but Jeremiah 51:27 seems to indicate the region between the Euxine and the Caspian. Kalisch, following Josephus, identifies the name with the ancient town Rhagae, one day's journey to the south of the Caspian. Murphy and Peele, on the authority of Diodorus Siculus, believe the Germans may have been a colony of the Ashkenians. And Riphath. Diphath (1 Chronicles 1:6) - the Paphlagonians (Josephus); more generally the tribes about the Riphaean mountains, on the north of the Caspian (Knobel, Kalisch, Clericus, Rosenmüller, Murphy, ' Speaker's Commentary'); but both are uncertain (Keil). And Togarmah. Mentioned again in Ezekiel 27:14; Ezekiel 38:6; the Phrygians (Josephus), the Cappadocians (Bochart), the Armenians (Michaelis, Gesenius, Rosenmüller), the Taurians, inhabiting the Crimea (Kalisch). The tradition preserved by Moses Chorensis, that the ancestor of the Armenians was the son of Thorgom, the son of Comer, is commonly regarded as deciding the question.
And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
Verse 4. - And the sons of Javan; Elizhah. The isles of Elishah are praised by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:7) for their blue and purple; supposed to have been Elis in the Peloponnesus, famous for its purple dyes (Bochart); AEolis (Josephus, Knobel); Hellas (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch); without doubt a maritime people of Grecian stock ('Speaker's Commentary'). And Tarshish. Tarsus in Cilicia (Josephus); but rather Tartessus in Spain (Eusehius, Michaelis, Bochart, Kalisch). Biblical notices represent Tarshish as a wealthy and flourishing seaport town towards the west (vide 1 Kings 10:22; Psalm 48:7; Psalm 72:10; Isaiah 60:9; Isaiah 66:19; Jeremiah 10:9; Ezekiel 27:12). Kittim. Chittim (Numbers 24:24); Citium in Cyprus (Josephus), though latterly the name appears to have been extended to Citium in Macedonia (Alexander the Great is called the king of Chittim, 1 Macc. 1:1 1 Macc. 8:5), and the colonies which settled on the shores of Italy and Greece (Bochart, Keil, Kalisch). Isaiah 23:1, 12; Daniel 11:30 describe it as a maritime people. And Dodanim. Dordona in Epirus (Michaelis, Rosenmüller); the Dardaniaus, or Trojan's (Gesenius); the Daunians of South Italy (Kalisch); the Rhodani in Gaul, reading as in 1 Chronicles 1:7 (Bochart). Josephus omits the name, and Scripture does not again mention it.
By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
Verse 5. - By these were the isles of the Gentiles. Sea-washed coasts as well as islands proper (cf. Isaiah 42:4 with Matthew 12:21). Isaiah (Genesis 20:6) styles Canaan an isle (cf. Peloponnesus). The expression signifies maritime countries. Divided in their lands; every one after his tongue. Indicating a time posterior to the building of Babel (Genesis 11:1). After their families Ἐν ταῖς φυλαῖς αὐτῶν (LXX.); in their tribes or clans, a lesser subdivision than the next. In their nations. The division here exhibited is fourfold:

(1) geographical,

(2) dialectical,

(3) tribal, and

(4) national

The first defines the territory occupied, and the second the language spoken by the Japhethites; the third their immediate descent, and the rough the national group to which they severally belonged.
And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
Verse 6. - And the sons of Ham. These, who occupy the second place, that the list might conclude with the Shemites as the line of promise, number thirty, of whom only four were immediate descendants. Their territory generally embraced the southern portions of the globe. Hence the name Ham has been connected with חָמַס, to be warm, though Kalisch declares it to be not of Hebrew, but Egyptian origin, appearing in the Chme of the Rosetta Stone. The most usual ancient name of the country was Kern, the black land. Scripture speaks of Egypt as the land of Ham (Psalm 78:51; Psalm 105:23; Psalm 106:22) Cush. Ethiopia, including Arabia "quae mater est," and Abyssinia "quae colonia" (Michaelis, Rosenmüller). The original settlement of Cush, however, is believed to have been on the Upper Nile, whence he afterwards spread to Arabia, Babylonia, India (Knobel, Kalisch, Lange, Rawlinson). Murphy thinks he may have started from the Caucasus, the Caspian, and. the Cossaei of Khusistan, and. migrated south (to Egypt) and east (to India). Josephus mentions that in his day Ethiopia was called Cush; the Syriac translates ἀνὴρ Ἀιθίοψ (Acts 8:27) by Cuschaeos; the ancient Egyptian name of Ethiopia was Keesh, Kish, or Kush ('Records of the Past, 4:7). The Cushites are described as of a black color (Jeremiah 13:23) and of great stature (Isaiah 45:14). And Mizraim. A dual form probably designed to represent the two Egypts, upper and lower (Gesenius, Keil, Kalisch), though it has been discovered in ancient Egyptian as the name of a Hittite chief (circa B.C. 1300, contemporary with Rameses II.), written in hieroglyphics M'azrima, Ma being the sign for the dual. The old Egyptian name is Kemi, Chemi, with obvious reference to Ham; the name Egypt being probably derived from Kaphtah, the land of Ptah. The singular form Mazor is found in later books (2 Kings 19:24; Isaiah 19:6; 35:25), and usually denotes Lower Egypt. And Phut. Phet (Old Egyptian), Phaiat (Coptic); the Libyans in the north of Africa (Josephus, LXX., Gesenins, Bochart). Kalisch suggests Buto or Butos, the capital of the delta of the Nile. And Canaan. Hebrew, Kenaan (vide on Genesis 9:25). The extent of the territory occupied by the fourth son of Ham is defined in vers. 15-19.
And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
Verse 7. - And the sons of Cush; Seba. Meroe, in Nubia, north of Ethiopia (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 2. 10). And Havilah. Αὐιλὰ (LXX.); may refer to an African tribe, the Avalitae, south of Babelmandeb (Keil, Lange, Murphy), or the district of Chaulan in Arabia Felix (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Wordsworth). Verse 29 mentions Havilah as a Shemite territory. Kalisch regards them as "the same country, extending from the Arabian to the Persian Gulf, and, on account of its vast extent, easily divided into two distinct parts" (cf. Genesis 2:11). And Sabtah. The Astaborans of Ethiopia (Josephus, Gesenius, Kalisch); the Ethiopians of Arabia, whose chief city was Sabota (Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange, Keil). And Raamah. Ρέγμα (LXX.); Ragma on the Persian Gulf, in Oman (Bochart, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Lange). And Sabtechah. Nigritia (Targum, Jonathan), which the name Subatok, discovered on Egyptian monuments, seems to favor (Kalisch); on the east of the Persian Gulf at Samydace of Carmania (Be-chart, Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange). And the sons of Raamah; Sheba. The principal city of Arabia Felix (1 Kings 10:1; Job 1:15; Job 6:19; Psalm 72:10, 15; Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20; Ezekiel 27:22; Joel 3:8); occurs again (Genesis 5:28) as a son of Joktan; probably was peopled both by Hamites and Shemites. And Dedan. Daden on the Persian Gulf (vide Isaiah 21:13; Jeremiah 49:8; Ezekiel 25:13; Ezekiel 27:12-15).
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
Verse 8. - And Cush begat - not necessarily as immediate progenitor, any ancestor being in Hebrew styled a father - Nimrod; the rebel, from maradh, to rebel; the name of a person, not of a people; - Namuret in ancient Egyptian. Though not one of the great ethnic heads, he is introduced into the register of nations as the founder of imperialism. Under him society passed from the patriarchal condition, in which each separate clan or tribe owns the sway of its natural head, into that (more abject or more civilized according as it is viewed) in which many different clans or tribes recognize the sway of one who is not their natural head, but has acquired his ascendancy and dominion by conquest. This is the principle of monarchism. Eastern tradition has painted Nimrod as a gigantic oppressor of the people's liberties and an impious rebel-against the Divine authority. Josephus credits him with having instigated the building of the tower of Babel. He has been identified with the Orion of the Greeks. Scripture may seem to convey a bad impression of Nimrod, but it does not sanction the absurdities of Oriental legend. He began to be a mighty one - Gibbor (vide Genesis 6:4); what he had been previously being expressed in ver. 5 - in the earth. Not ἐπι τῆς γῆς (LXX.), as if pointing to his gigantic stature, but either among men generally, with reference to his widespread fame, or perhaps better "in the land where he dwelt, which was not Babel, but Arabia (vide ver. 6).
He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
Verse 9. - He was a mighty hunter. Originally doubtless of wild beasts, which, according to Bochart, was the first step to usurping dominion over men and using them for battle. "Nempe venationum prsetextu collegit juvenum robustam manum, quam talibus exercitus ad belli labores induravit" ('Phaleg.,' 54:12). Before the Lord.

1. Ἐναντίον κυρίου (LXX.), in a spirit of defiance (Augustine, Keil, Murphy, Bush).

2. Coram Des, in God's sight, as an aggravation of his sin - el, Genesis 13:3 (Cajetan).

3. As a superlative, declaring his excellence - cf. Genesis 13:10; Genesis 30:8; Genesis 35:5; 1 Samuel 11:7; John 3:3; Acts 7:20 (Aben Ezra, Kimchi, Kalisch, ' Speaker's Commentary'). 4. With the Divine approbation, as one who broke the way through rude, uncultivated nature for the institutions of Jehovah (Lange). Cf. Genesis 17:18; Genesis 24:40; 1 Samuel 11:15; Psalm 41:12. Probably the first or the third conveys the sense of the expression. Wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the (a) mighty hunter before the Lord. The precise import of this is usually determined by the view taken of the previous phrase.
And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Verse 10. - And the beginning of his kingdom. Either his first kingdom, as contrasted with his second (Knobel), or the commencement of his sovereignty (Keil, Kalisch), or the principal city of his empire (Rosenmüller); or all three may be legitimately embraced in the term reshith, only it does not necessarily imply that Nimrod built any of the cities mentioned. Was Babel. Babylon, "the land of Nimrod" (Micah 5:6), the origin of which is described in Genesis 11:1, grew to be a great city covering an area of 225 square reties, reached its highest glory under Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:30), and succumbed to the Medo-Persian power under Belshazzar (Daniel 5:31). The remains of this great city have been discovered on the east bank of the Euphrates near Hillah, where there is a square mound called "Babil" by the Arabs (Rawlinson's 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 1. Genesis 1). And Erech. The Orchoe of Ptolemy, identified by Rawlinson as Wurka, about eighty miles south of Babylon. And Accad. Ἀρχάδ (LXX.); the city Sittace on the river Argade (Bochart); Sakada, a town planted by Ptolemy below Ninus (Clericus); Accete, north of Babylon (Knobel, Lange); identified with the ruins of Niffer, to the south of Hillah (Keil); with those of Akkerkoof, north of Hillah (Kalisch). Rawlinson does not identify the site; George Smith regards it as "the capital of Sargon, the great city Agadi, near the city of Sippara on the Euphrates, and north of Babylon ('Assyrian Discoveries,' Genesis 12.). And Calneh. Calno (Isaiah 10:9); Canneh (Ezekiel 27:23); Ctesiphon, east of the Tigris, north-east of Babylon (Jerome, Eusebius, Bochart, Michaelis, Kalisch); identified with the ruins of Niffer on the east of the Euphrates (Rawlinson). In the land of Shinar. Babylonia, as distinguished from Assyria (Isaiah 11:11), the lower part of Mesopotamia, or Chaldaea.
Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
Verse 11. - Out of that land went forth Asshur, the son of Shem (ver. 22; LXX., Vulgate, Syriac, Luther, Calvin, Michaelis, Dathe, Rosenmüller, Bohlen). i.e. the early Assyrians retired from Babylon before their Cushite. invaders, and, proceeding northward, founded the cities after mentioned; but the marginal rendering seems preferable: "Out of that land went (Nimrod) into Asshur," or Assyria, the country northeast of Babylon, through which flows the Tigris, and which had already received its name from the son of Shem (the Targums, Drusius, Bochart, Le Clerc, De Wette, Delitzsch, Keil, Kalisch, Lange, et alii). And builded Nineveh. The capital of Assyria, opposite Mosul on the Tigris, afterwards became the largest and most flourishing city of the ancient world (Jonah 3:3; Jonah 4:11), being fifty-five miles in circumference (Diod., 2:3), and is now identified with the ruins of Nehbi-yunus and Kouyunjik (Layard's 'Nineveh,' vol 2. pp. 136 ft.). And the city Rehoboth. Rehoboth-ir, literally, the streets of the city (cf. Platea, a city in Boeotia), a town of which the site is unknown. And Calah. The mounds of Nimroud (Layard and Smith), though Kalisch and Murphy prefer Kalah Shergat (about fifty miles south of Nineveh), which the former authorities identify with Asshur, the original capital of the country.
And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
Verse 12. - And Resen, i.e. Nimrod, between Kalah Shergat and Kouyunjik (Kalisch); but if Calah be Nimroud, then Rosen may be Selamiyeh, a village about half way, between Nineveh and Calah, i.e. Kouyunjik and Nimroud, ut supra (Layard). The same. Rosen (Kalisch), which will suit if it was Nimroud, whose remains cover a parallelogram about 1800 feet in length and 900 feet in breadth; but others apply it to Nineveh with the other towns as forming one large composite city (Knobel, Keil, Lange, Wordsworth). Is a great city. With this the record of Nimrod s achievements closes. It is generally supposed that Nimrod flourished either before or about the time of the building of the tower of Babel; but Prof. Chwolsen of St. Petersburg, in his 'Ueber die Ueberreste der Altbabylon-ischen Literatur,' brings the dynasty of Nimrod down as late as , relying principally on the evidence of an original work composed by Qut ami, a native Babylonian, and translated by Ibnwa hachijah, a descendant of the Chaldaeans, and assigned by Chwolsen to one of the earlier periods of Babylonian history, in which is mentioned the name of Nemrod, or Nemroda, as the founder of a Canaanite dynasty which ruled at Babylon (vide an excellent paper on this subject in Turner's 'Biblical and Oriental Studies,' Edin., A. and C. Black, 1876). Perhaps the hardest difficulty to explain in connection with the ordinary date assigned to Nimrod is the fact that in Genesis 14, which speaks of the reigning monarchs in the Euphrates valley, there is no account taken of Nineveh and its king - a circumstance which has been supposed to import that the founding of the capital of Assyria could not have been anterior to the days of Abraham. But early Babylonian texts confirm what Genesis 14. seems to imply - the fact of an Elamite conquest of Babylonia, B.C. 2280, by Kudur-nanhundi (Kudurlagamar, the Chederlaomer of Genesis), who carried off an image of the goddess Nana from the city Erech (vide 'Assyrian Discoveries,' Genesis 12; 'Records of the Past,' vol. 3.), so that this difficulty may be held to have disappeared before the light of archaeological discovery. But at whatever period Nimrod flourished, the Biblical narrative would lead us to anticipate a commingling of Hamitic and Shemitic tongues in the Euphrates valley, which existing monuments confirm (cf. 'Records of the Past,' vol. 3. p. 3).
And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
Verse 13. - And Mizraim begat Ludim. An African tribe, a colony of the Egyptians, like the next seven, which are "nomina non singulorum hominum sed populorum" (Aben Ezra, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Murphy); probably referred to in connection with Tarshish and Put (Isaiah 66:19), with Kush and Put (Jeremiah 46:9), and in connection with Put (Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5). Lud (ver. 22) was Shemitic. And Anamim. Not elsewhere mentioned; the inhabitants of the Delta (Knobel). And Lehabim. Lubim (2 Chronicles 12:3; Daniel 2:43; Nahum 3:9); Libyans (Daniel 11:43); probably the Libyaus west of Egypt (Michaelis, Kalisch, Murphy). And Naphtuhim. Nephthys, near Pelusium; on the Lake Sirbenis (Bochart); the Libyan town Napata (Kalisch); the people of Middle Egypt (Knobel).
And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.
Verse 14. - And Pathrusim. Pathros in Upper Egypt. And Casluhim. The Colchians, of Egyptian origin (Bochart, Gesenius); the inhabitants of the primitive Egyptian town Chemuis, later Panoplis (Kalisch). Out of whom came Philistim. The Philistines on the Mediterranean from Egypt to Joppa, who had five principal cities - Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. They are here described as an offshoot from Casluhim. The name has been derived from an Ethiopic root falasa, to emigrate; hence "immigrants" or "emigrants." Jeremiah 47:4 and Amos 9:7 trace the Philistines to the Caphtorim. Michaelis solves the difficulty by transposing the clause to the end of the verse; Bochart by holding the Casluhim and Caphtorim to have intermingled; Keil and Lange by the conjecture that the original tribe the Casluhim was subsequently strengthened by an immigration from Caphtor. Against the Egyptian origin of the Philistines the possession of a Shemitic tongue and the non-observance of circumcision have been urged; but the first may have been acquired from the conquered Avim whose land they occupied (Deuteronomy 2:28), and the exodus from Egypt may have taken place prior to the institution of the rite in question. And Caphtorim. Cappadocia (Bochart), Syrtis Major (Clericus), Crete (Calmer, Ewald), Cyprus (Michaelis, Rosenmüller), Coptos, Kouft or Keft, a few miles north of Thebes (Kalisch).
And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,
Verse 15. - And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn. A famous commercial and maritime town on the coast of Syria (1 Kings 5:6; 1 Chronicles 22:4; Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Ezekiel 27:8); here including Tyre. From the mention of the circumstance that Sidon was Canaan's firstborn, we may infer that in the rest of the table the order of seniority is not followed. And Heth. The father of the Hittites (Genesis 23:3, 5), identified by Egyptologers with the Kheta, a powerful Syrian tribe.
And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,
Verse 16. - And the Jebusite. Settled at and around Jerusalem (Joshua 15:8; Judges 19:10, 11; 1 Chronicles 11:4, 5). And the Amorite. On both sides of the Jordan, though dwelling chiefly in the Judaean mountains (Genesis 14:7; Joshua 10:5), to which the name "mountaineer," from "Amor," elevation (Gesenius), is supposed to refer. And the Girgasite. The name only is preserved (Joshua 24:11).
And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
Verse 17. - And the Hivite. "Villagers" (Gesenius); "settlers in cities" (Ewald); their localities are mentioned in Genesis 34:2; Joshua 9:1, 7; Joshua 11:3; Judges 6:3. And the Arkite. Inhabitants of Arka, a city of Phoenicia (Josephus): afterwards called Caesarea Libani; its ruins still exist at Tel Arka, at the foot of Lebanon. And the Sinite. The inhabitants of Sin. Near Arkf are a fortress named Senna, ruins called Sin, and a village designated Syn.
And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
Verse 18. - And the Arvadite, - dwelt in Arvad, Aradus, now Ruad (Josephus) - and the Zemarite, - Simyra, a city of Phoenicia (Bochart, Michaelis, Gesenius, Kalisch) whose ruins are still called Sumrah - and the Hamathite. The inhabitants of Hamath, called Hammath Rabbah (Amos 6:2); Epiphaneia by the Greeks; now Hamah. And afterwards - i.e. subsequent to the formation of these distinct tribes by the confusion of tongues - were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
Verse 19. - And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon (its northern boundary), as thou comest - i.e. as thou goest, in the direction of - to Gerar, - between Kadesh and Shur (Genesis 20:1) - unto Gaza (now called Guzzeh, at the south-west corner of Palestine); as thou gout, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim (vide Genesis 19:24), - Callirrhoe (Hieronymus, Jerusalem Targum, Josephus, Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch); possibly a variation of Laish and Leshem, a Sidonian city near the sources of the Jordan (Murphy).
These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.
Verse 20. - These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations (vide ver. 5).
Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
Verse 21. - Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, - as Ham of Canaan (Genesis 9:22; vide ver. 24) - the brother of Japheth the elder. Either the eldest brother of Japheth (Syriac, Arabic, Vulgate, Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Kalisch); or the brother of Japheth who was older (LXX., Symmachus, Onkelos, Raschi, Aben Ezra, Luther, Clerieus, Michaelis, Dathe); or the elder of Japheth's brothers, as distinguished from Ham the younger, i.e. the son who was older than Ham, But younger than Japheth (Murphy, Quarry; vide Genesis 5:32). Even to him were children born.
The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
Verse 22. - The children of Shem were twenty-six in number, of whom five were sons. Elam. Elymais, a region adjoining Snaiana and Media, stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Rod Sea; the people first met with as Persians. And Asshur. The ancestor of the Assyrians (vide ver. 11). And Arphaxad. A region in the north of Assyria; the Arrhapacitis of Ptolemy (Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch). The explanation of the name is "fortress of the Chaldaeans ' (Ewald); "highland of the Chaldaeans" (Knobel). And Lud. The Lydians of Asia Minor, to which they appear to have migrated from the land of Shem (Josephus, Bochart, Keil, Kalisch). And Aram. "The high land;" Mesopotamia being the Aram of the two rivers, and Syria the Aram of Damascua
And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.
Verse 23. - And the children of Aram; Uz, from whom was named the land of Uz (Job 1:1), south-east of Palestine, a tract of the Arabia Deserta. And Hul. In Armenia (Josephus); that part called Cholobetene, or house of Hul (Bochart); the Hylatae of Syria, near the Emesenes (Delitzsch); Coele-syria (Michaelis); Huleh, near the sources of the Jordan (Murphy). And Gether - of uncertain situation - and Mash - traced in Mous Masius of Armenia (Bochart).
And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.
Verse 24. - And Arphaxad begat Salah. The nation descended from him has not been identified, though their name, "Extension," may imply that they were early colonists. And Salah begat Eber. The father of the Hebrews or Emigrants (vide ver. 21).
And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.
Verse 25. - And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg. "Division," from palg, to divide; cf. πέλαγος and pela gus, a division of the sea. For in his days was the earth divided. At the confusion of tongues (Bochart, Rosenmüller, Keil, Lange, Murphy); at an earlier separation of the earth's population (Delitzsch), of which there is no record or trace. And his brother's name was Joktan. Father of the Arabians, by whom he is called Kachtan.
And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
Verses 26-30. - And Joktan begat Almodad. Usually said to be Yemen. And Sheleph. The Salapenoi of Ptolemy, belonging to the interior of Arabia. And Hazarmaveth. Hadramaut, southeast of Arabia (Bochart, Michaelis). And Jerah. Contiguous to Hadramaut. And Hadoram. Adramitae of Ptolemy, or the Atramitae of Pliny (Bochart) And Uzal. Awzal, the capital of Yemen (Bochart). And Diklah. The palm-bearing region of Arabia Felix (Bochart); a tribe between the mouth of the Tiber and the Persian Gulf (Michaelis). And Obal, and Abimael, whose settlements are not known. And Sheba. Vide supra, ver. 7. And Ophir. In Arabia; probably in Oman, on the Persian Gulf (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Keil), though it has also been located in India (Josephus, Vitringa, Gesenius, Delitzsch). The gold of Ophir celebrated (1 Kings 9:27, 28; 2 Chronicles 9:10, 13, 21). And Havilah. The Chaulan in Arabia Felix, but vide supra, ver. 7. And Jobab. The Jobabitae of Ptolemy, near the Indian Sea (Michaelis, Rosenmüller); but more probably a tribe in Arabia Deserta if Jobab - Arabic jebab, a desert (Bochart, Gesenius, Kalisch). All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesha. The seaport of Muza (Bochart); Messene, at the mouth of the Tigris (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kalisch). As thou goest into Zephar. Zafar or Dhafari, on the coast of the Hadramut. The difficulty of identifying a seaport town with a mountain is got over (Kalisch) by reading "to the" instead of a mount of the east - the thunderous range of hills in the vicinity.
And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,
And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.
And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.
These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
Verses 31, 32. - These are the sons of Shorn, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. The pedigree of the Shemite tribes is closed with the customary formula (vide ver. 5); that which follows being the concluding formula for the entire table of nations. These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations (literally, according to their Tholdoth, or historical developments), in their nation,: and by these (literally, from the) were the nations divided (or, did the nations scatter themselves) in the earth after the flood.

These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010 by BibleSoft, inc., Used by permission

Bible Hub
Genesis 9
Top of Page
Top of Page