Read Genesis 10
The Table of Nations
1 This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth:
Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.
3 The sons of Gomer:
Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah.
4 The sons of Javan:
Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites. 5 (From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)
6 The sons of Ham:
Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan.
7 The sons of Cush:
Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteka.
The sons of Raamah:
Sheba and Dedan.
8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah 12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.
13 Egypt was the father of
the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 14 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.
15 Canaan was the father of
Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, 16 Jebusites, Amorites,Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites.
Later the Canaanite clans scattered 19 and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, as far as Lasha.
20 These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.
21 Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber.
22 The sons of Shem:
Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.
23 The sons of Aram:
Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.
24 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah,
and Shelah the father of Eber.
25 Two sons were born to Eber:
One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan.
26 Joktan was the father of
Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan.
30 The region where they lived stretched from Mesha toward Sephar, in the eastern hill country.
31 These are the sons of Shem by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.
32 These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.
Today’s reading gives us the genealogy of Noah’s three sons, and there is a lot to learn from it. As we read yesterday, Ham dishonors his father. Because of that, Noah curses Ham’s descendants, especially his son, Canaan. In the genealogy today, if you look closely at the descendants of the three brothers, many of Israel’s future enemies come from the line of Ham. Places like Babylon and Assyria will become future conquerors of Israel and take the Israelites into captivity; the Egyptians will enslave the Israelites for 400 years; the Kasluhites, or Philistines, will become notorious enemies of Israel (Goliath, of David and Goliath, is a Philistine); Sodom and Gomorrah will soon be destroyed due to their sin; and the Canaanites are the future occupants of the Promised Land that the Israelites will have to battle many, many times. As you can see, not much good comes from the lineage of Ham.
His sin had huge consequences. The seeds of sin and destruction that he sowed are reaped for years to come. While his brother, Shem, gets to be a part of the lineage of Jesus, Ham is a part of the lineage of the enemies of God. As tough as that is to read, we need to be reminded of the consequences of sin and the future implications it has on us and the people around us.
But, like in all things, the story doesn’t end there for God. While the descendants of Ham become enemies of God, throughout the story of the Old Testament, we see God bless His enemies. Perhaps you remember the story of Rahab found in Joshua 2? She is a Canaanite, a descendant of Ham, and one of the Israelites’ biggest enemies. Yet, Rahab helps save the Israelites. Even though she was a foreigner and an enemy of God, by following God, she becomes woven into His story of redemption and salvation. Not only does she become part of the lineage of Jesus, she is even mentioned by name in a genealogy in Matthew 1.
Sin may have doomed an entire bloodline, but God wasn’t finished. He redeemed His enemies and drew them back into His story in a significant way. He does the same with us. Romans 5:10 says that we were all enemies of God–because that is what we were. But through Jesus, God pursues us and writes us back into His story.
How have you seen the negative consequences of sin? How have you seen your sin personally impact those around you?
Why is Rahab’s story so important for us to hold on to today? How does it encourage you?
What does it mean to be an enemy of God? In what ways have you been His enemy? How has God saved and redeemed you from that?
Did You Know?
Even though Nimrod is called “a mighty hunter before the Lord,” it’s not a good title. He didn’t hunt animals, he hunted men. The way that he built up his kingdom was through the total destruction of human life. This goes to show us that we need to be about building up God’s Kingdom, not our own.