When Three Men Populated the World (Genesis 10)


Do you want to have kids one day? Maybe you’re one of those people who wants eight kids. Or perhaps you’d like a conservative 2.5 kids. Or you already have a family. But if you’re in the group of people who either chose not to have kids or are adamant that they will never have kids – then it’s a good thing you live now and not thousands of years ago after the flood.

For the wives of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah’s sons, not having children was not really an option. Thankfully, they all began to enthusiastically populate the mostly empty planet. Babies were born and nations were founded. As we skim through the list of names found in this chapter of the Bible, we see plenty of familiar ones. Names like the Philistines, the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Jebusites and more will quickly become infamous to us as we continue to read.

The years go by and the population count continues to rise. The multitudes that have sprung from Noah’s three boys spread out, refilling the earth after the flood.

The Treasures Within:

A Condensed History

Maybe I’m the only one, but I can’t help imagining how crazy the story within this chapter sounds to people who don’t believe in the Bible. The world was populated by the offspring of three brothers? One man is the father of everyone who has ever lived? It doesn’t even sound scientific. Yet this chapter of the Bible stands as a quiet reproof to disbelief.

God takes the time with this chapter to explain to us how it all happened. He explains how nations sprung from the seed of one man. He teaches us history, describing how maritime peoples originated from one of Japheth’s sons (verse 5), who the fathers of the nations of Cush and Egypt were (verse 6), and how Nineveh, Assyria, Babylon, and more were founded by Nimrod, a descendant of Ham, a warrior whose accomplishments rival that of Alexander the Great (verses 8-12). This is straightforward history. The words on these pages seem to encourage us to look deeper. Research. Examine. If the Bible can be tested, so can its history!

God’s Message To Us:

“Believe. Believe I did this. Believe this is true.” God didn’t include this chapter in His love letter to us just to teach us a little history. He wants us to see Him between the lines. Throughout the centuries and millennia, God has been present and active, overseeing and orchestrating the rise and fall of nations and peoples. Despite our sins, He allowed us to live, be fruitful, and multiply; staying true to His promise to never again destroy us with a flood. “Without Me, this would not be possible.” God is the Source, the Power, and the Ability behind the miracle that is life and the growth of nations. Just as God made it happen in Biblical times, He makes it happen today. He is the true Beginning. He is the true Father. Do we believe that? If we really believed that God is the foundation of our genealogy, would we then make Him the foundation of our lives?

What do you think? What familiar names jumped out at you from this chapter? Why do you think God included this chapter when He wrote the Bible for you and for me?

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