An Atheist Reads the Bible

A godless heathen’s religious experience

Genesis 10

Posted by Urbane Spaceman on January 11, 2008

The Table of Nations

1 This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.

A rather dull account at that, get ready for a whole lot of -ites. As it’s so dull I’m just going to put a couple of comments and links for names that I already recognised.

The Japhethites

2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras.
3
The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah.

Gog and Magog I originally heard of as giants.
Askenaz is presumably the descendant of the Ashkenazi Jews, who I first heard of in connection with the high incidence of breast cancer and gene patents.

4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittim and the Rodanim.
5 (From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)

The Hamites

6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan.

Canaan is obvoiusly the father of the Canaanites, who have already been condemned by god simply because Noah couldn’t lay off the booze.

7 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.

Sheba brings to mind the Queen of Sheba who famously tested the wisdom of Solomon.

8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be 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.

So mighty it needed saying twice. Nimrod these days would obviously be associated with the anti-tank missile.

10 The first centres of his kingdom were Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh, in Shinar.

Babylon is of course Babel, which we’ll read more about later. It’s also a David Gray song, but the less said about that the better as it’s a fairly insipid piece of drum and bass.

11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah

I swear Disney used the name Nineveh in an animated film but IMDB reveals nothing so perhaps I’m losing it. Entirely possible at this point – I’m almost looking forward to getting back to some decent smiting. At least that’s interesting.

As I don’t think I recognise any more names this post ends here and we’ll move on to Genesis 11, which at least has a more interesting opening.

12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.
13 Mizraim was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites,
14 Pathrusites, Casluhites (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 towards Gerar as far as Gaza, and then towards Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
20 These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.

The Semites

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, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.
23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshech.
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 towards 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.

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