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The Human Race

line The Human Race

Pause and Consider



‘The Human Race’


These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood. (32)

Having last week considered the specifics of ‘the Table of Nations’ as found in Genesis 10, today we will make some observations.

This Table of the Nations is recognized as authentic and very important.  Dr. W. F. Albright, a Near East archaeologist, though not a believer in the infallibility of the Scripture, wrote: “It stands alone in ancient literature, without a remote parallel…The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document.”

We see clearly that Jehovah is the Lord of the nations.  He is in control no matter who rules on earth.  God has a purpose for the nations to fulfill.  Though from Genesis 12 onward, Israel will be center stage, God is concerned for all nations.

Despite external differences, we are all from the same family. We all descended from Noah. …and from these [Noah’s sons] the whole earth was populated.” (Gen 8:19) Do you realize that there are no separate races?  And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth… (Acts 17:26a) This contrasts with early evolutionists’ thinking.  The full title of Charles Darwin’s famous book, for example, is On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.  Adolph Hitler based his extermination of the Jews on this teaching.  He believed Jews had not evolved as far as the Aryan’s (which he called the master race) and therefore he could speed the evolutionary process (natural selection) by eliminating them, and others as well.  Again we look to Henry Morris who wrote: “There is no concept of race found in the Bible.  ‘Race’ is purely an evolutionary concept with no basis either in Scripture or true science.  The Bible speaks only of kinds.  There are nations, tribes, tongues, peoples and families, but these are not races.” This writer is always tempted when filling in a form requiring ‘race,’ to write in ‘human.’

The descendants of Japheth lived mostly north of the Promised Land from Spain to the Caspian and Black Seas: the Europeans.  Most of my readers are from this line. This group receives the least coverage in Scripture because they had the least direct contact with Israel. They will become important in the NT as the gospel goes to the Gentiles.

As the Jews conquered Canaan, what is written in Genesis 9, 10 must have been an encouragement to them. The conquest was a victory of faith.  It is no wonder that God told Joshua to study his Bible (Josh 1:8).  Allen Ross (Hebrew scholar) notes that, “To see which neighbors would face blessing and which ones cursing, Israel need only consult this table.”  The descendants of Canaan were the primary people that Israel subdued or eliminated when they entered the Promised Land under Joshua.

The dividing of Noah’s family into nations is related to languages (10:5, 31) which requires Genesis 11 and the confusion of languages to explain, which we will consider soon.

Though we may skip over or skim through these genealogies in the Bible, God has them there for a reason.  They were especially important to the nation of Israel and the validity of the coming Messiah as being from Shem, Abraham, and then David.  We praise Him for His purpose and plan for this world, the nation of Israel, and our own lives.

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