Genesis 10:1-5

1 These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.

The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras

The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.

The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.

[Chapter 10] gives every appearance of being a sort of family record, kept by a venerable patriarch of the family as long as he remained alive and could keep in touch with his descendants. Shem, as the one of Noah’s sons most interested in God’s promise of the coming Seed, would be the logical one to keep such a record. he lived for 502 years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10-11), which would have encompassed the entire period included in the Table of Nations. It is significant that the sons of Ham and Japheth are given only to the third generation after the Flood, whereas Shems’ descendants extend to the sixth, indicating perhaps that he lost touch with the other branches of the family after the Dispersion. His signature is attached in the subscript at Genesis 11:10, after he had written of the events at Babel. — Morris, pages 245-246

The first part of Genesis 10:1 is probably the signature subscript of the previous section beginning at Genesis 6:9.

Japheth seems to be identified with a number of legendary figures; Jupiter, of Roman mythology, Iapetus of Greek legend, and Iyapeti among the Aryans of India. It would appear than that the majority of Japhethites migrated west into Europe, though some went east into Persia and India.

Gomer appears to be associated with an area known as Cimmeria, north of the Black Sea—preserved in the name Crimea. His name may also be preserved in the names Germany and Cymru (Wales). Of Gomer’s sons, Ashkenaz is associated with Germany. To this day, Germanic Jews are known as Ashkenazi. This name is preserved in Scandia—Scandinavia, and Saxon. Riphath is the father of Paphlagonians and Carpathians. Togarmah seems to be the ancestor of the Armenians.

Magog is the ancestor of peoples around Georgia, though the capital of Georgia, Tblisi, commemorates Tubal. Madai is associated with the Medes, though these also merge with a Hamitic group. Javan refers to Ionia, in Greece, as does Elishah, from which we get Hellenic, referring to Greece. Tarshish seems to be Spain, while Kittim is Cyprus. Meshech is preserved in the word Moscow, so would appear to be the ancestor of the Russian peoples.

It is these Japhethitic peoples who are most commonly referred to as Gentiles (v.5). We are reminded that their division is due to their languages. These people may have started to migrate early, because many (though not all) of their languages are from a common language group—the Indo-European group. — Taylor, page 194. 


The islands, coastlands, and other regions to which they spread were “divided” to these different groups, a development which took place at Babel. This reference thus indicates that chapter 10 of Genesis was written after the Dispersion. This is further proved by the fact that they were so divided “after their tongues.” —Morris, page 249

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