Genesis ten is sometimes called the table of nations. This is because it lists all of the descendents of Noah up to the time of the Tower of Babel incident in Genesis eleven.
Now, a discussion of this chapter really needs a family tree diagram. However, I haven’t figured out how to set one up on my blog yet. So, I’ll list the names by the dads’ names.
Before I start, though, please note that there is another toledot at the beginning of the chapter, marking a break in the account. So, it’s kind of a combination of Genesis 4:17-26 (where Cain’s lineage is listed, separately from Genesis 5) and Genesis five itself (where Adam’s genealogy is listed). It is also listed just prior to the Tower of Babel account, which is when God confused the languages of people. Specifically, these 70 people each got a new language (and nobody was bilingual).
It’s important to note that there are two kinds of genealogies in Genesis 10. The second is the seed line. These are the people from whom the Messiah would eventually be born.
The first family tree is for all the other descendants of Noah. This is common in Genesis: the lineage of those from whom the Messiah would not proceed are listed, but then effectively not discussed again.
But, the messianic line would continue right down to the Hebrews, and then to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons.
This page will deal only with the non-seed lineage.
In these lists, if a man’s name is a hyperlink, that means I found some information about that person’s family’s lineage or geographical location. In almost all cases, I am deeply indebted to Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, who gives a complete description in his magnum opus, The Genesis Account.
- Japheth is Noah’s firstborn son. His lineage does not include God’s promised Messiah.
- Ham is Noah’s youngest son (we think). His lineage also does not include God’s promised Messiah.
- Shem is the patriarch of the lineage from which the Messiah will come. His lineage can also be called the seed line, since God’s promise to Eve was that her seed would conquer the serpent.