THE TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND)
AND THE ORIGIN OF RACES (HISTORY OF MAN)
The history of the races of mankind is a fascinating subject. Biologically, a race is generally thought of as a variety, or subspecies, within a given species. All the races are a part of the human race. We have made the term race to apply to skin color, but the dictionary defines race as “a class or kind of individuals with common characteristics, interests, appearances, or habits as if derived from a common ancestor.”
Where did we come from? The answers have always been with us, as presented in the original Table of Nations. What you are about to read can best be described as an Exegesis (from the Greek exégesis, verb: exégetikos, meaning interpretation, guide, translation or critical exposition). Once you have read what is presented here, you may not view any race of people the same way again. Note that there is nothing like the Table of Nations (as presented here) in any other national tradition. Every other attempt to tell where the nations derived or where one nation derived, which comes from the time before Christ (B.C.), is hopelessly naive and filled with impossibilities and myths. There is nothing from the B.C. period that can remotely compare with this presentation as to accuracy and detail.
The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. In light of this, findings from anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, ethnohistory, genetics and geology, substantiate an alternate interpretation of the history of humanity. Additionally, references from historical records, ancient literature, mythology, burial customs, and other sources all provide strong evidences.
As stated earlier, race does not apply to skin color alone. Skin color is essentially the only biological difference in race, and science has been unable to determine what causes skin pigmentation. They have not been able to define the difference in cell pigment or structure. This superficial distinction is the basis for the division of mankind. Note:
Modern genetics shows that when a large, freely interbreeding group is
suddenly broken into many smaller groups which from then on breed only
among themselves (as the Biblical description of the language dispersion at
Babel would imply), different racial characteristics will arise very rapidly. It can
be shown that one pair of middle-brown parents could produce all known
shades of color, from very white to very black, in one generation. The racial
characteristics which exist today have not evolved, and generally speaking, are
simply different combinations of pre-existing (created) genetic (hereditary)
information. The environment plays a secondary role in favoring certain
combinations over others.
The Biblical viewpoint is that there is not a black race, white race, yellow race, etc. Instead, there are three distinct families or characteristics of man that make up the oldest Table of Nations in existence, which is a completely authentic statement of how the present world population originated and spread after the flood, as recorded in Genesis 10 of the Bible (a historical document itself). Here we learn the true divisions of mankind, indicating how the present population of the world came to be. Note that Acts 17:26 states, “He made from one blood all nations who live on the earth. He set the times and places where they should live,” a corroboration of Genesis 10.
Genesis chapter 10 shows how the present world population was derived from Noah’s three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives (three family groups). Additional references are given in 1 Chronicles chapter 1. Genesis 10 also names 16 grandsons of Noah. Verse 32 states, “From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood”. These “nations” are the descendants (generations, genealogies or family histories) of the sons of Noah. Chapter 10 describes the differentiation of nations, and asserts that we were all descended from Noah. It is important to understand that people and nations are referred to in a genealogical form (common in Hebrew and other Semitic languages). We find genealogical references in Genesis 10 are firstly to persons or families (ethnological), and secondly to nations or tribes (ethnographical); thus, the chapter ends with an emphasis on nations or tribes, which helps us understand in following chapters where they settled or “spread out over the earth” (geographical). They began as hunter-gatherers and/or pastoral nomads (living off the land as they migrated).
The majority of scholars and Bible historians agree that most of the descendants of Shem stayed in the Middle East. These include the Hebrews, Persians and Assyrians. The descendants of Ham include the Egyptians, Ethiopians, Canaanites, Phoenicians and Hittites. His descendants appear to be the first to fill the earth, as they were the early settlers of Africa, Asia, Australia, the South Pacific, and the Americas. The descendants of Japheth migrated into Europe and parts of Central Asia. The Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Celts, Scythians, and Medes were Japheth’s descendants. Some people groups merged to form one nation, as did the Persians (Shem) and the Medes (Japheth), which later became the Medo-Persian empire.
Here we have the beginnings of all people groups through Shem, Ham and Japheth:
Shem. Also Sem. Literal meanings are named or renown (father of the Semitic races – Shemites). The sons of Shem were:
(1) Elam “eternity” (sons were Shushan, Machul and Harmon) – (Elamites, Persians);
(2) Asshur “a step” or “strong” (sons were Mirus and Mokil) – (Assyrians/Northern Iraqis);
(3) Arphaxad “I shall fail” (sons were Shelach, Anar and Ashcol) – (Chaldeans/Southern Iraqis, Hebrews/Israelites/Jews1, Arabians/Bedouins, Moabites/Jordanians/Palestinians, and related groups);
(4) Lud “strife” (sons were Pethor and Bizayon) – (Ludim, Lubim, Ludians, Ludu, Lydians, Chubs, other related groups in Asia Minor and North Africa);
(5) Aram “exalted” (sons were Uz, Chul, Gather and Mash) – (Aramaeans/Syrians, Lebanese, other related groups), and remnant groups throughout Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
1Hebrews descended from Eber (Heber), a great-grandsons of Shem. Both Sunnite Arabs and Jews are Semites and Hebrews. Six generations after Heber, Abram (Abraham) was born, so Abraham was both a Hebrew and a Semite, born of the line of Heber and Shem. Ishmael and Isaac were born of Abraham. Sunnite Arabs (specifically Arabian Muslims) consider themselves to be descendants of Ishmael, often calling themselves Ishmaelites, and thus are both Semitic and Hebrews. Isaac had twin sons named Esau and Jacob. Esau was firstborn, and so had the right to inheritance (as was custom), but instead sold his birthright to Jacob during a time of hunger. Esau’s name was changed to Edom, and Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. The descendants of Esau (Edom) became known as Edomites, and the descendants of Jacob (Israel) became known as Israelites. Jacob fathered 12 sons which became the twelve tribes of Israel. Those who interchange the words “Jew” and Israelite, call Abraham a Jew, though Abraham was not an Israelite or a Jew. The word “Jew” is not used in the Bible until nearly 1,000 years after Abraham. One of Jacob’s (Israel’s) children was Judah (Hebrew “Yehudah”). His descendants were called Yehudim (“Judahites”). In Greek the name is Ioudaioi (“Judeans”). Most all Bible translations use the word “Jew,” which is a modern, shortened form of the word “Judahite.” A “Jew” in the Old Testament would be a “Judahite;” and a “Jew” in the New Testament would be a “Judean.”
A bitter rivalry between the descendants of Esau and Jacob continued throughout history, and as they lived in close proximity for hundreds of years, their hatred worsened. The Romans referred to the Edomites as Idumeans, separate from Israelites, when they lived in the region of Palestine together. The Romans later divided Palestine into districts, with Idumea (land of Edomites) being one of the districts. As the Roman Empire faded, Idumea was divided again into Northern Idumea, and the region fell to an Ishmaelite (Arabian) Moslem army led by Caliph Umar in 638 A.D. Historians suggest the remaining Edomites became Moslems at that time and remained in the land, blending with the Arabs, and uniting against the Israelites.
Jerusalem soon became a focal point for the Moslems, being the third most holy city of Islam, after the cities of Mecca and Medina. By 691 A.D., the Mosque of Omar (also called the “Dome of the Rock”) was completed on the Temple Mount, where Moslems believe that Mohammad ascended to heaven from. The Arabic term for the holy place is “al-Haram as-Sharif” which means “The Noble Sanctuary.” To Israelites (Jews), Jerusalem was the city of the great prophets and the capital of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah under King David and his son King Solomon. The first and second temples were the center of worship until the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 A.D. Christians revere the city as the place where Jesus Christ taught in the temple, and was later crucified. Christians believe that Jesus will return to establish His Kingdom at the Temple Mount with Jerusalem as world capital.
Still confused? Here’s a simple chart, beginning with Noah, showing how the family groups came to be:
| | |
Abram Nahor Haran
Isaac Ishmael |-------------------
| | | |
|------| |--->Arabs<-----Moab Ammon
Jacob Esau |
Evidence shows that Noah’s sons kept together at first, then broke up into small groups and eventually arrived from the east in the southern Mesopotamian Plain (Gen. 11:2). The descendants of Elam, the first born son of Shem, were the first people to enter Mesopotamia. Susa, the capital city of the Elamites (Shemitic Elamites), gave rise to other early cities, such as Al-Ubaid (which later gave rise to Hamitic settlements—including the Sumerian civilization) and Jemdet Nasr.
From here the three families of man populate the earth, and Shem’s descendants are well documented. Modern day Arabs and Jews trace their lineage to Shem. Many Arabic nomad tribes still claim they descended from Shem. The descendants of Shem are often called Semites, a term first used in the late 18th century for peoples listed in the Bible as descended from Shem. Today the term Semite refers to peoples who speak any of the Semitic languages, including the ancient peoples who inhabited Babylonia. Modern peoples speaking Semitic languages include the Arabs and Jews. Several centuries before the Christian Era, many ancient Semitic populations were migrating in large numbers from Arabia to Mesopotamia, the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, and the Nile River delta. Jews and other Semites settled in villages in Judea (southern Palestine). Today, the Semitic-speaking peoples are concentrated in the Middle East and northern Africa.
Ham. Also Kham. Literal meanings are hot, burnt or dark (father of the Mongoloid and Negroid races – Hamites). He was the progenitor of:
(1) Canaan “down low” (sons were Zidon1, Heth, Amori, Gergashi, Hivi, Arkee, Seni, Arodi, Zimodi and Chamothi) – also Canaanites, Cana, Chna, Chanani, Chanana, Canaana, Kana, Kenaanah, Kena’ani, Kena’an, Kn’nw, Kyn’nw, Kinnahu, Kinahhi, Kinahni, Kinahna, Kinahne (Mongols, Chinese, Japanese, Asians, Malayasians, Hawaiians, AmerIndians2, Eskimos, Polynesians, Tahitians, Guamanians, Samoans, Fijians, Tongans, Pacific Islanders, and related groups3);
(2) Cush “black” (sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama and Satecha) – also Chus, Kush, Kosh (Nubians, Ethiopians, Sudanese, Ghanaians, Africans4, Bushmen, Pygmies, Australian Aborignies, New Guineans, other related groups);
(3) Mizraim “double straits” (sons were Lud, Anom, Pathros, Chasloth and Chaphtor) – also Misraim, Mitzraim, Mizraite, Mitsrayim (Egyptians, Copts);
(4) Phut “a bow” (sons were Gebul, Hadan, Benah and Adan) - also Putaya, Putiya, Punt, Puta, Put, Libia, Libya (Libyans, Cyrenacians, Tunisians, Berbers, Somalians, North Africans, other related groups).
Tribes in other parts of Africa, Arabia and Asia, aboriginal groups in Australia, native Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Eskimos were birthed from descendants of Canaan, Cush, Mizraim, and Phut.
Looking at history, whichever region is considered, Africa, Europe, Australia, or America, the major migrations have always been from Asia. In every area of the world where Japhethites have subsequently settled, they have always been preceded by Hamites. This pattern applies in every continent. In early historic times the circumstance seems always to be true, the earliest fossil remains of man being Mongoloid or Negroid in character and in head shape, whereas those that came last belong to the family of Japheth (Caucasoid). If you study ancient history and technological achievements, which were in many ways the equal of, or superior of, much that we have today, were founded and carried to a high technological proficiency by Hamitic people, showing an amazing adaptability to the world in which they live. Their achievements were exploited by the Japhetic people, who became great scientific discoverers. The Hamitic migrations indicate they sought a way of life, not an understanding or a control of nature beyond what was immediately useful.
The information presented here is only an interpretation of historical research and Biblical data. Certain assumptions may not be accurate, and new discoveries can change group references. We are all directly related to either Shem and his wife, Ham and his wife, or Japheth and his wife. History has long since confirmed abundantly this distribution of mankind, exactly as the Bible describes. Every human being on earth today is your cousin, whether first, second – or thousandth!
Nothing in the legendary or archaeological history of the ancient world denies the biblical account of the creation of the world, the entrance of sin and death, the judgment of Noah’s flood, and the rise of the peoples from his descendants after their dispersal from Babel. Furthermore, the historical dates used to determine the formation of people groups, nations, or kingdoms does not in any way conflict with the Genesis account, but are well within the approximate dates for the creation of the world and mankind about 5800 B.C., the flood of Noah about 3400 B.C., and the dispersal from Babel around 3200 B.C.
This information is not intendend to promote or reflect a particular theology, religious sect or genealogical group. Don’t dismiss the fact that with some of the Shemites, Hamites, and Japhethites there would have been intermarriage and subsequent people groups. For example, scholars note evidence that suggests the descendants of Lud (Shemites) migrated north and intermarried with the Greeks (descendants of Japheth), and were eventually absorbed in that culture.
The interaction of all three family contributions is the theme of history. The remarkable thing is that they all can be substantiated to a degree, often unsuspected by students of history, up to the present time. The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth are evidenced, not only by Biblical history, but archeological, anthropological, biological, ethnographical, ethnological, etymological, geological, and secular history. The question is not one of levels of worth but of uniqueness of contribution, and though differences exist, not any one group is superior or inferior.