Genesis Segment 09 (9:1-11:9)

 Originally Published 07/16/2002

Gen 9:1  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

To bless is to bestow favor upon someone. God bestowed His favor upon Noah and his sons. Why did God favor Noah’s family? We simply need to remember the reason God chose Noah and his family in the first place. In Genesis 6:8 we find, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD“. The key word in this passage is grace. The English definition is “favor; good will; kindness; disposition to oblige another”. It is also the unmerited favor of God. God chose Noah for no other reason than His unmerited favor or grace. See  Segment 7.

Then we see the command that God gave to Adam and Eve repeated here. The word, replenish, in the KJV is a word that currently means to refill the earth. Yet, in 1611, when the KJV was first compiled, indeed, even as late as the nineteenth century in the USA, the word replenish simply meant to fill; not to refill. The Webster 1828 dictionary confirms this as do the Oxford Dictionary and Encarta Dictionary. Today that use of the word is archaic. So, Noah and his sons were to have children to fill the earth by the command of God.

Gen 9:2-3  And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.  (3)  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

There were many changes after the flood. The first change was that rain began. Prior to the flood, there was no rain. The climate, which had maintained an even temperature worldwide, changed. Now there were seasons and temperature variations depending on the latitude. Perhaps the earth’s axis shifted to its current tilt, where before it was tilted differently in relation to the orbital plane of the earth; essentially, we really do not understand all the changes made during the flood. Men enjoyed a much greater lifespan prior to the flood. Perhaps this was because the vapor canopy surrounding the earth blocked all cosmic rays. That canopy was now gone. Only the atmosphere shielded harmful radiation from space, allowing much of it to get through. Additionally, the men began to eat the flesh of animals and the animals became afraid of men. Apparently man and animals lived together in harmony prior to the flood. There were other changes which we will discuss when we reach those places.

Gen 9:4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Blood was important mainly because without blood there is no life. The blood sustains life by providing fuel and oxygen to the muscles and to the different cells, organs, and processes needed to support life. It also takes away carbon dioxide and spent fuel or waste and carries it to the organs that dispose of the waste. The bible mentions several things associated with blood. It shows God’s mercy in that Christ shed his blood for us. Blood was used to seal covenants; blood was used to sanctify priests; blood redeems us; blood sanctifies us; blood provides atonement; the blood of sacrifices cleanses men and objects.

Blood atonement is vicarious; the blood of the victim is exchanged for the life of the sinner. The blood is the life. If blood can be exchanged for life then blood is as valuable as life, therefore we are not to eat the blood of the animals we slay for food. This was reiterated in the New Testament in Acts 15:20 & 25. We are told in Heb 9:22 that there is no atonement for sin without the shedding of blood. Christ ultimately fulfilled this requirement at the cross. His blood was far superior by an infinite degree, for it provides atonement for sins once for all even through eternity.

Gen 9:5  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. (6) Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.. 

Capital punishment for murder has very ancient roots. Here it goes all the way back to the flood. Adopting a very literal interpretation of the Old Testament and its genealogies, Archbishop James Ussher, in AD 1650, calculated that the flood occurred circa 2350 BC, which was over 4500 years ago. However, we must take into consideration that these dates are questioned by many scholars. (We remain on the subject capital punishment.) Some archaeologists believe that we can say with some degree of accuracy that many monuments, such as Egypt’s Sphinx and Pyramids, were built at an earlier date. The believe it is likely that the flood was much further back in history than Ussher’s date. Some even suggest that the flood occurred 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. In our study, we will accept Ussher’s date; thus, capital punishment for murder has been around at least 4500 years.

Now if someone kills another person’s animal, whether it be a pet, or livestock, capital punishment does no apply. That person must make restitution for that death (Ex 21:34-35). If an animal kills a man, that animal was to be put to death (Ex 21:28). In rare cases, where it could be proved that a man knew his beast was a killer, then the owner could also be put to death. There is always a trade off for the malicious killing of people or animals.  That trade off either manifests itself in capital punishment or in restitution. Malicious killing is not to go unpunished. There are, however, much more lenient rules for accidental killing. Those are discussed in depth in Numbers 35 and Deuteronomy 19.

Gen 9:7  And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

Note that God told Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply back in Gen 9:1, the beginning of this discourse. After telling them that, God then gave them instructions in verses 2 through 7 on preserving the fruit they were to multiply. He then reiterates the command to be fruitful and multiply. They were to “bring forth abundantly” which means to swarm or teem. It also implies that they spread out across the earth, for the word rendered abundantly means to multiply, to swarm, and/or to teem with a secondary connotation of to move or to creep. The sense of the entire verse is, be fruitful, that is have many children so that you will become a large population. Then the command is to do so abundantly across the entire earth (this was disobeyed at the Tower of Babel) and to multiply in every place on the earth. It can also mean to become powerful, implying that with power they can have dominion over the earth.

In the Septuagint, there is implication in the Greek word for multiply or bringing to completion something previously begun. Thus the Brenton English translation of the Septuagint renders the verse “But do ye increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and have dominion over it.” In Gen 1:28, Adam and Eve were told to be fruitful, multiply, fill, and subdue the earth and have dominion over it and all that is in it. That endeavor was cut short by the flood thus leaving it as unfinished business. Noah and his family were to complete that domination of the earth by filling it, which helps us to understand Sir Lancelot Brenton’s translation of this verse. Other translations of the LXX apparently do not disclose this nuance.

Gen 9:8-10  And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,  (9)  And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;  (10)  And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

Thus begins the Noahic Covenant. God mad the covenant not only with Noah, but with his posterity, and with the terrestrial animal kingdom, that is, the fauna on the ark. In other words, with the earth and all that is in it.

Gen 9:11  And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Here is the essence of the covenant. Never again will the LORD destroy life with a flood nor will a flood ever destroy the earth again. The Bible is specific to say the old earth will be destroyed or purified by fire and all the old sinful things will end (2 Pet 3:5-7).

Gen 9:12-13  And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:  (13)  I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

The covenant is made to all generations on the earth until the earth is renewed at the end of the age. The covenant was not only with Noah, but with us today, and with every generation since Noah and every generation on the earth until the end of time. The token or sign of the covenant is the rainbow. That is God’s signature that the covenant is in effect. When we sign a contract today, say for a new car loan, the token or sign that we are a party to and will abide by the contract is our signature. When see a rainbow today, it is the sign of God’s covenant made with us today, for we are a part of perpetual generations. It is God’s sign to us that He will never again destroy the earth by a flood.

Gen 9:14-17  And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:  (15)  And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.  (16)  And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.  (17)  And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

God does not forget so that he has to remember something He has forgotten. When the rainbow shows in the clouds, it tells us that God has kept His covenant in mind and it is still in force. In this case, the word ‘remember’ means to bear or to keep in mind, or attend to.

Gen 9:18  And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

The last phrase says that Canaan is Ham’s son. This is explanatory so that we will understand who Canaan is later in this narrative. Shem means name, which can be seen as a renowned person. Ham means hot; Japheth means opened, which can also be understood as enlarged. Canaan, or Kenaan basically means low like in lowland or humiliated.

Gen 9:19  These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

The Hebrew sentence is seven words. The verse covers many years and generations until the progeny of these three spread throughout the earth. The verse is simply an explanation of Shem and Ham and Japheth and their progeny. It does not begin the story of their exploits. We are still in the midst of the story of Noah.

Gen 9:20  And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

A husbandman is a farmer.

I planted a new scuppernong grapevine in my garden about eight years ago. Just last year was the first time the vine produced fruit. After researching this issue, I found that most experts say it takes 3 years to produce fruit from grape seeds. That may be true for professionals, but my experience is different. However, I let the vine grow naturally without pruning, irrigation other than rain, or fertilizer. We can assume that Noah had seed in the supplies he took upon the ark. It took Noah at a minimum, three years to grow grapes. Wine only takes a few weeks to become alcoholic. Most wine makers age their wines, but you could drink it after a few weeks and get drunk.

Noah had to wait at least three years to produce mediocre quality wine, so there were other activities in between. We may make an educated guess, that their first priority was shelter and then they had to produce food before the supplies upon the ark ran out. As farmers, he and his sons had to get some crops going. So Noah may have actually taken more that three years to get grapes from his vines. At any rate, a good period of time had passed since they completely disembarked the ark.

Gen 9:21-25  And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.  (22)  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.  (23)  And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.  (24)  And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.  (25)  And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

Noah got drunk. There are many prohibitions and warnings about drunkenness in the Bible. In the New Testament, Paul specifically tells us in Ephesians 5:18 not to be drunk with wine but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In our modern times, most governments have laws against public drunkenness. Yet, in Noah’s day we do not know of any prohibition against drunkenness, and Noah was not drunk in public but in his home. One aspect of this story is that it is written to dissuade drunkenness. Apparently Noah was “passing-out-drunk” for he was unable to perceive what Ham did while he was passed out in his tent. Noah had a bad experience with it and probably did not try to get drunk again. See Prov 20:1; 23:31-35; Isa 5:11; 28:7; 29:9; Rom 13:13; Gal 5:21. Drunkenness is a sin and Noah did sin by becoming drunk. But the Scriptures do not dwell on Noah’s sin, but rather on Ham’s sin.

The “rest of the story” as a beloved and well known commentator would say, is a bit difficult to explain. Taking this passage at face value, it probably is a literal fact that Noah was lying nude in his tent. That, of course is not a sin. To be naked in one’s own house in private is not sinful or shameful. Nakedness was considered shameful when another person saw someone naked. Christ on the cross had the shame of being naked for the entire world to see (Psalm 22:18; Mat 27:35; Luk 23:34; Mark 15:24; John 19:23). Thus, Noah was in a state where he could be shamed. Consequently, when Ham went into his father’s tent where he saw his father lying there naked and this brought shame against Noah.

Again, taking this passage at face value, he went outside and told his brothers perhaps hoping they would go in the tent and they all would have a good laugh. But the other two respected their father and went in and covered him up, thus preventing him from being shamed again. When Noah got over his drunkenness (and probably his hangover), he became aware of what Ham had done. So Noah cursed Canaan, Ham’s son, thus double cursing Ham for now the curse would flow from father to son. We are not specifically told how this action on Ham’s part was so sinful that it exacted a curse, just that it did so.

A scenario that seems to explain this more fully is taken from the law. Lev 20:11 states, “And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” This law did not apply in Noah’s day, but its significance is that it explains uncovering one’s father’s nakedness. According to this interpreting of the term “uncovered his father’s nakedness” we understand it to mean that the son has committed adultery with his father’s wife. Deu 27:20 states, “Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt.” So the son that commits adultery with his father’s wife has uncovered the man’s nakedness, and he should be cursed. Now the wife of the father may or not be the son’s mother. Polygamy was accepted then, and of course a father might remarry after the death of his first wife. If we look further at the law about uncovering a person’s nakedness, we see it means to have illicit sexual relations with a person. For examples, see Lev 20:17-21.

Why is that? It is likely that Noah’s wife was pregnant with Canaan, Ham’s illegitimate son due to the incestuous relationship between Ham and Noah’s wife. This wife may not have been Ham’s mother for his mother may have died and after her death, Noah may have married another wife. This is pure speculation, for the Scriptures are silent on this, yet it is plausible. In this scenario, Ham went into his father’s tent where Noah was drunk, committed adultery and incest with Noah’s wife. When Noah found out later, perhaps because his wife was pregnant with Canaan, he cursed the child of the adulterous act. This is a reasonable assumption for several reasons. First, we are told in verse eighteen that Ham was the son of Canaan. No other sons of either Shem or Japheth are mentioned, just Canaan. The reason that is stated is important for the Bible would not mention it if it was not significant. The significance is to make sure no one confused Canaan with Noah. This makes certain that the hearers of this story knew that Ham was in no way Noah’s son when it was told verbally (and later for readers of the story when it was written down). In verse 22, we are again reminded that Canaan was Ham’s son and not Noah’s son. In the Genealogies, in Gen 10:6, it appears that Canaan was Ham’s fourth son. That would mean that Ham had the other sons before this incident with Noah in his tent. However, there is the possibility that Canaan may have been the firstborn. Since Canaan was cursed, he may have been legally placed last in the line of inheritance because of the curse.  The other possibility is that this happened after Ham had his first three sons.

The case for the incestuous relationship between Ham and his father’s wife is strongly supported by the scriptures, and the case for Canaan to have been born to Noah’s wife for several reasons:

  • The scriptures inform us that having a sexual relationship with one’s mother, step mother, or sister is uncovering his father’s nakedness. Incestuous relationships are uncovering one’s father’s nakedness (Deut 27:20; Lev 20:11; 17).
  • Noah was uncovered in his tent. Thus when Ham went into his father’s tent, he uncovered his father’s nakedness.
  • The scriptures adamantly state that Canaan was Ham’s son to make sure no one thought he was a son of Noah. This implies that Noah’s wife bore the child (Gen 9:18; 22).
  • Noah never had any children after the flood even though God told Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply (see genealogy of Noah in Genesis 10). This implies that Noah never had a sexual relationship with his wife after she became pregnant with Ham’s son. Noah would not have wanted a further relationship with her after her adultery.
  • Why would Noah curse Canaan for the act of his father, Ham? Why not curse Ham. He cursed Canaan, who was the illegitimate child of Ham, to make sure he, Canaan, had no inheritance in Noah’s line. (Blessing was reserved for the son who received the lion’s share of the inheritance; cursing would have removed any claim the son had to his father’s—or grandfather’s—inheritance).
  • When Ham told his brothers what had happened, they tried to cover up Ham’s sin. Unfortunately that did not work, for Noah found out about the sin.
  • Finally, this scenario better explains why Ham’s sin was so grievous. Again, this is all speculation for the Scriptures do not expound further than the fact the Ham saw the nakedness of Noah.

Many in history (and even up to the present time) have concluded that this passage is a biblical mandate for slavery in the antebellum south in the United States. Nothing could be further from the truth. The curse of Canaan had absolutely nothing to do with slavery, period! It had everything to do with Ham’s incest with his father’s wife. Ham was attempting to wrest Noah’s authority as the Patriarch of the family by lying with his wife, thus attempting to possess her and depose his father (See 2 Sam 16:21; 22).

The Bible is quite plain in its opposition to forced slavery. Exo 21:16 states, “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.” In other words, kidnapping a person and selling that person into slavery was punishable by death in the Old Testament. That is exactly how slavery was conducted in the USA prior to the Civil War. People were kidnapped in Africa, transported the USA, and then sold into slavery. That is not allowed in the Bible. Many pre-Civil War Southern Congressmen, Senators, Columnists, and yes, even Christian pastors of several denominations twisted the Scriptures to condone such a heinous practice. Slavery is a blot on the American experiment, which was only corrected by the spilling of much American blood.

Gen 9:26  And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

This blessing is indirectly upon Shem because the blessing was upon Yehovah God, Who was Shem’s God. Therefore Shem would get a bountiful harvest of blessings through His God, the God of Shem, Heber, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Shem was further blessed because God chose his descendant Abraham and Abraham’s descendants for His Chosen People. Through the progeny of Shem would come Messiah. Hence Shem was well blessed. The fact that Hashem (The Name) is one of the names of God is a further blessing.

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing,
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
The glories of my God and king!
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Blessed be the Name;
Blessed be the Name;
Blessed be the Name of the Lord;
Blessed be the Name;
Blessed be the Name;
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Hymn by Charles Wesley, 1839, Public Domain

Gen 9:27  God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

The name Japheth means opened or enlarged, thus his territory would be a large one. It has been said by commentators that his territory included Asia Minor, Europe, and even America. We cannot prove that but when the Bible says his territory was a large one, that is the truth even if we do not know its boundaries. We are given a list of his territories through the names of his offspring in Gen 10:2-5. Some of his progeny would dwell in the lands of Shem’s descendants, thus dwelling in Shem’s tents.

Gen 9:28-29  And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.  (29)  And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

Three hundred fifty years is long enough for a sizeable population to inhabit the earth. Looking at the average number of males listed in the generations of Noah’s three sons, and considering that daughters were also born one commentator arrived at an average of 8.1 children per family. In the second generation, using that average, there would be about 130 people. Several commentators consider a generation to be 30 or 35 years, which would give a family enough time to raise children to maturity. Using these figures, Noah lived about ten or eleven generations after the flood, so at his death the population would be over 100,000. (Using a calculator, starting at 130, double that number 10 times and you get 133, 120).

Noah and his sons were the last of the long living Patriarchs. As discussed before in this treatise there is a good chance that the removal of the water vapor from above the atmosphere during the flood allowed harmful cosmic rays to affect the longevity of humans, reducing their lifespan. Some claim that a change in genes occurred at this time, causing the reduction. Still others simply say that God changed the lifespan of humans after the flood. All are possible. Whatever the reason, the lifespan of humans has shortened dramatically since antediluvian times.

(Gen 10:1-4) Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.{2} The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. {3} And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. {4} And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

I will not comment on the nations listed here, for that is another study for another time. Listings are available in books and online.

(Gen 10:5) By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

The word goy, rendered Gentile, actually means a non-Israelite and the plural goyim, can be translated nations. The offspring and nations that came from Japheth are called Gentiles here. The context shows us that Gentiles means nations here. The Hebrew word rendered isles, can mean coastlands or islands but it can also mean habitable spot, or distant lands, but not necessarily islands. The “isles of the Gentiles” means the countries of the foreign nations, some of which were coastlands, some islands, and some distant lands. This must look forward to the time after the division of nations after the Tower of Babel.

(Gen 10:6-9) And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. {7} And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. {8} And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. {9} He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

Nimrod is the main subject and the name means rebel or one who rebels. Nimrod was a gibbor, which is rendered mighty one in verse 8. He was a tyrant, a warrior, and a bully in addition to being a mighty hunter. He was a leader of men, especially warrior types. Gibbor is the name given to the offspring of the daughters of men and the sons of God in Genesis 6:4.

(Gen 10:10) And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Nimrod was the founder of Babylonnia. Some scholars believed that Nimrod was Sargon the Magnificent. If this is so, then Nimrod must have consolidated the cities into one nation. But modern archaeology has cast doubts on that association.

(Gen 10:11) Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

The KJV is very misleading here. The literal translation of this verse is  “From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and the broad placed of the city Rehoboth, and Calah,”

Nimrod went to Assyria and built Ninevah, Rehoboth, and Calah.

(Gen 10:12) And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. 

Nimrod also built Resen.

(Gen 10:13-19) And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, {14} And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim. {15} And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, {16} And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, {17} And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, {18} And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. {19} And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

You will find many of these nations listed as the conquests of Joshua in the Book of Joshua.

(Gen 10:20) These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

The above is another listing of Ham’s families.

(Gen 10:21) Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

It appears from many passages scripture that Shem was Noah’s firstborn (Gen 5:32, 6:10, I Chron 1:4, etc.). However, this verse plainly tells us that Japheth was the eldest of the three. Shem is the greatest of the three. Scripture tells us that Japheth’s descendants lived in the land of Shem’s descendants and that Ham’s progeny would be the servants of the other two. Thus Shem gets first base billing in the Scriptures, which is is why Shem usually appears first in Scripture.

Please note that this is not the only time in Scripture that the second born received the inheritance of the first born. There are a number of such examples. The first is Abram, who was 60 years younger that Terah’s firstborn. Terah was 205 years old when he died (Genesis 11:32), and Abraham departed Haran when he was 75 (Genesis 12:4). That would make Terah was 130, not 70, when Abraham was born. Therefore at least one or perhaps both of Terah’s sons were older that Abram. It is likely that Abraham was older than Nahor and younger than Haran, for Nahor married Haran’s daughter. So Abram was the second born. If, on the other hand, Nahor was older than Abram, then, because Haran died, Abram was still the acting second born.

Isaac was Abraham’s second born but he received the inheritance because Ishmael was banished from Abram’s presence (Gen 21:12). Jacob was the second born of Isaac, but because of trickery on his mother’s part, Jacob received the inheritance (Gen 27:6-30). Ephraim was Joseph’s second born but he received the inheritance because Jacob, under inspiration from God, gave his blessing to Ephraim (Gen 48:19). Finally, Jesus was God’s second born and Adam was first. Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand and is Lord over all of creation. The blessing of life is on all humanity throughout all eternity through Jesus death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor 15:45). Perez, Joseph, and Solomon were all second born children that received the birthright. Of course this was fulfilled when Christ the second Adam came to redeem the world. It also looks forward to the second born creation of earth (2 Pet 3:7, 10-13). The first was corrupted by sin (Rom 5:12, 19), the second will be perfect (Rev 22:1-5).

(Gen 10:22-24) The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. {23} And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. {24} And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

Eber is the progenitor and namesake of the Hebrews. Eber means across on the opposite side of the River. Originally Abram crossed the Euphrates, but during Jacob’s Kindgom, Eber meant across the Jordan.

(Gen 10:25) And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

Peleg, Abram’s progenitor, means Earthquake and rill (a ditch in which water flows) and comes from a root, palag (Strong’s 6385), meaning to split or divide. When was the earth divided? After the flood. Joktan means “to diminish.” The earth was divided which dimished the power of men.

(Gen 10:26-31) And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, {27} And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, {28} And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, {29} And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. {30} And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east. {31} These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

There are some interesting names here. A good study would be to examine these names with a Hebrew lexicon.

(Gen 10:32) These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

This verse sums up that these were the nations (Hebrew goy, or Gentiles) as they were divided, that is, as they spread out after the flood.

Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Anthropologists would say Hebrew came from the Northwest Semitic group of the Afroasiatic language family, specifically Canaanite language. Canaanite was an early form of Hebrew. (Tubb, Jonathan N. (1998), “Canaanites” (British Museum People of the Past))

(Gen 11:2) And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Who are “they”? They are the whole earth from the previous verse. Note this for future reference and studies. They moved “from the east,” which means they moved toward the west. Throughout history, peoples generally moved toward the west, with exceptions, of course.

Shinar is an interesting word. It’s roots are shanah (Strong’s 8138), a primary root meaning to fold or duplicate (or double), and sometimes to change, and nahar (Strong’s 5104) meaning river. According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, the word shinar means the same as the word Mesopotamia, “country of two great rivers.” Mesopotamia is Greek for “between the rivers,” and shana means double and nahar means river, so, quite literally, shinar means double rivers. Shinar is basically Babylonia not including Asshur (Assyria) or Susa. Like Mesopotamia, it was located between the Tigris and Euphrates (modern Iraq).

(Gen 11:3) And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

The bricks were baked in a kiln rather than dried in the sun, thus they were much stronger. The slime was the cement used to bind the brick together in buildings. Slime (chemar, Strong’s 2564) is what Noah used to coat the ark and what Moses’ natural mother used on the ark of bulrushes that Moses lay in. According to Strong’s it is bitumen. They used asphalt to bind the bricks together.

(Gen 11:4) And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

It is important to understand what is going on here. It would not be in the Word if God had not wanted it there. First, they built a city, the city of Babylon, built by Nimrod (rebel), who rebelled against Yehovah (Gen 10:8-12). Nimrod hunted men to rebel with him against God. Here, “they” applies to verse one, the whole earth. It is likely that those who rebelled with Nimrod were the ringleaders. God always preserves a remnant, so not everyone alive at that time joined in the building of the tower. The tower was in the city of Babylon and from the beginning it was a rebellion against God, which we will discuss later.

First, let us discuss the tower. Tower is the word migdal (Strong’s 4026). It is of interest to note Mary Magdalene. She was from Magdala, which means tower. Her name (Maria) is the Greek word for Miriam, which means rebellious! The phrase Mary Madalene could easily carry the meaning, rebelliousness from the tower! Jesus had cast out seven demons from her (Mar 16:9; Luk  8:2) and had received forgiveness through Jesus. The demons rebelled against God. Her own rebelliousness, like ours, was from the beginning. Mankind is rebellious and that is why mankind is so anti-God today. Humans have been so since the beginning (in Eden and at Babel). Even though we have a tendency to rebel against our Father, we can receive forgiveness just by asking.

Here is the literal Hebrew for the phrase, “a city and tower, and  its head the heavens” (YLT).Some scholars put it like this: “its top with the heavens.” In the KJV, the use of italics indicates words added by the translators, supposedly for clarity, but sometimes it muddles the meaning. By adding “may reach,” the translators could make one think they tried to build a tower so high it would reach all the way to God, but that is impossible. Therefore the meaning must be something different. Heaven can mean the sky where the clouds are; it can mean space where the planets and stars are; or it can mean the abode of God. Paul referred to the third heaven, which he called paradise in 2 Cor 12:2-4. Obviously the third heaven in this context is the abode of Yehovah God. This lends to our discussion of three heavens—where the birds fly is the first heaven, where the stars reside in the second heaven, and the abode of God is the third heaven. It would have been impossible then as it is now to erect a structure that reaches through the atmosphere and into space. It seems quite obvious that the tower was to be a very tall one that reached up into the sky like a skyscraper. The word migdal, tower, comes from a root meaning “twisted.” It is easy to find a twisted tower today. A minaret looks like a twisted tower. Minarets are tall and twisted looking. Many depictions show it as a tower with a spiral staircase that gets thinner as it gets taller.

It is plausible, as some have suggested that the heavens were inside the tower on the ceiling in the form of the zodiac painted there. There are two temples in Egypt with the heavens as their top. One is the temple of Denderah, the other the temple of Esneh. The “heavens” which are part of the temple tops are depictions of the Zodiac. The Zodiac is inscribed on the ceilings of the temples. However this is only conjecture and does not fit the context or the wording of the passage.

The words, “let us make us a name” can be understood to say, let us put ourselves is a conspicuous position and make a memorial to ourselves. The Hebrew for name here is shem (Strong’s 8034). It literally means a name used as a mark or memorial of individuality. By implication it means honor, authority, and character. They were trying to honor themselves and not God. They were doing what many are trying to do today. They were trying to unite in a world government with man as the head, rejecting God as the head. Nothing has changed since that day. Today, secular humanism and globalism go hand in hand. Men are still trying to unite the world into one group and one language, and to eradicate God.

The UN Declaration of Human Rights states in Article I, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Note that it does not say Who endowed them with these things. Article 18 says, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” This sounds great, but look at Article 29, Section 3. It states, “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.” This one rule allows the UN to deny any of the supposed “rights” in the entire declaration at will and without explanation. That means that the UN is the authority that gives and takes away rights. The UN Declaration of Human Rights is a smorgasbord of progressive humanist policies; there is no room for God in it.

Globalism goes something like this: Mankind has many problems and social ills. Mankind would be able fix those problems and ills if they could just get together. Only by coming together as one world, can mankind finally eradicate all the problems. We don’t need God. We can do it without Him.

This is as true today as it was back on the plain of Shinar at the tower of Babel. Men wanted to put themselves above God. Remember what Lucifer did: (Isa 14:13-14) “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: {14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” This is what was going on at the tower of Babel. The tower was a monument to themselves.

(Gen 11:5-6) And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. {6} And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

The word for “united” or “one” is ‘echad (Strong’s 259); it means unity, that is, several unified into one. It could just as easily be pronounced akad. Accad or Akkad is one of Nimrod’s cities. It is also the early name for Babylonia and it is where the rebellious people united to build the Tower of Babel. Akkadia was in the northern part of Babylonia. Akkad, Sumer, and Babylon were all centers of idolatry and rebellion from God. Many of the world’s religions have as their roots the religion of these cities of Nimrod. Many teach that Christianity and Judaism are a mere evolution of polytheism. The reality is that Yehovah was originally worshipped and then men rebelled against God and started their own religions and created their own gods. The worship of Yehovah is from the beginning. All other religions are corruptions.

(Gen 11:7) Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

Us =The Trinity. In the Shema, it says, “Hear O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deu 6:4). Echad is translated “one.” Since the word indicates several unified into one, it speaks of the Trinity in the Old Testament. The word for confound means to mix. So God mixed up their speech so they would not as easily communicate. It seems like an instantaneous event.

(Gen 11:8) So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Here, the word to scatter (puwts) literally means to dash in pieces. The word for abroad actually means to scatter words. Literally, the verse says that God scattered the people and their words from there outwards over the entire earth, world, area, etc. The Hebrew is ‘erets. This confusion caused them to stop building the city of Babylon, though it was eventually built by the Babylonians and not by the entire world acting as one body.

(Gen 11:9) Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Strong’s definition for Babel:

894. Babel, baw-bel’; from 1101; confusion; Babel (i.e. Babylon), including Babylonia and the Babylonian empire:–Babel, Babylon.

1101. balal, baw-lal’; a prim. root; to overflow (specifically with oil); by implication to mix; also (denominative from 1098) to fodder:–anoint, confound, fade, mingle, mix (self), give provender, temper.

1098. beliyl, bel-eel’; from 1101; mixed, i.e. (specifically) feed (for cattle):–corn, fodder, provender.

Whenever you see Babylon in any part of the Bible, including the Revelation, think confusion. Also think about what was attempted at Babel: one world government of man.

If we take this to it’s logical conclusion, this is where the nations came from. God confused the language, breaking it into hundreds of different dialects so that men could not come together in a one world government. At the same time, He spread folks out unto the ends of the earth. Perhaps the races occurred when the human body adapted to its surroundings. This is not macro-evolution. The human body has the God-given ability to adapt to environmental conditions without becoming another species. As an example, the height of adults varies in different population groups. Wikipedia, in an article entitled “Human Height” states, “Adult height between populations often differs significantly. . . For example, the average height of women from the Czech Republic is greater than that of men from Malawi. This may be caused by genetic differences, childhood lifestyle differences (nutrition, sleep patterns, physical labor), or both.” The article sites several document sources to corroborate this. See the article and its footnotes at Alternatively, perhaps God simply created the races from Shem, Japheth, and Ham.

I concur with many geologists that claim the continents were once one giant continent, called Pangaea, that separated into the current continents by drifting apart. But even prior to this, the theory goes, there was supposedly another supercontinent, Rodina that broke apart and eventually came back together again and formed Pangaea. Then Pangaea separated into the continents we see today.

The following is a very simple and concise explanation of how the continents drift. There are ample resources available to learn more deeply about Continental Drift. The theory or concept explaining how the continents move is called Plate Tectonics. In this concept, the earth is made up of thick plates of rock floating on the molten magma in the earth’s upper mantle. These plates, some 50 to 250 miles thick, move slowly, approximately 4/10 of an inch to as much as 4 inches (1 -10 cm) per year. They are formed on the sea floor where molten magma pushes upward, cools and solidifies in the frigid water, and forms the rock plates that move away from each other. Some collide with one another, pushing the crust upward forming mountain ranges. Some plates slip under other plates in subduction zones and are pushed downward into the magma, where they are melted by the intense heat into magma once again. Others simply slip past one another in jerks, causing earthquakes. In this way, according to the theory, the continents divided to their current location over a period of 200 million years plus. According to this model, where I’m sitting at this very moment in NW Florida was once a part of what is now northern Africa and northern South America, perhaps Venezuela.

One Biblical explanation for the separated continents is that there was a cataclysm that caused the continents to separate and that was the deluge known as Noah’s flood. The waters drained from the land masses quickly settling into basins that pushed up the land masses we see today that are known as the continents. The mountains ranges, valleys, plains, gorges, caverns, stalactites, stalagmites and other geological features of the earth were caused by the flood. This happened in the period of one year. Of course, one could also say that God did this on the third day of creation when He separated the waters from the dry land in Genesis 1:9-10.

Whichever it was, God confused the language into many dialects and scattered humans all over the globe. How this was accomplished we are not told, but God is omnipotent and capable of anything. Perhaps He divided the continents when He confused the languages after the tower of Babel and not during creation or the flood. We do not know. We do know that men were spread over the entire world and the language was divided into many language groups.

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