The Table of Nations

tableNow this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. (Genesis 10:1)

The sons of Japheth were… (Genesis 10:2)

The sons of Ham were… (Genesis 10:6)

And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder. The sons of Shem were… (Genesis 10:21-22)

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. (Genesis 10:32)

Genesis 10 is commonly called The Table of Nations. It is a fascinating, fairly complicated chapter which details the growth and dispersal of the human population after the flood … from eight people the entire world became repopulated. It’s accurate to say that every person alive today can name Mr. and Mrs. Noah as their progenitors. All human beings everywhere came from the family of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These three families represent the Semitic peoples, Asian and African peoples, and Indo-European peoples (

Is the Bible account realistic in this regard? Now available DNA information confirms the relationship and commonalities between various ethnic groups. Population growth estimates easily confirm the reasonableness of the Biblical account.

According to, “world population grows when more people are born than die. The current growth rate of the world population is about 1.7% per year.In other words, for every 100 million people, 1.7 million are added every year; i.e. births net of deaths. It is relatively easy to calculate the growth rate needed to get today’s population from Noah’s three sons and their wives, after the Flood. With the Flood at about 4,500 years ago, it needs less than 0.5% per year growth.That’s not very much.”

In other words, there is no reason to doubt that world population could have easily increased from Noah’s day to the present population of 7.2 billion (see also Dr. Henry Morris,

Biblical commentators Keil and Delitzsch summarize this chapter beautifully:

“For it not only indicates the place of the family which was chosen as the recipient of divine revelation among the rest of the nations, but traces the origin of the entire world, with the prophetical intention of showing that the nations, although they were quickly suffered to walk in their own ways (Act 14:16), were not intended to be forever excluded from the counsels of eternal love.” (Keil and Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary)

For further study and excellent insights, refer to “Notes on Shem, Ham and Japheth” and “Notes on the Table of Nations” by Ray C. Stedman (

For Further Review

1.  How has your confidence in Bible history and the accuracy of the Bible increased by reading about the Table of Nations?

2.  Read Acts 17:25-28. From that passage, what great purpose of God is learned from the way the nations were formed and situated?

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: