The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham is the father of Canaan.) From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.
After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.
When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done. Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:
“May Canaan be cursed!
May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.”
Then Noah said,
“May the Lord, the God of Shem, be blessed,
and may Canaan be his servant!
May God expand the territory of Japheth!
May Japheth share the prosperity of Shem,[a]
and may Canaan be his servant.”
Noah lived another 350 years after the great flood. He lived 950 years, and then he died.
- 9:27 Hebrew May he live in the tents of Shem.
This is the account of the families of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah. Many children were born to them after the great flood.
Descendants of Japheth
The descendants of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
The descendants of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
The descendants of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.[a] Their descendants became the seafaring peoples that spread out to various lands, each identified by its own language, clan, and national identity.
Descendants of Ham
The descendants of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.
Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth. Since he was the greatest hunter in the world,[b] his name became proverbial. People would say, “This man is like Nimrod, the greatest hunter in the world.” He built his kingdom in the land of Babylonia,[c] with the cities of Babylon, Erech, Akkad, and Calneh. From there he expanded his territory to Assyria,[d] building the cities of Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and Resen (the great city located between Nineveh and Calah).
Mizraim was the ancestor of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, Pathrusites, Casluhites, and the Caphtorites, from whom the Philistines came.[e]
Canaan’s oldest son was Sidon, the ancestor of the Sidonians. Canaan was also the ancestor of the Hittites,[f] Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites. The Canaanite clans eventually spread out, and the territory of Canaan extended from Sidon in the north to Gerar and Gaza in the south, and east as far as Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, near Lasha.
These were the descendants of Ham, identified by clan, language, territory, and national identity.
Descendants of Shem
Sons were also born to Shem, the older brother of Japheth.[g] Shem was the ancestor of all the descendants of Eber.
The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
The descendants of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
Arphaxad was the father of Shelah,[h] and Shelah was the father of Eber.
Eber had two sons. The first was named Peleg (which means “division”), for during his lifetime the people of the world were divided into different language groups. His brother’s name was Joktan.
Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were descendants of Joktan. The territory they occupied extended from Mesha all the way to Sephar in the eastern mountains.
These were the descendants of Shem, identified by clan, language, territory, and national identity.
These are the clans that descended from Noah’s sons, arranged by nation according to their lines of descent. All the nations of the earth descended from these clans after the great flood.
- 10:4 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version (see also 1 Chr 1:7); most Hebrew manuscripts read Dodanim.
- 10:9 Hebrew a great hunter before the Lord; also in 10:9b.
- 10:10 Hebrew Shinar.
- 10:11 Or From that land Assyria went out.
- 10:14 Hebrew Casluhites, from whom the Philistines came, and Caphtorites. Compare Jer 47:4; Amos 9:7.
- 10:15 Hebrew ancestor of Heth.
- 10:21 Or Shem, whose older brother was Japheth.
- 10:24 Greek version reads Arphaxad was the father of Cainan, Cainan was the father of Shelah. Compare Luke 3:36.
The Tower of Babel
At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia[a] and settled there.
They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel,[b] because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.