Genesis 10:18

ESV the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the clans of the Canaanites dispersed.
NIV Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered
NASB the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite; and afterward the families of the Canaanite were spread abroad.
CSB the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the Canaanite clans scattered.
NLT Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites. The Canaanite clans eventually spread out,
KJV And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

What does Genesis 10:18 mean?

This verse continues a list of the sons of Canaan, Noah's grandson. These sons of Canaan will become the Canaanites, the peoples occupying the Promised Land which the people of Israel will come to conquer after the Exodus from Egypt. This later conquest is God's judgment on the sins of the Canaanites (Deuteronomy 9:3–6), and a partial fulfillment of the curse levied against Canaan by Noah (Genesis 9:20–25).

Verse 18 lists the final three groups stemming from Canaan, each of which became a city-state in the north.

Arvad is a small island city off the coast of Syria, also known as Ruad Island. The Zemarites lived in the city of Sumur, which may have been just south of Arvad.

Hamath is in west central Syria today, called Hama. The people of that city served Israel's kings David (2 Samuel 8:9–10) and Solomon (2 Chronicles 8:4), and the city was later retaken by Jeroboam (2 Kings 14:28). This is one of many examples of the fulfillment of Noah's curse from Genesis 9 that the descendants of Canaan would become servants to the descendants of Shem (Genesis 9:26).

This verse ends with the statement that the clans of the Canaanites dispersed. This may refer to the dispersal to the region of Canaan after the events of the Tower of Babel described in Genesis chapter 11.
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