Genesis 10:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 10:5, NIV: "(From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)"

Genesis 10:5, ESV: "From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations."

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

Genesis 10:5, NASB: "From these the people of the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations."

Genesis 10:5, NLT: "Their descendants became the seafaring peoples that spread out to various lands, each identified by its own language, clan, and national identity."

Genesis 10:5, CSB: "From these descendants, the peoples of the coasts and islands spread out into their lands according to their clans in their nations, each with its own language."

What does Genesis 10:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

All the ancient world's nations are described in this passage, according to their descent from Noah. Other genealogies in the Bible follow a chain of fathers and sons deep into history. This text is broad, showing the various tribes which came from the major descendants of Noah. The previous verses named the sons and grandsons of Japheth. From Israel's perspective, the tribes and nations that formed from these men were located, for the most part, to the far north. Most of these tribes would have little impact on Israel's history, until their descendants—the Greeks—conquered Israel's territory under Alexander the Great.

It's helpful to remember that this spreading out and having separate languages came after the events surrounding the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. Until that time, all the people of the earth were concentrated in one region and spoke one language.