What does Genesis 10:17 mean?
ESV: the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites,
NIV: Hivites, Arkites, Sinites,
NASB: the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite,
CSB: the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites,
NLT: Hivites, Arkites, Sinites,
KJV: And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
Verse Commentary:
Canaan was a son of Ham, a son of Noah. This passage lists the descendants of Canaan, most of whom would go on to become great enemies of the nation of Israel. These Canaanites go on to occupy the Promised Land which the people of Israel will conquer after the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 3:17). In chapter 9, Noah's son Ham gravely dishonors him, resulting in Noah placing a curse on Ham's son, Canaan (Genesis 9:20–25). Over time, the Canaanite people would sink further and further into evil and depravity. By the time Israel was freed from Egypt, as told in the book of Exodus, God was prepared to send judgment. This came in the form of Israel, who was allowed to conquer the land of Canaan, not because of their own merit, but in order to punish the sins of Canaan's descendants (Deuteronomy 9:3–6).

Verse 17 mentions the Hivites, the Arkites, and the Sinites, groups that apparently settled mostly in the north.
Verse Context:
Genesis 10:6–20 details the descendants of Noah's son, Ham. The majority of these tribes settled in the regions south and east of the Promised Land. While Ham's son Canaan was cursed (Genesis 9:24–25), many of Ham's descendants established powerful nations. One of these is Mizraim, also known as Egypt. Though Canaan's sons were destined to fall to the sons of Shem, other sons of Ham would hold Israel captive for more than 400 years. This passage also contains an interesting aside about one particular man: Nimrod.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 10 is sometimes called the table of nations. It describes, in three sections, the peoples that descended from Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Japheth's people settled mostly to the north of what would be Israel. Ham's people became great nations in the region of the Middle East, including the people that would settle in the Promised Land before Israel drove them out. Shem's line would lead to Abraham and the Israelites.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 9 described events that happened between God, Noah, and his three sons after the flood. Genesis 11 will tell the story of the Tower of Babel and the dispersal of the nations. Between them, Genesis 10 is a table of the nations that come from Japheth, Ham, and Shem after God divides and disperses humanity.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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