What does Genesis 10:3 mean?
ESV: The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
NIV: The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah.
NASB: The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
CSB: Gomer's sons: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
NLT: The descendants of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
KJV: And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
Chapter 10 is sometimes called the table of nations. In listing the names of the descendants of Noah's sons, it is also describing the origins of the nations of the ancient world. The chapter explains the divisions of earth's ancient tribes according to their family line. Rather than a deep line of fathers and sons, this passage shows a broad spread of brothers and cousins.
The previous verse listed Japheth's seven sons. This verse lists three sons of Japheth's son, Gomer. The descendants of these three sons became three tribes who settled to the north of the Promised Land. These people appear to be the Cimmerians, also known as the Scythians.
Genesis 10:1–5 details the descendants of Noah's son, Japheth. Japheth's sons will largely settle in the regions north of what would later become the nation of Israel. While some mention is made of these descendants, they will not be directly involved in many biblical events. Chapter 11 will describe the event that causes the peoples to be dispersed across the world into their separate regions.
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.
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.
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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