What does Genesis 10:30 mean?
ESV: The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east.
NIV: The region where they lived stretched from Mesha toward Sephar, in the eastern hill country.
NASB: Now their settlement extended from Mesha going toward Sephar, the hill country of the east.
CSB: Their settlements extended from Mesha to Sephar, the eastern hill country.
NLT: The territory they occupied extended from Mesha all the way to Sephar in the eastern mountains.
KJV: And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.
The previous few verses listed the 13 sons of Joktan, the son of Eber. The names of several of these sons became well known as specific regions or people groups in the Middle East. This verse describes the geographical territory occupied by the various groups of people descended from Joktan. Scholars are uncertain of exactly what modern day areas these names represent. However, the information given in the broader passage indicates that Joktan was the father of the Arabic people.
This portion of Scripture is devoted to explaining how Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah's sons, became the ancestors of all of the world's nations. Some of the names listed here will become associated with famous—or infamous—cities or regions of the Bible. An explanation for how they found themselves living in different locations and speaking different languages, will come in chapter 11. Those details are part of the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–9).
Genesis 10:21–32 details the descendants of Noah's son, Shem. Shem's brothers, Japheth and Ham, fathered the nations described in the earlier portion of this chapter. Shem's children would be especially blessed by God. Into Shem's line, Abraham (Abram) would be born, as would the nation of Israel, and eventually the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The context given here suggests that some of these descendants were born after the events of the Tower of Babel, explained in chapter 11.
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.
Accessed 12/6/2023 11:04:29 PM
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