What does Genesis 10:5 mean?
ESV: From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.
NIV: (From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)
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.
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.
NLT: Their descendants became the seafaring peoples that spread out to various lands, each identified by its own language, clan, and national identity.
KJV: By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
NKJV: From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
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.
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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