Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Genesis 10:6-14 comments: Ham's descendants

6 ¶  And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. 7  And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. 8  And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9  He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. 10  And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11  Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, 12  And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. 13  And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 14  And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

Ham’s sons included Cush. Cush has long been associated with the region of the Sudan and Ethiopia south of Egypt. The word is translated as Ethiopia in a number of places. See Ezekiel 29:10. The kingdom of Cush was located in the area of Nubia in Northern Sudan.

Mizraim lends his name to the Hebrew name for Egypt.

Genesis 50:11  And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.

Mizraim’s son Casluhim gives birth to the Philistine culture. So, the Philistines were related to the Egyptians.

Phut, eventually lived between Egypt and Canaan, perhaps, but the Jewish historical writer, Josephus, names the people of Phut as the founders of ancient Libya.

Canaan, as we know from extensive writing in the Bible, lived in what we call Palestine and environs.

But, none of these geographical relationships are yet established. Remember, that everyone is still together, still pretty much probably brown-skinned, dark-haired, and brown-eyed, speaking one language moving about in the region of the ancient Near East.

The most notable of Cush’s sons was the first ancient conqueror, a man who brought people together, you might say. His name was Nimrod. He is said to be a mighty one in the earth and a mighty hunter before the Lord. At least one myth I have read details that he led people in defense against the great proliferation of predators, lions and such, after the Flood, therefore justifying the hunter epithet. He would represent the first world empire.

Nimrod founds four cities of note in the land of Shinar, which is where we will soon see that the  families of Noah journeyed after leaving the ark. Shinar is the ancient name for the region of Babylonia. Think of the area centered on Iraq today. Nimrod, Cush’s son, builds Babel in the south while Asshur, Shem’s son, builds Nineveh, which will become the capital of Assyria, the northern part of the culture that includes Babylon.

The world of men is one, united in culture, language, and color.

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