If you were to read the Bible out loud, and I don't know if you've ever done that but it can be quite fun to actually read a chapter or two out loud and then listen to yourself or listen to somebody reading it. If you were to read the Bible out loud at what is called pulpit speed, that is, slow enough to hear, it would take you, I'm told, straight through, 71 hours. You could do it in 71 hours. Read from Genesis to Revelation at pulpit speed. That averages out to be about 12 minutes per day in a year, 365 day year schedule. Now it is fun to do that until you get to Genesis ten. Because the names that are difficult, hard to pronounce, let alone hear, poses a challenge. We find ourselves in Genesis chapter ten tonight. There's a lot of names in chapter ten and eleven. I'll probably do most of the pronunciation more along the English way rather than the Hebrew way simply because that's what we're used to if you've ever read this chapter or these chapters before.
There's a lot of names and I know that it's always popular for parents to find unique names for their children, especially unique Bible names for their children. I'm just going to give you a word of advice: skip this chapter. There's a lot of weird names. You don't want to name your kid Nimrod—you'll find out why. You probably don't want to name your boy Arphaxad, Arphie for short, it just wouldn't be a good deal. There are some better names like Peter, James, John, and other New Testament names that might be more suitable but I'd stay away from some of these. Now Genesis has been about beginnings. The beginning of the universe—the beginning of everything, really, except for God Himself. We've seen the beginning of the earth, the beginning of the universe, the beginning of mankind, the beginning of marriage, the beginning of the family, the beginning of the Sabbath as God rested on the seventh day, the beginning of sacrifice, the beginning of the gospel in Genesis 3:15, we call that the protoevangeliam. That is, the gospel preached in advanced, proclaimed in advance. We've seen the beginning of human government last week in chapter nine and now we come to the beginning of nations in chapter ten.
Chapter ten is called the table of nations. It is after the flood. The boat has landed. Everybody gets off and those eight are now told to be fruitful, to multiply, and to fill the earth. So we have now the repeopling, if you will, or the repopulating of the earth. Three boys that Noah brought on the ark and their wives, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Shem was the youngest, Ham was the middle boy, Japheth was the oldest boy. They are mentioned in that order in chapter nine. And they're mentioned that way because, in order of importance redemptively, Shem is first. We'll see why tonight. But in chapter ten it begins in chronological order with the oldest boy first, that is, Japheth, and then Ham, and then Shem. Everybody tonight in this room is a descendent of Noah; can trace his or her lineage all the way back to Noah through one of these three boys. Or a combination of these three, because after all, peoples have multiplied on the earth, migrated to different parts of the earth, married and intermarried, etcetera, so we have a wonderful ethnic population now in our modern-day world. But it all stems back to these three.
All together there is a list of 70 nations that came from these three boys. Out of Shem will come 26 nations that are listed. Out of Ham, 30 nations that are listed. And out of Japheth, 14 nations that are listed. Everyone is related. So the table of nations: name after name after name. A list of people because God is interested in people. You might be interested to know that Genesis ten is one of the oldest ethnological tables, or lists, in the world. And many scholars believe it is the oldest ethnological list in the world. Now I know that if you ask the average believer who's a Bible student, and you say, 'Hey, what is the theme of the book of Genesis?' They're going to say it is a book of what? Beginnings. That's the theme. It's where everything begins. May I suggest to you another theme? Perhaps, the real theme of the book of Genesis, not beginnings, but the book of blessings. Because what we see is God being very, very selective in picking out and isolating a people group, getting ahold of a group of people, a nation in particular, through whom His promised Messiah, that He promised way back in chapter 3 verse 15, the One who will crush the head of Satan, that Messiah, that Deliverer who we know as Jesus Christ, that all of the world would be blessed through Him. And we're going to get that promise in chapter twelve, whenever by God's grace we get to chapter twelve. But God will say to Abraham that 'in you all the nations of the earth may be blessed.'
So we're going to see some very selective genealogical gathering as God will ferret out Japheth and Ham and focus on Shem. Why Shem? Because out of Shem will come Nahor, and out of Nahor will come Terah, and from Terah will come Abram, and Abram will marry Sarai and God will change their names to Abraham and Sarah. And from that man will come the nation of Israel. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve tribes, and the story will go on and culminate in Jesus Christ. So we find God reaching people and He does it through the line of Shem and we're going to find that is the focus of the last part of the chapter, chapter ten, beginning around verse 21 is the line of Shem. We'll cover Japheth, Ham, and then Shem and then chapter eleven as well which will take us all the way to Abraham.
If I were to give a title to chapter ten and eleven I would call it 'My Three Sons.' Now I say that tongue in cheek because I'm thinking of, I'm really dating myself by even saying that name, how many of you remember 'My Three Sons'? God bless you. Because that goes all the way back to black and white television from the 1960s on NBC and ABC with Fred McMurray, right? Who played that aeronautical engineer and his three boys. It was a story of my three sons. Well this is Noah and his three sons. We begin with Japheth.
"Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.” Now go back with me to chapter nine just briefly and notice verse 27. Since the name Japheth means 'to expand or to enlarge' notice the prediction. Verse 27 chapter 9: "May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant.” Japheth and his lineage and I'm going to be very basic and then specific made their migration and settlement in Europe. And became the basis for what is called the Indo-European language. I'll get back to that in a minute. For years, the Japheth fights, the ancient Europeans were known as uncivilized, uncouth barbarians—ungodly. Some of the worst atrocities ever committed are on record by these settlers, the ancient Europeans. There was a change from their dark ages, their dark ways, to a more enlightened stage when the God of Shem, the true and living God, the Judeo-Christian God was adopted by them in Europe. And God blessed them because of it. And they grew and they expanded and they enlarged their territory, even to the point of settling from Europe to the United States of America. And being among the first settlers to open the doors to migration of people from all over the world to this country.
God enlarged them. Now I mentioned a language group called Indo-European. This goes all the way back to Japheth. Now just that term, Indo-European, sounds a little contradictory, because typically we in the west set up an artificial barrier and say, 'East is east and west is west. And you have Eastern peoples who don't like Western peoples and Western peoples don't understand Eastern peoples.' And so we think that originally we came from a different stock. But ethnologists and linguists know that there is a language base called the Indo-European language base and that is why linguists, when they want to get to the root of our language, will actually travel to India and study ancient Sanskrit. Because originally, these peoples settled ancient Europe, Iran, India, and some of those areas, even central Asia and from there they sprung out. The sons of Japheth.
Let's go through the list and find out who they are: "The sons of Japheth were Gomer” were the ancient Chimarians and Sithians. I want to be, I hope, helpful. I said Chimarians, I know it's originally pronounced Simarians, but we get a little confused because there's three people groups that sound similar that are very different. There is, first of all, Sumerians, that's ancient Babylon, etcetera. Then there are Samaritans, which are the northern part of Israel that were in the New Testament times. And then there are the Cimmerians, and these were people who settled in Asia Minor. And so these Gomerites settled in Asia Minor but then expanded westward into parts of Europe. Central and eastern Europe. Later on, there was a place called Gomerland, which became Cumberland, which is Northern England and encompassed Northern England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, etcetera. All from this stock of Japheth through the son, Gomer.
Then notice the next one, "Magog.” Now I know you're thinking, 'Boy, at this rate Skip, you'll never make two chapters.' And you may be right. But this is foundational and because it is early Genesis and it is foundational and all peoples will be based upon this division, it's important to cover it now so we don't have to cover it later. So the next on the list is Magog. Keep that name in your mind for a long time. Until you get to Ezekiel 38 and 39—that's going to be a long time. The Lord may come back before then. But Magog is part of the group in the end times that will form an alliance and come from the northern parts, the area of Russia, and come down in attacking Israel in the last days as predicted by the prophet Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39. Magog was the forefather of the ancient Russians, Slavs, Bulgarians, Bohemians, Poles, and Croatians. That's Magog. According to Josephus, Magog was the father of the Sithian race that became the stock of Russia. These are in his writings.
And then there's the Chinese, who have in their country the Great Wall of China. I've been there; it is unbelievable. I'd seen pictures of it, but to stand on it was amazing. The ancient Chinese used to call the Great Wall of China the Wall of Magog because it kept them safe from their longtime historic enemy, the Russians, or the Magogites. Now I'm bringing some of this up just in case you've been the victim of people saying, 'You know, these Christians and their prophecy tagging. They like to take these nations and say this speaks of Russia and that people group and they just make these things up.' No, we don't. You can find some of the ancient writings of Herodotis, 5th century BC, Josephus, who was a Jewish historian a couple thousand years ago, etcetera, who bring to bear the mention of these names and their assigned locations and the people who settled in that region. So we have the sons of Japheth, Gomer and Magog.
The next one is Madai, and the Madai is the father of the Meads who settled in Persia. The Meads and the Persian Empire will come out of Madai, we'll find that later on when we're in the book of Daniel. From this individual and his family came the stock that filled up the country of India, Iran, Afghanistan, and the Kurdish people. Now let me just throw something in the mix. For years, Iraq and Iran have been mortal enemies. They're neighbors but they hate each other. And you might think, 'Well that's because it's divided between those two lines of Islam.' Oh no, it goes back much further than Islam. It goes back to this time. Because you see, Iraq was settled by Shemites. Iran was settled by Japhethites. And the Iranians are not sons of Shem, they're not an Arabic people at all, they have certain culture and custom that might look similar to a western mind or a western eye, but Iranians speak an entirely different language base known as Farsi. They are Persian. They're from a whole different lineage and the animosity goes back all the way back from these two settled brothers, Shem and Japheth, who settled in different areas and they happened to settle next to each other and the animosity goes that far back. Just to throw that in the mix.
Next is Javan, or Yevon—these are the Greeks. And the Macedonians and what some believe were the Romans and eventually the Italians came from Javan. Tubal and Meshech. Keep those names in your minds also for Ezekiel 38 and 39, they'll pop up again. It's believed that this also is the area north and northeast of the Black Sea, which became the area of Russia. In fact, ethnologists and anthropologists will trace these two names, Meshech and Tubal, to two Russian cities, Moscow and Tubalsk, Tubalsk on the Tubal River and Moscow on the Muskva River. They came from these two sons named Tubal and Meshech. And then we have Tiras. And according again to Josephus, Tiras was a father of the [inaudible] and Itracian races that settled the far coasts of the Aegean Sea of Asia Minor. So we have a pretty good handle on two verses.
Verse 3: "The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.” Ashkenaz, or the Ashkenazi people, were those that settled north of Israel at first but then they made their migration westward to Eastern Europe and especially Germany. So that you have a line of Jews, known as Ashkenazi Jews, who will trace their lineage back all the way to the area of Poland, Eastern Europe, or Germany. Now within Judaism, there has been a little bit of historic tension between Ashkenazi Jews, Jews that settled in Germany, and another group called Sfardic Jews that come from Portugal and Spain and some of the other coasts of the Mediterranean. If you go to Israel, you'll notice that you have a wonderful blending of many ethnic peoples who are Jewish from all over the world. And you can spot readily an Ashkenazi Eastern European Jew by their dress, their customs, their manners, their language and the Sfardic Jew. They're different in the way they look; they're different in their mannerisms. And there had been for years a tension between these two groups basically because of looks and culture.
Now again, these are sons of Shem who migrated to the European area or the area of Japheth. But there was this tension between these two groups of Jewish people. The tension between these two groups really ceased when, in the 1940s, a Japhethite decided that he hated all Shemites and he was anti-Shemitic, literally that's where anti-Semitic comes from. And he was the quintessential anti-Semite, these Japhethite by the name of Adolf Hitler. And his persecution of all who were Jewish and his extermination of 6 million forced a migration of Ashkenazi Jews and Sfardic Jews back over to Israel, to the Middle East where they dwelt together and because of that and since then, a lot of those differences have greatly diminished. They're happy to be alive, happy to be back in the land, and happy to be celebrating Judaism together.
"The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.” And I'm not going to cover every name here for obvious reasons, we'll be in this chapter for twelve months so we've got to go on. Togarmah. Togarmah is ancient Turkey, parts of Asia Minor, Armenia and that part of Turkey is Togarmah. Keep that also in mind for Ezekiel 38 and 39. "The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish.” Tarshish—does that ring a bell? What Old Testament prophet decided to flee from the presence of the Lord and was really down in the mouth because of it? Jonah. God told him to go to Nineveh and he decided to go 2,000 miles west off the coast of Israel to Tarshish. Which we believe is ancient Spain, even perhaps the Gibraltar area, or England, and we're not quite sure which. We just know it's in that area. It's the distant coastlands and it is one of those areas.
"Kittim, and Dodanim. 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.” So we're done now with the sons of Japheth and where they originally settled. Now we have the lineage of the middle son of Noah, Ham. "The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba” on and on. We're dealing now with the group of people that settled east, west, and southwest Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Africa. The African peoples can trace their lineage back to Ham. For notice verse six: "cush,” that's ancient Ethiopia. It's the ancient name for Ethiopia; it's all over the Bible as that.
Now in two places, one in Jeremiah and one in Isaiah, Jeremiah 13:23 and Isaiah 45:14. It talks about the Cushite as being distinctive in skin color and very tall. So NBA material. That's where the scouting of the NBA would take place in ancient times, in that area. You don't have to write that down. Next, Mizraim is the ancient name for Egypt. Put—that's ancient Libya. And then Canaan. Now that is very important to us because Canaan becomes the area where tribes settle. Canaanite tribes like Hivites and Hittites and Gergoshites and Jebusites, maybe a few termites and a couple electrolytes. But a lot of those people settled in Canaan. Now go back to chapter nine for a moment, where we left off last week and notice in verse 25 the prophecy: "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he will be to his brethren.”
I have to bring something up that is a tragedy but it is historic and so it must be told. During the height of the slave trade, a shameful era all over the world and especially in this country. During the height of the slave trade in the 1800's, texts like this were quoted to justify the capturing and selling of slaves. Because it was a misinterpretation of the text. Because Ham is the father of the African peoples and a curse is placed here upon Canaan, they extended this curse to all of the children of Ham and they used this as a biblical mandate for slavery. The Mormon church adopted that view and until very recently held that the black man was cursed by God. All of this is a misreading and an abuse of the Bible. Because the curse isn't upon Ham but upon whom? Canaan. One of the offspring of Ham that settled in ancient Israel, Palestine, the Canaanite peoples. This basically became the theological mandate for the children of Israel to leave Egypt, cross the Jordan River, and take over the area of the Canaanites. Take it as their land. It was the land that God gave to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his descendants and so, according to God, the land of Israel belongs to that lineage, the Jewish people. It's the Canaanite. Now the children of Israel were told to exterminate the Gurgashite, the Hivite, the Hittite, the Jebusite, all the Canaanite peoples, because they became such a vile group of people known especially for child sacrifice and sexual perversion that God said, 'Enough is enough.'
By the way, God gave them 400 years to repent. That's pretty long. That's a pretty patient deal. 'Look, if you don't turn I'm gonna come after you guys.' 400 years. Now keep that in mind because when we get to chapter fifteen, you're going to read a little phrase where God promises the land of the Canaanite to the offspring of Abraham and here's the text, it's in chapter 15: "For the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.” 'I'm waiting,' God said, 'For that bucket of sin, so to speak, to get so filled, the Amorite iniquity, the Canaanite tribe iniquity, Amorite was the chief tribe, so when that bucket gets full I'm gonna judge.' 400 years later the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River and took over that land and settled in that land. And that was God's patience with the Canaanite. But that goes back to the curse that was pronounced in chapter nine.
"The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah, and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.” Dedan is Saudi Arabia. You see the name Havila? That means sand land. It's ancient Rio Rancho—no, I'm just kidding. I had to throw that in. Havila is where gold was found but it became a part of Saudi Arabia. Now you see the names Sheba and Dedan? That's also part of Saudi Arabia and we're told in Ezekiel that when the people from the northern countries come down at the last days to attack the Middle East, especially Israel, that those in Saudi Arabia, Sheba and Dedan, will protest. And rightly so. It's like, 'We've got all the oil fields and the Russians are coming down against the Middle East and we're down at the bottom in the Middle East,' and so they will protest this invasion. But just keep that in your mind until we get to Ezekiel 38 and 39 and maybe we'll make a reference back to it.
"Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord,” or as more modern translations accurately put it, "against the Lord.” It literally means, 'in the presence of the Lord,' and it could either mean, 'I'm doing this before God as an act of worship,' but it probably and more accurately means, in context, 'against the Lord,' or 'in defiance of the Lord.' "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” Now, who is Nimrod? Nimrod, it is believed by some ethnologists and secular scholars to be Sargon the First. That is, Sargon Agade, who was the first king of Babylon, and they think that because ancient rulers had more than one name—sometimes two, three, four names. And so it is thought that Nimrod, the Hebrew name, was actually the first ruler of Babylon called Sargon the First. And he began to be a mighty one on the earth; do mighty deeds and mighty acts. But Nimrod means 'rebel' in Hebrew. He was a rebel. He was the quintessential rebel; he was the prototypical rebel. In fact, I see Nimrod as a prototype of the antichrist rebel who will come in the last days.
It's very interesting that in the last days, the antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2, will do mighty works on the earth. He will also be in charge of a kingdom known metaphorically as Babylon. Revelation 17 and 18. Nimrod is the first king, perhaps Sargon, of Babylon—a mighty hunter against the Lord, hunting the souls of men, as some people think. And notice verse ten: "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel,” which is Babylon. You'll see the Tower of Babel in chapter eleven someday, when we get there. "Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” Babel means 'gateway to God.' Bab-el. That's the name in Babylonian—gateway to God. But the name in Hebrew means 'confusion.' So if you're a Babylonian, this is the gateway to God. If you're a follower of God and you know better, no, it's just confusing. I love those two names together because one illustrates the view of man, the other illustrates the view of God. This is how we see our city and our selves and the other's how God sees the city and sees them. It's all confusing and God will confuse them in chapter eleven with the language change-up.
So "Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” That's the Mesopotamia river valley. "From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah.” Ok, here's what you should know about Nimrod. He was the first ruler of Babel, or Babylon, and he also was the ruler of Nineveh, the city that he built in Assyria. He was the head of both of those. Now why is this important? Because who were the two peoples that will exile the Jews from their land? Assyria and Babylon. And Nimrod becomes the ancient archenemy of the soon-to-come Jewish people. So, in 722 B.C., the Assyrians will come in and take the ten northern tribes away to Assyria. In 605 and 586 B.C., the Babylonians under Nebuchednezzar will come in and take the two southern tribes and take them into Babylon and all of the tribes together will be assumed under Babylon. Both started by Nimrod.
If I had the time and I was thinking of doing it, but I'm always ambitious when it comes to my time and how much I can actually give out in this length of time, I'd love to tell you the story and perhaps I will as we go on in Genesis, about the wife of Nimrod, whom we know from historical records, was Simaramus and she had a child named Tamuz, who is mentioned in the Bible in Ezekiel chapter eight, in fact some Hebrew Jewish women go mourning after Tamuz because of a pagan story. It was believed, and I'm just touching, don't worry I'm not going to get into it and explain too much, but Tamuz was said to be the child of Simaramus by a virgin birth. And his birth is celebrated on December 25th and was celebrated by the use of an evergreen tree, the giving of gifts, and it was also said that he rose from the dead. Now all of this is a Satanic plot and I will unravel it more as we go on. I just don't have the time to digress. But he was believed to have a miraculous resurrection, that's why they placed the Yule log, which means 'the infant log' in Chaldean or Babylonian language, and they would burn it and then, in the morning, miraculously, a tree, which represents resurrected life, would be there and it was celebrated in the spring time of the year, too, under the feast of Astarte, Babylonian name, Astarte, which got changed later on to Easter. And because the egg was the symbol of fertility and the bunny rabbit the symbol of fertility, all of those ancient symbols find their place in ancient Babylon with the worship of the boy Tamuz, the son of Simaramus, the wife of Nimrod.
I'll got more into depth later on and unravel it for you, perhaps in the Christmas season, especially as people get all hung up about Christmas trees and should you have them or should you not. So I'll do that later; we just don't have the time tonight. Isn't that fun how I bait you like that? "And Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). Mizraim begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, and Casluhim (from whom came the Philistines and Caphtorim). Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite [all those were tribes of Canaan, eventually by that name], the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim [that's down in the lower desert parts of that land], as far as Lasha. These were the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands and in their nations.”
Now we come finally to the offspring of Shem and the rest of the book of Genesis will focus upon the lineage of the sons of Shem. The other two lines, though they go on, will be discarded as far as biblical history. Why? Because we want to find out about Genesis 3:15, the offspring of the woman who will come and destroy the authority of Satan as promised there. We want to find out about the Deliverer; we want to find out therefore, about Abraham because he comes from that line and we'll follow that line throughout the book of Genesis. "And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, brother of Japheth the elder. The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad [that's that name that you want to stay away from for your boy], Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.”
A couple of interesting things in those verses. First of all, Eber. Eber, most ethnologists will tell you, is the beginning of the Hebrew people. In Hebrew, the root 'eber' comes from. That's the original pronunciation. The 'Eberew' people or the Hebrew people come from Eber and those who settled after him. So that's the sons of Eber. And then you'll notice in verse 22, the sons of Shem were Elam. Now in chapter 13, the Elamites from Elam are going to invade the land of Canaan when Abraham is there. Abraham is going to be there with his nephew Lot and there's going to be five kings, one under the heading of Keter Laomir, the Elamite king will come in and invade the land. And so already by that time we have this tribal group outside of that land trying to get in. Asshur, which is the ancient name for Assyria, Arphaxad, Lud, which is Lidia or Anatolia, western Asia Minor. Aram—you see the word Aram in verse 22. Aram is ancient Syria.
Just follow me carefully. I know we're going through a lot of names and facts. But Aram is ancient Syria. And in the NIV and other, more modern versions, they don't even use the word Syria in the Old Testament. But Aramayan. Now Aram, whose capital is Damascus, of Syria, Aram will develop a language that is one of the three biblical languages. You have Hebrew, in the Old Testament, you have Aramaic in the Old Testament book of Daniel, and you have Greek. So that middle language, Aramaic, comes from Aram, and the offspring of Aram. The Aramaic language is what Daniel spoke in Babylon. By the way, the Aramaic language is what probably Jesus and His disciples spoke in the New Testament. Because when they came back, that is the Jews, from captivity in Babylon, they spoke Chaldean, or Aramaic. That was the language of the captivity, became the language of the land, even though Greece became the lingua franca after it took over, after Alexander the Great's conquest. But in that land, and even among the Jewish people, Aramaic was spoken. This is why Mel Gibson, when he made the movie The Passion of the Christ, decided to resurrect—and it was a huge task—what is considered now a dead language. Who speaks Aramaic? Nobody. You have to go back to the texts and figure out the pronunciation and then teach that to the cast and crew members. And he did. They resurrected Aramaic and that's why the Passion of the Christ, the whole film, well, most of it, not all of it, some of it is in Latin, etcetera, but it's principally in Aramaic. Jesus is speaking Aramaic in that movie because of Aram. So I'm throwing these out because this is where the roots of all this are and it's fascinating. At least I find it fascinating.
Verse 23: "The sons of Aram were Uz.” That's an important name, isn't it? Who comes from Uz? Job came from Uz. And Uz is the area of northern Arabia or today a part of Jordan, where Jordan abuts that land out in the desert where you have some fertile springs of water that cultivate livestock and sustain life. "Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations. These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.”
So, after the flood. This is after the flood and after the flood there's a new social order. God establishes human government, chapter nine, with the caveat of capital punishment, again chapter nine. New social order. Also there's a new physical order. That canopy, that shroud, that vapor blanket—it's disseminated from around the earth. Now the lifespan of lifespan of mankind is greatly reduced from seven, eight, nine hundred years to you'll see 120 years, etcetera. It's greatly reduced after the flood.
And probably because of that the atmospheric pressure is cut in half. You know, people wonder about the dinosaurs. We discussed them briefly but they obviously couldn't fit on any ark and it'd be danger to have them on an ark. And they died in the flood and the fossil evidence of it today reminds us of the universal flood. But what about pterodactyls? They can fly. Well they may have survived the flood but after the flood with the atmospheric pressure changed dramatically, they couldn't handle it—they also died. So either they died from the deluge from water in the sky or the change of atmospheric pressure. Nonetheless, it's a new order: socially and physically. Seventy nations. Seventy nations sent out, if I can use that term, by God to repeople, repopulate the earth.
I'll tell you where my mind goes. Here's God sending out seventy to repopulate. And my mind goes to Luke's gospel, I believe it's chapter ten, it might not be, where Jesus sends out seventy disciples around the area to represent the new order spiritually and to evangelize the Galilee of the Gentiles. To represent God among the nations who had settled in the area. Chapter eleven: "Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.” That comes in handy. Mutual communication is essential for everything. But mankind is still mankind. They can get together, they can decide on certain things, they can form policies, and they can even form a plan against God. Which they do. It is sort of like history repeating itself. What happened in the Garden happens after the flood now.
"And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar [this is modern-day Iraq, the Mesopotamian river valley], and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone [so adobe bricks], and they had asphalt for mortar.” And I've been to Babylon and I've seen the asphalt and the asphalt pits from ancient times. "And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, "Indeed the people are one and they have all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.”
God told them to fill the earth; God sent them out to populate the earth. Now we have, it would seem, a defiance. A coalescing, not a spreading, but a coalescing. 'Let's gather together; let's not spread out so much; let's build a city. And we'll build a tower that can reach all the way up into heaven, all the way up to God.' It's not that building a city is wrong, or living in a city is wrong, that's not the issue. After all, God, in the Old Testament, will choose a city of the Jebusites to house His name forever. And what is that city? Jerusalem—the holy city. In fact, that name because the name of the ultimate city called what? New Jerusalem. After the present heaven and earth are destroyed, John looks up and sees a city coming out of heaven called New Jerusalem. It's not that God is down on city living or city folk or building a town. It's building a town, building a city, by man, for man, excluded from God, to elevate their own pride and wit and strength. It's a defiance of God.
Now there's lots of archaeological discoveries that have found these towers seven level towers made out of mud bricks called ziggurats. It was used to worship the zodiac and they would climb up the steps of these seven tiers and up at the top was thought to be a chamber that housed the presence of the god they worshiped. They looked to the stars for direction. And they worshiped the stars of heaven. Instead of looking to God, instead of trusting God for the future, 'let's read our own future and get our own direction from the zodiac and assign meaning to the stars rather than the God who made the heavens and the earth.' This really is the beginning of false religion as well as secular humanism. Now they'll divide and one will be varied from the other, but both of these begin here. Mankind congregating together in a city answers they thought—they thought—their need for companionship. 'Oh, we need to be with each other. It can be lonely out here in the woods and out here in the country. Let's get together.' But did you know that cities are some of the loneliest places in the world? There's millions of people who don't look at each other, talk to each other, know each other. It can be very lonely and isolating.
They said, 'Let's build a city and a tower that goes all the way up to heaven.' But notice verse five: "But the Lord came down to see the city.” Boy, it didn't reach that far, did it? It was so low and so insignificant, God had to stoop to see it. And then verse seven: "Come, let Us go down.” Us—there's the Trinity again. "Go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel.” Babel, gateway to God; or in Hebrew, confusion. Because the Lord confused the language of all the earth. "And from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”
A common language is a blessing. If you've ever been in a foreign country and nobody knows English, and you don't know one lick of their language, it's hard. According to the latest count, there are 6,800 main languages on earth today. That's not counting all the dialects. You can be in India and there's hundreds of dialects and one can't communicate to the other, the dialect is so different even though the root language is the same. Their dialects vary and they can't understand each other. But 6,800 main languages. So today we know that confusion. Go to the United Nations. There's rooms in the United Nations that have headphones and translators because we need to communize the communication. Because we can't make any plans or do anything unless we can communicate.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of going down to Puerto Rico for a Billy Graham crusade called Global Mission where 185 nations were reached simultaneously with 3,000 different sites set up, tents, churches, auditoriums, out in the field a little computer that would broadcast a signal and show a picture. And it was translated simultaneously into all those languages from Puerto Rico. So I thought of Babel and the confusion and how the technology now allows us to get the message of grace and make it common and send it out and sort of reverse this whole curse. So verse ten: "This is the genealogy of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and he begot Arphaxad two years after the flood. After he begot Arphaxad, Shem lived five hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, and begot Salah. After he begot Salah, Arphaxad lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters.” And the list goes on and on. Some of the names we've already mentioned. It is basically the lineage of Shem retold after the flood to lead us to one particular family. So I'll get to the family and we'll be able to close the evening.
Verse 20: "Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Serug. After he begot Serug, Reu lived two hundred and seven years, and begot sons and daughters. Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor. After he begot Nahor, Serug lived two hundred years, and begot sons and daughters.” Now watch this because they all live in the same Nahor-hood. "Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and begot Terah. After he begot Terah, Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years, and begot sons and daughters. Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. This is the genealogy of Terah.”
Now Abraham comes into focus and his offspring all the way to the end of the book with Joseph. "Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child. And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.”
We'll find out next time a little more about where they came from and we'll take it up in chapter twelve. But we'll dip back just slightly in chapter eleven to tie some loose ends because what you need to know is this: Abram, father Abraham, was initially a pagan worshiper. And I'll cite some sources from history, as well as from the Bible, that talk about his father and his father-in-law and how they manufactured idols and worshiped idols but God got a hold of this man. And through getting a hold of this man, will reach out to the whole world through the Jewish nation, through the Messiah, and through the salvation that comes through Christ. So there's a lot that whirls and spins in my mind, but I'm also looking at the clock and it is time. Listen, we've got week after week after week so we'll just be able to plow through and pick up some of that necessary information as we go.