Of the sons mentioned, only Gomer and Javan are expanded on. Gomer’s and Javan’s sons are listed, and Javan’s sons are mentioned as being seafaring people.
We already know that Ham’s son Canaan is the ancestor of the Canaanites from Genesis 9. The specific Canaanite clans are listed out in Genesis 10. Ham’s son, Mizraim, is the ancestor of the Caphtorites, which is the ancestral clan of the Philistines. Cush is the ancestor of Nimrod – a mighty warrior who established the beginnings of Babylon and Assyria including Babel.
Tower of Babel
This short story is about mankind working together to build a monument to their own arrogance, and God stepping in to teach them that God is greater. Without the ability to communicate with each other, construction of the tower of Babel ceased, and the people scattered. This scattering was God’s plan from the beginning when “God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.'” Genesis 9:1
Shem’s son, Arphaxad, is the most significant since his line flows down to Abram & Sarai. Stay with me here… Arphaxad had Shelah, who had Eber, who had Peleg, who had Reu, then Serug, then Nahor and finally Terah. Terah’s sons, Nahor, Abram and Haran, kick off the next significant sections of Genesis. Lot (whose wife later turns to a pillar of salt) is the son of Haran. Haran’s daughter, Milcah, married Haran’s brother, Nahor. This tells me that this family unit was very close. Abram married Sarai, who could not have children. Terah took Lot, Abram and Sarai away from the land of Ur (and their families) and headed towards Canaan. For some reason, they settled short of that goal and lived in Haran where Terah eventually died.
In Genesis 6:3, “the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.'” After the days of Noah, the life-spans did start shortening significantly. At the beginning of Noah’s progeny, Shem’s life-span was 600 years. Terah lived only 205 years. Later we learn that Abram/Abraham dies at 175 (Genesis 25:7), and Sarai/Sarah died at 127 years (Genesis 23:1).
God always does what He says He will do!
Dear Promise Keeper, Sovereign Lord, and Mighty King; thank you for the rich history within the pages of the Bible. Thank you for showing us real people in a real time trying to live after you, our real and living God. Lord, I ask that you continue to help me to not glance over the boring bits and learn a little something from every bit. Amen.