Think of it! The human race had undergone 1656 years of hard experience. And at the end of those many centuries, God judged the great majority of mankind as being better off dead! The pre-Flood culture, society, and population were ignominiously submerged. Only righteous Noah and his family were found worthy of preservation. The world has not yet profited from this gigantic and horrible lesson of human experience — but it soon will. The bible speaks of three worlds — three eras of human experience. First, "the world that then was" which perished in the Flood (II Pet. 3:1); second, "this present evil world" (Galatians 1:4); and third, "the world to come" — "the World Tomorrow" (Hebrews 2:5). Thus the Flood marked the transition between the first and second great eras of human history on earth. The pre-Flood population had two alternatives: Either the way of Cain or the way of Seth and Enos. The people chose the way of Cain and paid the penalty. Would humanity choose more wisely this time? The following chapters summarize the events which supply an answer to this question.
Universal Flood Traditions
Before moving forward in the story, this should be emphasized: God rejecting historians, archaeologists, and other types of present-day scholars do not find the Biblical account of a universal deluge even worthy of serious discussion. Yet, if such an unprecedented event did occur, all nations must have preserved some record of this overwhelming catastrophe — a catastrophe impossible to forget! When the historical testimony is examined, this is exactly what we discover. Anyone can know the facts if he is willing to believe them. Here are some examples. The ancient Babylonians and Assyrians have preserved word for word; accounts on clay tablets of the story of the Flood — traditions which are exact in many details. The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh gives a vivid account of the building of the ark, the coming of the Flood, and the preservation of Noah and his family (including, of course, as we should suspect, many pagan embellishments). Egyptian and other African traditions preserve similar accounts. The Greeks pictured their "Noah" as building an Ark to escape the waters. Later he is described sending out a dove twice before setting foot on land again. The traditional founder of Chinese civilization is represented as having escaped from a Flood which was sent because man had rebelled against heaven. Those preserved with him were his wife, three sons and three daughters. Meanwhile, the natives of Greenland maintained that all men were once drowned and that a man and woman became the ancestors of all now living. The American Indians in both North and South America preserved legends of the Flood in which a few escaped by means of a boat and repopulated the earth. The Peruvian version is that one man and one woman were saved in a box which floated on the flood waters. The Mexicans retain knowledge of one man, his wife, and children, being saved in a ship from a flood which overwhelmed the earth. The Polynesians from the south Pacific contend that a Flood overwhelmed all but eight people. Since the nations stem from one family, as the Bible teaches, we ought to expect all nations to have ancient traditions of such a spectacular occurrence as the Flood. Therefore it should be no surprise to find just such confirmation that a universal Deluge preceded the founding of present nations! Think about it. If the Flood had not occurred, would all human families have preserved such similar records of that event? Certainly all people would not have been deceived into believing the Flood had not happened! To find a more complete summary of this unanimous testimony, see the article "Deluge" in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
Location of the Ark
Now consider this intriguing question: Is there historical evidence that people in ancient times — and even in recent decades — actually saw the Ark? Could the Ark be seen centuries after the Flood? Is it still extant today? This fascinating subject continues to be discussed from time to tome in current newspapers and news magazines! There are many indications that people in ancient times knew of the ark's location. Josephus records that a great number of ancient writers commented on this subject. He quotes these words from the ancient Babylonian historian, Berossus, who lived in the third century B.C.: "It is said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia ... and that some people carry off pieces of bitumen, which they take away, and use for the averting of mischief's." Josephus goes on to quote more, this time from Nicholas of Damascus: "There is a great mountain in Armenia .... upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the Deluge were saved: and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved." (Antiquities I, III, VI.) Then, much later in Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus speaks of events within his own lifetime. In book twenty, chapter two, he tells of a famous man who, when he was about to die, bestowed upon his son a country in Armenia. Of this country the famous historian recorded: "There are also in it the remains of the ark, wherein it is related that Noah escaped the Deluge, and where they are still shown to such as are desirous to see them" (section two). Yes, here is a plain statement that the ark was still in existence in the first century A.D.! Reports of the ark have persisted through the years. An expert on the Flood, Dr. Aaron Smith of Greensboro, has collected a vast literature on this ancient vessel. Of 80,000 works in seventy two languages about the Flood, some 70,000 of them mention the wreckage of the ark!
Modern-day Reports of the Ark
Aroused by a shepherd's story in the early 1800's, the first modern day expeditions began making their way to the region of Mt. Ararat. A Turkish expedition in 1833 mentioned a wooden bow of a ship which stuck out of a glacier in the summer seasons. Another report came in 1892 from the Archdeacon of Jerusalem and Babylon, Dr. Nouri, who also stated seeing a ship frozen in the ice" "The interior was full of snow: the outer wall was of a dark red color." During World War I a Russian pilot declared that he had seen from his plane the remains of a fair-sized ship" on the south flank of Ararat. Even though this occurred in the middle of the war, Czar Nicholas II hastily dispatched a search party to the scene. The members of the party reportedly not only saw the ship but, also photographed it! But then came the Bolshevik revolution in the fall of 1917 and the evidence presumably perished. World War II produced more cases of reported aerial observation — one from a Russian pilot and the others from four American fliers. As a result, the above mentioned Dr. Smith and forty companions explored the heights of Ararat, but to no avail. Another fruitless venture was conducted by Jean de Riquer, the young French Greenland explorer, in 1952. (See Keller, "The Bible as History", pp. 39-41). Despite these failures, fresh expeditions are always getting ready for further attempts in the Armenian mountains. The reports continue to come in! The September 5th, 1960, issue of LIFE magazine carried a photographic report of the discovery of a Turkish army captain who was examining aerial photographs. He was startled to see, in a picture of a mountain twenty miles south of Mt. Ararat, a boat-shaped form about 500 feet long — a shape too symmetrical to have been formed by natural causes. An expedition making a quick two day survey found the "object" buried in the midst of crevasses and landslide debris. "A thorough excavation may be made another year to solve the mystery," the brief article concluded. The most recent report on this subject appeared in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner of September 1, 1966. Another expedition, this time of American archaeologists, had braved the ice and snow of Ararat's 17,000 foot peak to drill for evidence of the ship the Russian flier had reported seeing in 1915. According to the article, their drill had brought up pieces of wood and the archaeologists felt they were on the verge of a great discovery. Could the ark still be in existence after all these centuries? It is possible if God wanted it preserved as a latter-day witness to the world of the truth and authenticity of the Bible! However, if archaeologists limit themselves to one mountain, Mt. Ararat itself, they may be far off the target because the Bible says that "the ark rested ... upon the mountains of Ararat?' (Gen. 8:4). The reports summarized above, however, seem fairly consistent in stating that it is the south side of Mt. Ararat where the ark is supposedly located. Has God preserved the ark for an end-time witness to a skeptical, cynical, and gainsaying world? Will the scorching heat or violent final earthquake of the seven last plagues (Rev. 16) BE NECESSARY TO PRODUCE THE EVIDENCE THE ARCHAEOLOGISTS CONTINUE TO SEEK? Only time will tell.
The Departure From the Ark
Now to return once again to the Biblical account. As noted above, the Bible records that the ark came to rest on a mountain in the region of Armenia as opposed to some mountain in some other area of the world far removed from the Middle East. Realize that the Noahian Deluge was not anywhere near as violent as that which tore the earth during pre-Adamic times. It was comparatively gentle. Apparently, then, the ark, during the many days of the Flood, never floated very far from the site of its building. Ancient tradition shows that Noah's homeland was in the Mesopotamian Valley. These factors seem a clear indication, therefore, that Noah's pre-Flood headquarters was somewhere in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates. When the earth had dried sufficiently, God instructed Noah to emerge from the ark with his family and all the animals and creatures that had been preserved (Gen. 8:15-19). This was indeed an historic and awesome event in the history of mankind. These humans, animals, and other creatures represented the only living things (apart from sea life in all the earth! There they were — all collected on one little spot in the midst of a silent, lifeless world. They would have to repopulate the entire earth. Notice verse 18. This passage proves that no children were born on the ark during the Flood. The same number of human beings who had entered the vessel emerged from it. However a later part of our story will show that at least two children were begotten on the ark — twin brothers who were born immediately after the Flood! And other children began to be born very soon after this momentous event because God wanted the earth again to be populated. The children and grandchildren of Noah had numerous off-spring in the decades immediately following the Deluge. The famous Babylonian historian, * Berossus (3rd century B.C.), when discussing the emergence from the ark, provided these unpleasant details. "Noah and his family came down from (the mountain) into the plain which it overshadowed. The plain was thickly strewn with corpses, from which fact the place has to this day retained the name of Myri-Adam, which means disembowelled men." Here was a gruesome reminder to the tiny human family of the awful price the pre-Flood society had to pay for its sins! (* The material from Berossus in this and following chapters was taken from "History of the Names of Men, Nations, and Places" written in French by Eusebius Salvarte and translated into English by L.H. Mordacque, Vol. II, London, 1862, pp. 295-339, Appendix, Note A.) As soon as the ark had been vacated, Noah built an altar and offered burnt offerings of clean animals to the Eternal (verses 20-22). God was pleased with Noah's act of worship and resolved never again to drown all mankind as He had done in the Flood. However, notice this detail about verse 21: These words should not be construed to mean that God was now removing the curse of Genesis 3:17-19 which still is in effect today. Rather, God was simply referring to the destruction of the human race in the Flood as the last part of the verse makes plain. Genesis chapters eight and nine show God speaking directly to Noah and his sons. The Eternal, the Spokesman of the God family, the one who became Jesus Christ, was exercising His responsibility of working closely with physical human beings. Notice that the terms "God" (Elohiym) and "the Lord" are interchangeably in this portion of the Bible; both refer to the Eternal, the Logos or Spokesman, the one who became Christ. Hollywood movies promote the concept that the God of the Old testament was consistently invisible and spoke to people out of the sunset or from behind a cloud or a mountain — but this is a mistaken idea. Remember that the location of these earliest post-Flood events is Armenia. The High Priest of most ancient Armenia was the same personage who was High Priest and King of Salem in the time of Abraham — no one less than Christ Himself! As the Eternal, over four hundred years later, appeared to Abraham in bodily form as King of Salem (Gen. 14), so now He appeared to Noah and his family in the same manner. He was in frequent contact with the tiny population in these early times. Recall the earlier chapters of Genesis. God personally talked to Adam and Eve both before and after the expulsion from the Garden in Eden. Genesis four revealed that the Eternal conversed with Cain and Abel. Genesis five shows that Enoch walked with God in a personal relationship (as did the other seven pre-Flood preachers of righteousness). Genesis six and seven tell how God instructed Noah about building the ark. Later He told them when to board the great vessel, and then personally shut them in when the Flood was about to begin. This kind of personal contact between Creator and mankind did not cease after the flood. It continued. Noah walked with God (Gen. 6:9) after the Deluge as well as before! Noah lived for 350 years after the Flood (Gen. 9:28), and during all that period God continued to guide his activities! In our day Christ continues to deal with mankind through the instrumentality of His Church and ministry. By contrast, in ancient times He appeared on earth in human form to guide His servants and direct the course of history. However, He worked only with those who were willing to yield to His authority and direction. Those who rebelled were permitted to go their own way without any guidance from God, a fact which will become readily apparent in later episodes of post-Flood history.
God's First Post-Flood Instructions
Now, in going on, notice verse one of Genesis 9. Here we find the Eternal personally instructing Noah and his sons, the male members of the tiny human family. Why are their wives apparently relegated to a background position in the account? The primary reason, of course, would be that it was the heads of the families who were responsible for carrying out God's instructions. God would hold them responsible for carrying out His commands. But a secondary reason may have been this: Since Ham and Japheth had married wives of different races before the Flood, it is a probability that these women were not overly eager to learn God's will or carry out his orders! This first verse of the chapter emphasizes that the first responsibility of the human family was to repopulate the earth. God was more than willing to bless Noah's sons in this regard and, consequently, the human population increased quickly in the years after the Flood. See the following chapter for more discussion on this major topic. In continuing His instructions to Noah and his sons (verse 5) God commented about the nature of animals and the other creatures with which man would have to deal. The implication of this verse is that animals before the Flood, and certainly at the very beginning in the garden in Eden, were not fierce and ferocious, that they were originally as they will be in the World Tomorrow — gentle and docile (Isa. 11:6-9) and 65:25 — note that in the Millennium, God changes animal nature as well as human nature!). But now, in post-Flood times God, in effect, said that though wolves, lions, and tigers would be hostile toward men, yet these same animals would have an innate fear of man allowing him to maintain control over them. It might be worth noting that here, in the post-Flood world, Nimrod would soon be able to establish a reputation as a hunter of wild animals since these creatures obviously posed a real threat to the relatively small human population, especially to those who had abandoned God and His protection. On the other hand, there is no indication that anyone acquired such a reputation in pre-Flood times. The next two verses (3 and 4) record that God gave vital information about food. The attempt has been made to use the third verse as Biblical permission to eat unclean meats . But the key factor in countering such an idea is in the verse itself, in the words "even as the green herb." Obviously all plants were not intended for food; thus neither were all animals! The fourth verse shows that the use of blood as food was forbidden long before the time of Moses, and the indirect implication of this verse is that the family of Cain probably did use blood in improper ways before the Deluge. Whatever the case, skeletal remains of animals in connection with the family of Cain indicate that he and his descendants ate unclean animals. Some have drawn the erroneous conclusion from these verses that pre-flood man was not permitted to eat meat, that Adam, for example, was a vegetarian. But the early chapters of Genesis indicate just the opposite. Read Genesis 3:21 and 4:23. Verse five and six contain some very serious instruction about the taking of human life. The first part of verse 5 is obscure in the Authorized Version. Actually this is simply saying that an animal which kills a human should itself be slain (see Exodus 21:28). The Revised Standard Version is clear: "For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man." But the major portion of this passage comes next: (verse 6) "Of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, BY MAN SHALL HIS BLOOD BE SHED: for God made man in His own image!" God now gives man authority to execute — murderers! He now commands man to use capital punishment on regulating crime! This had not been the case in the pre-Flood society. Cain, remember, was not executed for the murder of Abel. God allowed him to live on and gave no one official authority to execute him. One reason pre-Flood society became so violent was simply that no one had official capacity to punish crimes, and murder in particular. Crime is increasing today because the death penalty is being declared illegal and inhuman. Now murderers are supposed to be "rehabilitated!" But this is not God's way. In a later portion of early post-Flood history we will see that Shem used this God-given authority to markedly change the course of events. Before moving on, it is worthwhile to ask why is the shedding human blood such a serious offense? The answer is in the last of verse six: "For in the image of God made He man!" The God Kingdom, in proposing the creation of man, said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). In the Bible, the word "image" means the stamping with character. It can also mean form of shape, and does in some passages. But here in Genesis chapter one the word likeness refers to form and shape — appearance and facial resemblance — while "image" refers to God's character! Man was not then stamped with God's divine character-image, but he was made for the very purpose of acquiring — during the course of his mortal lifetime — the character of God. And this comes through experience! All humans, whether converted or not, go through trials, tests, and problems in life. Life is not easy — God intended it so! Consequently, the more experience anyone can obtain, the better equipped he will be for service in God's Kingdom no matter when he is converted and then changed, whether in this age or in a later resurrection. Human experience, though not understood by carnal minds, is certainly not waste on them They will all see and understand it sooner or later! But, when a human life is terminated, the gaining of experience stops! God does not want this to happen prematurely, even though it often does. That is why murder is such a serious crime and should exact the supreme human penalty! When a murder occurs, the purpose of human existence is thwarted. Finally, in speaking to Noah an his sons, God made a special covenant with them, all their descendants down to the present day, and with every living creature on the face of the earth. Here was God's solemn promise: "And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature . . neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood ... This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth ... (that) the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh" (Gen. 9:9-15). Yes, God made an "everlasting covenant" (v. 16) — a never-ending promise — that He would never again drown all humanity. And the rainbow became the token or symbol of this universal, everlasting promise. There, of course, had been rainbows before this time — but now God gave this beautiful feature of His creation a special significance! It became the perpetual symbol of a promise from the Creator Himself. A little later in history, however, people were led to doubt this promise from God — and their lack of faith caused them to make some gigantically foolish and costly mistakes!
Relative Age of Noah's Sons
At this juncture we should note some interesting facts about the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Needless to say, they were very important individuals because "of them was the whole earth overspread" (verse 19). They are the source from which all the earthly population has sprung! Which of the three was the oldest? From the order in which they are listed, we might expect that Shem was. In other instances in the Bible it is often true that the eldest is listed first. But that is not so in this case. The answer is found in Genesis 10:9 here it is recorded that "Unto them also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born" — and then the record goes on to list Shem's descendants. So here is a verse, overlooked by many, which plainly states that Japheth was the oldest of the three. There are other portions of scripture to support this passage. Look at the first part of this 10th chapter of Genesis. Here we see that Japheth's children are given first in the genealogy, not Shem's (verses 2-5). Ham's descendants are listed second (verses 6-20). And then, finally, the children of Shem are named (verses 21-31). The pattern in I Chronicles 1 is the same. These chapters illustrate plainly that Japheth was the eldest, Ham the middle son, and Shem the youngest. Now turn to Genesis 5:32. This verse tells us that Noah was 500 years old when the oldest of his last three children was begotten, and thus that the other two boys were born some time after his five hundredth year. An interesting and little realized fact, proven by this verse, is that Noah's three youngest sons were not born until after Noah's 120-year ministry of warning was well underway! Japheth, then, was not born until one hundred years before the Flood or twenty after Noah had begun the final climactic stage of his ministry. But it is possible to determine even further the relative age of Noah's sons. With Genesis 5:32 in mind, read Genesis 11:10. This verse supplies the unusual chronological detail that Shem was one hundred years old, two years after the Flood. This means he was born ninety-eight years before the end of the Flood or some two years after Japheth's birth. And since ham was born between his two brothers in time sequence, we realize that Noah's three sons were born in close succession at the very start of the last century prior to the Deluge! But, since Japheth is the oldest, why is Shem still named first when the three names are recorded in various passages? One reason is the practical matter of smooth pronunciation. It is much less awkward to say Shem, Ham, and Japheth than to say Japheth, Ham, and Shem. Putting the two syllable name before the single syllable ones is somewhat clumsy and unrhythmical. But there is a much more significant reason: Shem, though the youngest of the three, was by far the most responsible and righteous. He was, as subsequent chapters will make amply clear, a faithful servant of God and, next to his father, the most ardent champion of the truth in the centuries immediately after the Flood. Shem's great deeds greatly altered the course of history! And, finally, it is also worthy of note that Shem is given precedence because it was from him, in a direct line, that the Messiah came many generations later. Though Noah undoubtedly had many disappointments in his post-Flood career, Shem certainly was not among them.
Ugly Human Nature Asserts Itself
And now for the remainder of the account in the ninth chapter of Genesis. Beginning in verse 20 we are given a glimpse into one phase of Noah's agricultural activities after the Flood in Armenia. Undoubtedly he had been a producer of crops before the Flood and now he was resuming this vital activity. The implication of this is that this was the first vineyard planted after the Deluge. This would explain why Noah became drunk (verse 21). Quite a number of years had passed since he had taken any wine. Apparently Noah had simply forgotten just how potent an alcoholic beverage could be. This brief episode is in no way to be interpreted as meaning that the great Patriarch had a serious character defect. He simply made a mistake — one he certainly did not repeat during the remainder of his life. Here is another example of the fact the Bible never covers the foibles of human nature. The fact that Noah became drunk, however, is not the main factor in this account. Rather, it is what occurred while he was unaware of his surroundings! In casually reading this portion of the Bible, people have been puzzled as to why Canaan was so horribly cursed because he happened to see Noah in a state of nakedness. But a closer analysis of this passage reveals that there was more than just looking involved in this tragic circumstance! Notice verse 24: "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his son had done unto him!" There was an illicit sexual act committed here! Noah was very drunken and did not realize what was occurring. While in a stupor, someone took advantage of Noah — and committed an act of sodomy with him. It appears as though Ham were the one responsible but, the truth is , he was not! When we learn what Ham actually did — and who was really responsible for the act of sodomy — any problems with these verses disappear. Notice again Genesis 9:24: "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him." Ham was not Noah's younger son (He was his middle son as we have proven earlier in this chapter. So whoever this was in verse 24, it clearly was not Ham. Ham merely looked on or "saw the nakedness" of Noah (verse 22). He did not DO anything to his father. Instead, he immediately told his brothers and they covered him. The difficulty is purely grammatical. As a clarifying example, notice Exodus 34:28, a scripture in which we have a similar grammatical difficulty: "And he (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." Now, from the context it appears as though the "he wrote" refers to Moses! But from Deuteronomy 10:4 it is quite clear that God wrote the Ten Commandments! In other words, it is unclear as to whom the "he wrote" refers. This is the same problem we find in Genesis 9:24. But now, with this information in mind, we can solve this problem in Genesis. Return to the account verse 22: "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without .... And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his (that is Ham's) younger son had DONE unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan ..." Notice carefully how Canaan is mentioned twice in the story. Clearly, the pronoun "his" properly defers to Ham's, not Noah's son! But can we prove from the Bible that Canaan was really the younger son of Ham? The answer is found in Gen. 10:6: "And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, AND CANAAN" (This verse also shows that quite a number of years had passed since the Flood before this episode took place. Ham, by this time, had already had four sons born to him — Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan — and the youngest of the four had himself reached early manhood.)
A Major Prophecy About the Races
Now, after this had occurred, notice carefully what Noah said as recorded in verses 25-27. He pronounced a curse on Canaan — further proof that he, and not Ham, had been the guilty party. Canaan was not punished for what Ham did. He was punished for his own sin! But Noah, as one might conclude from a superficial reading of these passages, was not carelessly striking out against Canaan with an angry verbal attack. His words were not based on uncontrolled emotion. Rather, Noah was directly inspired by God to make these statements. He was actually giving a MAJOR PROPHECY concerning the RACES of the earth — a prophecy which has proved true through all generations and which is still being fulfilled right now. Let's analyze this prophecy in detail. The descendants of Shem are today mainly located among the Semitic and Northwestern European peoples. The descendants of Japheth are found among the Latin, Slavic, and Oriental peoples. And the descendants of Ham are found primarily among the dark Middle-Eastern races and Negroid tribes. (For more detailed information on the location of the races, see the article by Dr. Hoeh, "The Origin of the Nations!" (reprint 202). In going further, notice what God said about the future status of each of Noah's three sons in world-wide terms. First, Shem: "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem ..." This expression shows that the knowledge of God would be preserved among the descendants of Shem — a prophetic fact true to this day. The knowledge of God has been preserved among the sons of Shem while the descendants of the other two sons of Noah have received their little understanding of God through Shem's offspring! Next, Japheth: His descendants would be "enlarged" — spread out and increase mightily in population. The prime example of this is the fact that the greatest concentrations of earth's population exist in the Orient. Yet they would live under the influence and control of Shem — "he shall dwell in the tents of Shem! Lastly, the descendants of Ham were destined to be "servants of servants" in this world. Throughout Asia, Africa, North and South America, as well as in Europe and Australia, the children of Ham have been reduced to the general status of servants. In nearly every nation they comprise the lowest classes. Think of the significance and importance of this prophecy! Years before the Tower of Babel, God foretold the status of the white, yellow, and dark races for all future generations — and this while the population of the new world was very small and only beginning to grow!
Basic Facts About Genesis Ten
Before moving into the history of the centuries immediately after the Deluge, it would be well to pause for a brief survey of the tenth chapter of Genesis. A most important fact in relation to this important chapter is that all nations and races must ultimately trace their origins to one of the three sons of Noah! Now, from Shem, Ham, and Japheth sprang Noah's sixteen grandsons — and their sixteen family names illustrate all the general types of people found in the world today! Since it is important to be familiar with these names, they should be listed here. Shem had five sons: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. Ham had four: Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. And Japheth had the most sons of all, Seven: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. This tenth chapter contains a total of seventy-four names. Leaving out the names Salah, Heber, Nimrod, and Philistim, it is to be noted that there are seventy basic names in this section of the Bible. And in ancient Israel, interestingly enough, seventy bullocks were offered at the Feast of Tabernacles-picturing the time when every nation would come to know God! (Num. 29:12-32). This chapter, then, provides a brief, but basic, key summary of all the types of people that populate the earth. (Dr. Hoeh's article, "The Origin of the Nations!" (reprint 202), provides a basic study aid for better understanding of this part of scripture, especially in relation to prophecy. But the names in this chapter, particularly those of the three sons and the sixteen grandsons of Noah, are also of fundamental importance in understanding history because they keep appearing often in the accounts(rejected by modern historians) of earliest ancient times (summarized in the Compendium of World History). So much for this brief commentary on the events immediately after the Flood as presented in Genesis 8-10. Now it is time to trace the important activities of the great servant of God; Noah, in the decades after the Deluge as the human family began to grow and expand. This was one of the most momentous — one of the most crucial — periods in all human experience!