FRIDAY, JULY 28
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 10
OK… I know I said at the beginning of our study of Genesis that I would probably skip over the genealogy chapters. But we did the first one because of some important information we find there. And now we need to do the second genealogy because of some important information we find there. We will see later what we will do with the third genealogy.
This is not a typical genealogy for a couple of reasons. One, it is not complete. That doesn’t mean it is wrong. It is just all inclusive. Second, it divides people by clan, language, land, and nation (verse 31). Most other genealogies just list people as offspring.
When we get to verse 8, we have what is called a parenthetical statement. The genealogy beginning in verse 6 is just sort of rocking along until we meet a man named Nimrod. The Bible describes him as a mighty man and a mighty hunter before the Lord. When you first look at that, you might think Nimrod must have been a faithful man who had a good relationship with God. But that is not the case.
As you read on in verses 10-11 you find that he founded a couple of interesting places. One was Babel which we will read about in chapter 11. Babel would later be known as Babylon. Suffice it to say that although God would use Babylon later on to discipline Israel, Babel/Babylon were not a good place. In fact, Babylon is prominent in Revelation as descriptive of the forces that stand against God. Verse 11 adds Nineveh to Nimrod’s accomplishments. If you remember the story of Jonah, you might remember that Nineveh was not a very nice place either.
The point is this. The fact that a man is a mighty or great man or even a mighty hunter does not make him necessarily a good man. Even being “before” the Lord does not necessarily make you a good man. At the end of the day all men (and women) are before the Lord. There are no exceptions to that.
In verse 21, we get to Shem’s ancestry. Verse 24 ends with a man named Eber. Although it is not mentioned here probably because Abraham was not born yet, Abraham came from the line of Eber. Many rightly consider Abraham the father of the Hebrew nation (Israel). And it is through the line of Abraham that Jesus’ human lineage flows.
Then in verse 25, we find another interesting statement. We read that a man named Peleg was born to Eber and that during Peleg’s day the earth was divided. That is a curious statement.
Some people believe that is a reference to the dividing of the continents and the rearranging of the land masses. I don’t subscribe to that theory but it is nevertheless interesting. I tend to think this has more to do with God’s will for the people on the earth to scatter and repopulate the earth. As we will see in the next chapter, there was an effort to keep all the people groups together as they built the Tower of Babel. God didn’t take that very well and created a process that caused the groups of people to separate.
Let me try to end this with a couple of insights to this chapter. One, God is the God of all nations. He actually decides what nations will exist and what their boundaries will be (Acts 17:26). So, all of these nations that began in this chapter were in place because of God not in spite of God. Two, God has a purpose for all nations to fulfill even those that are pagan nations. (As mentioned earlier, God would use Babylon and even Assyria to discipline Israel.) Finally, God loves people in every nation and every people group. That’s the reason Jesus gave us a Great Commission that sends us to all the nations.