Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. (Genesis 10:1-5)
We come to the “Table of Nations”, which has been described even by unbelieving “higher critics” of scripture, as a remarkably accurate, and unique historical document. This Divine family record is the connecting genealogical path from the immediate aftermath of flood, to the emergence of the various nations which we see in Biblical history.*
Humanity as we know it, has a threefold root system, for we all trace back either to Shem, Ham or Japheth. There are no “races”, for behind those three, we all descend from Noah, and from Adam before him.
The Table starts with Japheth, and his seven sons.
Gomer- The descendants of this son of Japheth eventually settled north of the Black Sea, in a district which was called Cimmeria ,and even today is known as Crimea. It is possible that the name of Gomer also survives in the name of the Germanic peoples.
Gomer’s three sons were ,Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. Ashkenaz is definitely associated with the Germans. The Jews call German Jews, Ashekenazi. It is also possible that the name Riphath is preserved in the name of Europe, the continent whish was predominantly settled by the sons of Japheth. The Armenian and Turkik peoples around the Caspian Sea and the Caucus mountains descend from Togarmeh.
Magog- This name can mean,”The place of Gog”. Magog was believed to be the ancestor of the Scythians, the original settlers around the Black Sea area.
Madai- Madai is the father of the Medes, who dwelt in what is now known as Persia and eventually intermarried with the Elamites,(Semitic) to become the ancestors of the Persian people. The sons of Madai also inhabited the Indian subcontinent, the Indo,Aryan peoples descending from them. The Aryans of Inida have always insisted that their Ancestor was a man named, “Iyepti”, which is perhaps a corruption of Japheth.
Javan- The son of Japheth, whose name was eventually pronounced Ionias went on to become the Greek nation, settling in the Aegian sea, and in Asia minor(Turkey). Javan’s children are also listed, Elisha, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. The name Elisha would become Hellas, from which the term Hellenistic, or the name geographical name Hellespont derives.
The Roman people in their time of idolatry worshipped as chief God “Jupiter” a possible corruption of the name of their ancestor, Japheth.
Tarshish would settle in North Africa,(Carthage) and in Spain,(Tartessos), but eventually Phoenicians . Kittim would be associated with those who settled the Cypriot Islands, and the Greek mainland also. Dodanim may have given his name to the straits of the Dardenelles.
Tubal- and Meshech- Both of these are usually associated together in the Bible. THey originated in and around the area we now call Turkey, and spread out as far as the Caucusus mountains, and the Georgian and Armenian areas.
Tiras- Josephus tells us that Tiras, would give descent to the Thracian peoples, and possibly the Etruscans of Italy came from him as well.
Noah predicted that Japheth,”the expander” would expand, and thus he did both geographically, colonially, culturally philosophically, and intellectually. It is of interest that to this day, it is western civilization which is dominant in the world for good and evil.
It is also of interest that in the predictions of the final battles, the very names of the sons and grandchildren of Japheth re-emerge as participants in the final gentile attempt to wipe out Israel and overthrow Israel’s God.
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee(Ezekiel 38:2-6)
*I am heavily indebted in this section to Dr Henry Morris’s Genesis Record for this section