Genesis 10:31
These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
10:15-32 The posterity of Canaan were numerous, rich, and pleasantly seated; yet Canaan was under a Divine curse, and not a curse causeless. Those that are under the curse of God, may, perhaps, thrive and prosper in this world; for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us. The curse of God always works really, and always terribly. Perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work so that others can see it; or a slow curse, and does not work soon; but sinners are reserved by it for a day of wrath Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing. Abram and his seed, God's covenant people, descended from Eber, and from him were called Hebrews. How much better it is to be like Eber, the father of a family of saints and honest men, than the father of a family of hunters after power, worldly wealth, or vanities. Goodness is true greatness.Genesis 10:31 contains the usual closing formula for the pedigree of the Shemite tribes; and Genesis 10:32 contains the corresponding form for the whole table of nations.

From a review of these lands it is evident that Shem occupied a much smaller extent of territory than either of his brothers. The mountains beyond the Tigris, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Levant, the Archipelago, and the Black Sea, bound the countries that were in part peopled by Shem. Arabia, Syria, and Assyria contained the great bulk of the Shemites, intermingled with some of the Hamites. The Kushites, Kenaanites, and Philistines trench upon their ground. The rest of the Hamites peopled Africa, and such countries as were supplied from it. The Japhethites spread over all the rest of the world.

In this table there are 70 names, exclusive of Nimrod, of heads of families, tribes, or nations descended from the 3 sons of Noah - 14 from Japheth, 30 from Ham, and 26 from Shem. Among the heads of tribes descended from Japheth are 7 grandsons. Among those from Ham are 23 grandsons and 3-great-grandsons. Among those of Shem are 5 grandsons, one great-grandson, 2 of the fourth generation, and 13 of the fifth. Whence, it appears that the subdivisions are traced further in Ham and much further in Shem than in Japheth, and that they are pursued only in those lines which are of importance for the coming events in the history of Shem.

It is to be observed, also, that, though the different races are distinguished by the diversity of tongues, yet the different languages are much less numerous than the tribes. The eleven tribes of Kenaanites, and the thirteen tribes of Joctanites, making allowance for some tribal peculiarities, most probably spoke at first only two dialects of one family of languages, which we have designated the Hebrew, itself a branch of, if not identical with, what is commonly called the Shemitic. Hence, some Hamites spoke the language of Shem. A similar community of language may have occurred in some other instances of diversity of descent.

25. Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided—After the flood (Ge 11:10-16) the descendants of Noah settled at pleasure and enjoyed the produce of the undivided soil. But according to divine instruction, made probably through Eber, who seems to have been distinguished for piety or a prophetic character, the earth was divided and his son's name, "Peleg," was given in memory of that event (see De 32:8; Ac 17:26). No text from Poole on this verse. These are the sons of Shem,.... His sons, and grandsons, and great grandsons, in all twenty six, no doubt but there were many more, but these are only mentioned; for none of the sons of Elam, Ashur, and Lud, are named, and but one of Arphaxad's, and one of Salah's, and two of Eber's, and none of Peleg's; when it is not to be questioned but they had many, as is certain of Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, and Peleg, Genesis 11:13.

after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations: from hence sprung various families at first, and these of different languages upon the confusion of Babel, which thenceforward formed different nations, dwelt in different lands; which have been pointed at as near as we can at this distance, and with the little helps and advantages we have: it seems from hence that Shem's posterity were of different languages as well as those of Ham and Japheth.

These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. These are, &c.] Cf. Genesis 10:5; Genesis 10:20.Verses 31, 32. - These are the sons of Shorn, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. The pedigree of the Shemite tribes is closed with the customary formula (vide ver. 5); that which follows being the concluding formula for the entire table of nations. These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations (literally, according to their Tholdoth, or historical developments), in their nation,: and by these (literally, from the) were the nations divided (or, did the nations scatter themselves) in the earth after the flood.



The settlements of these Joktanides lay "from Mesha towards Sephar the mountain of the East," Mesha is still unknown: according to Gesenius, it is Mesene on the Persian Gulf, and in Knobel's opinion, it is the valley of Bisha or Beishe in the north of Yemen; but both are very improbable. Sepher is supposed by Mesnel to be the ancient Himyaritish capital, Shafr, on the Indian Ocean; and the mountain of the East, the mountain of incense, which is situated still farther to the east. - The genealogy of the Shemites closes with Genesis 10:31, and the entire genealogy of the nations with Genesis 10:32. According to the Jewish Midrash, there are seventy tribes, with as many different languages; but this number can only be arrived at by reckoning Nimrod among the Hamites, and not only placing Peleg among the Shemites, but taking his ancestors Salah and Eber to be names of separate tribes. By this we obtain for Japhet 14, for Ham 31, and for Shem 25, - in all 70 names. The Rabbins, on the other hand, reckon 14 Japhetic, 30 Hamitic, and 26 Semitic nations; whilst the fathers make 72 in all. But as these calculations are perfectly arbitrary, and the number 70 is nowhere given or hinted at, we can neither regard it as intended, nor discover in it "the number of the divinely appointed varieties of the human race," or "of the cosmical development," even if the seventy disciples (Luke 10:1) were meant to answer to the seventy nations whom the Jews supposed to exist upon the earth.
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