Noah’s Sons Part 5: The Brotherhood

To start at the beginning of this series, click here

So now that we have a better understanding of who Noah’s sons were from Genesis 10 and where they went, lets continue to look into their roles in populating the Earth.  If you will remember back in Part 1 we looked at Genesis 9 and discovered Noah proclaiming a prophecy over the 3 sons. Lets start with Ham, because I think its very interesting. The Hebrew word for “slaves” used by Noah for Ham (and his son Canaan) is “ébed” and can mean slave but more often it means a servant who chooses to serve others… think waiters, couriers, etc… as a course of action or role/position within a social construct. And we see this in Genesis ‭9:1-3, 7, 18-21, 24‬-27,29. Ham and his descendants were to be the skilled laborers, savvy technicians, crafty crafts-people, the way makers for the other brothers. However, in Genesis 11 we see that Ham’s descendants did not make it very far from Mt. Ararat in their role as way makers for the family. They instead set up shop in an open plain in what is now Northern Iraq. There they started to use their God-given talents and abilties to glorify and exalt themselves. They were still speaking the unified language which had come from the Ark at this point but they were not fulfilling their role of the family. In Genesis 11:6-7 we see God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit come down to observe the work of Ham’s descendants and then make a peculiar statement in “And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” Basically, we’ve created a monster and now they are going off on their own, without God and His plan for the coming Messiah. So in Verse 8 God basically sets about supernaturally sending them to the “ends” of the Earth, where they are dispersed, mixed up their language and then set them free to do their God-given role. Depending on your perspective, it may or not be surprising that modern archaeologists and anthropologists acknowledge the “cradle of civilization” is the fertile crescent which starts at the mouth of the Persian Gulf (where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers empty out) up to Turkey and then down along the Eastern Mediterranean coast to the Nile River delta. They also seem to acknowledge that there appears to be a movement across the continents towards the fertile crescent where the closer they get to the fertile crescent the more advanced they get. For example, ancient people groups in far South or Southwestern Africa seem to have been living in what we sort of lump a period of time into called the Stone Age. Then as these people traveled North and Northeast towards the fertile crescent they advanced into Bronze Ages, and then arriving close to the fertile crescent they were in the Iron Age. We see the same thing being played out in ancient people groups coming from China and Southeast Asia, from South America heading towards the Atlantic Ocean and even across North America as the descendants of Japheth arrived on the East Coast meeting these descendants of Ham. You see, the descendants of Ham were sent to the far corners of the world and then through their technology and ingenuity they were all making their way back “home” to the fertile crescent. While Ham’s people were traveling we see Shem’s descendants making small movements South from Turkey and down into what we now call the Middle East. Once Abraham had Ishmael and Isaac there was a cultural and spiritual split among them which added to the split between Eber and Joktan from centuries before. The Middle East is the hotbed of a long-term civil war among brothers, basically. The cultural and spiritual Ishmael/Joktan has since then spread across Northern Africa and even to parts of the Far East. Japheth largely stayed at home, when compared to the other brothers, awaiting his time on the world map. He did settle out Russia, Europe and remember the Indo-Pakistani off shoot as well.

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