Genesis 2:7, 1:26-27

Genesis 10-11   Unity & Diversity     – The Bible Teaching Commentary

Paul Bucknell

Introduction: Unity & Diversity: Noah's Sons

Genesis 10 and 11 enable us to jump ahead in our understanding of the development of the nations. They not only enable us to trace Abraham’s line back to Noah’s godly line but also to discover the keys to understanding our modern society’s linguistic and societal groups.


     Show the connection between the ancient and modern worlds through genealogical records.
     Establish the development of the multiplicity of languages.
     Deepen our faith and commitment to the God of the scriptures.
     Caution the class on the subtle threats and dangers of today's world culture.

Ancient World connects with the modern world.

When we distance ourselves from the world revealed in the scriptures, we tend to distance ourselves from God and His great plan. We might think, "God lived in the ancient world but is not relevant to our own age with modern economies, web connections, educational systems, United Nations, and pollution problems."

Genesis 10-11 bridges the gap between the ancient and the modern worlds.

Chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis do this through successive genealogies and careful explanations of ‘modern’ phenomena such as the diversity that derives from the multiethnic societies and multitude of languages.

Why is this so important? Secularism is dependent on a disconnect from the ancient past. If people realized that we share roots in common with those mentioned in the scriptures, then they would have to face the God who designed and made them. They would see God’s place in history. History is being driven to accomplish God’s work rather than as the secularists demand that religion is a development along with ignorant men. They developed these religions in fear.

History History is His Story!

Genesis is the key to unlock ancient and modern history.

We should add that no where else do we find anything like this knowledge being revealed here in God’s Word. It is absolutely fantastic to discover these links here in God’s Word written thousands of years ago. Ancient cultures never could look beyond their own culture. They would always brag of their accomplishments and speak excessively of them. Only in God’s Word do we find this detailed and yet honest revelation of the history of the world. God wants to link our modern generation to the ancient world for it is only then can we gain a full understanding of the Lord of history and His purposes among mankind.

A.Genealogies: Unity

The tower of Babel is sandwiched between two slices of genealogy!when God’s grace begins to pour into our lives.

Genesis 10 and 11 are closely tied together in their message. Genesis 10 provides the backdrop not only for Genesis 11 but also for modern history. Genesis 10 is a collection of genealogical records of the three sons of Noah: Ham, Japheth and Shem. Genesis 11, after the record of the Tower of Babel, charts a thousand years of Shem’s line. An extended chart of Noah’s descendants is given later.

Noah and His Three Sons

Sin had followed Noah into the world and stained it early on. The Genesis 11:1-9 record of the Tower of Babel shows us how the world from Noah’s time had again declined into an intolerable state.

Evil increased over time and the pattern becomes clearer as the history of man rolls along. The wickedness of man began to expand more quickly as time went on. This is perhaps because of the lessening influence of the great patriarchs. The first decline took 1656 years before God stepped in with the flood. The danger that showed itself at the Tower of Babel only took hundreds of years. God used a whole new special method of restraint to slow down this growth of wickedness. God took some drastic steps at that stage which would impede the speed by which man’s wickedness would grow. This became a form of salvation for man for this act held off God’s righteous wrath upon mankind.

The genealogy of chapter 10 shows how all the people of the world derived from these three sons of Noah: Japheth, Ham and Shem. Shem’s generations are expanded in chapter 11. Notice the characteristic introductions found throughout the Book of Genesis (toledot sections). Genesis 10 and 11 both begin with one.

Genesis 10:1 “Now these are the records of the generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah….”
Genesis 11:10 “These are the records of the generations of Shem….”

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The genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 have similarities.

The genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 work together to unite ancient history with modern history through Abraham. They have several similarities

• They both mark off ten generations.
• They end by noting the three sons of the last person, Noah and Terah.
• The genealogies are accurately self-referenced.

This is done by giving both the age of the father when he died and when his son was born. This of course does not give us outside reference to the world's chronology, but for internal accuracy nothing can be better in such limited situations.

In the two charts below, we find the record of the first two millenniums since creation. Each of the ten generations are marked. Adam headed off the first; Noah was born at the second. We will find in the next session of Abraham who headed off the third generation.

Genesis 5 Chart: Adam to Noah Millenium #1

Genesis 11 Chart: Noah to Terah Millenium #2

The genealogy takes a bit different course here. Chapter 10 does not record dates. We find no information of how old Shem, Ham and Japheth are. We only know about Shem’s line from Genesis 11. This is the way to show that God was only concerned in thoroughly tracing the line from which the Messiah would be born. God is showing how He is fulfilling His promise first made in Genesis 3:15. This genealogical trick was also done during the time of the forming of Israel. Only Levite’s line was shown to continue (Exodus 6).

Here we find the descendants of Noah from Genesis 10. Sixteen grandsons can be traced down into the different parts of the world where they went. Genesis 10 shows that the world is linked up to what God is doing in history. They want to put aside all religions as myth, but Noah’s ark and this genealogical record of Genesis 10 presents such a startling perspective of how we are all linked together, secularism is scared to face the facts. They want an old earth rather than thinking the earth has only entered the 7th millennium.

The genealogy of chapter 10 shows how all the people of the world derived from these three sons of Noah: Japheth, Ham and Shem. Shem's generations are expanded in chapter 11.


What millennium do you live in? We now live around the beginning of the seventh millenium. Jesus was born around the fourth. Do you sense the spread of wickedness?

A. Genealogies: Diversity through Noah's Sons

We need to get a perspective on how the world became so diverse. The scriptures unlock this mystery by revealing us the creation and spread of cultures through Noah's sixteen grandsons. On can note this through the chart below.

Noah's Sons Map Distribution Genesis 10 Chart: Japheth, Ham, Shem

Noah's Children and Grandchildren

Click for chart on Noah's descendants.


(France, Spain,
Germany, Wales)

(Romania, Ukraine)





(Macedonia, Yugoslavia)





:Heth (Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites)




:Eber: Hebrew
:Joktan: Arabia



The Genesis Index

Genesis Introduction:  Introduction to Genesis |  Outline and Genealogies  |  Genesis' Chronologies (5 & 11) |   Unified Themes of Genesis
Genesis 1-2:3:   The Worship of the Creator |  The Meaning of Creation  |  Creation Lessons on God.  |  God and the World's Religions
Genesis 2:4-17:    Preparation for Man (Genesis 2:4-6) |  Creation of Man (Gen. 2:7, 1:26-27) |  Purpose for Man (Genesis 2:8-17)
Genesis 2:18-25: The Foundations of Marriage
Genesis 3:1-13: The Fall of Man | Temptation (Genesis 3:1-6) | The Fall (Genesis 3:7-13) | Questions 3:1-6 | Questions 3:7-13
Genesis 5-9: Genesis Flood | Genesis 05 Genealogical Chart
Genesis 10-11: Noah's Sons| Questions | History Genesis 10:6-11 | Tower of Babel Genesis 11:1-9 | Questions | Culture Genesis 11
Genesis 12-22:   The Call: Genesis 12.1The Promises: Genesis 12.2-3  |  The Means: Genesis 15The Testing: Genesis 22
Genesis 12-16: Introduction |   Place Detour: Genesis 12:10-20; 20 |  Person Detour: Genesis 12:13-14Procedure Detour: Genesis 16-17
Genesis 14:1-24: Three Steps to Spiritual Growth | #1 Observe | #2 Utlilitize | #3 Secure
Genesis 18-19: Cultural Woes of Sodom | Appearing to Abraham | Visit to Sodom | Debate of Homosexuality and Sodom
Genesis 21-26: Isaac's Model for Godly Marriages
Genesis 27-36: Genesis 27-36 Jacob's Life of Faith
Genesis 25-37: Influence of Sin | God and Man's Sin | Understanding Man's Sin Nature | Understanding Jacob's Sins
Genesis 37-50: Joseph’s Dillusonment | Genesis 42-47:12: The Big Picture | Conclusion | The Reason

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