The Bible and Ethnology
Ethnology is “a science that deals with the division of human being into races and their origins, distribution, relations, and characteristics” (m-w.com). We have noted that evolutionists have great difficulty in explaining the current world population, and they are especially at a loss in explaining the origin of language. The same is true when it comes to their ideas about the origin and development of the many nations that comprise this world.
According to the Bible, the division and separation of the nations took place at Babel. “Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9). The tenth chapter of Genesis names the earth’s seventy original national units, resulting from this dispersion. “These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood” (Genesis 10:32).
This records the true beginning of the original nations. There are no known facts of human history which contradict this Biblical outline, and many which confirm it. Even higher critics have often admitted that the tenth chapter of Genesis is a remarkably accurate historical document. There is no comparable catalog of ancient nations available from any other source. In his book, “Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands” (p.70), Dr. William F. Albright, said concerning this Table of Nations: “It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature without a remote parallel even among the Greeks…The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document…(It) shows such remarkably ‘modern’ understanding of the ethnic and linguistic situation in the modern world, in spite of all its complexity, that scholars never fail to be impressed with the author’s knowledge of the subject.”
Ethnologists who accept this Biblical record have concluded from studies that as the seventy original families were separated and isolated in their respective habitats, the distinctive national traits quickly surfaced through genetic variation and tribal segregation. Other nations have emerged later through recombination, migration, inter-marriage, and other processes. As a result of enforced inbreeding over several generations and due to unique environmental habitats, each family and nation developed its own distinctive physical characteristics (facial features, body structure, skin color, etc.), and developed its own peculiar culture, based on the particular geographical resources as well as the ingenuity and industry of the people.
How did these families and their descendants spread to all the continents? Ethnologists think there is evidence that the American Indians may have come across a land bridge at the Bering Strait during the Ice Age, after the Flood. And they think there is evidence others (Incas, Aztecs of South America) came by sea, perhaps from Phoenicia or Egypt. But it is very possible, even probable, that it was miraculously that “the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9).
Allowing for the gradual modifications in form that often occur in family names with the passage of time, and by noting various references in both Scripture and early secular historical writings and on excavated archaeological monuments, ethnologists can trace most of these names and identify them with the various peoples and nations that now inhabit the world. In the account taken from Genesis 10, I will supply in italicized parenthesis the various peoples and nations that ethnologists have identified as descendants from the original seventy families.
Descendants of Japheth
“Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. The sons of Japheth (Indo-European peoples, Greece, Aryans in India) were Gomer (Gauls/French, Gaels/Scots, Celts/Irish, Goths/Germans/Scandinavians, Saxons/Britons/Welsh, Dutch, Armenians, Romans), Magog (Georgia, Sythians, Russians, Belorussians, Ukranians), Madai (Media, Persia, India), Javan (Greece, Cyprus, Rhodes, Spain, Italy, Portugal), Tubal (Russians, Bulgarians, Siberians, Hungarians, Albanians, Romanians), Meshech (Russians, Poles, Finns, Czechs, Yugoslavs), and Tiras (Thracians, Etruscans of Italy, Swedes, Norwegians, Icelandics). The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz (Germans, Scandinavia, Denmark), Riphath (Czechoslovakia, Romania, Turkey), and Togarmah (Armenians, Germany, Turkey, Turkestan). The sons of Javan were Elishah (Greece, Sicily), Tarshish (Spain, North Africa), Kittim (Cyprus, Greece), and Dodanim (Dardanelles, Rhodes). From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.” (Genesis 10:1-5)
Descendants of Ham
“The sons of Ham were Cush (Arbia, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Australian, New Guineans), Mizraim (Egypt), Put (Libya, Africans, Cyrenaeans, Somalians) and Canaan (Canaanites, Mongols, Chinese, Orientals, Tibetans, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Indonesians, Japanese, Asians, Malayasians, American Indians, Eskimos, Polynesians, Pacific Islanders). The sons of Cush were Seba (Sabaeans, Yemen), Havilah (Arabia, Kuwait) , Sabtah (Arabia), Raamah (Arabia, Oman), and Sabtechah (Yemen); and the sons of Raamah were Sheba (Yemen) and Dedan (Persian). Cush begot Nimrod (Babylon); he began to be a mighty one on the earth…And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). Mizraim begot Ludim (Libya), Anamim (Egypt), Lehabim (Libya), Naphtuhim (Egypt), Pathrusim (Egypt), and Casluhim (Egypt) (from whom came the Philistines and Caphtorim). Canaan begot Sidon (Phoencians) his firstborn, and Heth (Hittites); the Jebusite (Caananite), the Amorite (Caananite), and the Girgashite (Caananite); the Hivite (Lebanon), the Arkite (Lebanon), and the Sinite (Chinese, Mongoloids); the Arvadite (Arad), the Zemarite (Arad), and the Hamathite (Syria). Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed… These were the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands and in their nations.” (Genesis 10:6-20)
Descendants of Shem
“And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder. The sons of Shem were Elam (Kurds, Iranians), Asshur (Assryia, northern Iraq), Arphaxad (Chaldeans, Hebrews, Arabians, Israel), Lud (Lydia), and Aram (Syrians, Lebanese). The sons of Aram were Uz (northern Arbia), Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber (Hebrews). To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. Joktan begot (the following 13 southern Arabian tribes) Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan…These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations.” (Genesis 10:21-31)