Sixteen Ancestors of Mankind
Elder Harold Hunt
The Bible is God's ultimate revelation to his children. It tells us everything we need to know and do religiously. It is the final revelation in every controversy with regard to the true religion.
But the Bible is all of that and more. Among many other things the Bible is the ultimate history of the human race. It lays down firm and clear and unmistakable landmarks against which all other history must be tested. It has been said that history is a system of agreed upon myths, and there is some truth in that, at least, as regards any history written by men. Human history is not the ultimate judge. Historians deal with the information that is available to them, and if that information is faulty, their conclusions are going to be faulty.
But while history may be a system of agreed upon myths, even the myths themselves fail us if we follow history back far enough. In the fifth century B.C. a Greek historian by the name of Herodotus took on the task of writing the history of the world up to his time. He wrote a huge nine volume history which has been recognized as an authority since that day. He earned himself the name of "the Father of History." Since the time of Herodotus we have had a reasonably accurate history, but prior to his day, the history of the world is a vast wasteland of fabulous myths and
legends. There is not much real agreement among historians about specific details and events which took place very much before his day. Generation after generation handed down a system of legends, which were always slanted in favor of whichever nation was preserving the story. For that matter, not even Herodotus believed everything he wrote. He acknowledged that he included quite a few accounts simply because they made a more lively story.
For the last two hundred years or so, archaeologists have provided us with glimpses into the far distant past. Some of their findings can be very enlightening, and we would not deny the great benefit of their work. Especially, they have produced a wealth of information about the great empires of the Middle East. They have learned to decipher long forgotten languages. They have, very painstakingly, deciphered the inscriptions on old monuments to piece together information about old kingdoms, and old wars. But for all the benefits they provide, they are still only glimpses. What
one archaeologist affirms another denies.
All of that stands in stark contrast to the record God has left us in the Bible. The Bible stands out as unique in all of
history. The archaeologist looks at his little collection of artifacts, and guesses. The student of ancient history reads his prehistoric myth, and wonders which part of it is true, or if indeed, any part of it can be believed.
The Bible is different. The Bible goes back, not to the dawn of history, but to the very morning of time itself. It gives the exact names of particular individuals and specific details of their lives. It traces family trees. It traces connections and relationships that are still profoundly affecting world events to this very day. Much of the conflict that is going on in world affairs at this very time is traceable to remote ages which are entirely unreachable by uninspired historians. The one and only source for some of that information is the historical evidence found in
the Bible. It provides the only dependable record of ancient nations which have long since been absorbed by other people. Just to give one
example, alongside of Egypt and Mesopotamia the ancient Hittite Empire was one of the most powerful forces in the early ancient world. But as important and as mighty as that great empire was, until the early 1800's the Hittite Empire was virtually lost to history. Encyclopedia Britannica acknowledges that "the total knowledge of 'the Hittites...... was derived from the Old Testament." That is quite an admission: that historians could not even verify the existence of such a powerful empire without the help of the Bible.
Then beginning about 1810 archaeologists began to discover the remains of the Hittite Empire. Since then they have pieced together much of their story. The Bible had much to say about the Hittites, but historians could not even find them.
The characters written about in the Bible were real; they really lived, and they did do the things they are recorded to have done. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were real. David was a real person. Noah was real. His sons Shem, Ham and Japheth, and his sixteen grandsons were actual people.
In tills little booklet I intend to very briefly examine the history of those sixteen grandsons of Noah. One of the greatest deficiencies of secular history, with regard to the early ancient world is the failure of historians to recognize the identity and the enormous importance of those sixteen men.
The grandsons of Noah literally provide the key to the history of the earliest ages of the world. In this little booklet I
want to look at those sixteen men, and examine the evidence that they did live, and that the names recorded in the Bible were their names, and we will identify the various modern nations which sprang from each of those men.
Now bear in mind that those men lived over four thousand years ago. Uninspired historians cannot reach back that far.
Reliable human history cannot reach much farther than the tune of Herodotus in the fifth century B.C. When you go back that far, human history loses entire empires. What are the chances, then, that we can find sixteen individuals? What are the chances that we can show that those sixteen men were who the Bible says they were? Not only can we find all sixteen of those men, we can show where they lived and raised their families. God has provided us with absolutely mind-boggling evidence as to the existence and identity of those sixteen grandsons of Noah, and he has preserved
that evidence in such form that it can never be lost or erased.
The identity of those sixteen grandsons of Noah is one of the most important facts in human history, and it is no credit to historians that they have not incorporated that fact into their histories.
There are some facts so important to be known that God has imprinted those facts on the memory of mankind in a way that all the ingenuity of men cannot erase them. The identity of those sixteen men is one of those facts. In this booklet we expect to demonstrate that God has provided mankind with a memory of those men in such a manner that the evidence has not been lost even after all these many centuries.
Just what is so important about those sixteen grandsons of Noah? Just this: those men are the ancestors of all mankind. Every person living today is descended from one of the other of those men.
Except for eight people the entire human race perished in the Genesis Flood. After sixteen hundred years of human history mankind had become so corrupt that God determined to destroy all of the human race except for Noah and Ws family. Gen. 6:5-8, "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually- And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at Ws heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and
beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
God sent a flood that covered the tallest hills, changed the entire geography of the earth, and destroyed every air breathing creature on earth, ("all in whose nostrils was the breath of life" Gen. 7:22). Only Noah, and his wife, and his three sons and their wives, and the creatures Noah took into the ark, escaped. The rest of the human race perished in the flood.
When Noah and his family stepped out of the ark one year later, they stepped out into a vast empty earth. Those eight people were the only people on earth. God told them to "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen. 9:2). It fell to Shem, Ham and Japheth, the three sons of Noah, and their sixteen sons to repopulate the earth, and that is what they did. Those three sons of Noah and their wives came out of the ark after the flood and made homes for themselves. Then their sons, these sixteen grandsons of Noah, fanned out over the earth and established the various
nations of the ancient world.
Those sixteen men were the ancestors of the entire human race, and it is simply mind-boggling to examine the amount of evidence God has left us as to their individual existence and identity. Again bear in mind that we are talking about sixteen individuals who lived over four thousand years ago. That is a time so remote that historians lose entire empires. Historians finally rediscovered the Hittite Empire only during the last century, and archaeologists are still discovering the shattered
remains of civilizations they are completely unable to identify. Perhaps God left us such a legacy of proof with regard to those men for the purpose of stopping the mouths of skeptics, who are so fond of ridiculing the Bible. Skeptics in every age have insisted that the Bible is a book of myths and legends, but God has left us all the evidence we need to prove that those characters really lived, that they were who the Bible says they were, and that the names the
Bible provides were their exact names. We will only have time and space to take a brief look at each of these men, and the evidence regarding them, but we believe that it will be sufficient to demonstrate that further inquiry win bear out the conclusions reached.
One important fact which secular historians rarely mention is that when the European explorers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries began to travel to the remote corners of the earth, wherever they went, they found primitive cultures who were still talking about the Genesis Flood. For the most part, those people had no written language. They did not have books, magazines, nor newspapers. There was no written record of the flood, but they were still talking about it. How could it have happened that they still knew about the flood literally thousands of years after the fact?
For one thing, they did not have the distractions of books, and newspapers, and radio, and television; so they had an abundance of time to talk to each other. Before all of our modern advancements people communicated with each other on an individual basis more than we ever have since. For four thousand years those primitive, unlettered people sat around in the evening and told each other tales of long ago, and the most often repeated story was about a world destroying flood, and the one man and Ws family who survived to repopulate the new world. That was the most
momentous event in the history of the world up until their time, and cultures all over the world were fascinated by the story. For four thousand years they could not stop telling it.
The explorers traveled to the remotest corners of the globe, and wherever they went, they found the natives repeating that story. And wherever the story was told, the basic facts were always very similar. Whether it was the Gilgamesh Epic of the Babylonians or another version told by American Indians, or stiff another version told by the Polynesians of the South Pacific, the main story line was always the same. Mankind had violated the law of his God; his disobedience brought a world destroying flood, and only one man and his family escaped. One story had the ark shaped like a
cigar; one had it shaped like a cube; another story allowed that the ark had nine stories. The details varied, but the basic facts were always the same: a violated law, a world destroying flood, an huge boat, and one man and his family who survived to populate the new world. Skeptics can ridicule the Bible, but they have no explanation of why (if the Genesis Flood did not happen) did primitive cultures all over the world --- cultures which had no contact with each other --- pass that legend down for four thousand years. What was the source of the legend if it never happened?
Pagan religions worshipped Noah under a variety of names. The ancient Romans worshipped him under the name of Janus. You may remember from your ancient history classes that Janus was the god with two faces, one facing in each direction. That was the Roman version of Noah, the man who lived in two worlds, the world before the flood, and the world after the flood. In other words, he could look in two directions, toward two different worlds.
The human race is divided into three distinct groups. Down through the ages historians have always recognized three
major divisions of the races, the Hamitic, the Japhetic, and the Semitic, exactly corresponding to the three sons of Noah. The Hamitic races lived primarily in Africa and parts of Southwest Asia. The Japhetic lived in Europe and Northern Asia, And the Semitic lived primarily in the Middle East and Eastward from there. Modern anthropologists with their evolutionary turn of mind do their best to ignore the fact that their predecessors have always recognized those three major groups. For instance, under the heading of Race Encyclopedia Britannica says, "Tradition favored an
oversimplified phylogeny, a three-race theory," but their evolutionary prejudice will not allow them to even list those names, much less to point out that the traditional names of the races (the Hamitic, the Japhetic, and the Semitic) exactly correspond to the names of the three sons of Noah.
But I am not so concerned with Noah and his three sons as I am with his sixteen grandsons. It is in those sixteen grandsons that the various nations find their origins, and it was by those famines that the earth was repopulated.
After the flood the ark came to rest "upon the mountains of Ararat" (Gen. 8:4). Mount Ararat is located at the very Eastern limit of Turkey, where Turkey and Soviet Armenian and Iran meet. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the Persian (Iranian) name for Ararat is Koh-i-Nuh, meaning Noah's Mountain. Modern skeptics deny the very existence of Noah; it is embarrassing to them that for thousands of years the Armenians have called Mount Ararat by Noah's name. Mount Ararat is still sacred to the Armenians; they call it The Mother of the World. They still tell the story of
Noah and the Genesis Flood, and insist that they were the first race of people to appear after the flood. Local legend maintains that the remains of the ark were for many years visible on the mountain.
At any rate, the ark came to rest on the mountains ofArarat, and from there the sons and grandsons of Noah fanned out into the vast empty places of the earth. In the providence of God they and their descendants left a very clear record of where those families came to live, and the nations that were produced by them. But before we examine each of those names, we need to notice one important aspect of that age of the world. That age had
one very important characteristic which does not apply to any other age, either before or since.
Before the flood men lived to be very old. If you will look at Genesis chapter five, you will discover that it was not at all uncommon for somebody to live to be almost a thousand years old. Adam lived to be nine hundred and thirty years old (vs. 5).
Methuselah lived to be nine hundred and sixty nine (vs. 27), and Noah lived to be rune hundred and fifty (ch. 9:29). But all of that changed after the flood. For the next several generations they still lived to be very old by our standards, but the life expectancy of each generation dropped rapidly. Genesis chapter eleven gives the ages of the first several generations after the flood. If those life spans which are listed are typical of those which are not listed, and we have no reason to believe they were any different, then, one strange fact becomes evident: for the next eight
the flood, the life expectancy of each generation was falling so rapidly, that it was the rule, rather than the exception, for the parents to outlive their children. And not only that, it was the rule for the grandparents to outlive their grandchildren, and for the great-grandparents to outlive their great-grandchildren, and so on. That went on for eight generations or more.
Let us take just a moment to see how that worked out. Genesis chapter eleven records that "Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood" (vs- 10). He lived "after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years" (vs 11). So Arphaxad died 502 years (2 years plus 500 years) after the flood. "Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah" (vs. 12) 37 years (2 years plus 35 years) after the flood. Salah lived another 403 years
(vs. 15). He died 440 years after the flood (2 years plus 35 years plus 403 years). So he died 62 years before Ws father. The eleventh chapter of Genesis has all the numbers. You can work out the arithmetic for yourselves, but here is a listing of the date of the death of each of the patriarchs up until the tune of Abraham.
Shem died 502 years after the flood. Arphaxad died 440 years after the flood. Salah died 470 years after the flood.
Eber died 531 years after the flood. Peleg died 340 years after the flood. Reu died 370 years after the flood.
Serug died 393 years after the flood. Nahor died 241 years after the flood. Terah died 426 years after the flood.
Abraham died 527 years after the flood. Except for Eber, Shem outlived all Ws descendants for the next eight generations. Abraham was the first to outlive Shem, and he only outlived him by 25 years.
The point is this: those first several generations after the flood lived to be very old, and it was not uncommon for a man to outlive his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. They outlived the next several generations, and the enormous difference in age between themselves and their surviving descendants set them apart. They were unique in all of history. They stood all alone at the heads of their respective family clans.
In the years after the flood, they fanned out, and establishedhomes in the vast empty places of the earth, and they repopulated the earth with their offspring. Those various families became great nations, and each of those sixteen grandsons of Noah stood at the head of the vast populations of their respective areas. Several things happened. The people in the various areas called themselves by the name of the one man who was their common ancestor. Since he was the patriarch of the entire population of that
region, it was only natural that they should carry his name. They also
called their land by his name. They usually named their major city and the major river in that region after him.
The names of the sixteen grandsons of Noah were fixed on the various lands, and nations, and cities, and rivers, and for thousands of years those names have stood. Many of them stand until this present day. Their exact names, often unchanged in any way, have been so firmly fixed on the pages of history that they can never be erased.
God has given us clear and indisputable proof that the Bible record of the earliest days of mankind is accurate. He has left us all the evidence we need to rout those who have imagined that the Bible is a collection of myths and legends. It is impossible to imagine any way those names could have been any more firmly preserved than they have been.
Sometimes the various nations fell off into ancestor worship,
and if they did, it was very natural for them to name their god after the man who was the ancestor of all of them. After all, if they were involved in ancestor worship, what could be more natural than for them to call their god by the name of their common ancestor. Human nature being what it is, it is not difficult to imagine how ancestor worship gained a hold over them. As we have seen, those first generations after the flood lived to be very old. If a man outlived all his children, his grandchildren, his great-
grandchildren, and so on, for several generations, it is easy to see that Ws descendants might get the idea that he was never going to die. And if they ever got that idea, it is also easy to see how they might imagine that he was really a god. Actually, they did not name their god after him, they simply claimed him for their god. The evidence is clear that many of the pagan gods were actually men whom their worshippers imagined to be gods. We shall see that the names of many of the pagan gods are traceable to the grandsons of Noah.
More than that, for over four thousand years the names of those various ancient nations have been preserved in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew names for those ancient nations corresponds exactly with the names of those sixteen grandsons of Noah. We cannot fail to see divine providence in the preservation of the Hebrew language. After all, what other language ever gained such prominence as a spoken language, then virtually died, and was centuries later revived as a spoken language.
We cannot imagine any more forceful, and any more conclusive, way in which the existence and identity of those men could have been established. Their names were attached to theirdescendants, to the land in which they lived, to the major cities and rivers of their various homelands, and sometimes even to the false gods which their descendants later came to worship. We shall see that those names continued for thousands of years, usually with very little change. And by divine providence, the identity of those men and their descendants was nailed down in the Hebrew
language, and preserved for all ages.
In Genesis chapter ten, God gives us the names of those men, and he gives us clues as to where they lived and raised their families, and what became of their descendants. God has provided that chapter as a kind of index chapter for the very purpose of nailing down the identity of those men and the nations which sprang from them. He systematically and laboriously cataloged every one of them. In the next few pages we hope to examine those names one by one and discover some of the information that is available. We will only take time for the briefest glance at each
one, but we believe the information provided will be sufficient.
Gen. 10:1,2, "Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Ham, 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 Meshesh, and Tiras."
Noah had three sons, Ham, Ham and Japheth. This chapter deals with them in reverse order. It saves Ham till last;
so we will do the same. We hope to show, both from the Bible record, and from history, that after the flood the family of Noah came down off Mount Ararat and Japheth and his descendants spread out to the North and West. They occupied the continent of Europe and the Northwestern part of Asia.
The first name mentioned is Gomer. He was Noah's grandson by Japheth. It is a fairly easy matter to trace the travels of Gomer and his descendants, both from the Bible and from secular history. Ezekiel locates the early descendants of Gomer.
He tells us that, along with Togarmah, Gomer lived in the northquarters (Ezek. 38:6). If you will plot a line almost due North from Israel, you will find yourself in an area which in New Testament times was called Galatia. Paul wrote one of Ms epistles to the churches of Galatia. Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian who live dduring the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, records that those people who were called Galatians, or Galls, in his day were previously called Gomerites (Josephus 1:6:1). The area is now in central Turkey. History records that the Galatians, or Galls,
migrated westward to what is now called France. For many centuries France was called Gaul, after the Galls, the descendants of Gomer. Many of the Gomerites migrated farther to what is now called Wales. The Welsh historian Davis records that the Welsh people believe that the descendants of Gomer "landed on the Isle of Britain from France, about three hundred years after the flood" (pg 5). He also records that the Welsh language is called Gomeraeg (after their ancestor Gomer). The Welsh people still sometimes refer to themselves as the sons of Gomer. John Gill records that the Welsh people in his day were
called Cumero (Gomerites). So for four thousand years the name of Gomer has been firmly fixed in the traditional name of the Welsh people and in the traditional name of their language.
It is an interesting study to trace the migration of the descendants of Gomer by their language. The traditional name of
the ancient Welsh language is Gomeraeg (from Gomer). It is a branch of the Indo-European languages known as Celtic or Keltic. Encyclopedia Britannica says that the Celtic group of languages reached from Galatia on the East to Gaul and Iberia (Spain) and Wales on the West. Classical Gomeraeg was a highly developed, fully inflected language. By inflected we mean that their word endings and their pronunciation changed according to the way theywere used. It was very much like classical Greek, which you may recall, had ten different ways to spell every noun, and thirty ways to spell every adjective,
depending on how they were used. Modern Welsh has lost all the inflected endings. The point we are getting to is that the ancient Welsh were a highly intelligent people. They had a language which rivaled the language of the Greek philosophers. They were not a bunch of savages running around m the forest, hiding behind trees. They were an intelligent people who knew where they came from. In the same way that, for thousands of years, the Jewish people have properly claimed to be the offspring of Abraham, the Welsh people have claimed to be the offspring of Gomer. The evidence is too plain to be ignored.
The Welsh are not the only descendants of Gomer. The text goes on to tell us that the sons of Gomer were "Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah" (vs. 3). Not all of the family of Gomer reached Wales. There were members of their clan scattered all along the way. Some of the descendants of Togarmah and Ashkenaz settled fairly close to the foot of Mount Ararat.
Encyclopedia Britannica says that the Armenians claim to be descended from Togarmah and Ashkenaz. They are careful not to mention who Togarmah and Ashkenaz were. That would be too much for them to admit; but the evidence is too clear for them to deny, so they do provide the information without comment.- Armenia is the large area spreading out to the South and West of Mount Ararat. So to this very day the Armenians claim these two grandsons of Noah as their ancestors. Ancient Armenia reached into Turkey. The name Turkey probably comes from Togarmah- Again not all of the
descendants of Ashkenaz settled in Armenia, Some of them migrated to Germany. Ashkenaz is the Hebrew word for Germany.
The next name mentioned is Magog. Magog is the Hebrew name for Russia (not Russia as we have come to know it, that is, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, but the older, smaller, country of Russia). According to Ezekiel, Magog lived in the North parts (Ezek. 38:15, 39:2). If you travel due North from Israel, past Turkey, and across the Black Sea, you will arrive in the Russian Ukraine. According to Encyclopedia Britanica, the ancient name for the Ukraine is Scythia. Josephus records that those whom he called Magogites the Greeks called Scythians (1:6:1). Scythe is another name for a sickle. If
anyone were required to associate some modern nation with the sign of the scythe, or sickle, the association would not be hard to make. We are all very well acquainted with the sign of the hammer and sickle. That modern
Russian logo clearly identifies modern Russia with ancient Scythia, the ancient Magogites.
The next son of Japheth is Madai. Along with Shem's son Elam, Madai is the ancestor of our modern day Iranians. Josephus goes on to explain that the descendants of Madai were caged Medes by the Greeks. Every time the Medes are mentioned in the Bible the word is translated from the Hebrew word Madai. The Iranians are largely a combined race of people. They are a combination of the descendants of Madai and the descendants of Elam. After the time of Cyrus, who is supposed to have combined the Medes and the Persians (Elamites) into one kingdom, the Medes are always (except for one instance)
mentioned along with the Persians. They became one kingdom and were thus governed by one law ("the law of the Medes and the Persians" Dan. 6:8,12,15). In later History they were simply called Persians. Since 1935 they have insisted on being called Iran.
The name of Japheth's next son Javan is the Hebrew word for Greece. Greece, Grecia, or Grecians appears five times in the Old Testament and it is always translated from the Hebrew word Javan. Daniel refers to Alexander the Great and calls him "the king of Grecia" (Dan. 8:21), literally "the king of Javan." Verse four goes on to name the sons of Javan, "Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim," all of which have connections with the Greek people. The Elysians, an ancient Greek people, obviously received their name from Elishah. Hellas, an ancient name for Greece, probably
comes from the name Elishah. Eleusis, the ancient city where the Eleusinian Mysteries were celebrated, also is traceable to Elishah.
Tarshish, or Tarsus, was located in the region of Cilicia. The entire region of Cilicia was originally called Tarsus. You may recall that Tarsus was the hometown of Paid ("Saul of Tarsus"). Encyclopedia Britannica says that Kittim is the Biblical name for Cyprus. The last son of Javan mentioned was Dodanim. The Greeks worshipped Jupiter under the name of Jupiter Dodanaeus, obviously a reference to tills son of Javan. His oracle was at Dodena.
Next is Tubal. Tubal is the hardest of all Noah's grandsons to identify. Ezekiel mentions him along with Gog and Meshech (Ezek. 39:1). Since they lived to the North of Israel, it is probable that Tubal did too. The Spanish people claim to be descended from Tubal, and their ancient name Iberia is claimed to be derived from Tubal. Several other ancient people are claimed as the descendants of Tubal, but none of the arguments is convincing, and since we cannot come up with any convincing evidence, it is probably best to leave it at that.
Meshech, the name of Japheth's fifth son is the ancient name for Moscow. Moscow is both the name of the capital of
Russia, and the name of the region that surrounds the city. Until this very day, one section, the Meschera Lowland, still carries the name of Meshech, unchanged by the ages.
According to Josephus, the descendants of Tiras were called Thirasians. The Greeks changed their name to Thracians. The Greeks had a habit of changing the names of other people. You may remember that it was the Greeks who changed the name of Canaan to Palestine. Thrace reached from Macedonia on the South to the Danube River on the North to the Black Sea on the East.
It took in much of what is now Yugoslavia. World Book Encyclopedia says that the people of Thrace were a savage Indo- European people, who loved warfare and looting. Mars the god of war, who was worshipped by the Romans, was earlier called Theresa or Tiras. This grandson of Noah was obviously the original for that pagan deity. So from their earliest history the Thracians worshipped their ancestor Tiras as Mars, the god of war. It is a fact of nature that there are ethnic differences that attach to different races of people. For instance, by and large, the Jewish people have always been more successful
business men than their Gentile counterparts. Germans are generally better mathematicians.
America would have had a much harder time putting a man on the moon had it not been for a German scientist by the name of Werner von Braun. Negroes have a natural sense of rhythm that others do not have. For better or worse, those characteristics belong to those people. All of this brings us back to the descendants of Tiras. The descendants of those savage Indo- European people, who were long ago caged Thracians, go to make up much of what is now modern day Yugoslavia. That explains a lot about what is going in that land today. Serbs and Croats and Bosnians seem to be killing each other for the fun of
it, and the outside world does not seem to be able to do anything about it. From time immemorial their ancestors worshipped Tiras, or Mars the god of war. Encyclopedia says that they were "a savage Indo- European people who loved warfare and looting." That is a characteristic which attaches to the descendants of Tiras, and you can be sure that it is going to take more than a few United Nations advisors to get them to change their ways.
Next we come to the sons of Ham. Verse 6, "And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim,
and Phut, and Canaan." The descendants of Ham live primarily in Southwest Asia and Africa. The Bible often refers to Africa as the land of Ham (Psa. 105:23,27; 106:22).
The first mentioned is Cush. Cush is the Hebrew word for Ethiopia. Without exception the word Ethiopia in the Bible is always translated from the word Cush. The Ethiopians are descended from this grandson of Noah. Josephus says that the Ethiopians "are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Chusites" (1:6:2).
Ham's next son was Mizraim. Mizraim is the Hebrew word for Egypt. The name Egypt appears hundreds of times in the Old Testament, and with only one exception it is always translated from the word Mizraim. You do not even need a lexicon to discover that fact. In Genesis chapter fifty, when the Egyptians accompanied the body of Jacob back to Canaan, the Cananites observed the mourning of the Egyptians, and called the place Abel Mizraim. Gen. 50:11, "And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous
mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond Jordan."
Phut, The name of Ham's next son is the Hebrew name for Libya. It is translated that way three times in the Old Testament. The ancient river Phut was in Libya. By Daniel's day the name had been changed to Libya (Dan. 11:43). Josephus says, "Phut also was the founder of Libyia, and called the inhabitants Phutites, from himself' (1:6:2)
Canaan, the name of Ham's last son is the Hebrew name for Palestine. The Greeks changed the name to Palestine, during the time of Alexander the Great.
It is our purpose only to trace the sixteen grandsons of Noah, and not to spend time looking at their respective sons, but since we have spent some time with the sons of Gomer and Javan, perhaps, we should look very briefly at a few of the grandsons of Ham. We do not wish to labor the question. The descendants of several of the grandsons of Ham are very easy for even the most casual Bible to identify, and for that reason, we will only notice the connections in passing. There is Philistim, obviously the ancestor of the Philistines, and Sidon, the founder of the ancient city that
bears his name, Heth, the patriarch of the ancient Hittite empire, the Jebusite (Jebus was the ancient name of the city of Jerusalem), and the Amorite, the Girgasite, the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite, ancient people who lived in the land of Canaan. The most prominent grandson of Ham was Nimrod, the founder of Babel (Babylon), Erech, and Accad and Calneh. Nimrod figured very prominently in the early days of paganism, and there is no other name that is so clearly traceable in the history of the various forms of the pagan religion. His city, Babylon, is synonymous with idolatry. But there is too much
to be said about Nimrod to get started in this little book. Hopefully we shall take some time on
that subject later.
Last we come to the sons of Shem. Verse 22, "The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram."
Elam is the ancient name for Persia, which is itself the ancient name for Iran. Until the tune of Cyrus they were called
Elamites, and they were still often called that even in New Testament times. The Jews from Persia, who were present at Pentecost were called Elamites (Acts 2:9). Cyrus seems to have been the first to be called "the king of Persia" (Ezra 1:1). Since the 1930's they have insisted on being called Iran. It might be interesting to note that the word Aryan, which so fascinated Adolph Hitler, is a form of the word Iran. Adolph Hitler was this century's most bitterly anti-Semitic leader. He hated the Jews with a passion; he wanted to wipe them off the face of the earth, and he wanted to produce a pure Aryan
race of super men. But the very term Aryan signifies a mixed race of Semites and Japhethites. The Iranians are descended from Madai, the son of Japheth, and Elam, the son of Shem. It is not easy to think of anything funny with
regard to Adolph Hitler, but the joke is on him. He chose a mixed race of Semites and Japhethites as the model for his pure race of supermen.
Asshur is the Hebrew word for Assyria. Assyria was one of the great empires of the distant past. It ranked along side of
Babylon, and Egypt. Without exception, every time the words Assyria or Assyrian appear in the Old Testament, it is translated from the word Asshur. Asshur was also the name of the major god of the Assyrians. We mentioned before that the various nations tended to deify their very long-lived ancestors.
There is no race of people who bear the name of Arphaxad, the next mentioned son of Shem. Josephus says that the
Chaldeans are the descendants of Arphaxad, and he is probably right, but it does seem possible that the reason there is no race of Arphaxadites is that his name was eclipsed by the name of his grandson Eber, from which we get the word Hebrew. Until the time of Abraham Eber was the only descendant of Shem who outlived him. Eber outlived his great-grandfather Shem by some twenty nine years, and he probably became the patriarch of the clan rather than Ms grandfather Arphaxad. At any rate the name of Arphaxad is largely forgotten in the historical record, while the
name Eber (Hebrew) is firmly fixed on the pages of history.
Lud was the ancestor of the Lydians. Lydia was in what is now Western Turkey. Their capital was Sardis. You may
remember that one of the seven churches of Asia was at Sardis (Rev. 3: 1).
Aram, the name of Shem's remaining son is the Hebrew word for Syria. Again, without exception, any tune the word Syria appears in the Old Testament it is translated from the word Aram- The Syrians call themselves Aramaens, and their language is called Aramaic. Aramaic, or Syriac, was one of the most prominent languages in the ancient world. Prior to the time of Alexander the Great and the spread of the Greek Empire, Aramaic was the international language. With the conquests of Alexander, Aramaic was replaced by the Greek language, but Aramaic was still the common language in Israel in the time of the
apostles. On the cross, when the Lord cried out, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani," he
was speaking Aramaic, the language of the common people. There are several other Aramaic expressions in the New Testament.
We have only taken the briefest glance at these sixteen men, who are the ancestors of all mankind, but we believe that
enough has been said to show that they really did live, that they are who the Bible says they were, and that their descendants are identifiable on the pages of history. We hope that we have shown in some small way that, not only is the Bible not a collection of myths and legends, but that it stands alone as the key to the history of the earliest ages of the world.