The Setting of the History of the World (Gen 10:1-32)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

In this study we come to a chapter which one commentator correctly observes is “one of the least satisfactorily studied passages” in Genesis — Genesis 10. I’d add it’s one of the least satisfactorily studied chapters in all of the Bible, the kind of chapter we overlook. We read it in fast-forward. Sunday School curriculums skip it. Preachers skip it. In fact, I cannot recall ever hearing a sermon on this chapter, and I’m willing to guess you probably haven’t either.

But what does that say about our belief in the inspiration of Scripture? What does it say we really believe about 2 Timothy 3:16, which tells us all Scripture in breathed out by God and profitable? Beloved, God Himself saw to it chapters like Genesis 10 were included in His word, so it’s wrong to skip it. We’re going to deal with it here.

That’s not to say this is easy, going through a chapter that is largely genealogy. But it’s not a bad thing it’s hard. It just means we have to work harder to mine the precious jewels. And there are jewels in Genesis 10, often called the table of nations. This is one of those passages where we’re not going to be blown away emotionally, most likely, but we do need to love the LORD our God with all of our minds.

This chapter is actually essential to our understanding of the development of humanity after Noah. It sets the table for Genesis 11 and the Tower of Babel. In fact, we really need to understand these two chapters as one unit, covering the history of the world from Noah to Abraham. What we read tonight about the spread of humanity, in fact, assumes how that spread takes place — which we’ll read about in the next chapter. Ultimately, beloved, Genesis 10 is not just names and families, but the setting of the world through which the rest of Scripture would unfold (up through today and even to Revelation). Continue reading “The Setting of the History of the World (Gen 10:1-32)”