Genesis 16: Hagar and Ishmael

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

Version used is from (KJV) Genesis 16

1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

It’s interesting how even though Abram trusted in the Lord that he will have descendants that come from his own body, it did not occur to him that it would come from his own wife, Sarai. Instead, because Sarai thought that she could not bear children, then his descendants would have to come from someone else. Thereby offering up her handmaid so that her husband could have children through his bloodline. Was this planned by God all along? If God is omnipresent and omniscient, then He would already know that this is how the story is going to play out.
3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
I do want to make another point here, about who many believe wrote Genesis to begin with. Of course this question brings up many debates, but the person most referenced as having written Genesis is Moses. Whether that be from word of mouth and passed down traditions and tales, or whether perhaps he had the testimony dictated to him by an angel of the Lord, or the Lord Himself, it is interesting that a lot of these passed down tales give us an inner look into the emotions and feelings of others. Was there written dictation that Hagar began to hate her mistress? Was there proof of some sort that there was animosity brewing between the two because Hagar felt herself better than Sarai because she can conceive and Sarai couldn’t? And this brings into question how these texts could have been written with the knowledge of what people were feeling and thinking. Yes, God would be able to know how everyone’s feeling, so could it be possible that whoever did write Genesis gets insights into everyone’s thoughts and feelings? And if certain chapters were dictated, how can we be, FOR SURE, that the dictation came from an angel of the Lord, or the Lord Himself? Or even if they came from visions or dreams? How can we be sure that these visions/dreams/etc. were not misconstrued?
I also want to bring up the emotion of Hagar herself for her thoughts of pride for being able to conceive and thinking herself better than someone else because of this. I don’t want to judge this characteristic, because I don’t know what’s going on in her mind/thoughts, but thought it was an interesting perspective. Of course this particular version of the text does not reference Hagar’s complete feelings to Sarai like others do, like the NIV for instance. The NIV gives a little more context to this relationship.

5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.
6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
Here is another reference to Sarai and Hagar’s relationship, which was never brought up before Hagar became pregnant with Abram’s child. And another wrongdoing, even though it was Sarai’s idea to have Hagar become Abram’s wife as well specifically to have children through her. I also want to make note that at this point, it doesn’t seem as if the Lord has given any instruction as to how to live one’s life. The 10 commandments were not created yet, and the word Love has not even been mentioned yet other than in reference to procreation as can be seen in NIV Genesis 4. In fact, it won’t be mentioned for a few more chapters, and even in that context, as we will see, I have issues with.
So at this point in the Bible, it would appear that people have no way of knowing how to treat each other. We can see such disrespect coming from Hagar to Sarai, and Sarai to Hagar, with not a mention of compassion or kindness. In fact, the last few chapters dealt with gain as far as land and wealth and bloodlines. It’s fascinating that Love has not even been a component yet. Even at the creation of Adam and Eve and the love of a husband and wife, or the love for their children.

7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

The phrase “the angel of the Lord” grabs my attention and to me, implies that this angel is special in some way. Why “THE” angel? Not “an” angel? Why is there this implication that it is not just a “random” angel of the Lord that came to Hagar, but the angel of the Lord? What does this mean? Does this angel have some sort of significance? There are indications of heirarchies within the angelic/heavenly realm, so does this angel hold a particular importance or certain leadership quality that others angels wouldn’t?
9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
This gives me an even deeper impression that this angel, for some reason, holds more weight than the others. Why would this angel specifically say, “I will multiply thy seed”? Wouldn’t that be something that the Lord would say? If the angel is speaking for the Lord, then the wording, I would think, would be more like, “The Lord will multiply thy seed”. Not I, as in the angel itself.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
Just a quick note, “Ishmael” means “God listens.” or “God will hear.” or similar variants to this.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
So why would this be? This sounds like more of a curse than a blessing. Is this “angel of the Lord” merely warning Hagar that this is how her son will be considered? Is it just what was in Ishmael’s destiny? There are theories that Ishmael’s descendants are known today as the Muslims, or Arabs, Arabian Muslims, with some history provided by Muhammad/Quran.
So another question I have is, if the angel never mentioned that Ishmael would grow up to be at odds with every man, would this prophecy still play out as told? Did the angel’s prophetic warning have anything to do with how Hagar raised Ishmael, with the expectation that he would be against others and others against him? Did the angel set the precedent with this foretelling?

13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
Hm… now I’m really confused. The angel of the Lord was speaking to Hagar… so why is this verse now considering him the Lord? And if this was the angel of the Lord, then surely the text would clearly imply again “the angel of the Lord”. Not “name of the Lord that spake unto her.” Unless it is indicating that by being addressed by this angel, she realizes that Thou God, meaning the angel’s God, and thus God Himself, has seen her in her distress and is appealing to her to return to Sarai even amidst all of the hostility. It still does not explain though why in this verse the angel is considered the Lord… Could “the angel of the Lord” be the Holy Spirit? Therefore indeed a significant part of God? Or perhaps as some theories speculate, could it be the Christ Consciousness before Jesus Christ was incarnate? Even so, the strange prediction that Ishmael will play a substantial role in his dealings with other mankind sets an interesting and perplexing anecdote, as if setting the stage for what is to come.
14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

Throughout this chapter, I have to bring up again how interesting it is that the one message that Jesus Christ teaches, of Love to God and to each other, has not been mentioned yet. In fact, like I stated above, Love is not even a factor and has not been mentioned in Genesis yet, from Adam and Eve’s creation, to Abram’s timeline, 2,000 years since the beginning, according to the Bible. Has this concept, this feeling, not have even manifested yet? Are humans at this point of time just multiplying out of duty to keep one’s heritage/bloodline going? We can see how people have treated each other throughout all of this, with brother against brother, son against father, woman against woman due to pride, jealousy, envy, etc., etc., etc. I think Love will be a specific recurring topic that I will keep a very close eye on going forward.

 

As usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Genesis 12: The Call of Abram

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

Version used is from biblestudytools.com (NKJV) Genesis 12

The Call of Abram

1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
This verse seems like a contradiction to me. First it says that “I will bless those who bless you”, and then, “I will curse him who curses you”, yet in the very next section it states, “and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” …Doesn’t the last part of the sentence cancel out the first portion? Unless EVERYONE blesses Abram, then not all of the families on earth will be blessed. So this sounds a little confusing to me.
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.
6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

Abram in Egypt

10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.
11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance.
12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live.
I don’t understand the customs of each nation, but it’s interesting that Abram’s first instinct is that the Egyptians will kill him presumably to steal his wife from him. It’s also interesting to note that Abram is very well aware of his wife’s beauty, and it’s for this reason that he feels as if he would be looked at in hostility by the Egyptians simply for being the husband of a “beautiful” woman.
It’s also very telling that even during the birth of all the nations, that physical looks has so much influence on people’s lives. No one can help how they are born and what physical features they’re born with (or can they…?) so to automatically judge someone based on their looks seems like such a strange concept to me. Of course, if one were inclined to believe that to be born with physical beauty is a ‘blessing from the gods’ or good karma, etc. then I can see why people would feel as if “beautiful” people are blessed – but as we can see in today’s society, this is most certainly NOT TRUE, as even some of the most beautiful people are corrupted to the core. So it all boils down to what is aesthetically pleasing in someone’s eyes, and that they could ultimately care less what kind of personality the person has, as long as they’re beautiful.
This is, of course, not speaking for everyone, but just a mentality that some people hold.

13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
Was this plan strictly coming from Abram? Was he going with his gut instinct? It seemed to work well, in the end, but it would be nice to know where this intuition came from. A voice outside of his own being? His own conscience? The Lord Himself? Well, it’s probably not the Lord since if it was so, then that would imply that the Lord directly told Abram to lie, and that’s not righteous or holy, correct? God is Truth, so it wouldn’t make sense for Him to guide someone else into lying.
14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful.
15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house.
16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
Wow, so just because someone’s ‘sibling’ is BEAUTIFUL, they get to be treated like a “king” just to remain in good standing with the person they potentially want to pursue relationships with. Is that really what natural selection dictates? Do we not care what character a person has, but instead put all (most?) of our emphasis on looks?
17 But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
So… I have a bone to pick with our Lord. It is apparent that the Lord can dictate to whom He sends curses and plagues down into. He aimed deliberately for Pharaoh’s kingdom and his house, all because Abram lied to the Pharaoh about Sarai being his sister instead of his wife and that Pharaoh made an honest mistake. According to this account. So here’s the clueless Pharaoh, not even realizing why he’s being plagued (and I’m not stating that the Pharaoh is completely innocent in this dealing, by the way, because like Abram stated, perhaps they really would have killed him if they had known right away that he was Sarai’s husband) and it makes me wonder how much the Pharaoh believes in the same Lord that Abram does.
So my problem with this ordeal is that for God to initiate this very targeted attack on the Pharaoh for picking on His blessed family, it implies that God can do this to whomever He wants, whenever He wants, and for whatever reason He wants. So to still allow incredibly evil acts to run rampant instead of ‘smiting’ or sending down plagues against corrupted individuals, when they do TRULY awful things, is a very severe oversight and the reason for a lot of people not believing in God. I went through this very same phase when I was younger, thinking that if God exists, how could He allow such evil to continue? Of course, we don’t know all the mysteries and plans involved in this strange world and in our lives, and that ‘free will’ plays a huge part in the way our world is run, but for an almighty God to literally send plagues to an Egyptian ruler simply because he was misled in believing that a particular woman is single, meanwhile millions of kids are starving to death and being sold/trafficked to truly horrendous people – the comparison doesn’t even make sense.

18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.”

Even though lying is technically wrong, and satan himself is called Father of Lies, I’m wondering if there is truly a distinction between lying to manipulatively deceive someone, and lying for ‘the better good’. Abram’s lie was to protect himself because he knew, somehow, that he would be on the chopping block if the Egyptians realized that he was Sarai’s husband. And in so doing, he was also protecting Sarai from being kidnapped, essentially, to an unknown life that she may not be accustomed to or appreciate. So it does bring up the question if it’s ever okay to lie.
Some people bring up the fact that one of the 10 commandments is “Thou shall not lie”, but that’s not exactly what it says or implies. The actual commandment is, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”. Meaning we shouldn’t slander or lie about our neighbor’s (fellow peoples) deeds. However, since Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, it goes without saying that probably the best way to maintain righteousness is to stay in Truth. After all, if Abram was already being looked out for by God Himself, then Abram very well could have told the truth that he is Sarai’s husband, and no matter what the Egyptians tried to do to him, it wouldn’t pan out for them anyway.

20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.

This was a very interesting look into the relationship between God and Abram, and how much the Lord really did to protect Abram and Sarai from possible subjugation of the Egyptians. It does bring up to question though if God still works this way on a personal level like He did back in these biblical times. And if He is working this way, perhaps many of us just don’t know about it.

As usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

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Featured image by Gnattyone from Pixabay

Genesis 10: The Table of Nations

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

All verses used are from biblestudytools.com (NIV) Genesis 10

The Table of Nations

1 This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.

The Japhethites

2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.
3 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah.
4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites.

Unfortunately, since my knowledge about the people of the Bible isn’t as extensive as I’d like, I can only mention that I personally have only heard of Magog from these group of men. And Gomer sounds a bit familiar. The other names I don’t recall at all. And I only know of the name Magog due to reading up prophecies of the “end times”.
5 (From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)
These verses confuse me a little bit. Are we to assume that these Japhethites, Hamites and Shemites spread out into their own nations and created their own languages? Or is this in conjunction with the other descendants of Noah’s sons and due to the attempt at reaching the heavens like we see in the next chapter? This chapter seems to indicate that these groups spread out of their own accord instead of being forced to do it. Yet in the next chapter we learn of the Tower of Babel and how the people were trying to build this tower as a rebellious act against God. Are both of these theories correct, in a way?

The Hamites

6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan.
Now these names are more familiar to me. Everyone other than Put I have heard of before. I am a bit perplexed, though, at the use of “Egypt” instead of Mizraim, as some other versions state. I think from now I am going to use the NKJV instead of NIV. Offsetting some of these versions with the Wycliffe version seems to indicate that the NKJV is a bit closer to the correct translation, although I can’t be completely sure on that. (Which would I rather trust… the Roman Catholic Church… or a man who found out that the church was hiding the real meanings of the Bible and wanted to keep the secret translations to themselves (either in order to mislead the public, and/or to keep them dependent on them?) …I think the answer speaks for itself.)
7 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteka. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.
8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.”

And here we see the name Nimrod. A very famous name and was widely known to be the first tyrant and the cause of the rebellion against God after the flood. Some biblical scholars also theorize that Nimrod and King Gilgamesh are one in the same. And when you have what may be scientific evidence of King Gilgamesh’s remains, the intrigue into the Epic of Gilgamesh/Nimrod becomes a fascinating study into the origins of the Bible.
Who was Nimrod? Was he a giant? Nephilim, perhaps? A fallen angel, maybe?
The theory that Nimrod may have been a Nephilim, lends a possibility that fallen angels could have survived the flood, and resumed their co-habitation with the people who filled the land from Noah and his extended family. Perhaps the fallen angels are more of a spiritual entity and thus wouldn’t need to “survive” a flood in the physical sense, but would have to find a suitable host to possess who would allow them to take over.
This is, of course, just speculation, but is an interesting food for thought to consider.

10 The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar.
Babylon is the only name I recognize in this verse, other than Shinar. Uruk sounds vaguely familiar, but Babylon and Shinar are the only two that I have knowledge on as far as some biblical history. Of course, Babylon, due to the great wickedness that is rampant in this nation, and the prophecies of Revelation that, obviously, we have a long way to get there. (…I actually may do that chapter next after I complete Genesis and then continue with the rest of the Old Testament in order.) We’ll see in the next chapter the hubris and pride that this nation takes in order to defy God and try to usurp His throne, basically. (Which brings me to the topic of the “firmament”, which I will most likely do a whole post on eventually.)
11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah
In this verse, the only name I’m familiar with is Nineveh (and Assyria), because of the tale of Jonah. I wish all nations would put aside their pride and arrogance and wickedness to repent as Nineveh did when Jonah preached to them. Is it honestly too much to ask to live righteously and humbly, rather than swimming in vices and sin? Do we really prefer to live in debauchery and hate, rather than peace and love? I don’t know about you, but I would rather my children grow up in harmony and joy rather than sin and wickedness.
12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.
13 Egypt was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites,
14 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.
15 Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites,
Most of the names above I don’t recognize, other than the Philistines and Canaan. Obviously Canaan due to the previous chapter, and also the Canaanites, which are surrounded in controversy, as we’ll see in later chapters. I can’t help but wonder though, was the way the Canaanites turned out (sinful, wicked, etc.) due to the treatment that Canaan received by Noah because of his animosity towards Ham? In the previous chapter, we read that Noah cursed Canaan, instead of Ham even though it was Ham who grieved him. Could the harsh treatment from Canaan’s grandfather (Noah) have set a precedent against him and thus, the nation that became the Canaanites? What if Noah never cursed Canaan and instead still treated him with love and compassion?
And the Philistines were known throughout history as an aggressive and war-mongering people. But isn’t it interesting that even though ALL of these people were descendants of just three people (in essence, Noah and his wife – and before that, Adam and Eve), each clan/nation had their own ideologies and belief structures – even though every single one of them came from either Ham, Shem or Japheth. How were they raised? Did each brother have their own idea about the flood and who/what God is? Did they pass their own belief down to their own children, and their children’s children, and so on and so forth?
Do people just “forget” history and the tragedy that could arise from falling into a wicked lifestyle? God found Noah and his three sons righteous enough to continue their lineage. Yet soon after the flood, Ham turned his back to his own father, and, in a sense, God also. Shem and Japheth were still honoring their father by covering him at that point. So during all those years, what were the beliefs being passed down? How could it go from God personally saving 8 people, to a sudden betrayal of God and the worship of several other deities? That’s not to say that all the nations/groups worshipped multiple gods, but that several groups did – Egyptians, Canaanites, Babylonians, etc. Did some of these people, perhaps, become disillusioned with a God who would destroy most of the population? Or did they simply refuse to live righteously as God wanted them to?

16 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites,
17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites,
18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered
19 and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, as far as Lasha.
I really wish I had paid a little bit more attention in geography, but since I’m not too familiar with many of the names listed above, but still would like to get a visual of the borders and nations that it mentions, I have included a map below:

These are speculated locations based off of the descriptions from the Bible. It gives us a glimpse of what it may have looked like with the nations spreading out.

20 These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.

The Semites

21 Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber.
22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.
23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.
24 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber.
25 Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan.
26 Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,
27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,
28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba,
29 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan.
30 The region where they lived stretched from Mesha toward Sephar, in the eastern hill country.
31 These are the sons of Shem by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.
32 These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.
Unfortunately, I am not at all familiar with most of the names on this list. But the Semites are an interesting subject in its own right. Many people may have heard the term “anti-semitic”, which has been the topic of MUCH debate in our society. Why do so many people hold such animosity and vitriol towards this particular group of people? There is also the hotly contested definition of what a Semite is, to begin with. It seems as if quite a lot of people are in disagreement over this term, and thus that alone causes a lot of hostility and even hatred towards each other. Until everyone can find common ground and be on the same page, this subject will continue to be the cause of division and conflict across the world.

And what am I to make of these verses compared to the ones on the next chapter with the Tower of Babel story? Am I to assume that they did not spread out over the Earth until God separated them due to their rebellious nature? Or were only a few nations involved in this rebellious act against God? I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the next chapter to fully get my answer. Although just looking at the first verse states, “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

Once I research more and get a better feel of the biblical names and locations of those listed in this chapter, I will have to come back to edit and fill in the spaces. As it is now, this chapter gives us a good feel of how the many different nations may have started, and the groups that were involved in it. I think each nation/group deserves an extensive study and research in its own right, but to cover all of it in depth here would be a little too-detailed.

As usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

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