This is part two of a two part series, to go to part one click here.
Genesis 10 is the next section in Moses’ short history of the ancient world. In Genesis 4 and 5, Moses wrote about the descendants of Cain and Seth so that his audience would know how the earth was populated before the flood. Likewise, in Genesis 10, Moses wrote about the descendants of Noah so that his audience would know how the earth was repopulated after the flood.
The purpose of Genesis 10, then, was to educate the people of Moses' time concerning the origin of the nations that surrounded them. Moses wanted to make sure that the nation of Israel rejected pagan myths. People did not descend from the gods, but from Adam and then from Noah. Genesis 10 taught the people of Israel the true history of the world. Likewise, Genesis 10 continues to teach history to the church today.
Genesis 10 shows how absurd it would be to consider the early history of Genesis as nothing but allegory. How could such a lie be believed when God Himself traces both Israel and the people Israel rooted out of the Promised Land back to Noah himself? Genesis 10 shows us that the book of Genesis tells one continuous, uninterrupted history. There are no gaps to be found.
Something else you should appreciate about Genesis 10 is its age. The next time you read through the chapter, stop and think for a moment about the sheer ancientness of what you are reading. You are reading the names of the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons of Noah himself! Is not that thought enough to fascinate you- that God has recorded for you many names that would have otherwise been unknown, many of which are part of your family tree?
A lot can be learned thinking about the purpose of Genesis 10, but just knowing the purpose does not tell you any details about the people named in the chapter. To start learning about some of the people in Genesis 10 read An Overview Of The Names In Genesis 10.