Thru The Word Ministries
Genesis 9-11


1 - And Elohim blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “You are to be fruitful and become many, and fill the earth.

2 - “And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be upon every living thing on the earth, and upon every fowl of the heavens, among all that creep on the ground, and among every fish of the sea; into your hand are they given.

3 - “Every moving thing that is living will be food for you. Like the green herb, I have given to you all things.

Perhaps the earth was not as productive in the postdiluvian age, agriculturally speaking. It was at this point that animals were given instinctual defenses in order to protect themselves from man as the hunter. Thus Noah was given permission Adam was never given - to eat animals.

4 - “Howbeit the flesh with its life, its blood, you shall not eat.

There also must be a proper respect for the blood as the giver and sustainer of life. In this case Yahweh is speaking specifically of the life of the animal. In the same way, Jesus’ blood when it was shed became the giver and sustainer of spiritual life.

5 - “And surely your blood belonging to your lives will I require; from the hand of every living thing I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

Here we have the Lord’s establishment of capital punishment. In spite of what any of us believes on the issue, here it is in the Word of God.

6 - “Whoever is shedding the blood of man, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made the man.

For this to be able to happen, there has to be a judiciary process by virtue of the fact. If one man takes the life of another, there must be someone of reputation to proclaim it so. That same person then hands down the sentence that Yahweh said was to be handed down: life for life. This is the verse that establishes government based on conscience and the proclamation of Yahweh.

7 - “And you, you are to be fruitful and become many; you are to multiply greatly in the earth and become numerous in it.”

Man is told twice he is to replenish the earth with himself. The reason should be obvious: the earth was in serious need of those with the capacity to praise and glorify Yahweh, and to bring forth others who will do the same. This is ultimately the reason we are created. Words in God’s admonition such as “multiply greatly” and “become numerous” are not idle words.

8 - Then Elohim spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying,

9 - “And I, behold, I alone do establish My covenant with you and with your offspring after you,

10 - “And with every living being that is with you, among the fowl, among the cattle, and among every living thing of the earth with you; from all that are going out of the ark, to every animal of the earth.

It’s interesting to note that Elohim made the covenant with animals and human beings. “[E]very living thing of the earth with you” means just that, doesn’t it? It does when God says it!

11 - “And I establish My covenant with you; and never again shall any flesh again be cut off by the waters of a flood. And never again shall there be a flood to ruin the earth.”

Whenever a heavy rain would deluge the area in which I was living at the time, I would say to someone (in jest, of course), “We’re getting so much rain today that I’m thinking of building an ark when I get home today.” How misguided is that?! In my attempt at humor (and many times, that’s all it is - an attempt), I was at least subconsciously casting off the Lord’s promise that there would never again be any need to build an ark. The last sentence of this verse negates that concern altogether. Now He doesn’t promise there’ll never be localized flooding. We know He didn’t because we have seen accounts of that on the news, many of us, off and on all our lives. But He did promise there would never be another universal flood, the type of which Noah and his family had just come through at this point in time.

12 - Then said Elohim to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am giving between me and between you and between every living thing that is living with you for all generations:

13 - “I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

14 - “And it shall come to be when I bring the cloud over the earth, that the bow shall appear in the cloud;

15 - “That I shall remember My covenant that is between Me and you and every living being living among all flesh, and the waters shall never again come to a flood to annihilate all flesh.

Here is the reiteration of the promise that there will never be another universal flood of judgment. What the New Testament promises is that the next and last universal judgment will be by fire.

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2 Peter 3:1-7  

16 - “When the bow shall be in the cloud, then I will look upon it to remember the covenant of long duration between Elohim and between every living being living among all flesh that is upon the earth.”

Rainbows are caused by the sunlight that filters through the water in the air, causing each drop to become a prism, which in turn releases the colors hidden in the sun’s white light. It is among the most beautiful and fascinating of sights.

17 - And Elohim said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have set between Me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”

We do not know that the rainbow appeared at that moment or even at some point in Noah’s lifetime. We do know, however, that we have that sign today as the symbol and result of Elohim’s promise - to Noah and to us.

18 - And the sons of Noah going out from the ark were Shem, and Ham, and Yepeth; and Ham himself is the father of Canaan.

19 - These are the three sons of Noah, and from these everyone in the earth was dispersed.

20 - And Noah began to be a man of the land; and he planted a vineyard.

Noah did his part to help kick off the agricultural industry. He became a good ol' farmer! Maybe a little too good…

21 - And he drank of the wine and became drunk; and he became uncovered in the midst of his tent.

Herein lies our problem. To say that Noah got a little carried away may be a mild understatement. He made his own wine (not a problem, biblically) and got drunk off of it (a huge problem, biblically). In his study notes on Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit,” Dr. Henry Morris comments, “The first command here could be better translated: ‘Do not begin to be drunk with wine.’ Since even a small amount of an intoxicant has a damaging effect on the brain, this command in effect calls for total abstinence from alcohol. Proverbs 23:31 warns against even looking on the wine, lest it tempt one to drink.”1

22 - And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told it to his two brothers on the outside.

23 - And Shem and Yepeth took an outer garment, set it upon both their shoulders, and they walked backwards and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, [so] they saw not the nakedness of their father.

24 - Then Noah awoke from his wine, and he knew what his youngest son had done to him.

25 - And he said, “Cursed [is] Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.”

26 - And he said, “Blessed [is] Yahweh, the God of Shem; and may Canaan become servant to him.

27 - “May Elohim enlarge Yepeth in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan become servant to him.”

In other words, may Yepeth broaden intellectually the minds of those that come after him. It was Noah’s prophecy that said from Yepeth would come the great thinkers of the world. The prophecy also says he will have fellowship with Shem (“in the tents of…”).

28 - And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

There doesn’t appear as if much changed concerning Noah’s physical/biological makeup in the postdiluvian period, does there? So much for the theories saying that Noah took on a different biological pattern, or that he “fried” as a result of imminent changes in the sun’s radiation, or other such poppycock. Talk about a waste of time in an attempt to try and discredit the biblical account! When will certain people finally ‘wake up and smell the coffee‘?

29 - So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.

His life continued longer than any of his contemporaries, the exceptions being Jared (962 years) and Methuselah (969 years). Noah was a godly man in his lifetime. Notice I didn’t say he was a sinless man. David had more than his share of failures, lapses, sin patterns, or whatever you desire to call them. Yet God called David a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Kings 15:5; Acts 13:22). In the same manner one of David’s predecessors modeled the mind and heart of God in a way that was, and is, pleasing to the Lord today. I, for one, am of the belief that the Lord rewards those who seek to live their lives in a manner pleasing to Him with long life, among other things. Noah was certainly one such man.

I also am of the belief that this is for you and I today. No, I’m not advocating any of us will live nearly a thousand years as did Noah, but the Lord will bless us with a long span of years in our generation. One of the ways which I believe this will happen is that our level of stress will be reduced. This is a direct by-product of our obedience to the Lord as it pertains to the instruction He gives to us in His written Word.

Let me add this very quickly before we move on. Do not come away from this with the impression that obedience to the Lord results in “health, wealth, and happiness,” as many if not all of the Word/Faith teachers have advocated at one time or another. If He seeks to bless me with money, provisions, material blessings and so forth, fine. But many times I believe the real blessing is in the simple obedience to our Lord’s commands … whatever they may be! Noah found out that taking Yahweh at His word is all he needed to do and I believe you and I can discover that basic principle for ourselves here in this day. The only question is this: Are we willing to discover it?


1 - Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Yapeth; and to them were born sons after the flood.

More than just a list of names, this tenth chapter is actually one of the most accurate historical documents ever revealed. Even the most vocal (liberal) of the higher critics have taken notice of the consistency contained in this genealogy, not to mention its accuracy. Let me hasten to add it is not to be confused with all-inclusiveness. There are entire nations of the world that will by all appearances go unaccounted for. But let us remember all along that the Bible is not a strictly historical document anyway. The Bible is a spiritual book. It is designed to show who God is and how He should be worshiped. This principle can be applied to several different areas as we seek to discover its contents, but for now let us dwell not on what isn’t included in the text, but what is. When we do, I believe we will see how entire nations descended from the likes of Noah’s sons. And may we also see how God deals with classifications of people and not races. Race is nowhere to be found in the Bible. That is an invention of man, not a God thing. Different cultures have flowed from the Flood’s survivors and anything else is that on which the Word of God is silent. Where the Lord is silent, I believe we do well to be silent also.

2 - The sons of Yepeth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Yavan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

From Gomer came what we know today as Germany. Magog is present-day Russia. Even the Great Wall of China is known by the Chinese as the ‘Wall of Magog’, in order to keep out the Russians. In fact Ezekiel 38-39 tells us that from Magog will come the invasion from the north upon the nation of Israel, a key event in Bible prophecy. Madai would refer to the Medes and Persians - present-day Iran. Yavan would be modern-day Greece, while Meshech is the ancient name for what is today Moscow.

3 - And the sons of Gomer: Ashkanaz, and Riphat, and Togarmah.

Ashkenaz is modern-day East Germany/Eastern Europe. From this group primarily come the Ashkenazi Jews. The other division is the Sephardim Jews. From Togarmah have come the Armenians.

4 - And the sons of Yavan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kitiim, and Dodanim.

5 - Out of these the nations in their lands were divided by regions; every man according to his tongue, in regard to their clans, in their nations.

And so they spread forth into Scandinavia, the rest of Europe, and eventually England. Those of Caucasian descent are said to have come from Yepeth.

6 - And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mitzraim, and Puth, and Canaan.

7 - And the sons of Cush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabetah, and Raamah, and Sabeteca; and the sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.

Without getting into sixteen tons of details, these descendants of Ham are they which eventually headed to the south and settled in areas of Africa; probably Ethiopia, Egypt, and Libya respectively. Mainly I’m not getting into great detail due to the fact that I am not that well-versed in world history, in case you were wondering. I’m seeking to keep things as simple as possible while at the same time giving you enough of the sense as to where the descendants of Noah’s offspring ended up populating the earth.

8 - And Cush begat Nimrod himself; he began to be a mighty one in the land.

Here is to me another very interesting translation of a certain verse of the Bible. Notice the word “himself” in the text. It’s here in the text because … well … it’s in the text. I don’t know of another English language translation that features the word for “himself.” Why that is, I couldn’t tell you. But the word is in there, so that’s why it’s in here. The only thing we can figure is that there was something about this character named Nimrod that he needed to be pointed out in a special way. He was famous enough as it was, but to be termed “Nimrod himself” lends itself to the fact that there was something about him that stood out … for better or worse. Let’s find out which one, shall we?

9 - He became a mighty hunter before Yahweh; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Yahweh.”

Let’s see, first off, that the name Nimrod means “let us rebel.” Upon further study, we discover why Nimrod stands out. In large part it’s because of his father. Cush (in all likelihood known otherwise as ‘Kish’) was tired of God always telling him what to do and he thought he would be able to do things better, so he gave birth to a son that he would train specially to do his bidding. In so doing, he would teach the people to cast off the shackles, as it were, and to rebel against God and what He desired to teach them. Along that line, some Old Testament scholars are of the belief that the word lipeneh translated “before” should be more literally rendered “against.” That is, “He became a mighty hunter against Yahweh.” I agree with those scholars due to the culture of the day. When a child was given a name it served as a prophecy. In naming the child Cush was prophesying of the life his child would live.

10 - And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Akad, and Caleneh, in the land of Shinar.

11 - From that land went forth Ashur (Assyria), and he built Nineveh, and Rehoboth-ir, and Calah,

12 - And Resen, between Nineveh and Calah; she is the great city.

And so begins the founding of the kingdoms of the world by way of tyranny and oppression. To think of the Nimrods produced by this world since the time of the chronicling. In the words of the theologian Dr. Adam Clarke, “From the Nimrods of the earth, God deliver the world.” And to that I would add those who believe they are of the kingdom of God. We are helping to build His kingdom on this earth … not our own. To me the greatest travesty of all is seeing and hearing those who are of the belief that God cannot make it without them and set about to build their own kingdom. That’s all it will ever be - their own! Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, they have their reward” (Matthew 6:2). God is not in it because it doesn’t bring honor and glory to Him.

13 - And Mizraim (Egypt) begat Ludim, and Ananim, and Lebuhim, and Naphtuhim,

14 - And Pathrusim, and Caseluhim, whom from there came the Philistines and Caphtorim.

15 - And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Seth;

16 - And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite,

17 - And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

18 - And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite; and afterward were dispersed the clans of the Canaanite.

Likely as not Sidon is related to the Hittites and the Lebanese. Sidon, by the way, was once the capital of ancient Phoenicia. The Orientals, in the opinion of many, were descended from the Sinites. Jebus was a tribe in the neighborhood of Jerusalem referred to in Judges 19:10 as well as 1 Chronicles 11:4-5. We might well refer to it today as a suburb. These were where the Jebusites resided.

19 - And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you come to Gerar up to Aza (Gaza); as you are going to Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.

20 - These are the sons of Ham belonging to their clans, in regard to their tongues, in their lands and among their peoples.

As verse five pointed out these nations were dispersed “after their tongues” and “after their families.” This brings up a great point in that this genealogical account came about following the tower of Babel incident depicted in the next chapter. In order for this to be so it would stand to reason that, as Dr. Morris points out, each of the “families” was bestowed their own individual language on site at Babel.

21 - And also unto Shem himself, the father of all the descendants of Eber, the brother of Yepeth the elder.

22 - The sons of Shem: Elam, and Ashur, and Arpakshad, and Lud, and Aram.

Let’s look at several interesting observations concerning these nations of the world as they have come from Shem. From Elam come the Elamites, from Ashur the Assyrians, from Arpakshad the line of Abram and the Hebrews in general, Lud became the father of the Lydians, and Aram was the patriarch of the Arameans as they were known in that day, but more commonly known in our day as the Syrians.

23 - And the sons of Aram: Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

Uz also wound up being the name of a particular region of Arabia. This is also the native land of Job, as seen in Job 1:1.

24 - And Arpakshad begat Shalach, and Shelach begat Eber.

25 - And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one, Peleg; because in his days the land was divided; and the name of his brother, Yakthan.

26 - And Yakthan begat Almodad, and Shalep, and Hazarmavet, and Yarath,

27 - And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,

28 - And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,

29 - And Opir, and Havilah, and Yobab; all these the sons of Yokthan.

Is there a connection here to the commentary back up in verse 23? Could this Yobab here actually be Job? I’m just asking, but on the other hand stranger things have happened.

30 - And their dwelling place was from Mesha, as you are going to Sepharah, a mountain of the east.

31 - These are the sons of Shem, belonging to their clans, in regard to their tongues, in their lands, according to their peoples.

32 - These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, among their peoples; and from these were the nations divided in the land after the flood.

So … from where did we come as peoples of this earth? This is the chapter that breaks it all down for us. Without this it would be next to impossible to begin to trace our origins as people wherever we reside in this world. It kind of reminds you of the Bible as a whole, doesn’t it? We need it to tell us not just who we are and where we came from, but also where we are going and, most importantly, where we need to go! May the Lord help us to do just that in the days ahead as we seek to rely on His Holy Word. 


1 - And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech.

This is one of those chapters of the Word of God that seems as if it could start out with the phrase, “Once upon a time, in a land far away …” It has almost the makings of a fairy tale, and yet before this chapter/story is finished, it will show just how marred by sin mankind truly is. At that point our fairy tale will denigrate into ‘nightmare’ status. The only thing is that mankind has yet to wake up from that nightmare. That is why the Lord has placed this account in His Word. This is a pivotal section of the Bible that should serve as man’s wake-up call from Holy God.

To begin with, this is already seeming to be a separate narrative. We need to keep in mind, however, this is a continuation of Nimrod and his kingdom-building prowess. True, he is not mentioned by name, but true to the account of the last chapter (v. 10) his rebellious leadership prowess is in full effect. In the last chapter we established that the name ‘Nimrod’ means ‘rebel’ or ‘let us rebel’. Second of all, let us see that what comes out of this is what will become known as Babylon. This will begin to show the Bible as a prophetic tool as the destruction of Babylon will be depicted as one of the “things to come” of the book of Revelation. More on that when we come to that portion of the narrative. For now though, let’s see what ‘Rebel’ has up his sleeve…

2 - And it came to be as they set out from the east, that they found a plain in the land Shinar, and they dwelt there.

It has been said they came from as far as modern day Afghanistan. Shinar is said to be in the fertile plain of Mesopotamia. Within the context of the last chapter, these of “the whole earth” had obviously migrated there, then began to migrate back “from the east,” possibly also coming from Persia.

3 - And they said one to another, “Come now, let us make bricks and thoroughly burn them.” And they had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar.

Notice the mention made of the technique by which the bricks are to be made.

4 - And they said, “Come now, let us build for ourselves a city and a tower, whose peak is in the heavens. And let us make for ourselves a name, lest we become scattered over the face of all the earth.”

In other words these poor, misguided, delusional people were collectively saying, “I know what let’s do. We’ll start of life of our very own and not include God.” And another group of them replies, “ Say, what a great idea! Let’s get started right away, shall we?” And they all respond to one another, “Now how shall we go about this? I know - let’s bake some clay ‘til it gets real hard, cut them up into smaller, more manageable pieces and we’ll use them to build this great, tall tower. It’ll go into the heavens and then we’ll be able to worship a god made in our own image and worshiped on our own terms, using our own resources and ingenuity.”

And man has been seeking to do so ever since …


For a moment let’s look at the implications of such a project and see the implications by way of their outgrowth right on up to today. The Hebrew preposition beh is rendered here as “in” (v. 4). It could also be rendered “by”, “at”, “among”, or “with.” All of those would be contextually correct. I chose one for our translation here and it turned out to be “in.” I believe that is the best choice among those because it will not necessarily go to heaven, but will be built to great heights. From this we have two interpretations. According to the late Dr. James Montgomery Boice, “This could mean that the top was dedicated to the heavens as a place of worship … or even that it had a representation of the heavens (a zodiac) upon it.”2  Frankly I don’t know that it’s a matter of either/or. I personally believe both of those interpretations are true. The structure did rise high into the sky, or toward the heavens, and it was emblazoned with what we know today as the zodiac signs. They had managed to have “the best of both worlds”: they created and paid homage to their own gods in their own way, yet they didn’t forget about the God of the heavens to whom they intended to reach toward.

5 - Then Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of man had built.

Here we have a problem. At least a problem from Yahweh’s perspective. This is enough of a problem to where He must conduct a first-hand investigation, or so it would seem from our perspective.

6 - And Yahweh said, “Behold, the people are one, and are all of one language, and this they begin to do. And now nothing will be withheld from them; all that they have considered to do.

7 - “Come now, let Us go down and there confound their language, that they may not understand the speech of one another.”

The personal name for God is used here so this might lend itself, some believe, to God coming down in the form of a man - Jesus Christ. Is the Babel incident a Christophany? I think not in lieu of the usage of the term “Us,” another somewhat subtle reference to the Trinity found in the Genesis account. It has been said the languages of the world have their foundation in one language. What that one language would be is really anyone’s guess. Would anyone believe it to be Latin? I know of several linguists who do and at least on paper it makes a lot of sense. Many of the words in the English language are Latin derivatives. The same is true for any language in the rest of the Western world. What about the Eastern world? Well, that’s where the controversy comes in. That discussion might have to wait for another day, but at this point we know that all who can talk are now not able to understand one another.

8 - So Yahweh scattered from there over the face of all the earth; and they ceased to build the city.

How significant is this? In Yahweh’s charge to Noah, man was to be scattered over the face of the earth. This was not an opinion or recommendation, but a command. Under Nimrod the people refused to do so and it came to the point where Yahweh had to become supernaturally involved. That’s what this process stems from, the fact that it was so important to Yahweh for man to spread out and multiply the face of the earth. Yet Nimrod’s desire was for the people to be under his control. The perplexing thing is that the people willingly went along with Nimrod. Thankfully however, rebellion was overruled by intervention. Nimrod wanted the people under his control yet Yahweh’s purpose and plan would rule the day. In this it was up to God to teach a lesson that man would need to learn over and over again down through the years. His chastisement is beneficial to us (Hebrews 12:5-11). As was pointed out in the introduction to our present study, God always has the last word. Man is fallen in his nature and we are doing well to remember that. You and I can think something else all we want, but His plan and purpose will utterly prevail! Warren Wiersbe aptly comments by saying,

God in heaven is never perplexed or paralyzed by what people do on earth. Babel’s conceited “Let’s go up!” was followed by heaven’s calm “Let’s go down!” “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision” (Psalm 2:4). Of course, God doesn’t have to investigate to know what’s going on in His universe; the language is used only to dramatize God’s intervention.3

9 - Therefore its name is called Babel, because there Yahweh confounded the language of all the earth. And from there Yahweh scattered them over the face of all the earth.

Babel is derived from the Hebrew balal, meaning “to confound” or “mix” or “mingle.” This went on to be the foundation for the ancient city of Babylon. This is the city that receives the most severe punishment in all of the Bible, as depicted in Revelation 17-18. It was at this point that the people then scattered over the earth and Yahweh’s purpose is ultimately served in so doing.

10 - These [are the] generations of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, he begat Arpachshad two years after the flood.

It’s important to know whose line is being traced here because the line that begins here is the one that will be traced throughout the remainder of the Old Testament. It is from the line of Shem that the Messiah will come. This is why the Bible is not comprehensive as to the history of some of these early patriarchal lines. The Bible when viewed as a unitary whole has its primary focus not on world history but salvation history.

Man’s need for a Savior has now been made evident by the depiction of the sin condition of man and its corrupting after-effects over the last several chapters. If you are saved today by the blood of Jesus Christ who paid the sin debt for you on the Cross in order that you may have eternal life, this is the story of how and why it all came to be.

11 - And Shem lived after he begot Arpachshad five hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters.

12 - When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, then he begat Shalach.

13 - And Arpachshad lived after he begot Shelach 403 years; and he begat sons and daughters.

14 - When Shelach had lived thirty years, then he begat Eber.

15 - And Shelach lived after he begot Eber 403 years; and he begat sons and daughters.

16 - When Eber had lived thirty-four years, then he begot Peleg.

17 - And Eber lived after he begot Peleg 430 years, and he begat sons and daughters.

18 - When Peleg lived thirty years, then he begot Reu.

19 - And Peleg lived after he begot Reu 209 years, and he begat sons and daughters.

20 - When Reu lived 32 years, then he begot Serug.

21 - And Reu lived after he begot Serug 207 years, and he begat sons and daughters.

22 - When Serug lived thirty years, then he begot Nahor.

23 - And Serug lived after he begot Nahor 200 years, and he begat sons and daughters.

24 - When Nahor lived twenty-nine years, then he begot Terah.

Here is our introduction to the man from whom will come the man of promise. In regard to salvation history his son-to-be is the pivotal point by which a nation will be set aside and preserved up to the birth of the Messiah.

Also let us point out that Terah is in all likelihood the keeper of this particular portion of the Genesis account. Beginning with verse ten through the remainder of the chapter Terah brings to light so much more than names and timelines.

25 - And Nahor lived after he begot Terah 119 years, and he begat sons and daughters.

26 - When Terah lived seventy years, then he begot Abram, and Nahor, and Haran.

The one who later becomes Abraham is begotten here. We will see later in the account just what he is made of and find out for sure whether he can be used of Yahweh or not. This could get interesting before it’s over!

27 - Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

According to McGee the name Haran means ‘delay’.4

28 - And Haran died during the lifetime of Terah his father in the land of his birth; in Ur of the Chasedim (Chaldeans).

29 - And Abram and Nahor took to them wives; the name of Abram’s wife, Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, the father of Iscah.

30 - But Sarai was barren, in that she had no child.

31 - And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot, the son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, the wife of Abram his son. And they went out with them from Ur of the Chasedim (Chaldeans) to go to the land of Canaan; and they came as far as Haran and dwelt there.

32 - And the days of Haran were 205 years; and Terah died in Haran.

So goes our introduction to the main character in the Genesis account. David Guzik points out that “the Book of Genesis covers more than 2,000 years and more than 20 generations. Yet it spends almost a third of its text on the life of one man - Abram.”5  In the Bible as a whole, Abram/Abraham is mentioned a total of 312 times over 272 verses.6 Notice in verse 28 the reference to Abram’s wife by name and her plight. Then observe the role she will play in the salvation story in later chapters.

On a more scientific note, I would think one couldn’t help but notice how the life spans have diminished from the antediluvian period until now. We have gone from three men who lived well past the nine hundred-year mark to, in this case, one who lived just over two hundred years. As only he can do, Dr. Henry Morris gives us the scientific perspective on this phenomenon.

It seems evident that this decline must have been triggered by the Flood. The radiation-filtering vapor canopy had been dissipated, and bothgenetic and somatic mutations must have increased significantly, though it would no doubt take a number of generations before the effect of mutations in the genetic system would have caused a significant impact on hereditary longevity. The increase in somatic (body cell) mutations, however, would have caused immediate acceleration of the aging process. Other factors might have included the more rugged environment, inadequate nourishment in the food, inbreeding,or greater stress of living.7

The Lord desires to bless, and for hundreds of years He did by way of the longest of life spans. Yet due to man’s sinful rebellion conditions were brought about to where we have had to settle for something less than God’s best. It’s true we’ll never see folks live for nearly a thousand years again, but the Lord desires to bless in other ways here in our day. Is there anything as it concerns your sinful rebellion hindering you from enjoying His blessings for you in this day? Would you be willing to repent and make that right with Him before this day is through?


To this point in our study we are now at The Great Divide of the book of Genesis. We have moved from Creation to Fall, From Fall to Judgment, from Judgment to Restoration, and now From Restoration to Promise. Promise of what, you ask? I’m so glad you did! Prepare now for the next leg of our study: From Promise to Fulfillment. 


1, New Defender's Study Bible note on Ephesians 5:18

James Montgomery Boice, Genesis: An Expositional Commentary, vol. 
        1, Genesis 1-11
(Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998), 423. 

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Pentateuch 
        (Colorado Springs: Cook Communications Ministries, 2001), 62. 

J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume One - 
(Pasadena, CA: Thru the Bible Radio, 1981), 



Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional
        Commentary on the Book of Beginnings (Grand Rapids: Baker
        Book House, 1976), 281.