Diggin’ up the Bible 5 (Where Did the Races Originate?)

Eneas / Foter / CC BY

In Genesis 10, you will find that the Bible gives the land locations where each of the descendants of Noah’s sons—after the language divisions of the Tower of Babel—settled. The descendants of Ham, whose name means dark or black, are the Egyptians, Ethiopians, Libyans, Africans, and the other dark races, as well as the Canaanites who once lived in the land now occupied by Israel. The descendants of Japheth, whose name means bright or fair, are the Greeks and the people who lived in the islands of the sea and who settled Europe and Russia. The descendants of Shem, whose name means dusky or olive colored, are the Semitic people—the Jews, Arabs, and Persians. Isn’t it interesting that the skin coloring of the descendants of these three men match the meaning of their specific name? This suggests that perhaps Noah named his sons according to a unique physical appearance they were all born with—the color of their skin.

After God confused man’s language at the Tower of Babel, the 16 grandsons of Noah—by family units—migrated throughout Asia and the Far East (Genesis 10). With this migration came the development of the various races. Consider the following: “As each family and tribal unit migrated away from Babel, not only did they each develop a distinctive culture, but also they each developed distinctive physical and biological characteristics. Since they would communicate only with members of their own family unit, there was no further possibility of marrying outside the family. Hence, it was necessary to establish new families composed of very close relatives, for several generations at least. It is well established genetically that variations take place very quickly in a small inbreeding population and very slowly in a large interbreeding population . . . in a very few generations of such inbreeding, distinctive characteristics of skin color, height, hair texture, facial features, temperament, environmental adjustment, and others, could come to be associated with particular tribes and nations” (Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible 35). Thus, the formation of the various races of mankind.

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SEQUEL TO JAKE AND THE HEAVENLY HOST SERIES

I’m so excited! My new youth book in The Heavenly Host Series is now available. Jake and the Heavenly Host was the first book. Now . . . Adventure in the Rockies . . . is available! This has been a long time in the coming! It’s filled with suspense and adventure and presents God’s protective care in a unique way. The third book of the series will be available very soon. Praise the Lord for his goodness!

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Diggin’ Up The Bible 4 (Tower of Babel)

james_gordon_losangeles / Foter / CC BY-NC

In Genesis 10:8 we read that Nimrod became a heroic warrior before the Lord. The word translated before can also mean against and this seems to fit more accurately with the passage. Verse 11 reads, “He went into Asshur (Assyria) and builded Nineveh,” meaning he invaded Assyria and built up Nineveh. By every worldly standard, Nimrod could be considered a great political and military leader of his day.

The following passage in Genesis 11 does not teach that Nimrod stupidly attempted to build a tower which would reach into outer space as many people suggest. The next time you’re outside stop and look up into the heavens. Do you believe anyone, especially someone with the intellect to become a great political and military leader, would honestly believe that he could build a tower so high it would actually reach into outer space? This teaching is a total misunderstanding of this passage.

Note verse 4: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (NKJV). Some versions include the words may reach in this verse instead of the italicized is. Whichever your version, these words are in italics to show they are supplied by the translators and are not in the original Hebrew text. A better rendering of this passage would be, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is heaven” or “a tower topped with the heavens.” In other words, astronomical and astrological data were to be associated with this tower, and its purpose was to worship the creation rather than the Creator.

This appears to be man’s first organized false religion, and the against in Genesis 10:8 reveals that Nimrod’s purpose was to draw as many souls as possible away from the true and living God. Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible states, “Archaeological evidence suggests that the Tower of Babel was in reality a building given over to astrology, or the heathen worship of the heavens” (Wilmington 35). Nimrod was campaigning with a spirit of defiance to rid the world of the shackles of true religion, or worship of the true and living God. He was a great leader, yet the kingdom he built was a worldly system characterized by idolatry and opposition to the Lord.

Let’s continue with verse 5: “But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built” (NKJV). The words came down are actually sarcasm, indicating that man’s most magnificent efforts were still puny in God’s eyes. So why did God come down? He came down in judgment because man had become so flagrant in his defiance against Him that if immediate action wasn’t taken, the truth of God’s revelation might be forever obliterated. Man’s mistake was to believe that if he ruled God out of his thinking, he would rid himself of Him forever. He didn’t realize that God will never permit any social order to last where He is omitted. So after taking the situation under consideration, God decided to judge the defiance of man by confusing his language, meaning He caused them to speak a variety of languages instead of just one (Genesis 11:7). The result of this judgment was indeed confusion, and the building of the tower of defiance toward God halted.

Is there any historical evidence that might support the existence of this Tower of Babel? Consider the following:

Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible records: “Among the ruins of ancient Babylon is a building 153 feet high with a 400 foot base. It was constructed of dried bricks in seven stages, to correspond with the known planets to which they were dedicated. The lowermost was black, the color of Saturn, the next orange, for Jupiter, the third red, for Mars, and so on. These stages were surmounted by a lofty tower, on the summit of which were the signs of the Zodiac” (35). Upon the base of this building located just outside Baghdad the following words are inscribed, “A former king built, they reckon 42 ages past, but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words.” Humm . . . Sound familiar?

Life is Short

Thomas Leuthard / Foter / CC BY

“Life is short . . . Have an affair.” What? I thought as I skimmed down my list of new emails. I took a second look at the title of this junk email just to make sure I had read it correctly. “Life is short . . . Have an affair.” How sad, I thought. I figured whoever sent it must have the morals of a barnyard pig and might well have included a virus, so even though I wanted to see how they justified spreading such evil I refrained from opening it for my computer’s sake.

Several days later the advertisement reappeared in my list of emails. “Life is short . . . Have an affair.” Now I was angry. Didn’t the person spreading this depraved nonsense know they were promoting the destruction of marriages and families? God’s Word teaches that from the very beginning of time one man was to be with one woman, and any time man disobeys God’s Word lives are damaged and destroyed.

This person is really brilliant, I sarcastically thought to myself. Life is short so why not destroy it by cheating on your spouse? After all, what are the consequences of having an affair? Let’s see, first, guilt will rule your life. You’ll have trouble looking your spouse in the eyes because you’ve got this dirty little secret of sleeping with someone other than them. Second, if your spouse learns of your extramarital affair your marriage may be over, and even if he or she chooses to forgive you they will never fully trust you again. The green-eyed monster of jealousy doesn’t die easily. Third, if your marriage is over your children will suffer the rest of their lives. They will wonder if it was their fault. Perhaps if they had been better mommy and daddy would still be together. Fourth, there’s always the possibility that you will bring an STD into your marriage, a disease you and your spouse will deal with the rest of your lives. How do you think your spouse will feel knowing the reason they have to suffer through some sexually transmitted disease is because of your unfaithfulness? And this is just a drop in the bucket to the devastation an affair can cause.

Yes, life is short so don’t throw it away by living wickedly. Instead, be all you can be by living your life for Christ.