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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