Saturday, November 9, 2019

In The Beginning. Day 46, The Table Of Nations, Part Two

We continue on today with the portion of Scripture called the table of nations. When we concluded yesterday we were looking at the family lines of the sons of Noah's middle son, Ham. Yesterday we talked about the descendants of Ham's son Cush, and today we talk about the descendants of his other sons.

"Egypt was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites." (Genesis 10:13-14) The Philistines will later become some of the greatest enemies Israel ever had during the Old Testament era.

"Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered 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." (Genesis 10:15-19) These are the territories the Canaanites will be controlling by the time the Lord brings the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. The Lord will tell Israel to drive the Canaanites from the land because this is what is known as the "promised land" which the Lord tells Abraham in Genesis 12:7 that his descendants will someday inhabit. In our day Israel does not possess this entire area. In fact, they never completely did, for although the Lord commanded them to fully drive out the Canaanites from all these regions, they didn't finish the task but allowed several pockets of Canaanites to co-exist with them in the land. In our own day, the territories mentioned here in Genesis 10 are comprised of Israel and Lebanon along with portions of Jordan and Syria.

We are going to see the Canaanites mentioned again and again as we go through the Old Testament. You will recall that earlier in Genesis Noah put a curse on Canaan after Canaan's father Ham disrespected Noah when Noah became drunk from the wine of his vineyard. We discussed whether this was because Noah already knew that Ham's son Canaan was an even worse man than Ham was. That could be the case but we are going to look at an alternate theory below.

Noah might have cursed Canaan while in a prophetic spirit. The Lord knew what type of person Canaan would become and the Lord knew what type of people the Canaanites would become. The Lord may have prompted Noah to speak the words he spoke in regard to Canaan and his descendants. If so, this isn't the only time that the Lord said something about a person or persons who hadn't yet committed the wrongs for which He was sentencing them. For example, while Esau and his twin brother Jacob were still in the womb, the Lord knew Esau would be a carnally minded man with no interest in walking with his God, so the Lord said Esau would serve his elder brother. The Lord was able to say He disliked Esau even though Esau hadn't yet done anything to dislike. This is because the Lord knew everything Esau would ever do long before he did it. It wasn't that the Lord disliked the infant Esau; it was that the Lord disliked the man Esau was going to becomes. In the same way, by inspiration from the Lord, Noah may have pronounced a curse upon Canaan because the Lord knew what type of man Canaan was going to be. The Lord knew the Canaanites, the descendants of Canaan, were going to be wicked and violent and idolatrous people. Because of this, long before the Canaanites committed their evil sins, the Lord could pronounce a future curse on them. The curse was something they were going to bring upon themselves for their rejection of the Lord; it wasn't something the Lord arbitrarily placed upon them. It's not that the Lord forced them to be terrible people. He didn't point His finger at the Canaanite people and say, "I choose you to be wicked people who will reject Me." No, the Lord never does such a thing. The Canaanites were under a curse because they chose to reject the Lord in favor of living in rebellion and sin.

The author of Genesis concludes the section regarding the family of Ham by saying, "These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations." (Genesis 10:20)

Although today's study blog is rather short, we are going to stop here so that we can devote all of tomorrow's post to the descendants of Shem. This is the line from which the Redeemer will come.

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