Page images

murder of Abel, (Gen. iv. 16) was on the east of Eden. Nothing further is known concerning its situation. The name signifies "shaking or trembling." It was a place where he sought rest, but could find none; such was the just doom, even as to this life, of the first murderer, the father of a wicked race. The whole world is a place of trembling and uncertainty to all who are not children of God. As little has been discovered as to the site of the city of Enoch, Gen. iv. 17.


THE tenth chapter of the book of Genesis contains an account of the descendants of Noah, which, brief as it is, affords the only clue to the perplexed history of nations. Although the inattentive reader might pass slightly over this, as an uninteresting catalogue of names, yet it will be found, as we proceed, that constant appeals must be made to this inspired document. It should be remembered in all these inquiries, that the names of countries were, in early times, scarcely any thing else than the names of their first inhabitants. Almost every one of these persons gave name to some tribe or people; and, in some cases, the nation may be discovered, when we find no record of the founder, except in this genealogical table.

In seeking to fix the abode of these people, after the lapse of thousands of years, we labour under great difficulties, and little more can, in many cases, be expected, than probable conjectures.

The three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, may be considered as the representatives of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Not that they were severally confined to these parts of the earth, but that this distinction, for the most part, may be applied. From them the world was re-peopled when all its inhabitants, excepting one

family, had been swept away by the flood, on account of their wickedness. Wretched, indeed, must have been the state of the world when "all flesh" (all the human race) "had corrupted his way upon the earth," Gen. vi. 12, as will appear from the following table, which contains the results at which learned men have arrived. This, in order to be understood, must be compared with the tenth chapter of Genesis.


I. Gomer; whence the Cimmerians, on the northern coast of the Black Sea. From him descended,

1. Ashkenas; whose settlement is unknown, but conjectured to be between Armenia and the Black Sea. 2. Riphath; the inhabitants of the Riphean range

of mountains.

3. Togarmah; the Armenians.

II. Magog; from whom the inhabitants of Caucasus, and the neighbouring countries: Scythians.

III. Madai; the Medes.

IV. Javan; the Ionians, Greeks.

From him,

1. Elisha; the Greeks, in a limited sense.

2. Tarshish; Tartessus in Spain.

3. Kittim; the Cyprians and other Islanders, and the Macedonians.

4. Dodanim; the Dodonians in Epirus.

V. Tubal; the Tibarenes of Pontus.

VI. Meshech; the Moschi of the Moschian moun

tains, between Iberia, Armenia, and Pontus.

VII. Tiras; the Thracians, or people upon the Dniester.


I. Cush; the Ethiopians and South Arabians. From Cush descended,

1. Nimrod; the first king of Shinar, or Babylonia and Mesopotamia, where he built the cities of Erech, etc. (See BABYLONIA.)

2. Seba; Meroë. (See ETHIOPIA.)

3. Havilah; the Hauloteans of South Arabia. 4. Sabtah; Saboto in South Arabia.

5. Raamah; Rhegma in South-eastern Arabia.— From Raamah come,

(1.) Shebah; probably in South Arabia.

(2.) Dedan; Daden, an island in the Persian Gulf. 6. Sabtecha; on the east coast of Ethiopia.

II. Mizraim; the Egyptians.-From Mizraim come, 1. Ludim,

2. Ananim, }probably African nations.

3. Lehabim, or Lubim; the Lybians.

4. Naphtuhim; between Egypt and Asia.

5. Pathrusim; in Pathrures, a part of Egypt.

6. Casluhim; the Colchians.-"Out of whom came," (1.) Philistim; the Philistines.

(2.) Caphtorim; the Cretans.

III. Phut; the Mauritanians, or Moors.

IV. Canaan; the original inhabitants of Palestine. —From Canaan descended,

1. The Sidonians, or Phenicians.

2. The Hethites, about Hebron.

3. The Jebusites, in and around Jerusalem.

4. The Amorites, east and west of the Dead Sea. 5. The Girgasites.

6. The Hivites, at the foot of Hermon.

7. The Arkites, at the foot of Lebanon.

8. The Sinites, in the region of Lebanon.

9. The Arvadites, on the Phenician island Arabus, and the opposite coast.

10. The Zemarites, of the Phenician city Simyra. 11. The Hamathites, of Epiphania, on the Orontes.


I. Elam; from whom came the inhabitants of Elymais in Persia.

II. Asshur; the Assyrians.

III. Arphaxad; in the northern part of Syria, (Arrapachites.)-From him came,

Salah; whose descendant was,

Eber; forefather of the Hebrews, and from him


1. Peleg; and,

2. Joktan; ancestor of the following Arab families : (1.) Almodad.

(2.) Sheleph; Selapenes in South Arabia.

(3.) Hazarmaveth; of Hadramaut.

(4.) Jerah; near the last.

(5.) Hadoram.

(6.) Uzal; Sanaa in South Arabia.

(7.) Diklah.

(8.) Obal.

(9.) Abimael.

(10.) Sheba; the Sabeans, in South Arabia. (11.) Ophir; probably in Oman, of Arabia. (12.) Havilah; of Haulan.

(13.) Jobab; the Jobabites, between Hadramaut and Oman.

IV. Lud; probably origin of some Ethiopian people. V. Aram; Syrians and Mesopotamians. — From Aram sprang,

1. Uz; north of Arabia Deserta.

2. Hul; perhaps in Colo-Syria.

3. Gether.

4. Mash; the inhabitants of Mount Masius, north of Nesibis.

This table will be better understood, when we have examined the several countries, one by one.


The regions inhabited by the descendants of Japheth, are sometimes simply called "the north," Dan. xi. 6 -8. Japheth signifies enlargement; and Providence did in a wonderful manner " 'enlarge the boundaries of

Japheth;" and, according to this promise, he has dwelt in the tents of Shem, Gen. ix. 27. How large the control Europeans have been permitted to exercise in Asia! It will be necessary more minutely to examine some of the nations mentioned in the preceding table.

I. Riphath, Gen. x. 3. This name is so much like that of the Riphean, or Rhipean mountains, spoken of by the Romans, and which they imagined to be at the extreme north, that it is natural to suppose that the descendants of Riphath were spread over the northern coasts of the Black Sea.

II. Gomer. The Cimmerians probably took their name from Gomer. They resided north of the Black Sea, in the country now called Krim, and upon the rivers Don and Danube. From the same origin came the nations who were known under the various names of Cimbri, Umbri, and Cambri, in the northern and central parts of Europe. Hence arose the Gauls, Celts, and Gaels. They are mentioned among the northern nations, which should accompany Gog in his conquests; "Gomer, and all his bands," Ezek. xxxviii. 6.

III. Ashkenaz. Except in the list of the families of nations, Gen. x. we find Ashkenaz only once named in the Bible, Jer. li. 27, and then in connexion with Ararat and Minni, provinces of Armenia. The utmost which we are able to say of this nation is, that it was near Mount Caucasus, east and south-east of the Black Sea.

IV. Gog and Magog. Gog is generally supposed to be the name of the people, and Magog the name of the country, which comprehended the northern parts of Armenia, the space between the Black Sea and the Caspian, and the borders of Scythia; Gen. x. 2; Ezek. xxxviii. 2. We shall not attempt to answer the question concerning the Gog and Magog of Ezek. xxxviii. xxxix., and the Revelation, (xx. 7-9,) which belongs to the interpretation of prophecy.

V. Meshech and Tubal, are named in connexion with Magog, Ezek. xxxviii. 2, and are almost always

« PreviousContinue »