This chapter may seem a little boring and unimportant but lets see if there are any wasted chapters in God's book. First of all the names of the descendants of Noah are repeated in some very important places in scripture. For example in Ezekiel 38, which is about the invasion of Israel in the last days, many of the nations and people that come against Israel are identified by these names. Therefore if we can know where the descendants of these people settled we can identify those nations which will be on the wrong side in this conflict. Also remember that one line of these descendants was cursed and the other 2 blessed.
In Gen. 9: 25-27 it says; And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Notice that it is Canaan that is cursed, Ham's son, and not Ham himself but it is the "Lord God" of Shem and Japheth that is blessed.
Vs. 1-5
The sons of Jepheth settle in the "isles of the gentiles". Wherever that is we are not sure but my best guess is Europe including Russia. Also notice the reference in verse 5 "after his tongue" Which indicates that this was written after the tower of Babel incident.
Vs. 6-20
The sons of Ham the most notable being Nimrod who seems to be the first dictator on the planet. Verse 9; He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
Here is the Strong's definition of the word mighty used here;
gibbo^r gibbo^r
ghib-bore', ghib-bore'
Intensive from the same as H1397; powerful; by implication warrior, tyrant: - champion, chief, X excel, giant, man, mighty (man, one), strong (man), valiant man.
Notice the word tyrant, by the way this is the same word used to describe the sons of the fallen angels in chapter 6. Nimrod built Babel and 3 other cities in the land of Shinar which is modern Iraq. For those of you that want to dig deeper in this here is a place to start: < Info/Mystery_Religion.htm> It is my belief, that as this site says, Babel was the beginning of false religion. It is also my belief that false religion was started by a group of demons, the "principalities and powers in high places" that Paul says we wrestle against. That these demons have a hierarchy with satan at the top, and that these demons really don't care about where they attempt to rule the earth from but rather have infested the nations in the earth that were strongest at the time. This would explain the rise and fall of nations being a repeated pattern that begins with virtue and ends in debauchery. A glimpse of this is seen in Daniel 10 where he is told;
12. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
13. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
And it is later explained:
20. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
When Alexander the great conquered Persia he instructed his soldiers to marry the women of the people they had conquered and to accept their religions.
These same stories and personalities surface in Egypt, Greece, Rome, and even survive to modern times. Notice that in our (the US) own space program the names of some of our space craft, Gemini, Apollo, Mercury.
This is the pattern of history and if you live in or care about the US there is only one way the decent of the culture will be halted. Prayer and standing against these powers in high places, the one thing that demons cannot tolerate is exposure to the light.
The other notable thing in these verses is the borders of the Canaanites. Roughly where Israel was to be and now is. Also the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were Canaanite cities.
Vs. 21-31
Here are the descendants of Shem out of which would be the children of Israel in time. Notable in these verses is Peleg in verse 25 of which it is said that "for in his days was the earth divided". Peleg was Noah's great grand son and so was Nimrod. I am of two minds concerning this, one possibility is that this was when the continents were separated which I believed for years or that this was when the people were confused at the tower of Babel which I have believed since noticing that Peleg was about the same age as Nimrod, the creator of Babel. Very little is said of the descendants of Japheth and Ham in the rest of the bible but the descendants of Shem were chosen by God to be the vessel by which He would reveal His plan for and Himself to mankind.
32. These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood