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The history of the races of mankind is a fascinating subject.  Biologically, a race is generally thought of as a variety, or subspecies, within a given species.  All the races are a part of the human race.  We have made the term race to apply to skin color, but the dictionary defines race as "a class or kind of individuals with common characteristics, interests, appearances, or habits as if derived from a common ancestor."

Where did we come from?  The answers have always been with us, as presented in the original Table of Nations.  What you are about to read can best be described as an Exegesis (from the Greek exÚgesis, verb: exÚgetikos, meaning interpretation, guide, translation or critical exposition).  Once you have read what is presented here, you may not view any race of people the same way again.  Note that there is nothing like the Table of Nations (as presented here) in any other national tradition.  Every other attempt to tell where the nations derived or where one nation derived, which comes from the time before Christ (B.C.), is hopelessly naive and filled with impossibilities and myths.  There is nothing from the B.C. period that can remotely compare with this presentation as to accuracy and detail.

The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times.  As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  In light of this, findings from anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, ethnohistory, genetics and geology, substantiate an alternate interpretation of the history of humanity.  Additionally, references from historical records, ancient literature, mythology, burial customs, and other sources, all provide strong evidences.

This may seem a gross over-simplification, and even appear to oppose well-established secular anthropological opinion; however, science has proven itself over and over to be a double-edged sword.  For example, it is often found that what is obviously true, is actually false.  The obvious idea that the sun moved around the earth was erroneous, but until that view was corrected, little progress was made in the science of Astronomy.  On the other hand, on occasion, what is obviously false turns out to be actually true.  While scientific knowledge is characterized by a progressive approach to reality, it has often proved detrimental to the progress of understanding in the things which it has denied.  Such is the case here.  So before you begin to judge, please continue reading.

As stated earlier, race does not apply to skin color alone.  Skin color is essentially the only biological difference in race, and science has been unable to determine what causes skin pigmentation.  They have not been able to define the difference in cell pigment or structure.  This superficial distinction is the basis for the division of mankind.  Note:

                     Modern genetics shows that when a large, freely interbreeding group is
                     suddenly broken into many smaller groups which from then on breed only
                     among themselves (as the Biblical description of the language dispersion at
                     Babel would imply), different racial characteristics will arise very rapidly.  It can
                     be shown that one pair of middle-brown parents could produce all known
                     shades of color, from very white to very black, in one generation.  The racial
                     characteristics which exist today have not evolved, and generally speaking, are
                     simply different combinations of pre-existing (created) genetic (hereditary)
                     information.  The environment plays a secondary role in favoring certain
                     combinations over others.

The Biblical viewpoint is that there is not a black race, white race, yellow race, etc.  Instead, there are three distinct families or characteristics of man that make up the oldest Table of Nations in existence, which is a completely authentic statement of how the present world population originated and spread after the flood, as recorded in Genesis 10 of the Bible (a historical document itself).  Here we learn the true divisions of mankind, indicating how the present population of the world came to be.

Genesis chapter 10 shows how the present world population was derived from Noah's three sons:  Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives (three family groups).  Verse 32 states, "From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood".  These "nations" are the descendants (generations, genealogies or family histories) of the sons of Noah (verse 1).  Chapter 10 describes the differentiation of nations, and asserts that we were all descended from Noah.  It is important to understand that people and nations are referred to in a genealogical form (common in Hebrew and other Semitic languages).  We find genealogical references in Genesis 10 are firstly to persons or families (ethnological), and secondly to nations or tribes (ethnographical); thus, the chapter ends with an emphasis on nations or tribes, which helps us understand in following chapters where they settled or "spread out over the earth" (geographical).

The majority of scholars and Bible historians agree that most of the descendants of Shem, Noah's oldest son, stayed in the Middle East.  These include the Hebrews, Persians and Assyrians.  The descendants of Ham, Noah's middle son, include the Egyptians, Ethiopians, Canaanites, Phoenicians and Hittites.  His descendants appear to be the first to fill the earth, as they were the early settlers of Africa, Asia, Australia, the South Pacific, and the Americas.  The descendants of Japheth, Noah's youngest son, migrated into Europe and parts of Central Asia.  The Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Celts, Scythians, and Medes were Japheth's descendants.  Some people groups merged to form one nation, as did the Persians (Shem) and the Medes (Japheth), which later became the Medo-Persian empire.

Note that the many names of family groups and nations listed here naturally follow well-established rules in the development of language, and the transfer of words between languages of a different family or nation.  For example, the ancient city of Unuk (in the Bible is the first city ever built, equated with Enoch), later appears as Uruk and Erech, then as Wark or Warka by the Sumerians, and finally appears in Greek as Purgos or Pergos. The conversion of "wark" into "purg-" shows the transfer of words between languages of a different family.

Interestingly enough, purgos becomes burgh in modern Indo-European languages, which is the root of the English word, borough.  Several examples of this are below, specifically in the lines of Japheth.  Here we have the beginnings of all people groups through Shem, Ham and Japheth:

Shem.  Also Sem.  Literal meanings are named or renown (father of the Semitic races - Shemites).  The sons of Shem were:

(1) Elam "eternity" (sons were Shushan, Machul and Harmon) - (Elamites, Persians);

(2) Asshur "a step" or "strong" (sons were Mirus and Mokil) - (Assyrians/Northern Iraqis);

(3) Arphaxad "I shall fail" (sons were Shelach, Anar and Ashcol) - (Chaldeans/Southern Iraqis, Hebrews/Israelis/Jews, Arabians/Bedouins, Moabites/Jordanians/Palestinians, and related groups);

(4) Lud "strife" (sons were Pethor and Bizayon) - (Ludim, Lubim, Ludians, Ludu, Lydians, Chubs, other related groups in Asia Minor and North Africa);

(5) Aram "exalted" (sons were Uz, Chul, Gather and Mash) - (Aramaeans/Syrians, Lebanese, other related groups), and remnant groups throughout Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Evidence shows that Noah's sons kept together at first, then broke up into small groups and eventually arrived from the east in the southern Mesopotamian Plain (Gen. 11:2).  The descendants of Elam, the first born son of Shem, Noah's first born, were the first people to enter Mesopotamia.  Susa, the capital city of the Elamites (Shemitic Elamites), gave rise to other early cities, such as Al-Ubaid (which later gave rise to Hamitic settlements—including the Sumerian civilization) and Jemdet Nasr.  Recent excavations have provided very strong evidence of direct cultural links between some of the earliest cities in Babylonia and the lowest layers uncovered at Susa.  These people established themselves first in the south and gradually spread toward the north, but without losing the cultural links.  There are no known modern descendants of the Elamites.  Other excavations have shown that one of the first Hamitic groups, the Sumerians, gave rise to considerable cultural advance and power in that region.  Other people groups known very early included the Japhethites, noted especially for their fairness of skin, in the hill country east of the Tigris.  Soon the great Babylonian empire came to be.

Further evidence shows that the rulers of Babylon attempted to avert dispersal of the people by proposing the building of a monument as a visible rallying point on the flat plain of Mesopotamia.  Scripture and historical texts note that the tower of Babel, the building of which Nimrod (a Sumerian) supervised, was to have two great significances.  The city of Babel would become the metropolis of the world and unite its inhabitants under the dictatorial rule of Nimrod.  The tower was to be a monument to man to stand as a symbol of Babel.  Given the present knowledge of Babylonian history, Genesis 11 has a solid historical foundation in early Mesopotamia.  Nimrod hoped to prevent the people from scattering abroad into colonies as God intended, thus bringing upon themselves a judgment which led to confusion of the languages and rapid scattering throughout the earth.  Babel means confusion.  Urbanization, as attested by archaeological records, did not occur until after the dispersal of languages.  The history of linguistic development and settlement patterns in Mesopotamia support this.

From here the three families of man populate the earth, and Shem's descendants are well documented.  Modern day Arabs and Jews trace their lineage to Shem.  Many Arabic nomad tribes still claim they descended from Shem.  The descendants of Shem are often called Semites, a term first used in the late 18th century for peoples listed in the Bible as descended from Shem.  Today the term Semite refers to peoples who speak any of the Semitic languages, including the ancient peoples who inhabited Babylonia.  Modern peoples speaking Semitic languages include the Arabs and Jews.  Today, the Semitic-speaking peoples are concentrated in the Middle East and northern Africa.

Ham.  Also Kham.  Literal meanings are hot, burnt or dark (father of the Mongoloid and Negroid races - Hamites).  He was the progenitor of:

(1) Canaan "down low" (sons were Zidon1, Heth, Amori, Gergashi, Hivi, Arkee, Seni, Arodi, Zimodi and Chamothi) - also Canaanites, Cana, Chna, Chanani, Chanana, Canaana, Kana, Kenaanah, Kena'ani, Kena'an, Kn'nw, Kyn'nw, Kinnahu, Kinahhi, Kinahni, Kinahna, Kinahne (Mongols, Chinese, Japanese, Asians, Malayasians, AmerIndians2, Eskimos, Polynesians, Pacific Islanders, related groups3);

(2) Cush "black" (sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama and Satecha) - also Chus, Kush, Kosh (Nubians, Ethiopians, Sudanese, Ghanaians, Africans4, Bushmen, Pygmies, Australian Aborignies, New Guineans, other related groups);

(3) Mizraim "double straits" (sons were Lud, Anom, Pathros, Chasloth and Chaphtor) - also Misraim, Mitzraim, Mizraite, Mitsrayim (Egyptians, Copts);

(4) Phut "a bow" (sons were Gebul, Hadan, Benah and Adan) - also Putaya, Putiya, Punt, Puta, Put, Libia, Libya (Libyans, Cyrenacians, Tunisians, Berbers, Somalians, North Africans, other related groups).

Tribes in other parts of Africa, Arabia and Asia, aboriginal groups in Australia, native Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Eskimos were birthed from descendants of Canaan, Cush, Mizraim, and Phut.

Looking at history, whichever region is considered, Africa, Europe, Australia, or America, the major migrations have always been from Asia.  In every area of the world where Japhethites have subsequently settled, they have always been preceded by Hamites. This pattern applies in every continent.  In early historic times the circumstance seems always to be true, the earliest fossil remains of man being Mongoloid or Negroid in character and in head shape, whereas those that came last belong to the family of Japheth (Caucasoid).  If you study ancient history and technological achievements, which were in many ways the equal of, or superior of, much that we have today, were founded and carried to a high technological proficiency by Hamitic people, showing an amazing adaptability to the world in which they live. Their achievements were exploited by the Japhetic people, who became great scientific discoverers.  The Hamitic migrations indicate they sought a way of life, not an understanding or a control of nature beyond what was immediately useful.

1Zidon (or Sidon) and his descendants settled on the Mediterranean coast of present-day Lebanon, then known as the land of Canaan.  The Sidonians called themselves Kena'ani, or Canaanites.  Interestingly, the Canaanites spoke a Semitic language, probably adopted from a large migration of Semites who came from land and sea, and introduced their language and a sophisticated maritime technology about 1800 B.C.  Historians suggest the first Cannaanites succumbed to racial and linguistic intermixture with the invading Semites, which led to the loss of their own ethnic predominance, as evidenced by modern excavations.  They eventually moved westward and occupied a very narrow coastal strip of the east Mediterranean, building new cities, and establishing significant trade with neighboring nations.  In fact, the Israelite name for "Canaan" came to mean "traders", though some suggest the name Canaan is from the Hebrew name Hurrian, meaning "belonging to the land of red purple."

The Canaanites were known for their red and purple cloth (a purple dye was extracted from murex snails found near the shores of Palestine, a method now lost).  The Greeks called the land of Canaan "Phoenicia", which meant "purple".  The Phoenicians became a nation of great trade, language, and culture.  Phoenician, Hebrew, and Moabite were a group of west Semitic languages, all dialects from Canaan, as referred to in Isaiah 19:18.  The writing system of the Phoenicians is the source of the writing systems of nearly all of Europe, including Greek, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, and the Roman alphabet.  The Phoenician empire fell under Hellenistic rule after being conquered by Alexander the Great about 332 B.C.  In 64 B.C. the name of Phoenicia disappeared entirely, becoming a part of the Roman providence of Syria.  At the beginning of the Christian era, remaining Phoenicians were the first to accept the Christian faith after the Jews.  Zidon's name is still perpetuated in the modern-day city of Sidon (Saidoon is the Phoenician name, Saida in Arabic) in southern Lebanon.

2Evidence for diverse migrations into the Americas comes from research on living American Indian populations, which includes data from Mitochondrial DNA.  These studies have consistently shown similarities between American Indians and recent populations in Asia, Siberia and northern Scandinavia.  These groups include the Lapps in northern Europe/Scandinavia, the Yukaghir in Siberia, plus Indians and Eskimos/Aleuts throughout Canada and America.  Ancient skeletal remains show a range of physical attributes (round-headed) suggesting separate migrations of different populations from Asia and the South Pacific, representing 95 percent of all modern American Indian populations.  One unique exception are the Sioux Indians, the popular red-skinned tribe having a long-head shape similar to that of early Italic peoples in Europe.  They are thought to be descendants of Canaanites who intermarried with Indo-Europeans while migrating across Europe, and subsequently sailing to America.  Studies of the native languages of the Americas have shown them to be extremely diverse, representing nearly two hundred distinct families, some consisting of a single isolated language.

3The vast aggregate of peoples who are generally classified as Mongoloid, who settled the Far East, have been a question as to where they fall into the Table of Nations.  The evidence shows they are Hamitic, even though some have incorrectly reasoned that the Chinese were of Japhetic stock, and the Japanese were either Japhetic or Semitic.  There are two names which provide clues.  Two of Canaan's sons, Heth (Hittites) and Sin (Sinites), are presumed to be the progenitors of Chinese and Mongoloid stock.  The Hittites were known as the Hatti or Chatti.  In Egyptian monuments the Hittite peoples were depicted with prominent noses, full lips, high check-bones, hairless faces, varying skin color from brown to yellowish and reddish, straight black hair and dark brown eyes.

The term Hittite in Cuneiform (the earliest form of writing invented by the Sumerians) appears as Khittae* representing a once powerful nation from the Far East known as the Khitai, and has been preserved through the centuries in the more familiar term, Cathay.  The Cathay were Mongoloids, considered a part of early Chinese stock.  There are links between the known Hittites and Cathay, for example, their modes of dress, their shoes with turned-up toes, their manner of doing their hair in a pigtail, and so forth.  Representations show them to have possessed high cheekbones, and craniologists have observed that they had common characteristics of Mongoloids.

*Khittae has, at times, been incorrectly associated with Kittim or Chittim (Greek Kition, Roman Citium, Jewish Cethimus), son of Javan, son of Japheth.  Interestingly enough, Javan has been incorrectly interpreted to mean Japan.  History distinctly shows Javan to be the ancestor of the Greeks and other related Mediterranean people groups.

Sin (or Seni), a brother of Heth, has many occurrences in variant forms in the Far East.  There is one significant feature concerning the likely mode of origin of Chinese civilization.  The place most closely associated by the Chinese themselves with the origin of their civilization is the capital of Shensi, namely, Siang-fu (Father Sin).  Siang-fu appears in Assyrian records as Sianu.  Today, Siang-fu can be loosely translated, "Peace to the Western Capital of China".  The Chinese have a tradition that their first king, Fu-hi or Fohi (Chinese Noah), made his appearance on the Mountains of Chin, was surrounded by a rainbow after the world had been covered with water, and sacraficed animals to God (corresponding to the Genesis record).  Sin himself was the third generation from Noah, a circumstance which would provide the right time interval for the formation of early Chinese culture.

Furthermore, those who came from the Far East to trade were called SinŠ (Sin) by the Scythians.  Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer, referred to China as the land of Sinim or SinŠ.  Reference to the Sinim in Isaiah 49:12 notes they came "from afar," specifically not from the north and not from the west.  Arabs called China Sin, Chin, Mahachin, Machin.  The SinŠ were spoken of as a people in the remotest parts of Asia.  For the SinŠ, the most important town was ThinŠ, a great trading emporium in western China.  The city ThinŠ is now known as Thsin or simply Tin, and it lies in the province of Shensi.  Much of China was ruled by the Sino-Khitan Empire (960-1126 A.D.), which Beijing became the southern capital.  The SinŠ became independent in western China, their princes reigning there for some 650 years before they finally gained dominion over the whole land.

In the third century B.C., the dynasty of Tsin became supreme.  The word Tsin itself came to have the meaning of purebred.  This word was assumed as a title by the Manchu Emperors and is believed to have been changed into the form Tchina.  From there the term was brought into Europe as China, probably from the Ch'in or Qin dynasty (255-206 B.C.).  The Greek word for China is Kina (Latin is Sina).  As well, Chinese and surrouding languages are part of the Sino-Tibetan language family.  Years ago, American newspapers regularly carried headlines with reference to the conflict between the Chinese and Japanese in which the ancient name reappeared in its original form, the Sino-Japanese war.  Sinology refers to the study of Chinese history.

With respect to the Cathay people of historical reference, it would make sense to suppose that the remnants of the Hittites, after the destruction of their empire, travelled towards the east and settled among the Sinites who were relatives, contributing to their civilization, and thus becoming the ancestors of the Asian people groups.  Still others migrated throughout the region and beyond, making up present-day Mongoloid races in Asia and the Americas.  The evidence strongly suggests that Ham's grandsons, Heth (Hittites/Cathay) and Sin (Sinites/China), are the ancestors of the Mongoloid peoples.

4There are many native African tribes which trace themselves back traditionally to Ham.  The Yoruba, who are black skinned, for example, claim to be descendants of Nimrod, son of Cush, whereas the Libyans, who are much lighter skinned, are traced back to Phut.  The Egyptians were direct descendants of Mizraim.  Ancient Egyptians have been considered the greatest technicians in all human history.  Other African groups trace their roots back to Ham or one of his descendants.  It is therefore suggested that all of Africa, despite the different shades of color of its native populations, was initially settled by various members of this one Hamitic family.

The evidence appears to point consistently in the same direction, supporting that not only Africa with its black races, but the Far East, the Americas, and other Island nations with their colored races were all descendants of Ham.  The Hamitic people were the first to reach the far and distant lands of the world, preparing the way for the future.  Their inventions and discoveries made a significant impact on the world, and provided inspiration for the Japhethites.

Japheth.  Also Diphath.  Literal meanings are opened, enlarged, fair or light (father of the Caucasoid/Indo-Europoid, Indo-European, Indo-Germanic, or Indo-Aryan races - Japhethites).  Japheth is the progenitor of seven sons:

(1) Gomer "complete" (sons were Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah) - also Gamir, Gommer, Gomeri, Gomeria, Gomery, Goth, Guth, Gutar, G÷tar, Gadelas, Galic, Gallic, Galicia, Galica, Galatia, Gael, Getae, Galatae, Galatoi, Gaul, Galls, Goar, Celt, Celtae, Celticae, Kelt, Keltoi, Gimmer, Gimmerai, Gimirra, Gimirrai, Gimirraya, Kimmer, Kimmeroi, Kimirraa, Kumri, Umbri, Cimmer, Cimmeria, Cimbri, Cimbris, Crimea, Chomari, Cymric, Cymry, Cymru, Cymbry, Cumber (Caledonians, Picts, Milesians, Umbrians, Helvetians, Celts1, Galatians, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Goths, Vandals, Scandinavians, Jutes, Teutons, Franks, Burgundians, Alemanni, Armenians, Germans2, Belgians, Dutch, Luxembourgers, Liechensteiners, Austrians, Swiss, Angles, Saxons, Britons, English, Cornish, Irish, Welsh, French, and other related groups);

(2) Magog "land of God" (sons were Elichanaf, Lubal, Baath, Jobhath and Fathochta) - also Gog, Gogh, Magug, Magogae, Mugogh, Mat Gugi, Gugu, Gyges, Bedwig, Moghef, Magogian, Massagetae, Dacae, Sacae, Scyth, Scythi, Scythia, Scythae, Sythia, Scythes, Skuthai, Skythai, Scythia, Scynthia, Scynthius, Sclaveni, Samartian, Scoloti, Skodiai, Scotti, Skoloti, Skoth-ai, Skoth, Skuthes, Skuth-a, Askuza, Askuasa, Alani, Alans, Alanic, Ulan, Uhlan (Scythians, Scots, Irish); also Rasapu, Rashu, Rukhs, Rukhs-As, Rhos, Ros, Rosh, Rox, Roxolani, Rhoxolani, Ruskolan, Rosichi, Rhossi, Rusichi, Rus, Ruska, Rossiya, Rusian (Russians3, Belarusians, Ukrainians); also Mas-ar, Mas-gar, Masgar, Mazar, Madj, Madjar, Makr-on, Makar, Makaroi, Merkar, Magor, Magar, Magyar (Hungarians - also Hungar, Hunugur, Hurri, Gurri, Onogur, Ugor, Ungar, Uhor, Venger); Finns, Lapps, Estonians, Siberians, Yugoslavians, Croatians, Bosnians, Montenegrins, Serbians, Slovenians, Slovakians, Bulgarians, Poles, Czechs, and other related groups);

(3) Madai "middle land" (sons were Achon, Zeelo, Chazoni and Lotalso) - also Mada, Amada, Madae, Madea, Manda, Maday, Media, Madaean, Mata, Matiene, Mitani, Mitanni, Megala (Medes4, Aryans, Persians, Parsa, Parsees, Achaemenians, Manneans, Caspians, Kassites, Iranians, Kurds, Turks, East Indians, Pathans, Hazaras), including the peoples of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Khazachstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and Kyrgyzstan, and other related groups;

(4) Javan "miry" (sons were Elisha, Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim) - also Jevanim, Iewanim, Iawan, Iawon, Iamanu, Iones, Ionians, Ellas, Ellines, El-li-ness, Hellas, Hellenes, Yavan, Yavanas, Yawan, Yuban, Yauna, Uinivu, Xuthus (Grecians, Greeks, Elysians, Spartans, Dorians, Britons5, Aeolians, Achaeans, Myceneans, Macedonians, Carthaginians, Cyprians, Cretans, Basques, Latins, Venetians, Sicanians, Italics, Romans6, Valentians, Sicilians, Italians, Spaniards, Portugese, other related groups);

(5) Tubal "brought" (sons were Ariphi, Kesed and Taari) - also Tabal, Tabali, Tubalu, Tbilisi, Tibarenoi, Tibareni, Tibar, Tibor, Sabir, Sapir, Sabarda, Subar, Subartu, Thobal, Thobel, Tobol, Tobolsk (Georgians, Albanians, other related groups);

(6) Meshech "drawing out" (sons were Dedon, Zaron and Shebashnialso) - Me'shech, Mes'ek, Meshekh, Meskhi, Mushch, Muschki, Mushki, Mishi, Muski, Mushku, Musku, Muskeva, Muska, Muskaa, Muskai, Maskali, Machar, Maskouci, Mazakha, Mazaca, Massagatae, Mtskhetos, Modar-es, Moskhi, Moshkhi, Mosher, Moshch, Moschis, Mosoch, Moschi, Moschian, Mo'skhoi, Moschoi, Mosochenu, Mosochean, Mossynes, Mosynoeci, Moskva, Moscovy, Moscow (Muscovites, Latvians, Lithuanians, Romanians, other related groups);

(7) Tiras "desire" (sons were Benib, Gera, Lupirion and Gilak) - also Tiracian, Thracian, Thirasian, Thuras, Troas, Tros, Troia, Troi, Troy, Trajan, Trojan, Taunrus, Tyrsen, Tyrrhena, Rasenna, Tursha, Tusci, Tuscany, Etruscan, Eturscan, Erul, Herul, Heruli, Erilar, Vanir, Danir, Daner, Aesar, Aesir, Asir, Svear, Svea, Svie, Svioner, Svenonian, Urmane, Norge (Pelasgians, Scandinavians7, Varangians, Vikings, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, Icelandics, other related groups).

The Japhetic people are, in general, the peoples of India and Europe (Indo-European stock), with which any demographer is familiar8.

1The whole Celtic race has been regarded as descended from Gomer, though history suggests modern Celts are descended from both Gomer and Magog.  Archaeologists and ethnologists agree that the first Indo-European group to spread across Europe were Celts.  The Irish Celts claim to be to the descendants of Magog, while the Welsh Celts claim to be to the descendants of Gomer.  Irish chronicles, genealogies, plus an extensive number of manuscripts which have survived from ancient times, reveal their roots.  The Irish were descendants of Scythians, also known as Magogians, which is strongly supported by etymological evidence.  Archaeological evidence shows that both the Celts (from Gomer) and Scythians (from Magog) freely shared and mingled cultures at their earliest stages.  Russian and eastern European excavations plainly reveal the blending of these two groups.  Their geographical locations (what is now eastern Europe, southern Russia and Asia Minor) were referred to by the Greeks under the name of Celto-Scythae, which was populated by the Celts to the south and west, and the Scythians to the north.  The ancient Greeks first called the northern peoples by the general name of Scythae; but when they became acquainted with the nations in the west, they began to call them by the different names of Celts, including the Celto-Scythae.  Celts and Scythians were considered essentially the same peoples, based on geography, though many independent tribes of Celts and Scythians existed.  The Latins called them the Galli, and the Romans referred to them as the Gauls.  Later names used by Greeks were the Galatai or Galatae, Getae, Celtae, and Keltoi.  In the third century before Christ (about 280 B.C.), the Gauls invaded Rome and were ultimately repelled in Greece, where they migrated into the north-central part of Asia Minor (Anatolia).  Known as fiercely independent peoples, they conquered the indigenous peoples of that region and established their own independent kingdom.  The land became known as Galatia.  The Apostle Paul wrote his famous epistle to their descendants, the Galatians.

Early Celtic tribes (from Gomer) settled much of the European theater, including present-day Spain, France, England and Germany, prior to contact with Scythians.  For many centuries France was called Gaul, after the Celtic descendants of Gomer, whom ceded the territory to Romans and Germanic/Teutonic Franks (whence France) in the 4th century A.D.  Northwest Spain is called Galicia to this day.  Some of the Gomerites migrated further to what is now called Wales.  The Welsh claim their ancestors "first landed on the Isle of Britain from France, about three hundred years after the flood."  The Celtic language survives intact today mainly in the two variants of Welsh and Irish/Scottish Gaelic.  The Welsh call their language Gomeraeg (after Gomer).  The Celts of today are descendants of Gomer, and of the blended tribes of Magog and Gomer.

2Present-day Germanic people groups are descendants of both Japheth and Shem, and there are several references from recent and ancient history.  Recent history records the descendants of Gomer migrated and settled in the region that is now northern Europe (Germany and Scandinavia).  These tribes became the Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Teutons and Burgundians, descendants of some of the first peoples to migrate to northern Europe from ancient times—the Askaeni.  The Askaeni were descendants of Ashkenaz, son of Gomer, son of Japheth.  When the Askaeni arrived in northern Europe, they named the land Ascania after themselves, which later translated Scandia, then Scandinavia.  Later in history, we find the Askaeni being referred to as Sakasenoi, which became Sachsen, and finally Saxon.  The Saxons played an big part in European and English history.  Ashkenaz has been one of the most well preserved names throughout European history.

Semitic peoples also migrated to central Europe (southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland).  These people were the descendants of Asshur, son of Shem, and is where the name "German" originates.  Asshur is well known in history as the father of the Assyrians.  The Assyrians occupied a Mesopotamian city on the lower Tigris River called "Kir" and placed captive slaves there (also referenced in 2 Kings 16:9).  The city was populated by the Assyrians for many years, and the inhabitants became known as "Kir-men".  The Assyrian "Kerman" were driven from their land shortly after their fall about 610 B.C.  They migrated into central Europe where they were called "German" or "Germanni", a general name used by the Romans to represent all Assyrian tribes.  The known Assyrian tribes were the Khatti (also Hatti, Hessians)—Chatti is still the Hebrew term for German, and Khatti was often used by the Romans to represent Germanic tribes; the Akkadians (Latins called them Quadians); the Kassites (or Cossaei); and the Almani (or Halmani, Allemani was the Latin name).  Today, Germans refer to themselves as the "Deutschen", which is derived from the Saxon word for an "Assyrian".  Their country name is Deutschland.  The Romans referred to the Deutschen as Teutons.  Ancient Hindu literature uses both the word "Asgras" and "Daityas" to refer to the Assyrians.  "Daityas" is a Sanskrit word for "Deutsch"—a name applied to the Assyrians over 1500 years before the birth of Christ.

3Ancient peoples known as the Sarmatians (not to be confused with the Samaritans) and Alans lived in the area around the Caspian Sea from about 900 B.C.  Sarmatian and Alani tribes were later called Scythians (Slavs of today), who were also known as the Rukhs-As, Rashu, Rasapu, Rosh, Ros, and Rus.  There is no debate that they were the inhabitants of southern Russia, and the existence of the names of rivers, such as the "Ros", refer to Rus populations.  Much later, about 739 A.D., the word Rus appears again in eastern Europe, interestingly, from a different source.  Finnish peoples referred to Swedes as "Ruotsi", "Rotsi" or "Rus" in contrast with Slavic peoples, which was derived from the name of the Swedish maritime district in Uppland, "Roslagen", and its inhabitants, called "Rodskarlar".  Rodskarlar or Rothskarlar meant "rowers" or "seamen".  Those Swedish conquerers (called Varangians [Vikings] by the Slavs), settled in eastern Europe, adopted the names of local tribes, integrated with the Slavs, and eventually the word "Rusi", "Rhos" or "Rus" came to refer to the inhabitants.  Russia means "land of the Rus."  Scholars continue to debate the origin of the word Rus, which has derived from two sources:  the Ruotsi or Rhos, the Finnish names for the Swedes, and earlier from the Scythians called the Rashu or Rosh in southern Russia.

4The Aryans first come into historical view about a thousand years before Christ, invading India and threatening Babylonia.  Historians of old reference an Aryan chief called Cyaxeres, king of the Medes and Persians.  The Medes and Persians seem to have been tribes of one nation, more or less united under the rule of Cyaxeres.  Elam (son of Shem) is the ancient name for Persia.  Elamites are synonymous with Persians.  The Persians are thus descended from both Elam, the son of Shem, and from Madai, the son of Japheth.  The Medes and Persians had settled in what is now modern Persia, the Medes in the north, the Persians in the south.  The most notable Persians of today are the Iranians.  Interestingly, the word Iran is a derivative of Aryan.  The Medo-Persian people groups are divided into hundreds of clans, some sedentary and others nomadic.  All speak Indo-European languages, and some groups have pronounced Mongoloid physical characteristics and cultural traits, derived from Mongolian invasions and subsequent cultural integration.  An example today would be the Uzbeks of Uzbekistan, and remnant groups living in Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia.

5The history of Britain can be traced back to the sons of Japheth.  Historical evidence strongly suggests the first inhabitants of the British isles were the descendants of Javan (from his sons Elisha and Tarshish), and of Gomer and Magog.  Gomerites are today's modern Welsh.  Traditional Welsh belief is that the descendants of Gomer arrived about three hundred years after the flood, and the Welsh language was once called Gomeraeg.  The Welsh (Celts) are thought to have created Stonehenge.  Additionally, the descendants of Tarshish (Elisha's brother) apprear to have settled on the British Isles in various migrations about the same time.  Genesis 10:4 refers to Tarshish as those of "the isles of the Gentiles".  The Phoenicians traded silver, iron, tin and lead with them (Ezekiel 27:12), and even mention the incredible stone monuments at Stonehenge.  Around 450 B.C., ancient historian Herodotus wrote about shipments of tin coming from the "Tin Isles" far to the north and west.  There is no question that the British isles, including the northern coast of Spain, were the seat of the tin trade.  King Solomon acquired precious metals from Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22).  English historians assert that British mines mainly supplied the glorious adornment of Solomon's Temple, and in those days the mines of southwestern Britain were the source of the world's supply of tin.

The name Briton originated from Brutus (a descendant of Elisha), the first king on Britain's mainland, arriving about 1100 B.C.  Two sons of Brutus, Kamber and Albanactus, are referenced in English pre-history.  From Kamber came Cambaria and the Cambrians (who integrated with the Gomerites [mostly Celts] and became the present-day Welsh).  The descendants of Albanactus were known as the Albans (or the Albanach whom the Irish commonly called them).  Geographers would later call the land Albion.  The Britons, Cambrians and Albans populated the British Isles, which later endured multiple invasions, beginning with successive waves of Celts about 700 B.C.  The Celts (or Gaels) called the land Prydain, their name for Briton.  Those Celts (descendants of Gomer) integrated with the descendants of Elisha and Tarshish (sons of Javan), creating what some scholars called "a Celticized aboriginal population" in the British Isles.  Some of the invading people groups were Scythians, descended from Magog, who became known as the Skoths or Scots.  The name for the Celts or Cymru was "Weahlas", from Anglo-Saxon origins, meaning "land of foreigners"—Wales.  The Welsh still call themselves Cymru, pronounced "Coomry".  Later the Romans referred to the land as Britannia, invading there about 50 years before the birth of Christ.  By the third century A.D., Jutes, Franks, Picts, Moors, Angles, Saxons and other groups were invading from surrounding Europe.  In the sixth century A.D., Saxons called the land Kemr (Cymru), and the language Brithenig (Breton).  The Angles eventually conquered Britannia, renaming the territory Angleland, which became England.  Vikings invaded in the 9th century, and the Normans (or Northmen—former Danish Vikings) conquered England in 1066.  Today, the British isles are settled by the ancestors of those people groups, which included Gomer and Javan (first inhabitants), plus Magog (later invasions by various people groups).

6What of Romans and pre-Roman peoples?  Migrating nomadic peoples came from across the Alps and across the Adriatic Sea to the east of the Italian peninsula.  They were primarily herdsmen, and were technologically advanced.  They worked bronze, used horses, and had wheeled carts.  They were a war-like people and began to settle the mountainous areas of the Italian peninsula.  Historians called these people Italic, and they include several ethnic groups:  the Sabines, the Umbrians and the Latins, amongst others.  Rome was, in part, founded by these agrarian Italic peoples living south of the Tiber river.  They were a tribal people and the social logic of tribal organization dominated Roman society in both its early and late histories.

The date of the founding of Rome is uncertain, but archaeologists estimate its founding to around 753 B.C., although it existed as a village or group of villages long before then.  As the Romans steadily developed their city, government and culture, they imitated the neighboring civilization to the north, the Etruscans (former Trojans).  Romans are sometimes referred to as "Etruscanized Latins".  Roman legend states that Aeneas, the founder of the Roman race, was a prince of Troy who was forced to flee that city at the close of the Trojan war against Greece.  Rome's founder, Romulus, had a latinized Etruscan name.  The Etruscans dominated central Italy, and had already founded many cities, having arrived some 500 years earlier after leaving the city of Troy around 1260 B.C.  The Etruscans were greatly influenced by the Greeks, and the Etruscans brought that influence to the city of Rome.  The Romans called Etruscans the Tusci, and Tuscany still bears the name.  The first two centuries of Rome's growth was dominated by the Etruscans.  After many battles with the Etruscans, the city of Rome identified itself as Latin, eventually integrating the Estruscans and remaining peoples in the region.  Rome became a kingdom, then an empire.

7Scandinavian predecessors have a unique history.  Scholars agree that Scandinavians (Danes, Norwegians, Swedes) came from early Germanic people groups, including the Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Teutons and Burgundians (descendants of Gomer).  Ashkenaz, son of Gomer, is ancestor of those Germanic peoples.  The descendants of Ashkenaz have many historical references.  Known as the Askaeni, they were some of the first peoples to migrate to northern Europe, naming the land Ascania.  Latin writers and Greeks called the land Scandza or Scandia (now Scandinavia).  Roman records describe a large city on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea (about 350 A.D.) where a chain of mountains begins, and runs eastward along the shore and beyond it, forming a natural boundary.  Those mountains were called the Ascanimians, the region was called Sakasene (a form of Ashkenaz), and the dwellers of the city were the Saki.  The Saki tribes had been migrating north to Europe for some time.  The Saki called themselves the Sakasenoi, which we know as the Sachsens or Saxons.  Around 280 A.D. the Romans tell of the employment of Saxons to guard the eastern British coasts against barbarians.  About 565 A.D., the Saxons battled over territory in the Baltic region with another powerful people, the Svear.  Historical records indicate that descendants of Tiras also settled in Scandinavia, a people called the Svear.  The Svear are descendants of the first inhabitants of the ancient city of Troy, a people then known as the Tiracians (also Thracians, Trajans or Trojans).  They were described as a "ruddy and blue-eyed people".  The city of Troy was destroyed around 1260 B.C. after a succession of wars with the Greeks.  Thousands of Trojans resettled abroad.  That included Trojan warriors who sailed across the Black Sea to the Caucasus region in southern Russia; and one of the most documented of Trojan settlements is along the mouth of the River Don on the Black Sea.  The locals named those Trojan settlers the "Aes", meaning "Iron" for their superior weaponry.  Later, the inner part of the Black Sea was named after them, called the "Iron Sea" or "Sea of Aesov" in the local tongue.  Today, the name continues as the "Sea of Azov".

The Aes or Aesir, travelled from the Caucasus region to the Baltic Sea in Scandinavia around 90 B.C., which is supported by several scholars and modern archaeological evidence.  A tribe that migrated with them were the Vanir.  The Aesir clans traded with local Germanic tribes, including the Gutar.  Romans called the Gutar "Goths", the Aesir "Svear"—Swedes, and the Vanir "Danir/Daner"—Danes.  The Svear and Daner populations were described specifically as taller and fairer (blonde) than other people groups in the Baltic region.  The Svear population flourished, and with the Goths they formed a powerful military alliance of well-known seafarers.  The Romans noted that Svear people together with the Goths were, from the 3rd century A.D., ravaging the Black Sea, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean, using the same type of weapons as their Trojan ancestors.  The Svear and Goths dominated the Russian waterways, and by 739 A.D. together they were called Varyagans or Varangians (from the Swedish Vaeringar), according to written records of the Slavs near the Sea of Azov.  Like their ancestors, Scandinavians lived in large communities where their chieftains would send out maritime warriors to trade and plunder.  Those fierce warriors were called the Vaeringar, which literally meant "men who offer their service to another master".  We later know them by their popularized name, the Vikings.  Further evidence of Aesir (Asir) settlements in the Baltic region came from their Thracian language, which not only influenced, but is very close to the Baltic and Slavic (Balto-Slavic) languages of today.  By the 9th century A.D., the Svear state had emerged as the major power in Scandinavia.  The Svear, Daner and Goths, along with other Germanic tribes, settled in what is now present-day Sweden, Norway, Denmark and other parts of the Baltic region.  They were forefathers of the Scandinavians—the descendants of both Gomer and Tiras.

8Early history shows the Japhethites split into two groups.  One group settled in the region of present-day India and Central Asia, and the other group in the European theater.  Indo-European languages originate from those people groups who migrated throughout western Eurasia (Europe, the Near East, Anatolia, and the Caucasus).  Together they form what is known as the "Indo-European" family of nations.  Both of these divisions trace their ancestry back to Japheth.  For example, early Aryans knew him as Djapatischta (chief of the race), Greeks referred to Japheth as Iapetos or Japetos, East Indians called him Jyapeti or Pra-Japati, Romans used Ju-Pater or Jupiter, the Saxons perpetuated his name as Iafeth, subsequently transliterated as Sceaf (procounced "sheef" or "shaif" - and recorded his name in their early genealogies as the son of Noah, the forebear of their various peoples), and the variant Seskef was used by early Scandinavians.  All of these peoples, we must remember, were pagans whose knowledge or even awareness of the book of Genesis had been lost, or was non-existent.


The information presented here is only an interpretation of historical research and Biblical data.  Certain assumptions may not be accurate, and new discoveries can change group references.  We are all directly related to either Shem and his wife, Ham and his wife, or Japheth and his wife.  History has long since confirmed abundantly this distribution of mankind, exactly as the Bible describes.  Every human being on earth today is your cousin, whether first, second - or thousandth!

Nothing in the legendary or archaeological history of the ancient world denies the biblical account of the creation of the world, the entrance of sin and death, the judgment of Noah’s flood, and the rise of the peoples from his descendants after their dispersal from Babel.  Furthermore, the historical dates used to determine the formation of people groups, nations, or kingdoms does not in any way conflict with the Genesis account, but are well within the approximate dates for the creation of the world and mankind about 5800 B.C., the flood of Noah about 3400 B.C., and the dispersal from Babel around 3200 B.C.

This information is not intendend to promote or reflect a particular theology, religious sect or genealogical group.  Don't dismiss the fact that with some of the Shemites, Hamites, and Japhethites there would have been intermarriage and subsequent people groups.  For example, scholars note evidence that suggests the descendants of Lud (Shemites) migrated north and intermarried with the Greeks (descendants of Japheth), and were eventually absorbed in that culture.

The interaction of all three family contributions is the theme of history.  The remarkable thing is that they all can be substantiated to a degree, often unsuspected by students of history, up to the present time.  The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth are evidenced, not only by Biblical history, but archeological, anthropological, biological, ethnographical, ethnological, etymological, geological, and secular history.  The question is not one of levels of worth but of uniqueness of contribution, and though differences exist, not any one group is superior or inferior.

Consider the major language groups today.  Essentially, there is an increasing recognition that many of the languages of the world are related and that, subsequently, many of the cultures of the ancient world are thus also related in origin.  They all can be traced back, in their various linguistic groups, to a "father tongue" embracing the major language groups of today, which are:
  • Indo-European (Northern India/Europe)
  • Afro-Asiatic (Northern Africa/Middle East/Southwestern Asia)
  • Kartvelian (Caucasus Mountains/Southern Russia)
  • Uralic (Northern Europe/Central Siberia/Eurasia)
  • Altaic (Eastern Europe/Central Asia)
  • Dravidian (Central & Southern India)
  • Sino-Tibetan (Northern & Eastern Asia)
  • Malayo-Polynesian (Southeastern Asia/Pacific Islands)
  • Austro-Asiatic (Eastern India/Southwestern Asia)
  • Niger-Congo (Western & Central Africa)
  • Nilo-Saharan (Northeastern Africa)
  • Khoisan (Southern Africa)
  • Eskimo-Aleut (Northeastern Siberia/Alaska/Aleutians)
  • Algonkian, Athapascan, Iroquoian, & Mosan (North America)
  • Uto-Aztecan, Oto-Manguean, Mayan, & Macro-Chibchan (Central America)
  • Carib, Andean-Equatorial (South America)
  • Torricelli, West Papuan & Sepik-Ramu (New Guinea)
  • Bunaban, Ngaran & Yiwaidjan (Northern Australia)
  • Pama-Nyungan (Central & Southern Australia)

The total number of languages in the world is estimated to be around 6000.  Here are the most common spoken & written languages worldwide:

Achinese, Afrikaans, Akan, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Assamese, Aymara, Azerbaijani, Balinese, Baluchi, Bambara, Bashkir, Basque, Batak Toba, Baule, Beja, Belorussian, Bemba, Bengali, Beti, Bhili, Bikol, Brahui, Bugis, Bulgarian, Burmese, Buyi, Cantonese, Catalan, Cebuana, Chagga, Chig, Chinese, Chuvash, Croatian, Czech, Dairi, Danish, Dardic, Dimli, Dogri, Dong, Dongola, Dutch, Dyerma, Dyula, Edo, Efik, Ethiopic, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Ewe, Finnish, Fon, French, Frisian, Fula, Fulakunda, Futa, Jalon, Gaelic, Galician, Ganda, Georgian, German, Gilaki, Gogo, Gondi, Greek, Guarani, Gujarati, Gusii, Hadiyya, Hakka, Hani, Hausa, Haya, Hebrew, Hiligaynon, Hindi, Ho, Hungarian, Iban, Icelandic, Igbo, Ijaw, Ilocano, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kabyle, Karo, Kamba, Kannada, Kanuri, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Kenuzi, Khmer, Kikuyu, Kongo, Konkani, Korean, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lampung, Lao, Latvian, Leyte, Lingala, Lithuanian, Luba, Luhya, Lulua, Luo, Luri, Luxembourgish, Lwena, Macedonian, Madurese, Makassar, Makua, Malagasy, Malayalam, Malaysian, Malinke, Mandarin, Manx, Marathi, Mazandarani, Mbundu, Meithei, Mende, Meru, Miao, Mien, Migindanaon, Min, Minangkabau, Mongolian, Mordvin, MorÚ, Nepali, Ngulu, Nknole, Norwegian, Nung, Nupe, Nyamwezi, Nyanja, Occitan, Oriya, Oromo, Panay, Pampangan, Pangasinan, Pashtu, Pattani Malay, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Provenšal, Punjabi, Quechua, Rajang, Riff, Romanian, Romany, Ruanda, Rundi, Russian, Samar, Sango, Santali, Sasak, Serbian, Sgaw, Shaba, Shan, Shilha, Shona, Sidamo, Sindhi, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Soga, Somali, Songye, Soninke, Sotho, Spanish, Sudanese, Sukuma, Swahili, Swedish, Sylhetti, Tagalog, Tajiki, Tamazight, Tamil, Tatar, Tausug, Telugu, Temne, Thai, Tho, Thonga, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Tiv, Tonga, Tswana, Tudza, Tulu, Tumbuka, Turkish, Turkmen, Uighur, Ukranian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, Wolaytta, Wolof, Wu, Xhosa, Yao, Yi, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zande, Zhuang, Zulu.




Arthur C. Custance
"Noah's Three Sons"

Arthur C. Custance
"Genesis and Early Man"

Bill Cooper
"After the Flood"

Henry M. Morris
"The Genesis Record"

James I. Nienhuis
"Old Earth?  Why Not!"

Ruth Beechick
The Lost History of Their Lives and Times"

Ruth Beechick
"GENESIS:  Finding Our Roots"

Mike Gascoigne 
"Forgotten History of the Western People
From the Earliest Origins"



Ray C. Stedman
"The Three Families of Man"

Tim Osterholm
"Origins of the Swedes"


Here is what the apostle Peter had to say in the New Testament about Noah and the flood (1 Peter 3:18-22):

"Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a  proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.  And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you -- not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him."

BIO:  Tim Osterholm has a BA in Business Administration & Human Resources Management, and enjoys studying Christian apologetics and theology.  With the belief that we are truly living in the "last days", his goal is to reach the "scoffers of the last days" (2 Peter 3-7), those who are convinced their own education and knowledge is enough:

Down through history, God has increasingly revealed information that allows us to know more about the things we read in the Bible; and now irrefutable evidence as to many of the accounts described in Biblical records.  We can now see with our own eyes the evidences that human wisdom requires as proof of these events.  The sad thing is that even though there is overwhelming evidence as to the accuracy of the Bible, many people still believe that Biblical accounts, such as that of Noah's Ark, are only fiction.  We are told that would be a sign of the last days.


Your comments are welcome!

Table of Nations
by Tim Osterholm
Updated 1/2004