Do you believe the Bible is true? If so, do you know how to persuade other people that the Bible is true? The Bible contains many statements about God and eternity. The Bible states that God exists, that God has given us instructions which we must follow, and that failure to follow God’s instructions has eternal consequences. Since the Bible makes statements about eternal consequences, then it is very important to know whether or not the Bible is true. If the Bible is true, then we should heed what the Bible says so we don’t suffer eternal consequences. If the Bible is not true, then we can safely ignore the Bible.
How do we determine if the Bible is true? Genesis 10 is a small sample of the Bible that contains some historical and geographical details. These accuracy of these details can be verified by observing the world in which we live. By itself, Genesis 10 is too small of a sample to prove whether or not the whole Bible is true; however, if Genesis 10 is true, and if many other small samples of the Bible can be proven to be true, then eventually one must conclude that the whole Bible is true. Let’s look at Genesis 10 and see what we learn from this small sample.
Let’s start with Genesis 7 to establish some context. Genesis 7 tells us about the great flood that occurred during the days of Noah. What happened to mankind during the flood?
Gen. 7:21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;
Gen. 7:22 of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.
Gen. 7:23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.
All mankind perished except Noah. What does this tell us about every person who is alive today?
Gen. 9:18 ¶ Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan.
Gen. 9:19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
Every person on earth today is a descendant of Noah. They are either a descendant of Shem, Ham, or Japheth. Now let’s look at Genesis 10. Look at the next several verses. Where did the descendants of Japheth settle?
Gen. 10:1 ¶ Now these are the records of the generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood.
Gen. 10:2 ¶ The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras.
Gen. 10:3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah.
Gen. 10:4 The sons of Javan were Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim.
Gen. 10:5 From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.
Javan is another word for Greece. Ashkenazi is a word that refers to Jews of European descent. Tarshish was a city on the north side of the Mediterrenean Sea. Kittim is the Hebrew word for Cyprus. And verse 5 refers to the coastlands which is a reference to the coast of the Mediterrenean Sea. This tells us that the descendants of Japheth settled toward Europe.
What does the following verse tell us about Ham. Where did his descendants settle?
Gen. 10:6 ¶ The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan.
Cush is the Hebrew word for Ethiopia. Mizraim is the Hebrew word for Egypt. This tells us that the descendants of Ham settled in Africa.
Now look at the descendants of Shem.
Gen. 10:22 The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram.
Gen. 10:30 Now their settlement extended from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the hill country of the east.
Gen. 10:31 These are the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, according to their nations.
Asshur refers to Assyria which was in the Mesopotamian valley. The hill country of the east refers to modern day Iran. This tells us that the descendants of Shem settled toward Asia.
Gen. 10:32 ¶ These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.
Genesis 10 tells us that Japheth’s family settled in Europe, Ham’s family settled in Africa, and Shem’s family settled in Asia. This fits with what we observe in our world today. There are three basic ethnicities in our world: Europeans, Africans, and Asians. These three ethnicities descended from the three sons of Noah.
This small sample of the Bible does not “prove” that the whole Bible is true; however, this small sample can be combined with many other small samples to create a compelling case that the Bible is accurate and true. If the Bible is true, and I believe it is, then we should heed the Bible because there are eternal consequences if we don’t heed the Bible.
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“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”