Is the genealogy in the Bible relevant today?

Picture of coffee cups

Gen 10:25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.


God Made Logo

Biblical Commentaries

i have temporarily removed most of the commentaries as i add and remove text reflecting new light and understanding.


Gen 10:25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.

Gen 10:26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

Gen 10:27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,

Gen 10:28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,

Gen 10:29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.

Gen 10:30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.

Gen 10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

Gen 10:32 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.

Gen 10:25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.

The meaning of the name Peleg is: H6389 The same as H6388; earthquake; Peleg, a son of Shem: - Peleg.
H6388 From H6385; a rill (that is, small channel of water, as in irrigation): - river, stream.
H6385 A primitive root; to split (literally or figuratively): - divide.

What does the phrase "for in his days was the earth divided" mean? Most seem to think that this is referring to the division of languages that takes place in Genesis 11:7 and 11:8

Gen 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. Gen 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

This appears logical to me, but there may be more to these verses than an occasional glance might reveal. The primary meaning of the name Peleg is Earthquake. Genesis 11:8 appears to indicate more than just a confounding of language. Could the confounding of language have also been accompanied by a great earthquake that literally split the earth? There exist a scientific theory that there was once a super continent called Pangaea that split and drifted into the continents that we know today. Many theologians quickly discount this theory because Pangaea is said to have existed some 250 million years ago. We know the dating is is wrong because the earth is roughly 6000 years old, not millions of years old. There is some evidence that Pangaea did exist though the supposed timing is clearly in error. I will not claim to know whether Pangaea did or did not exist. I will say that if it did exist, this verse is giving us a hint at when it ceased to exist.

Joktan means: H3355 From H6994; he will be made little; Joktan, an Arabian patriarch: - Joktan.

H6994 A primitive root (rather denominative from H6996); to diminish, that is, be (causatively make) diminutive or (figuratively) of no account: - be a (make) small (thing), be not worthy.

H6996 From H6962; abbreviated, that is, diminutive, literally (in quantity, size or number) or figuratively (in age or importance): - least, less (-ser), little (one), small (-est, one, quantity, thing), young (-er, -est).

H6962 A primitive root; properly to cut off, that is, (figuratively) detest: - be grieved, lothe self.

Some Arabians claim decent from Joktan. This may or may not be accurate.

Gen 10:26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

Almodad is said to mean "measurer".

Sheleph means: extract; to pull out, up or off: - draw (off), grow up, pluck off.

Hazarmaveth means: From H2691 and H4194; village of death; Chatsarmaveth, a place in Arabia: - Hazarmaveth.
H2691 From H2690 in its original sense; a yard (as inclosed by a fence); also a hamlet (as similarly surrounded with walls): - court, tower, village.
H4194 From H4191; death (natural or violent); concretely the dead, their place or state (hades); figuratively pestilence, ruin: - (be) dead ([-ly]), death, die (-d).
H2690A primitive root; properly to surround with a stockade, and thus separate from the open country; but used only in the reduplicated form (the second and third forms; to trumpet, that is, blow on that instrument): - blow, sound, trumpeter.
H4191 A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill: - X at all, X crying, (be) dead (body, man, one), (put to, worthy of) death, destroy (-er), (cause to, be like to, must) die, kill, necro [-mancer], X must needs, slay, X surely, X very suddenly, X in [no] wise.

Jerah means: From an unused root of uncertain signification; a lunation, that is, month: - month, moon.

Gen 10:27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,

Hadoram is said to mean: "the south".

I didn't find a meaning behind the name Uzal

Diklah is said to mean: "palm tree".

Gen 10:28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,

I did not find a meaning for the names Obal or Sheba, but Abimael is said to mean "father or chief".

Gen 10:29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.

I did not find a definite meaning for the name Ophir, but it may have some connection to precious stones, especially gold.

Havilah means: H2341 Probably from H2342; circular; Chavilah, the name of two or three eastern regions; also perhaps of two men: - Havilah.

H2342 A primitive root; properly to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner), that is, (specifically) to dance, to writhe in pain (especially of parturition) or fear; figuratively to wait, to pervert: - bear, (make to) bring forth, (make to) calve, dance, drive away, fall grievously (with pain), fear, form, great, grieve, (be) grievous, hope, look, make, be in pain, be much (sore) pained, rest, shake, shapen, (be) sorrow (-ful), stay, tarry, travail (with pain), tremble, trust, wait carefully (patiently), be wounded.

Jobab means: H3103 From H2980; howler; Jobab, the name of two Israelites and of three foreigners: - Jobab.

H2980 A primitive root; to bawl: - cry out.

It is very possible, one might even say "likely", that the Jobab mentioned here is Job from the book Job. I will not argue this possibility one way or the other. It would make for an interesting study and there have already been books written on this idea.

Gen 10:30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.

Mesha means: H4480 For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses: - above, after, among, at, because of, by (reason of), from (among), in, X neither, X nor, (out) of, over, since, X then, through, X whether, with.
H4482 From an unused rot meaning to apportion; a part; hence a musical chord (as parted into strings): - in [the same] (Psa. H68 : H23), stringed instrument (Psa. H150 : H4), whereby (Psa. H45 : H8 [defective plural]).
H68 From the root of H1129 through the meaning, to build; a stone: - + carbuncle, + mason, + plummet, [chalk-, hail-, bead-, sling-] stone (-ny), (divers) weight (-s).
H23 From H1 and H622; father of gathering (that is gatherer); Abiasaph, an Israelite: - Abiasaph.
H4 (Chaldee); corresponding to H3: - fruit.

Sephar means: H5611 The same as H5610; Sephar, a place in Arabia: - Sephar.
H5610 From H5608; a census: - numbering.
H5608 A primitive root; properly to score with a mark as a tally or record, that is, (by implication) to inscribe, and also to enumerate; intensively to recount, that is, celebrate: - commune, (ac-) count, declare, number, + penknife, reckon, scribe, shew forth, speak, talk, tell (out), writer.

Gen 10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

This verse tells us that we have just read about the descendants of Shem and their families and tongues and lands and nations. Have we truly? What we have just read is only a list of names with very little additional information. This statement tells us that we can learn about the families, what language they spoke, what lands they lived in and what nations they built by their names. That is straight forward enough as the definitions of the names usually indicate that an area or region is named after the person. We could then study each particular area and learn what language is spoken there as well as many other facts about the inhabitants thereof. Is there a message that we should seek by conducting such a study?

Gen 10:32 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.

Again this verse tells us it is by the descendants of Noah that the world was populated and divided after the flood. Still, one must wonder what the purpose for such a list of names is for those seeking to gain biblical understanding today. What relevance is there for these names today? Why has this portion of the Bible been preserved for us to read? Should we simply disregard this portion of the word of God and count it as outdated and no longer relevant? I don't think so. I believe that there is a message here. It is doubtful that the literal names themselves or the places have any real significance. We are never taught to worship places or people, so let's look at the meanings of the names and the symbology to see if we can learn any truths from these passages.

I think verses 10:32 and 10:31 are simply telling us that there may be more meaning behind the names than we first realized. So let us go back to verse 10:30 and see what we find. The name "Mesha" is etymologically equivalent to the Hebrew word Moses. Now let us look at the definitions for "Mesha" that are listed above. Some of those definitions were: a part, to build, a stone, Father of gathering, corresponding to fruit. Could it be said that Moses was a part of God's plan to build a stone foundation for the church and gather the people together as fruit for the Father? Could we be on to something or am I stretching? Let's go to the next word. Sephar means numbering or census. That isn't much to go on. What else is in the verse? Mount. The word "mountain" in the Bible is symbolic of a kingdom. East. The glory of God comes from the east. Lets put this all together. Here is the verse again: Gen 10:30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.

Here is the symbolism:

And they existed from Moses to the numbering of the Kingdom of God. Could this verse be telling us that the descendants of Shem would be gathered together by a man named Moses and that it would be this lineage that would be brought through to the kingdom of God? That seems to be consistent with the rest of the Bible. I think that is something to be remembered with symbolism in the Bible. The understanding of Biblical symbolism is not required to get the basic message from the Bible. The symbolism is there as a reminder of the divine nature and depth of the word. It serves to enhance the message and fill in details that are not necessary for the basic message of salvation.

Let's continue looking at some of the symbolism that these verses bring to light.

Gen 10:29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.

The word Havilah is mentioned seven times in the Bible. The number seven is God's number of completion. Havilah means circle and is first mentioned in Genesis 2:11 in reference to the land encircled by the first river coming out of Eden. This lineage and the definitions of the names gives us the basic information that we need to start unraveling some of the symbolism from those verses back in Genesis 2:9 - 2:11.

Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Gen 2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. Gen 2:11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; Gen 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

Trees are symbolic of leaders or people. Food is spiritual food in this case. The tree of life is literally Jesus, the path to eternal life. The tree of Knowledge of good and evil is representative of satan. Water is symbolic of truth. The river is a spark or sparkle, Eden in this case is translated from two words, one of which is the word "Mesha" which you will remember is etymologically equivalent to the Hebrew word Moses. So in this case Eden would be symbolic of the foundation of pleasure or happiness. Heads in this case is four potential family heads. Pison means disperse or spread. Havilah we know means circular. Ophir is tied to these verses by way of the Gold and precious stones, but there is little if any evidence remaining today. So let's tie it all together.

From the earth, God made every righteous man that would teach the word of God. Jesus and satan are among the people also.

The spark of light (word of God) went out from the foundation of the world and is the source for happiness and pleasure. It started there in the beginning and was sent out from God through his first four disciples; Adam, Abel, Cain and Seth in a plan to nourish the people.

The first disciple (Seth) dispersed the word of God and built a hedge about and protected the True word. The word of this branch was divine and true and good.

I won't go through all of the four heads here, but wanted to point out that something is stated about each of the four rivers except the last one. It simply says it is the river Euphrates. Gen 2:14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

This is because it represented Abel whose spark was cut off before he could make his mark on the world.

We could follow this line of symbolism throughout the Bible, but for the sake of not making this a novel, let's skip to the book of John.

Joh 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

It is easy to see here that the Bible is consistent and this line of water representing the truth which provides eternal life coming by way of Jesus Christ is continued. He who drinks from the well will get thirsty again, but he who takes in the true word of God will be happy in everlasting life.

Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. The message is reinforced here. That anyone who believes as the true word prescribes will also speak the true word for the spiritual nourishment of others.

Let's now fly forward to the book of Revelation and pick up the ending of this line of symbolism.

Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

At the end, the word will still exist in a pure form which man will be able to understand. It is the same truth that was there from the beginning. God is consistent. Jesus is still there in the middle of the truth, the middle of the word, the middle of the Bible. The truths that fall from the Tree of Life (Jesus) were intended to bring us all together to unite mankind. Unite the four heads of the river coming out of Eden. There is no more curse of Cain or anyone else. The Father and the Son are are in the true word (the river) and those who drank of the river of truth will serve God.

I realize this article is longer than most, but I wanted to show that there is meaning in the symbolism of the Bible. I wanted to demonstrate that no part of the Bible should be over looked. Even the genealogy will lead us on a path of discovery if we follow it. There are so many layers to the Bible that it would be impossible for one person to examine them all. This article demonstrates this to the fullest as we have merely brushed the surface of one part of one verse here. Remember we started with the word "Havilah" which means circle and is mentioned seven times which is God's number of completion. We have traveled full circle and tied the river of truth in Genesis to the river of truth in Revelation which is God's book of completion. I have just hit a couple of the highlights here, but this literal and symbolic river of truth winds it's way from cover to cover through our Holy Bible.

See also: Genesis 2:9 - 2:11, 2:14, 11:7, 11:8, 11:18 - 11:21, John 4:13, 4:14, 7:38, Revelation 22:1 - 22:3


No comments yet

Type your comments below

*Name: Email:
Notify me about new comments on this page    Hide my email

Note: If you get a flood error, wait 3 minutes before reposting.    Powered by Scriptsmill Comments Script
Picture of ads


Valid HTML5 experimental Valid CSS!

© Copyright 2009 - 2014 by Robby Lockeby
All Rights Reserved

God Made Logo