The Family Tree Of Man

Q. Since we are all descended from Adam, what branch of the family is from which of Adam’s sons? I have long wondered who gave birth to which areas of nations and beliefs? As a Christian who’s family is all from Italy, where in the family tree do I come in? Did Cain’s or Able’s branch give us the Jews and Gentiles? I get most of the lineage but I always get lost at Cain & Abel.

A.  There’s no record of Abel ever having children, and Adam had several other sons after Cain and Seth who are not named in the Bible (Genesis 5:4).  But all pre flood people were wiped out except Noah, his sons, and their wives. Genesis 5 tells us Noah was a descendant of Seth, Adam’s third son. Therefore everyone alive today is at least partly connected to Adam through Seth by way of Noah.

Noah’s three sons were named Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The various national groups that emerged from them are listed in Genesis 10.  A good study Bible can help you learn the modern equivalent to some of these ancient names, but even experts don’t always agree on who came from where.

From Genesis 10:2-5 we learn that for the most part the Caucasian people groups are descended from Japheth.  His 7th son Tiras is thought to be the father of the Estruscans from whom the Italians are descended.

The distinction of Jews from Gentiles began with Abraham, a descendant of Noah’s son Shem.  This can be traced in Genesis 11:10-32.

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