“When men began to increase in numbers on the Earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they married any of them they chose” -Gen 6:1
After leaving the ark my three sons, our wives, and I traveled west into the fertile plains of Shinar, a place we named Mesopotamia, literally “between the rivers”. (You call this place Iraq today.) The rivers in question were the Tigris and Euphrates, two of the four rivers that flowed through the Garden. The other two had disappeared, although scientists in your time believe they may now have been rediscovered flowing underground beneath the sands of Saudi Arabia.
The eight of us were the only ones remaining on Earth, and boy was it different from before the Great Flood. The biggest difference was the absence of the water vapor canopy that had protected us before. Instead of an endless string of perfect days, there was now weather. Clouds formed, the wind blew, storms came and there were distinct differences during the year. The Lord called these differences seasons.
As you can imagine, every time it rained we all freaked out, wondering if we were going to get wiped out in another flood. So the Lord placed a rainbow in the sky each time the rains came to reassure us that He hadn’t forgotten His promise never to destroy the whole world by water again. From that day to this, there have been many regional floods but never another world wide one.
By the way, this has always puzzled me. Down through the ages there have been “scholars” who put forth the idea that the flood during my time was just a regional one. Don’t they understand that if it was, then God lied to us about the rainbow? We’ve experienced many regional floods, after all. Do they think He would lie, or is this just another one of those attempts that began in the Garden to deny the Word of God? It has never ceased to amaze me how man, who wasn’t there when these events took place, has the arrogance to explain them in contradiction to the description given by God, Who was there. They call themselves scientists, but science by definition requires observation. Only God plus the eight of us saw the flood and lived to tell about it. Why don’t they just say they don’t know what happened, but have chosen not to believe the explanation given by the One Who does know, instead of trying to convince us all that they know more than God?
Oh well, back to my story. When we got to Mesopotamia, we settled in and began to make lives for ourselves. Although since Adam all mankind had been vegetarian, the Lord now ordained the eating of meat as long as the animal had been properly bled out. He also placed a separation between us and the animal kingdom, causing the animals we now hunted for food to fear us for their own protection. The peaceful co-existence between us was now over, and there would certainly be no more communication. Things were way different from the Garden. Foreseeing that men would argue to the point of taking each others’ lives, the Lord ordained the concept of capital punishment, making us accountable for the shedding of blood and authorizing a person’s closest kinsman to avenge his or her pre-meditated murder.
One event stands out clearly in our early years after the flood because it caused such trouble. I had planted a vineyard and each year made my own wine. One year after stupidly drinking too much I passed out in my tent, and in my drunkenness didn’t bother to cover myself properly. Ham, a son whose name means “dark” in my language came in and saw me uncovered. I’m not going to get into the details of what happened, but it was a very wrong thing for Ham to do and grossly disrespectful to me. When Ham bragged to his brothers they came in and covered me up, and when I awoke and learned what had happened I put a curse on Ham’s descendants, through his son Caanan. (Canaan became the father of all the Amorites, a group of tribes who inhabited what would become the promised land and who Joshua was ordered to exterminate when the Lord sent the Israelites to claim the land. This was punishment for the pagan excesses they had committed through out a 400-year “grace period” the Lord had given them when He promised the land to Abraham. The children of Israel failed to exterminate them all, subjugating some of them as slaves, fulfilling my curse. The notion popular in some circles today, that this curse was fulfilled in the US slave trade from Africa in the 1800’s has no Biblical standing, and besides Africa was populated by other branches of Ham’s family as we’ll see.) Because Shem and Japeth had thought to cover me up, I also pronounced blessings on them, that the Lord would be Shem’s God and that He would extend the territory of Japeth. Later, God picked Abraham, a descendant of Shem’s, to become the father of His covenant people, and the descendants of Japeth, whose name means extend, wound up populating most of the Earth.
Over the next several hundred years we had children who had children of their own and soon the population of the earth had grown again from the eight of us to nearly half a million. Given that I lived 350 years after the flood meant that I saw the next 10 generations of my people. Because of the way Moses recorded my story you might think that since my death is announced in the last line of chapter 9, that events recounted in chapters 10 and 11 happened after I died. Not so. I was around for all of them and in fact didn’t die until Abraham was 59 years old. He was part of the 10th generation from me. My son Shem actually out lived 8 of the next 9 generations including Abraham’s. You see, the collapse of the water vapor canopy during the flood let harmful ultra-violet rays penetrate the atmosphere and almost immediately life spans began to shorten dramatically as the human cell regeneration process became contaminated. The longest recorded life of some one born after the flood was 464 years and Abraham only lived 175 years. Today very few humans live past 80 or so.
Although God had commanded us to replenish the Earth, my people decided instead to band together and build a huge city. Pre-flood civilization had demonstrated that cities are always more evil than rural areas, and that’s why the Lord wanted us to spread out, but man always thinks he knows more than God. When Nimrod, a grandson of Ham’s, became a great leader and convinced the 70 family heads descended from my three sons to defy God’s will and challenge His plan something had to be done.
By banding together they began to rely more on each other than on God. But their growing self-reliance didn’t fill the need man has for a relationship with their Creator. Having defied God they couldn’t very well turn to Him so they concocted a false religion based on the creation rather than the Creator. They began worshiping the heavenly bodies, planets and stars, and built a giant observatory to better study them. This tower was 4 acres large at its base, and consisted of 7 levels, each dedicated to one of the naked eye planets. It was over 153 feet tall, equivalent to 15 stories. On top was a tower with all the signs of the zodiac, a corruption of God’s Gospel in the Stars.
This was too much for the Lord, so he came down and destroyed the tower. Then He scattered them by giving each of the 70 families a unique language, unknown to all outside their families. This sudden inability to communicate with others caused the 70 families to become closer to their own and avoid “outsiders” who they could no longer understand. Little by little they began to separate, moving away from each other and accomplishing God’s plan.
Ham and his descendants went into Africa, one group under Mizraim settling Egypt and the northern countries while the descendants of Mizraim’s brother Cush, which means black in my language, went further south. As I said before, Canaan settled around the eastern coast of the Mediterranean
Shem’s people went into the Arabian Peninsula and north east into what’s now Syria and of the descendants of Japeth some went further north and west, initially settling along the Danube and finally spreading throughout Europe while others went north east settling Russia and all Asia, finally reaching all the way to China.
Because they could only communicate with each other the families clung together, married their own kind, and adopted their own customs. It didn’t take long for dominant physical characteristics to become more so and in the span of a few generations each family line was so decidedly different in appearance and language from the others as to regard all outsiders as strangers. Soon everybody forgot that they were actually cousins. (Just for kicks, see if you can figure out which of my sons you’re descended from. If you’re a human being on planet Earth, you only have three choices. Then see which of Earth’s 70 families you belong to.)
By the way, the study of the 70 family heads listed in the 10th chapter of Genesis is critically important to your mastery of the rest of God’s Word. It was 2006 years after the creation when I finally died, and for the 4000 years from then till now the nations of earth have contended with one another for supremacy. In His word, the Lord often has His prophets call these nations by their original family names. Knowing their origins and histories can often unlock keys to understanding not available to a casual observer.
Remember, he has given you His Word for our edification, and as admonitions for you on whom the End of the Age has come. One day soon the Lord will put an end to man’s petty bickering for power and establish His own Kingdom on Earth. This Kingdom will never be defeated nor will it be given to another. If you’ve given your heart to Him then you’re already part of His Kingdom, but understanding His word in light of the events of your time will help you learn how close His return is. For you are not in darkness (devoid of knowledge) that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are children of the light (given information and potential for understanding) and should be expecting His return.
In my day millions perished because offered the light, they chose darkness. For 120 years I tried to warn them, but one day the flood came and swallowed them all up. The same has already been written of your day, but it’s the fire next time. In my day it was I, Noah, whose name means comfort, who was commissioned to warn the people. In your day it’s Jesus, whose name means God brings salvation. If you haven’t already done so, accept Him now and receive God’s salvation while there’s still time.