Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:8-9
Having originally turned Cain against Abel, Satan thought he had rid himself of either the heir apparent (of the protoevangelicum) or at the least, rid himself of the line of righteous Abel’s descendants. Surely God would not use someone from the line of Cain now that he had the world’s first murder on his hands. Then Seth came along, and Satan could see the lines of righteousness would not be so easily broken. Thus, began his devilish machinations to genetically pollute the bloodlines of mankind; however, he could not make headway into the line God had chosen. Therefore, this is what is meant in Genesis 6:9 when it states that Noah was perfect in his generations.
1. Adam was 130 years of age when they had Seth.
2. Adam was 235 when Seth and his wife had Enos.
3. Adam was 325 when Enos and his wife had Cainan.
4. Adam was 395 when Cainan and his wife had Mahalaleel.
5. Adam was 460 when Mahalaleel and his wife had Jared.
6. Adam was 622 when Jared and his wife had Enoch.
7. Adam was 687 when Enoch and his wife had Methuselah.
8. Adam was 874 when Methuselah and his wife had Lamech.
9. Adam died at the age of 950 years old when Lamech was 56 years old.
10. Lamech was 182 when he and his wife had Noah.
11. Noah was the first of the Patriarchs to not have known Adam.
12. Lamech was 682 years of age when Noah began to build the Ark.
13. Lamech died at the age of 777 years old.
14. Methuselah died at the age of 969 years old; the year of the flood.
The scattering at Babel was both unexpected and a catastrophic blow to Lucifer's plans. Having just come on the heels of a global flood, it can be reasonably assumed that Satan wasn't expecting any divine reaction either as soon, or as severe as what appears in the Genesis 11 account. From Adam to Noah was 1,656 years. Most experts believe Babel to be only 100-150 years after the flood, so perhaps Lucifer thought he had another thousand years to work in his evil plans to prevent the coming of the One (Gen. 3:15).
When Adam sinned, he handed his dominion of the earth over to Lucifer (Luke 4:5-6). Furthermore, Lucifer was able to not only kill off one line of Adam (Abel) but also ruin the other (Cain). Although the line of Seth were flesh and blood, imperfect men, God would preserve for Himself a remnant through them even though the whole world was being given over to the Wicked One.
From Lucifer's perspective, he had three sons of Noah and their bloodlines to contend with, which, he managed to reduce down to two with the cursing of Ham and Canaan. Having lost the first round with the destruction of the Antediluvian world by way of a global deluge, Lucifer and his fallen army, regrouped. Now he needed to ruin or destroy the other two.
From a human perspective, Ham was concerned with his sons' inheritance. His folly in trying to bring shame to his father Noah had backfired. It is presumed that from Ham to Cush (his son), and his grandson Nimrod, they would work to reverse the prophetic curse Noah had placed on Canaan by delaying at Babel. Meanwhile, Lucifer was working this another angle to this situation, by causing them to be a stumbling block for all mankind going forward. Satan then moved through Cush and Nimrod to keep the peoples consolidated at Babel for an indefinite period of time. He did so on the pretenses that by causing the bloodlines to become hopelessly intermingled, they could negate both the land promises, as well as the curse of servitude placed on Canaan. Satan simply wanted the bloodlines tainted, so that there wouldn't be another righteous line for a Savior to come through.
From God's perspective, the building of the tower wasn't the underlying issue, but merely the symptom. God is not afraid of tall buildings, neither is He afraid of people speaking the same language. He saw, going forward, that should they remain united, Satan (Lucifer) would continue to use this as a means to pollute the bloodlines. Thus, their actions triggered the unexpected confusion of languages and global dispersion by God.
So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:8-9
The Three Blood Lines
There are three of us, Brothers, all sons of Cronos and Rhea: Zeus, Myself, and Hades, the King of the Dead. Each of us was given domain when the world was divided into three parts. (Emphasis mine)
Homer, Iliad, translated by E. V. Rieu, Penguin, Classics edition, 1953, Book xv, 276
After the flood, the world was divided into three major family groups, yet all living together at Babel. After they were confused and dispersed by God, we would later see how these three major people groups would come to make-up the Genesis 10 'Table of Nations.' Listed here are the three sons (Ham, Shem, and Japeth), their sons, and their sons' sons.
The Japhetic Line
Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras
The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. (Gen. 10:3-5)
The Hamitic Line
Cush, Canaan, Put, and Mizraim (Egyptians)
The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). (Gen. 10:7-12)
The Shemitic Line
Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram
The sons of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations. (Gen. 10:23-31)
Using the Bible and well-documented historical events, Bible chronologists such as James Ussher (1654), Edward Greswell (1880) and Floyd Nolan Jones (2004) have determined Noah's flood took place close to 2348 B.C. Evidence suggests that Noah's sons kept together at first, then broke up into small groups and eventually arrived in the southern Mesopotamian Plain (Gen. 11:2).
Within 120 years after the flood, Babel (Babylon) was founded in 2234 B.C., a date determined from Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. after receiving more than 1,900 years of astronomical observations from the Chaldeans. The descendants of Elam, the firstborn son of Shem, 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 settlementsï¿½including 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 peoples 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 Japhethites, noted especially for their fairness of skin, in the hill country east of the Tigris. During this time the city of Babel grew significantly.
The rulers of the city of Babel 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 Babel 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 supports this. There are dozens of unclassified and isolate languages throughout the world, such as Basque, Ainu, and Ticuna, which testify to the widespread language distribution at Babel. The name Babel would be preserved as Babylon, a future empire. We can safely conclude that all people in the world are descended from the inhabitants of Babel, the first civilization after Noah's flood. From here early civilizations of the Hurrians and Sumerians developed, then came ancient kingdoms of the Egyptians, Babylons, Hittites, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. All have strong historical links to the sons of Noah, and each spoke a different language.
It is of interest to me (and hopefully you) that even one of the most widely known and academically accepted ancient texts (the Iliad by Homer circa 800BC) lists a time in the ancient world (ancient to him) when the world was divided into three parts. Granted, they changed the names (as was common in many ancient retellings of the global flood and dispersion) to that which was familiar to their language and background. For example, Japeth is known to the Indians (or Aryans) as Djapatischta; the Greeks called him Iapetos or Japetos, and the Romans called him Ju-Pater or Jupiter.
In Volume IV (March 31st), we will look more closely at each of the lines of Noah, and trace them out from antiquity, until the last days.