The Significance of Genesis: Noah’s Family Multiplies (Genesis 10:1-32)

The Significance of Genesis: Noah’s Family Multiplies (Genesis 10:1-32)

Prepared and preached for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, July 17, 2022 by Pastor Steve Rhodes

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us, only sky

Imagine all the people
Livin’ for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Livin’ life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

About this song Dr. Michael Rydelnic writes:

John Lennon released his greatest hit song, Imagine. It was the best-selling single of his solo career, one that Rolling Stone described as his “greatest musical gift to the world.” They called it “22 lines of graceful, plain-spoken faith in the power of a world, united in purpose, to repair and change itself.” The song was designed to imagine a completely unified world, one without borders between nations, or religion to divide us. It was a utopian vision of peace and love without God or Jesus. Imagine everyone in the world just holding hands and singing “Kumbaya!”…it could have been written by Vladmir Ilyich Lenin.

And John Lennon understood exactly what he was writing: In Geoffrey Giuliano’s 2000 biography Lennon In America, Lennon is quoted as describing the song as “Anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic, but because it is sugarcoated it is accepted.

In another interview, Lennon said that Imagine “is virtually the Communist Manifesto” in song. Let’s think about some of the lyrics.

“Imagine there’s no heaven,” so no promise of peace or comfort for Jesus followers who have endured so much pain in this world.

“No hell below us,” so there’s no assurance of judgment for the wicked. Hitler, Mao, and Stalin will never stand before God’s Judgment seat to receive justice for their crimes.

“Imagine all the people, living for today,” so no living in light of eternity, looking for the return of Jesus. Since no one would have hope, no one would seek to live pure lives.

“Imagine there’s no countries,” ignoring that God Himself established the 70 nations (Gen 10; 46:7; Deut 32:8; Exod 19:6) and chose one nation, Israel, to be “a kingdom of priests” to mediate the knowledge of God to all the nations.

“Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too,” ignoring that this has been tried. This same kind of communist and atheist vision led to Stalin’s murder of 40 million people and Mao’s cultural revolution killing 60 million.[1]

Dr. Rydelnic continues and we will come back to his article.

Why do I begin this message this way? I begin this message this way because in Genesis 10 we see people, many of them. We see God establish 70 nations. We see Noah’s descendants multiply.

My theme:

In God’s faithfulness, Noah’s family multiplies.

Read with me Genesis 10:1:

These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.

Now, read Genesis 10:32:

These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

  1. Why this genealogy?
    1. Gn 10:1–32 lists a total of seventy descendants in the family lines of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.[2]
    2. Why do we need to see all of these names?
    3. In this genealogy, we see that Noah’s family was faithful obeying the Genesis 9:1 command to be fruitful and multiply.
    4. We also see that God was faithful in providing children to them.
    5. The flood has happened and almost all of the world’s population has been killed and yet God is giving a fresh start.
    6. The CSB shares: Seventy, a multiple of two numbers that suggest completeness (seven, the number of days of creation week; ten, the number of fingers), would have suggested to ancient Israelites a satisfying completeness to the quantity of persons and nations that came into being after the flood. This is labeled a list of clans, languages, nations, and lands (vv. 5, 20, 31; cp. Rv 14:6). Thus some of the names refer to the regions where that person’s descendants settled; some refer to people groups.[3]
    7. God is providing a way for them to re-populate the earth.
    8. In this genealogy we also see how the curse on Canaan will be carried out. The CSB shares: This passagesdistinguish[es] the “unchosen” lines of Noah’s descendants (the Japhethites and Hamites) from the line that would be both the recipient and the agent of God’s special blessing to the rest of humanity (the Shemites).[4]
    9. The Moody Bible Commentary shares: the genealogies indicate the fulfillment of Noah’s declarative statement in 9:25–27 that the Shemites would subjugate the Canaanites as related in 14:1–12. This in turn reinforces both the divine imperative as well as the historical precedent for the Israelites—likewise descendants of Shem—to do the same.[5]
    10. The descendants of Shem lead to Abraham and Israel (Genesis 11:10-26).
    11. So, we see the people multiply and we see the curse on Canaan carried out.
    12. We also see how the various people groups develop.
  2. Why genealogies in general?
    1. In genealogies we see God’s faithfulness. We see how God provides. Everytime we read a genealogy in the Bible we see how God has carried out His plan in that people group.
    2. We see that in 1 Chronicles chapters 1-10 as we read about the history of the Israelite people.
    3. We see that in Nehemiah chapters 11-12 as we read about God being faithful to His people after the captivity.
    4. In genealogies, we see important people that many times show up in other places in the Bible.
    5. In genealogies we see that this is real history, it is not fiction.
    6. In genealogies, we see the detail-oriented nature of God and His interest in individuals.
    7. In genealogies, we see prophesy confirmed.
  3. Applications and review
    1. Praise God’s faithfulness.
    2. Once again, we see God populating the earth.
    3. We see nations spread out.
    4. We see His plans come to pass.
    5. This passage correlates with Acts 17:26 and this means we can trust the Bible. In Acts 17:26 Paul shared: And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place
    6. In this genealogy, we are seeing things setup for the people of Israel at the end of Genesis 11.
    7. Through the people of Israel, we will have salvation through Jesus.
    8. Notice how this genealogy leads to Abraham which leads to Israel, which leads to the Savior.
    9. Genesis 10 is connecting Noah to Abraham.
    10. Abraham connects to the rest of the Scriptures.

Certainly, much more could be shared about this chapter and you can find my notes about this whole chapter under the Sunday School section of our website. I taught this chapter in Sunday School. However, those are the things that I wanted to focus on today.

I encourage you, when you read the genealogies notice God’s faithfulness.

I began this message with Dr. Rydelnic’s comments on the song “Imagine.” This is how he concludes his article:

So the next time you’re in the grocery store and the ever present Muzak comes on, playing Imagine, instead of humming along with it, maybe we should all start singing, I Can Only Imagine instead:

I Can Only Imagine,

What it will be like

When I walk by Your side

I can only imagine

What my eyes would see

When Your face is before me

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory

What will my heart feel?[6]

There are a lot of people and God multiplied the people and eventually sent a Savior to save us from our sins.



[2] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 23.

vv. verses

cp. compare

[3] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 23–24.

[4] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 23.

[5] Michael A. Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham, eds., “Genesis,” in The Moody Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2014), 64.


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