Table of Nations: Ham’s Descendants

Genesis 10

The descendants of Noah’s son Ham are listed in what is commonly called the Table of Nations, the Israelites’ oldest catalog of the peoples of the ancient Near East. While it is difficult to identify with certainty where many of these peoples lived, generally they are believed to have been located as shown here. Ham’s sons Cush, Egypt, and Canaan each gave rise to other people groups cited in the list, so they have been shown as broad regions on the map rather than as specific people groups. Ham’s son Put is displayed this way as well, though no specific peoples are listed as descending from him. By viewing the sons as regions, one thing that becomes clear is that for the Israelites the term Cushites referred to more than just the people living directly south of Egypt. It also included those along the entire eastern coast of the Red Sea (see also Numbers 12:1; 2 Chronicles 14:8-14) and even the area surrounding Babylon.

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