Genesis 10 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Genesis 10 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

(10:1-32) "These are the generations"
The entire tenth chapter is one of the many boring genealogies (see 1 Chronicles 1-9, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-28 for other examples) that we are told to avoid in 1 Timothy 1:4 and Titus 3:9 ("Avoid foolish questions and genealogies.")

2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

(10:5, 20, 31)"Every one after his tongue"
These verses show that, contrary to 11:1, many languages existed before construction began on the tower of Babel.
Were there languages before Babel?
This is clearly a nonsensical explanation. These people lived after Babel, so how can it be said the persons mentioned spoke different languages before Babel, when they lived after Babel?
The phrase “every one after his tongue” simply means that the confusion of language was not random, but per family.
This chapter, like others in the Bible, and like many in the ancient Middle East starts with a genealogy. The history of the people described here comes after.

6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

(10:8-9) "Nimrod ... a mighty hunter before the Lord"
Who was Nimrod? The king who tried to construct the tower of Babel? The first pope? Elmer Fudd? Here are some links to help you decide.
WebBible Encyclopedia
Presents of God Ministry: The Actual First Pope
The Etymology of "Nimrod"
The author of the SAB asks who Nimrod was. Apparently he asks this to ascertain if we can link up Nimrod with a person from other surviving literature. We can link Nimrod's father Cush with the Kish dynasty, but I admit that I find attempts to link his son Nimrod to a figure in other literature very speculative. The WebBible makes a heroic attempt though.

9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,

16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

(10:24) "Arphaxad begat Salah."
Who was Salah's father?

25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

(10:25) "Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided."
Some creationists believe that this verse (and 1 Chr.1:19) refers to continental drift, which, they say, began to occur during the days of Pelag (which means "division"), about 100 or so years after the flood. But many other creationists disagree.
In a world of 6 billion people you can always find people who believe X, where X is anything. But it is unlikely continental drift began in the days of Peleg, because if the single continent would have been broken up, the resulting earthquakes, volcanoes and other physical experiences would have been as devastating as the Flood.
So all serious creationists think that the most likely explanation is that it refers to the division of tongues and the resulting division of mankind into separate nations.

26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazar-maveth, and Jerah,

27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,

28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,

29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.

30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.

31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.