What is the origin of the different ethnicities among the human race?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The Bible does not explicitly give us the origin of the different "races" or skin colors in humanity. In actuality, there is only one race-the human race. Within the human race is diversity in skin...

July 01 2013 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Open uri20130622 23898 8dsex Kelli Hamann Supporter Pastor's Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Writer, Cellist
God made all of His creation with variety, including skin tone, hair color, eye color, hair texture, etc... Any human characteristic that can vary quite a bit from person to person is determined from several places in a person's DNA code, not just one place. 

As people reproduce generation after generation, it's unlikely that the exact same copy of a person's various characteristics will continue to be passed on because there would need to be so many exact matches in the code to produce someone who has all of the same characteristics.

Noah's sons may have looked quite a lot like each other, but through the generations, more and more variations occurred. As people migrated to different areas, they took some unique genetic information with them that may have ceased or diminished in the areas that they left behind. Over time, these genetic differences became pronounced enough to form entire groups of people who look distinctly different from other groups of people.

What's important to note about this is that races are not God's idea, but man's attempt to organize and categorize his world. True, God chose the Israelites to be His "chosen race," but it wasn't God who specifically created races. He just created the variety in our collective DNA that resulted in "races" over time.

It's also important to note that although people can look very different on the outside, our DNA is more similar than it is different, even between "races."

I'm not aware of any Bible verse that addresses this issue; therefore I'm basing my answer on my own personal studies of this subject. There is a lot of information about this subject available on the web.

November 26 2013 13 responses Vote Up Share Report

Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
In the hundred years after the flood, people traveled from Mt. Ararat in Armenia to the east of the Euphrates where they settled in the land of Shinar. It is Babylonia (Gen. 14:1; Isa. 11:11; Dan. 1:2; Zech. 5:11).

They all speak one language. There are evidences that Hebrew was the original language of the whole earth. God used it to give His revelation of the Old Testament to man; and Christ used it when speaking to Paul, although the apostle knew Greek well (Acts 21:40; 22:2; 26:14).

They made Five decisions: 
1. Let us make brick (Gen. 11:3). 
2. Let us burn them thoroughly (Gen. 11:3). 
3. Let us build us a city (Gen. 11:4). 
4. Let us build us a tower (Gen. 11:4). 
5. Let us make us a name (Gen. 11:4).

Up to this time the whole race not only had one language, but one form of idolatrous worship. 

The Tower of Babel is nothing in the text to suggest that its height was to be as high as heaven. Rather, the top would be dedicated to the heavens, with signs of the Zodiac portrayed as visible objects of worship. 

When God confounded their language they began to disagree on religion and other matters, branching off into sects and parties. A Babylonian description of the tower of Babel discovered in 1876 indicates there was a grand court 900’ X 1,156’, and a smaller one 450’ X 1,056’, inside of which was a platform with walls around it, having four gates on each side. In the center stood the tower with many small shrines at the base, dedicated to various gods. The tower itself was 300’ high with decreased width in stages from the lowest to the highest point. Each stage was square. The first stage measured 300’ square and 110’ high; the second measured 260’ square and 60’ high; the third 200’ square and 20’ high; the fourth 170’ square and 20’ high; the fifth 140’ square and 20’ high; the sixth 110’ square and 20’ high; and the seventh 80’ long, 60’ wide, and 50’ high. On the top platform measuring 60’ X 80’ was a sanctuary for the god Bel-Merodach.

The builders evidently finished the tower, becaause the work was stopped on the city only (Gen. 11:4,8). One ancient Babylonian tablet reads, "The building of this illustrious tower offended the gods. In a night they threw down what they had built. They scattered them abroad and made strange their speech. Their progress was impeded. They wept hot tears for Babylon."

The builders were supposed to have been giants who waged war with the gods. Nimrod himself is called "a mighty one" and the giants in Gen. 6:4 are called "mighty men." These came from the fallen angels and daughters of men after the flood (Gen. 6:4).

The term "mighty hunter" (Gen. 10:9) could refer to a hunter of animals or of men to enslave them. Nimrod was a hunter of both human beings and animals. The Hebrew gibbowr (H1368), translated "mighty" here, means a powerful warrior, tyrant, champion, giant, or strong one. It is used of giants who were renown for wickedness (Gen. 6:4), and of other wicked men (Ps. 52:1-3; 120:4; Isa. 5:22; Jer. 9:23). It could refer to Nimrod as a tyrant and oppressive despot. 

Nimrod established his first kingdom and the first universal false religion opposing God since the flood of Noah. This was done "before the Lord," that is, openly: in the presence of God with all defiance. That is why God, when He came down to see Babel, took action to counteract the rebellion of Nimrod (Gen. 11:1-9).

God scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth. This was done before God split the earth into continents and islands (Gen. 10:25). The people being scattered "upon the face of all the earth" before it was split explains how the various races of humanity came to be spread throughout the earth.

August 05 2014 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Larry Hall
I would like to refer to Genesis 11:1-9, as the basis for my answer to this question. This is the story of what is referred to as, "The Tower of Babel" that was being built by the inhabitants of the earth many years after the "Great Flood".

Gen. 11:1-9 (GW)...1 The whole world had one language with a common vocabulary. 2 As people moved toward the east, they found a plain in Shinar [Babylonia] and settled there.

3 They said to one another, “Let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used bricks as stones and tar as mortar.

4 Then they said, “Let's build a city for ourselves and a tower with its top in the sky. Let's make a name for ourselves so that we won't become scattered all over the face of the earth.”

5 The Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the descendants of Adam were building. 6 The Lord said, “They are one people with one language. This is only the beginning of what they will do! Now nothing they plan to do will be too difficult for them. 7 Let us go down there and mix up their language so that they won't understand each other.”

8 So the Lord scattered them all over the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 This is why it was named Babel, because there the Lord turned the language of the whole earth into babble. From that place the Lord scattered them all over the face of the earth. Gen. 11:1-9 (GW)

In order for the Lord to stop them He changed their languages and dispersed them into different parts of the earth, where they made different nations/kingdoms, where they were dispersed into different continents and environments. 

Some I believe were changed by God miraculously (just as He changed their languages with His miracle) to adapt to the environmental conditions they were placed in: God made dark-skinned people to live in the African nations, brown-skinned people to live in the tropical nations, and light skinned people to live in northern nations like Sweden and Norway, etc... We are placed in this world by God, for and unto His perfect will.

I would like to point out [if I may] that God never said He would tell us everything in His Holy Scriptures [The Bible], but we should receive some things by faith, In which He is always pleased. He (God) doesn't tell us all about heaven; He wants us to know enough to know that we want to be there with Him. If He should tell us everything He knows then the world couldn't hold all the books and I suppose not even the universe could hold them either. 

God does perform miracles even today that only a few if any, know about; so it is by faith that we trust in Him and not by sight...(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) Amen?

August 05 2014 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Colin Wong Supporter Founder, eBible.com
Noah had three sons who was on board the ark with him: Shem, Ham and Japheth. All the nations of the earth today are their descendants. See Genesis 10 for more details.

The confusion I believe to your question is an incorrect assumption that the line of the Hebrews/Jews began with Noah.

Abraham, is actually considered the "father" of the Hebrew/Jews, and he came much later from the line of Shem. See Who was the first Jew? for more details.

Here is an interesting family tree from Wikipedia that shows the lineage from Noah through Abraham. Hope this helps.


November 26 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Marvin Reynolds Retired Chaplain U.S. Army Hospital
Major Point: In the Magazine called NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC a few years ago it was confirmed that alll DNA can be tracked back to ONE person. Noted also was the fact that in the European Area it can be tracked back to 4 types. There are two DNA in all people. FAMILY and PERSONAL Check it for your self. The Family DNA lasts for over 10,000 years with no change. Now what is recorded in the Bible makes good sense.

August 09 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Acoustic guitar with hand of player Edward Holexa
Despite what most churches teach,all races of people were on the ark and this is easily proven, turn to Gen 2:7 What did God breath into Adam? The Breath Of Life...now look at Gen 7:15 And they went in unto Noah into the Ark,two by two of ALL flesh, wherein is the Breath of Life...KJV 1 Pete 3:20 means that there were 8 Adamic soles aboard. Its quite clear that all races of people were represented on the ark.......

January 24 2014 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Donald Woody Musician/Producer
The origin of the races is one of the greatest blessing the Creator has bestowed upon the top piece of His creation - humankind.

Today this very special blessing has been sidelined and overlooked because of human sinfulness that encourages separatism manifesting itself in racism and the erroneous notion of separation supported by darwinian evolutionary principles. The Bible does not support any of these man made theories and concoctions but rather points in in a light that many maybe not have thought about because of the former mentioned bad ideas. 

The light of the bible suggests something for more positive and shows really the genius and lovingly diverse nature of God in His creativeness. Our God is a diverse God and He shows this in vast array in all creation from the heavens above to the very planet we live on. The diversity in species is fully acknowledge by all in the entire animal kind of the earth except in the human species where more often than not it is curtailed based on biases and prejudice of the species ourselves most not scientifically attested but mostly based on personal preference and opinion. God is not a respecter of persons and He is certainly not inclined toward racism and the separation of human s based on skin color. The bible points to a more benevolent answer to the question of the origin of the races and Paul gives us a clue from the Creator's perspective in Acts 17:26 in his Mars Hill sermon: "...And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth..."; this passage gives insight to God diverse creative work and economics in His working. He used one man and one women to create every type of man and women on the planet --Adam and Eve. 

We all no matter how we classify ourselves today - White, Black, Red, Yellow, Asian, Caucasian, Indian...have one thing in common Adam's blood. We are all related i.e. family, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and as far back as Adam himself. Science corroborates this diversity in animal species as well as insects and all the various life forms that inhabits our planet. 

When God created the loving friendly dog (I love dogs) he just did not make one kind. They are all dogs in every size shape and color imaginable. I use to be amazed as a child how our family dog Skeeter (and his wife) who was white and tan could produce a litter of puppies that were grey, black, white, brown dark brown, spotted etc, They all came from the same 2 dogs but each was so different but gave so much goodness. 

Science is now beginning to take note and study the phenomenon in humans who produce twins of 2 different colors in both same race marriages and mixed ethnical marriages. Google it. The bile even supports the idea that Adam and Eve passed the ability to have multicolored skinned offspring on to their children for even as late as Noah the phenomenon existed. How is it that Ham became the progenitor of Africanesque people?

God at the tower of Babel split mankind up, created different languages for them and scattered them over the face of the planet because of their act of sinful glorification of man over God.

As time goes on sin sets in hard and heavy and the separation causes prejudice, national pride in "nationality" excluding others (racism) and then it take a biological toll as kinds separate themselves unto their own selves and messes up the gene pool so much so that human skin color diversity is nearly lost; but it seems to be making a miraculous comeback.

One last thought, have you ever considered God purpose for using tongues on the Day of Pentecost? For sure it was the fuse that started the church but on a higher level it real purpose was to show that the church was for everyone no matter the color of your skin or nationality of your tongue. God separated us to minimize our habit of sinning by creating separate tongues but He brings us all back together using many tongues. One Kingdom, God and People

January 06 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
In Genesis 10:6 we have a short geneology of Cush, son of Ham and Noah's grandson.
"And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan." Cush = "black". See:

Shem= "name" generally held to be progenitor of the Semites (Shemites)/Hebrews. People of "the name".
Hebrew= "one from beyond" east of the Euphrates, Ur of the Caldees, from where Abraham (Syrian) migrated into Canaan. (See Genesis 31:24 and Deuteronomy 26:5)


Japeth = "opened" 
the 3rd son of Noah whose descendants after the flood settled on the coastal lands of the Mediterranean spreading north into Europe and parts of Asia



March 30 2017 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

1962835 886666591363615 5889782195995975036 n Vattachal-Vadakketil Thomas John alias V T John Rtd Joint.Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Kerala. India
At the time of Creation there was only one continent and only one ocean as is evident from Gen 1;9 & 10 "Then God said 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place and let the dry land appear' and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth and the gathering together of the waters, He called "Seas". This condition continued till the time of Peleg who is the son of Eber s/o Arphaxad s/o Shem s/o Noah. Peleg was given that name, for, in his days the Earth was divided into different continents.(Kindly see Gen 10: 25)The name Peleg in Hebrew means "divide" and Faleg in Syriac also means the same.

The division of Earth might have happened after the Deluge and immediately after Babel in the days of Peleg. The single continent Earth might have broken into the present day continents moved in different directions with the waters from the Seas occupying the space between the continents. So naturally the descendants of Noah in the days of Peleg did not have to migrate but they [the descendants of Noah] found themselves in different continents: their languages, living conditions, culture, color etc., becoming different mainly depending on the different weather conditions of different areas of different continents in the following eras.

October 24 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini James DeGarmo
The "Answers in Genesis" folks have an initiative titled "One Blood, One Race" that has a wealth of information on this topic. I highly recommend it.

January 05 2016 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini mark T
The three wives of Noah's sons are the Answer to this! They came from 3 different people as we see in Genesis. Noah sent one son the the West, where there are Asian's with yellow skin-tone, one to the North (white/light skin), and finally one to the South (dark/black skin.)

April 16 2018 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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