Genesis 11:1 - 32
NKJV - 1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.
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The different races that we know today came about after the flood of Noah, at the time of man's next rebellion against God: the Tower of Babel. Here man refused to go forth and cover the Earth, as God commanded, but instead sought to "make a name for ourselves" by keeping all mankind together in Babel, working on Nimrod's great tower. God responded by confusing the one common language into many languages. We don't know why this act of God drove man apart; perhaps because not being able to understand each other, they saw no reason to stay together, or maybe each language group found it irritating to hear "that babel" of the others. Whatever is was, it did succeed in splitting mankind into many different nations "according to the number of the Sons of God" (Deut. 32:8). The "Table of Nations" (Gen 10) reveals there were about 70 nations created that day, which interestingly corresponds to number of "root language groups" that linguists have discerned among all the known languages of today. Now, not long prior to this was Noah's flood, which had reduced the world population of mankind down to 8 persons, and just 3 couples that would produce offspring. In the science of genetics, this would be called a "genetic bottleneck", which was then aggravated again by the scattering of the nations. Genetic bottlenecks tend to exaggerate small genetic differences, something we know a lot about today from the science of animal husbandry. The human genome of today is so degraded (compared to Adam's original) that such bottlenecks (commonly called "in-breeding") produce horrible genetic disease and deformities. But at the time of Babel, the genome was still perfect enough that these bottlenecks simply produced what we today call "races". In scripture, it wasn't until the time of Moses that God prohibited marriage between brother/sister (Abraham married his 1/2 sister, which Moses would later forbid), and not until the 20th century that marriage between 1st cousins was prohibited, all made necessary by mankind's continued genetic degradation. So there you have it. The fact that we see "races" today is nothing but a genetic artifact produced by man's repeated rebellion against God, and a testament that events described in Genesis really did happen. A testament of God's Glory, and the truth of God's Word, is literally written into our very flesh. But make no mistake, there is really only 1 race, the human race, created by God on day 6 of creation.
I believe that any serious biblical study of race or ethnicity should start in Genesis 1. Our Bible does not start off with the creation of a special or privileged race of people. When the first human being is created, he simply called him Adam, which is Hebrew of "Humankind". Adam and Eve are not Hebrews or Egyptians; they are neither White nor Black nor even Semitic. Their own particular ethnicities are not even mentioned. In Genesis 1:26 God says: "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." Then in 1:27 describes His action: So, God created man in His own image. He created him in the image of God. As you read Genesis this really provides a strong starting point for our discussion about what our Bible says about race. Both the dignity and the equality of human begins are traced in Scripture to our creation. We are all made in the image of God, no matter what your race, and we are all blessed!
Every human on the planet today descended from Noah’s three sons who got off the ark (Genesis 9:19-- "These three were the sons of Noah, and from these, the people of the whole earth were dispersed.") The Bible documents that their descendants spread across the earth. Shem Shem’s descendants settled much of the Middle East and portions of Iran and India. Ham Ham’s descendants settled parts of the Middle East, such as Israel, as well as North Africa and China. Japheth Japheth’s descendants settled Europe (including Greece and Spain) and Russia (including Siberia). --David Chakranarayan, answersingenesis.org
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