Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #2 of Genesis, chapter 10 and we are going to begin our study by reading Genesis 10:6-7:
And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
I will stop reading there. As we are going through this chapter we have already seen that some of the names we read about here are familiar. We have read the names elsewhere in the Bible, but in a different form. For example, it said in verse 2: “The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai,” and the Hebrew word translated as “Madai” is the same word that is translated elsewhere as “Medes,” so we see that the Medes come from the line of Japheth.
As we look at verse 6, we are going to find that some of the names are very familiar to us as we see them in another form in the Bible. Again, it says in Genesis 10:6: “And the sons of Ham; Cush,” and the name “Cush” is Strong’s #3568 and we are more accustomed to seeing this word translated as “Ethiopia” or “Ethiopian.” For instance, it says in Isaiah 20:1-5:
In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it; At the same time spake JEHOVAH by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And JEHOVAH said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.
The word “Ethiopia” is the same Hebrew word translated as “Cush.” When we read of the Ethiopians, we now have some background information and we know exactly where the line of descent for the people of Ethiopia originated; they were descendants of Cush and they can be traced back to his father Ham.
First, we note that God speaks of the people of Ethiopia in a similar way to how He speaks about Egypt. We saw this in Isaiah 20:3: “…a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia.” We saw in Isaiah 20:5: “And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.” Egypt and Ethiopia go hand in hand. In some places the Lord mentions Ethiopia, but not Egypt, and vice versa, but they carry the same spiritual picture and we have observed that truth as we have read the Bible, but now we have a better explanation for why this is the case. The genealogy in Genesis 10 helps us further because, as we read in Genesis 10, verse 6, “And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim,” the Hebrew word translated as “Mizraim” is the same word that is translated elsewhere as “Egypt” or “Egyptians.” So, the Egyptians are a son of Ham, as well as the Ethiopians. Cush and Mizraim are brothers and, therefore, Ethiopia and Egypt are forever connected and they go hand in hand. Spiritually, they represent the same thing in the Bible and it can be traced back to the fact that their father was Ham, so we can now understand why God speaks of Egypt the way He does, in Psalm 105:23:
Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
Ham was the father of Mizraim and Mizraim is “Egypt,” and this is the way God views it. He was the father of the land that became Egypt and it is very helpful to us to have that background information and we can trace it back to this son of Noah named Ham as they disembarked from the ark and started civilization anew. One line was Egypt and one line was Ethiopia. If you look at a map of Africa, you will see the land of Egypt and right next to it is its neighbor Ethiopia. It makes sense that the two brothers would dwell close to each other in proximity because they are brothers.
Then it tells us about the sons of Cush in verse 7 and we are given a list of individuals.
Let us move on to verse 8 because there is something interesting there. It says in Genesis 10:8-9:
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before JEHOVAH: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before JEHOVAH.
I am not sure what the name “Nimrod” means. It was not clear to me when I looked it up. But, again, we know that Cush relates to Ethiopia and his brother Mizraim relates to Egypt and they both identify with the world. Cush also had a son, Nimrod, and there is no indicator of whether he was an immediate son, but he is in the line of Cush, the son of Ham who was the son of Noah. But, Cush begat Nimrod who “began to be a mighty one in the earth.” The Hebrew word translated as “mighty one” is a word we have seen before. It is the same word we found when we went through Genesis, chapter 6. It said in Genesis 6:4:
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
The term “mighty men” is the same Hebrew word as “mighty one.” When we looked at this word we saw that the “sons of God” were the line of believers and the “daughters of men” were women that were not from believing families and they intermarried with one another. The Bible does not care if people from other nations intermarry or if people from other races intermarry. The only Law of God that applies to a “mixed marriage” is that a child of God is not to marry someone who is not a child of God. A man from the United States can marry a woman from China or a woman from Africa can marry a man from Canada. The Bible does not have any difficulty with interracial marriage. Remember that Moses married an Ethiopian woman and some Hebrews spoke against it, but God did not have a problem with that; God even chastened some who spoke against Moses for that cause. We know that God is “no respecter of persons.” God looks upon the hearts of men and that is the area in which there should not be intermingling or intermarriage. Whenever it occurs, it brings the wrath of God. It brought the wrath of God upon the world leading up to the flood and it was the main reason God gave for bringing the flood. It also points to what occurred in the corporate church; there was much ‘intermarriage’ as the wheat and tares intermingled. God’s elect married people that may have been professed believers, but they were not true believers and it caused problems.
Again, it says, of Nimrod that he “began to be a mighty one in the earth.” His lineage could be traced back to Noah, who was a child of God. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and he was called “a preacher of righteousness.” He preached Christ and the true Gospel. But we have already seen that there were difficulties with his son Ham when Ham saw his father naked and did nothing about it. So, we see that in the line of Ham there was Cush (Ethiopia) and Cush begat Nimrod, a mighty man in the earth. That term “mighty one” identifies with those that should be true believers, but they were looking at the world and lusting after the things of the world or lusting after women of the world. These things bring about apostasy and apostasy brings the wrath of God. So, in verse 8 we are already given some insight into the character of Nimrod – he is going the wrong way. Then it says in Genesis 10:9:
He was a mighty hunter before JEHOVAH: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before JEHOVAH.
We wonder why God tells us that Nimrod was a mighty hunter and God even said it a second time so that we would not miss it, so we must investigate this to find out what it means. We do know that later in the Book of Genesis there is another man who is spoken of as a hunter. It says in Genesis 25:27:
And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
There is a lot of information in this statement. First, Esau was a cunning hunter and notice that is says he was “a man of the field.” In the parable of Matthew 13, Christ describes the “field” as the “world.” Esau was a man of the world, while Jacob was “a plain man, dwelling in tents.” God’s elect are likened to sojourners that are just “passing through” and we have no permanent city here. Therefore, the people of God “live in tents” and it points to the temporal nature of our dwelling in this world. We know that Esau or Edom is a picture of the corporate church or those individuals within the corporate church that never became saved. God said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Jacob was chosen by God before he was born, as we are told in Romans, chapter 9. God made the choice before either twin was born and before either had done good or evil. Esau was a hunter, so we see a similarity between Esau as a “cunning hunter” and Nimrod, “a mighty hunter.”
Now we must try to figure out what it means to be a mighty hunter, in the Bible. The word “hunter” is Strong’s #6718. There is also a closely related word, Strong’s #6719. Regarding Nimrod, it is Strong’s #6718. There is another related word that conveys the same spiritual picture. Let us go to Proverbs 6:5:
Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
What does the hunter want to do to the one he is hunting? What does he want to do to the prey? He wants to kill it or slay it. That is what a hunter does. Today, a hunter might shoot a gun or in the past he might shoot an arrow and it would kill the deer. The hunter kills his prey.
It also says in Proverbs 6:26:
For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
This word translated as “hunt” is the related word, Strong’s #6679. Notice how the word is being used here. The adulteress will “hunt” for the precious life. In the next chapter of Proverbs there is an adulteress woman, too. It says in Proverbs 7:7-10:
And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
Then it says in Proverbs 7:18-19:
Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
The “goodman” would be a picture of God. Remember that mankind is married to the Law and any transgression of the Law is spiritual adultery or spiritual fornication. Therefore, there is spiritual adultery in false gospels, as well as in sinful behavior that is against the Law of God. It is transgression against our “husband,” God Himself. So, the statement in Proverbs 6, verse 26 says: “and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” It said that this adulterous woman caught him and kissed him. She “hunted” for him and, finally, it says in Proverbs 7:21:
With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
The word “fair speech” is the word for “doctrine.” With flattering words, it is like telling people what they want to hear from the Bible. Then it says in Proverbs 7:22-23:
He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
When we looked at Proverbs 6, verse 5, it said, “Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” This young man was caught and he was like an ox to the slaughter or a bird to the snare, “and knoweth not that it is for his life.”
Then it says in Provers 7:26-27:
For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
This is what is in view when the “adulteress” hunts for the precious life. It is seeking to kill or slay the prey.
We do not have time in this study, but the word “hunter” or “hunted” comes up in some very interesting places. In our next study, Lord willing, we will continue to look at some other passages where we find this word. I think it will give us a good understanding of why God tells us that Nimrod was a mighty hunter before JEHOVAH.