Genesis 10:7 MEANING

Genesis 10:7
(7) Sons of Cush.--Of Cush there are five subdivisions, of which one is again parted into two. These are--

1. Seba.--The name at this time of an Arabian tribe, which subsequently migrated into Africa, and settled in Meroe, which, according to Josephus, still bore in his days this appellation. They also left their name on the eastern side of the Red Sea, not far to the north of the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.

2. Havilah, upon the river Pison (Genesis 2:11), was undoubtedly a region of Arabia, situated probably upon the Persian Gulf. Havilah is again mentioned in Genesis 10:29.

3. Sabtah.--Probably Hadramaut, in Arabia Felix. (See Note on Genesis 10:26.)

4. Raamah, on the Persian Gulf, was divided into Dedan upon the south-west and Sheba in the centre, while Havilah lay upon the north-west side. Of these, Sheba subsequently rose to fame as the kingdom of the Himyarite Arabs.

5. Sabtechah.--Apparently still more to the south of Dedan, but placed by some on the eastern side of the gulf.

Thus, then, at the time when this table was written the southern half of Arabia was Cushite, and a swarthy race of men is still found there, especially in Yemen and Hadramaut, far darker than the light brown Arabians. Migrating from place to place along the sea-shore, the passage of the Cushites into Nubia and Abyssinia was easy. But their chief home was, at this period, in Mesopotamia, and the cuneiform inscriptions have now revealed their long struggle there with men of the race of Shem.

Verse 7. - And the sons of Cush; Seba. Meroe, in Nubia, north of Ethiopia (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 2. 10). And Havilah. Αὐιλὰ (LXX.); may refer to an African tribe, the Avalitae, south of Babelmandeb (Keil, Lange, Murphy), or the district of Chaulan in Arabia Felix (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Wordsworth). Verse 29 mentions Havilah as a Shemite territory. Kalisch regards them as "the same country, extending from the Arabian to the Persian Gulf, and, on account of its vast extent, easily divided into two distinct parts" (cf. Genesis 2:11). And Sabtah. The Astaborans of Ethiopia (Josephus, Gesenius, Kalisch); the Ethiopians of Arabia, whose chief city was Sabota (Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange, Keil). And Raamah. Ρέγμα (LXX.); Ragma on the Persian Gulf, in Oman (Bochart, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Lange). And Sabtechah. Nigritia (Targum, Jonathan), which the name Subatok, discovered on Egyptian monuments, seems to favor (Kalisch); on the east of the Persian Gulf at Samydace of Carmania (Be-chart, Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange). And the sons of Raamah; Sheba. The principal city of Arabia Felix (1 Kings 10:1; Job 1:15; Job 6:19; Psalm 72:10, 15; Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20; Ezekiel 27:22; Joel 3:8); occurs again (Genesis 5:28) as a son of Joktan; probably was peopled both by Hamites and Shemites. And Dedan. Daden on the Persian Gulf (vide Isaiah 21:13; Jeremiah 49:8; Ezekiel 25:13; Ezekiel 27:12-15).

10:1-7 This chapter shows concerning the three sons of Noah, that of them was the whole earth overspread. No nation but that of the Jews can be sure from which of these seventy it has come. The lists of names of fathers and sons were preserved of the Jews alone, for the sake of the Messiah. Many learned men, however, have, with some probability, shown which of the nations of the earth descended from each of the sons of Noah To the posterity of Japheth were allotted the isles of the gentiles; probably, the island of Britain among the rest. All places beyond the sea from Judea are called isles, Jer 25:22. That promise, Isa 42:4, The isles shall wait for his law, speaks of the conversion of the gentiles to the faith of Christ.And the sons of Cush,.... The first born of Ham, who had five sons, next mentioned, besides Nimrod, spoken of afterwards by himself:

Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha; the first of these is Seba, the founder of the Sabaeans, according to Josephus (p), a people seated in Arabia Deserta, which seem to be the Sabaeans brought from the wilderness, Ezekiel 23:42 and very probably the same that plundered Job of his cattle, Job 1:14. The second son is Havilah, who, as Josephus (q) says, was the father of the Evilaeans, now called Getuli; but the posterity of Havilah seem to be the same whom Strabo (r) calls Chaulotaeans, and whom he speaks of along with the Nabataeans and Agraeans, a people near Arabia Felix; and by Pliny (s) they are called Chavelaeans, and whom he speaks of as Arabians, and places them to the east of the Arabian Scenites. The third son is Sabtah; from him, Josephus (t) says, came the Sabathenes, who, by the Greeks, are called Astabari; the posterity of this man seemed to have settled in some part of Arabia Felix, since Ptolemy (u) makes mention of Sabbatha as the metropolis of that country, called by Pliny (w) Sabotale, or rather Sabota, as it should be read; Ptolemy places another city in this country he calls Saphtha, which seems to have its name from this man. The fourth son is Raamah or Ragmas, as Josephus calls (x) him, from whom sprung the Ragmaeans he says; and most of the ancients call him Rhegmah, the letter being pronounced as a "G", as in Gaza and Gomorrah: his posterity were also seated in Arabia Felix, near the Persian Gulf, where Ptolemy (y) places the city Rhegama, or as it is in the Greek text, Regma. The fifth son is Sabtecha, whom some make to be the father of a people in the same country, Arabia Felix, near the Persian Gulf, called Sachalitae; but Dr. Wells (z) thinks, that the descendants of this man might be from him regularly enough styled at first by the Greeks, Sabtaceni, which name might be afterwards softened into Saraceni, by which name it is well known the people of the northern parts of Arabia, where he places the descendants of this man, were formerly denominated; though Bochart (a) carries them into Carmania in Persia, there being a short cut over the straits of the Persian Gulf, out of Arabia thither, where he finds a city called Samydace, and a river, Samydachus, which he thinks may come from Sabtecha, the letters "B" and "M" being frequently changed, as Berodach is called Merodach, and Abana, Amana, and so in other names.

And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan; no account is given of any of the posterity of the other sons of Cush, only of this his fourth son Raamah, who is said to have two sons; the first is called Sheba, from whom came the Sabaeans, according to Josephus (b); not the Sabaeans before mentioned in Arabia Deserta, but those in Arabia Felix, where Pomponius Mela (c) and Strabo (d) seat a people called Sabaeans, and whose country abounded with frankincense, myrrh, and cinnamon; the latter makes mention of a city of theirs called Mariaba, and seems to be the same that is now called Mareb, and formerly Saba (e), very likely from this man. The other son, Dedan, is called by Josephus (f) Judadas, whom he makes to be founder of the Judadaeans, a nation of the western Ethiopians; but the posterity of this man most probably settled in Arabia, and yet are to be distinguished from the Dedanim in Isaiah 21:13 who were Arabians also, but descended from Dedan the son of Jokshan, a son of Abraham by Keturah, Genesis 25:3 as well as from the inhabitants of Dedan in Edom, Jeremiah 25:23 it is observed, that near the city Regma before mentioned, on the same coast eastward, was another city called Dedan; and to this day Daden, from which the neighbouring country also takes its name, as Bochart (g) has observed, from Barboza, an Italian writer, in his description of the kingdom of Ormus: so that we need not doubt, says Dr. Wells (h), but that here was the settlement of Dedan the son of Raamah or Rhegma, and brother of Sheba.

(p) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (q) Ibid. (r) Geograph. l. 16. p. 528. (s) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 11. (t) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (u) Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. (w) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. (x) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (y) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) (z) Geography of the Old Testament, vol. 1. p. 198. (a) Phaleg l. 4. c. 4. col. 218. (b) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (c) De Situ Orbis, l. 3. c. 8. (d) Geograph. l. 16. p. 536. (e) Via. Pocock. Specimen Arab. Hist p. 57. (f) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (g) Phaleg. l. 4. c. 6. col. 219. (h) Ut supra, (Geography of the Old Testament, vol. 1.) p. 197.

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