Genesis 10:5 (KJV)

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

The word "gentile" is only mentioned once in the table of nations. And this is the first time that the word "gentile" was mentioned in scripture. Does this imply that the Japhetic peoples are the true gentiles or that they are especially gentile in some way?

  • The descendants of Ham included Nimrod, who is credited with founding Babylon. On the contrary, the sons of Japheth do not have this association. Perhaps based on this we could make an argument than the term גּוֹיִם֙ has a noble connotation in this context. Dec 16, 2017 at 12:58
  • @TimBiegeleisen But Babylonians were not Hamitic either culturally or ethnically. Modem day Iraqis like the Yazidis, Kurds, shabakas, feylis etc are not Hamites but Semites. And moreover Japheth dwells in the tents of Shem according to Noah's prophecy in Gen 9.
    – user20490
    Dec 16, 2017 at 18:28

2 Answers 2


The word גוֹי goy ("nation," or "gentile" in the KJV translation) appears in the context of every one of the sons of Noah (10:5, 10:20, 10:31) in the word בְּגוֹיֵהֶם (begoyehem "in their nations"). KJV translates the word בְּגוֹיֵהֶֽם as "in their nations," differently than the word הַגּוֹיִם (haggoyim "the Gentiles") in the same verse, despite the fact that they come from the same word גוֹי. In addition, the word הַגּוֹיִם, translated in 10:5 as "the Gentiles," is repeated in 10:32, where KJV translates it more correctly "the nations."

If the inconsistency in the translation was intentional, I would guess it was a theological translation, influenced by Paul the Apostle's mission to the gentiles in the New Testament. Since Paul visited and wrote to communities mostly in Europe, the translator viewed the descendants of Japheth as "gentiles" rather than just "nations."

  • You make a very good point. I was thinking about it too. Paul was always talking about Jews and gentiles but he usually used the phrase "jew or greek". Greek meant gentile. And then the Greeks were Japhetic. So that's why I asked the question. But you have shown that it was the translators who interpreted Gen 10:5 due to the influence of the NT. A good answer +1
    – user20490
    Dec 16, 2017 at 18:23

It appears that there is a cover-up. Because the Bible is clear, and the transliteration is also straightforward. Many refuse to accept that the word YAHWEH was found in Canaan in 3500 BCE - c. 1200 BCE. However, this is what is claimed: Scholar Nissim Amzallag of Ben-Gurion University disagrees with the claim that Yahweh's origins are obscure and argues that the deity was originally a god of the forge and patron of metallurgists during the Bronze Age (c. 3500-1200 BCE). Amzallag specifically cites the ancient copper mines of the Timna Valley (in southern Israel), biblical and extra-biblical passages, and similarities of Yahweh to gods of metallurgy in other cultures for support. YAHWEH; The World History Encyclopedia Nissim Amzallag attempted to give a false story about the Canaanites. This has been a problem since Gen 9:18-27 was falsely stated. Abraham did not know YAHWEH but was led to continue the journey his father wanted: living in Canaan. It was in Haran that the Bible mentioned YAHWEH spoke to Abraham. Many scholars today know that Abraham came from Urfu in southern Turkey. Abraham settled among the Amorites, and it is known that he recognized Melchizedek. Melchizedek was the High Priest of YAHWEH EL SHADDAI, which means THE MOST HIGH. The untruth was that the Canaanites worshipped a metallurgy deity. They didn't, and Gentiles meant Japheth's children. The Pharisees, today known as the Rabbinic Judaic. Unfortunately, they promoted hatred and racism in Israel during the time of YAHSHUA. Acts Chapter 10 is about Peter's hatred of the Greeks, and YAHWEH gives him a dream about unclean meats. YAHWEH showed Peter not to put people in the same category as unclean animals. While pondering the meaning of the dream, Cornelius, a Greek person, was sent to Peter by YAHWEH ELOHIYM. That is when Peter learned that YAHWEH is no respect for a person. It is time to understand and accept the truth about cultures today! In Isaiah 66:19, 20, the word Gentiles is used here, as in Gen 10:5. It is clear that he was speaking only of Japheth's children. Then Paul was called to speak to the Gentiles. Act 9:15 The hatred of the Greeks was due to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who was very cruel to Israel. The Seleucids were Greeks who took over what is called West Asia during the Hellenistic period. They were from the royal family of the mainland Macedonians, who also conquered the Persian territories. I gave a historical background because many things preached or taught are not Biblical. Japheth was the oldest of Noah's sons, according to the Bible. Gen 10:21 Shem is mentioned first because Judah was the lineage of YAHSHUA, then Ham for two reasons: they served YAHWEH first, and four Canaanite Females were important. They are the only four women mentioned in Matthew Chapter One who were also part of the lineage of YAHSHUA. Japheth was the last to hear the Gospel. The Bible in Gen Chapter 10 reverses the order. What needs to be understood Strong made it clear that Paleo Hebrew words were not understood clearly Latinized into the English language. What needs to be done is to notice how the Bible continues to tell you what is meant. From Gen to Acts, it is clear that Gentiles meant Japheth's children. Please stop listening to false or made-up stories and read the Bible yourself. Blessings!

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