Dispersion of Mankind
Dispersion Of Mankind.
This event is usually held to have been occasioned by the confusion of tongues (q.v.) at the overthrow of Babel (Ge 11:9, where the term employed is פּוּוֹ, puts, to "scatter"). As to the manner of the distribution of the posterity of goah (Ge 10:32, where the term is פָּתִר, parad', to disseminate) from the plain of Shinar, it was undoubtedly conducted under the influence of the ordinary laws of colonization. The sacred historian informs us that they were divided in their lands, everyone according to his tongue, according to his family, and according to his nation (Ge 10:5; Ge 20:18). The ends of this dispersion were to repeople the earth, to prevent idolatry, and to display the divine wisdom and power (comp. Ge 1:28). SEE DIVISION OF THE EARTH.
That all the families of man descended from the first human pair, and were by degrees — after the confusion of the Babel-builders, and the division of the earth in the days of Peleg — dispersed over the several countries of the earth, is clearly the doctrine of the Bible (Ge 11:9; Ge 10:25; comp. De 32:8; Ac 17:26). The object of Moses, in the fifth chapter of Genesis, was to furnish, from the ancient documents which had descended to his time, a brief but authentic genealogical table of the descendants of Adam, in the line of Seth, unto the time of the Flood, in the days of Noah and his sons.
So also, in the tenth chapter, he has afforded us a survey of the principal nations of the earth, in their emigrations from the common center of residence after the Flood. Many other nations, however, have been since formed by the union or division of some of those enumerated. The following is a synopsis of the chief tribes identified. SEE THEOLOGY.