Genesis 11 has the story of the Tower of Babel, which is the event which caused all the nations to be dispersed into the World.

But the chapter before, Genesis 10, called the Table of Nations, describes the descendants of Japheth, Ham and Shem and their clans, languages, territories and nations.

If they had already been dispersed in chapter 10, who was left to be dispersed in chapter 11?

  • Yes, please edit this to clear up the confusion. We don't know what you are asking. – fгedsbend Aug 24 '14 at 1:44
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    I gave it a try. I think the answer to this is that the Table of Nations extends past the events at the Tower of Babel. "Basically, here are all the descendants of Noah who dispersed all over the earth, and oh, by the way, this is how they were dispersed." – Narnian Aug 25 '14 at 12:12
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    Why do you assume that the generations in chapter 10 came after the dispersion in chapter 11? There are only three generations listed and in the 102 years between the flood and the tower of Babel there is plenty of time for those three generations to be born and reach adulthood.That they are listed as the forerunners of the peoples in the dispersion is probably put there just as information.The actual dispersion of the people took about 100 years. – BYE Oct 6 '14 at 18:27

If they had already been dispersed in chapter 10, who was left to be dispersed in chapter 11?

The time frame covered in the table of nations in Chapter 10 of Genesis is quite wide as you would expect in a multi-generational listing. The dispersion event described in chapter 11 may represent simply a greater explanation of the dispersion.


Genesis Chapter 9 tells of God speaking to Noah about what happens after the flood. Chapter 10 Table of Nations is the lineage of Noah's sons that spread throughout the world after the flood.

In Chapter 9 God told Noah that his seed would be spread throughout the world. So after the flood the decedents of Noah (Table of Nations) spread throughout the world speaking one language.

In chapter 11 some of the people started building an idol (tower). So God dispersed those people (previously speaking on language) speaking many languages.

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