Book of Genesis - The Table of Nations
The dispersion of mankind described in the Book of Genesis led to cultural and physical differences among the people groups. Certain physical distinctions prevailed as demanded by environmental conditions. The prevalent physical features became associated with distinct language groups, and "races" were formed. Actually, there is only one race - the human race. "Races" merely represent re-combinations of pre-existent genes (with minor degenerate mutations).
Chapter 10 of the Book of Genesis is commonly known as the "Table of Nations". It records 70 nations descended from Noah through his three sons, as divided at Babel. 26 nations represent the descendants of Shem, 30 nations represent the descendants of Ham, and 14 nations represent the descendants of Japheth.
Book of Genesis - The Jewish Nation
The Book of Genesis records the birth of Israel, the Nation chosen by God to bring His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. The nation of Israel began with one man and his call to abandon his homeland and follow God. This man was Abram (later renamed by God, "Abraham," meaning "father of a multitude"). In the Book of Hebrews we read, "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country..." (Hebrews 11:8-9)
God promised Abraham a son by his barren wife Sarai (later renamed by God, "Sarah," meaning "princess") even though she was far beyond the age of child bearing. God fulfilled His promise and Sarah gave birth to "Isaac" (meaning "laughter," because Sarah laughed at the idea that she would have a child at such a late age). God promised Abraham that through Isaac he would be the father of a great nation... then, He commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac! "Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 'Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you'" (Genesis 22:1-2). Abraham obeyed God, still trusting God to fulfill His earlier promise that through Isaac Abraham would be the father of a great nation. In the Book of Hebrews we read, "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, 'In Isaac your seed shall be called,' concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense" (Hebrews 11:17-19). This took incredible faith! And even though Abraham was a sinner (as is everyone else), his "faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness" (Romans 4:9). God considered Abraham righteous just for believing in His promises. "For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness'" (Romans 4:3).
By faith "Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, 'Abraham, Abraham!' So he said, 'Here I am.' And He said, 'Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me' (Genesis 22:10-12). Because of Abraham's obedience, not keeping anything from God, even his beloved son, God promised Abraham saying, "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son - blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice" (Genesis 22:16-18).
As a result, Abraham begot Isaac, and Isaac begot Jacob, who God later renamed "Israel," meaning "he who strives with God." Jacob begot twelve sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel. Isaac, Jacob, Jacob's twelve sons, and all of their descendants were sinners just like the rest of us. The Bible records the good and wicked acts of these men. Nevertheless, God was faithful to His promise. Through Abraham and the Jewish Nation, God brought His beloved Son into the world to pay for the sins of all mankind.