THE EARLY HISTORY OF MAN: PART 1. THE TABLE OF NATIONS
by Bill Cooper
The following is the first of a two-part study regarding the early post-Flood history of mankind. In Part 1, we shall examine what documentary evidence exists that verifies both the presence and activities of those characters and peoples of whom explicit mention is made in that portion of Genesis that is known as the Table of Nations. We shall find in this part of the study that the documentary evidence available to us is at an astonishing variance with the claims that are currently being put forward by the modernist school of historical and biblical interpretation. According to this school of thought, the Genesis record is without historical foundation; whereas we shall see in this study that exactly the opposite is true. This portion of Genesis in particular is fully corroborated by an overwhelming richness of documentary and other historical evidence so vast that it is unique in recorded history! No other document enjoys such a wealth of detailed corroboration from such a wide-ranging variety of sources, moreover, that were often hostile to the concept of God and His direct revelation to mankind through His written Word.
In part 2, we shall go on to examine the genealogies and king-lists of the early Celts and Saxons that show conclusively that these pagan, pre-Christian peoples were all too aware of their historic and ethnic descent from Noah through Japheth's line. These peoples, through carefully preserved records, could trace their lineage and race back to the time of Babel and the dispersal of the nations from the plain of Shinar. Again, we shall see how these ancient and unique records are dismissed by the modernist school with a readiness that is astonishing in its unthinking disregard for the historical method. Rather, the records that have come down to us will be seen to lend their weight to the already vast body of documentary evidence that can only convince us that the Genesis record is a true and faithful historical account of the early history of mankind.
Certain questions will not be dealt with in this two-part study, for the simple reason that their subject-matter is vast and that they constitute specialist study and exposition. In particular, linguistic interrelationships and diversities are only lightly touched upon, because these will doubtless he the subject of future exposition by creationist scholars who have specialized in their study. Likewise, the descent of, say, the American Indians or the Chinese or other Mongoloid races is not dealt with, simply because they lie outside the scope of the present work. Rather, Part l in particular is concerned only with that documentary evidence from those early post-Flood nations of the Middle East who had direct contact with one another, and who preserved in written records those names that are explicitly mentioned in the Genesis record. The notices that accompany each genealogy are thus very brief collections of recorded historical facts and subsequent information that pertain to the names under which they appear, and which have been gleaned over many years from a wide variety of sources. What is remarkable about these notices is that they mostly come from ancient historians and writers of various nationalities who had not the least intention of, either consciously or otherwise, of lending support to the Genesis record. Indeed, most of them nurtured within pagan systems that were openly antagonistic to the knowledge of the One True God, and who had laboured over many centuries to darken, if not totally erase that knowledge altogether! Their testimony is therefore all the more valuable to us.
I certainly would not pretend the information gathered here is complete in any sense! The subject is too vast for that indeed, it may be that some will consider one or two of the facts presented in this study to be insufficiently discussed, and will therefore feel that these should be given a more adequate and exhaustive treatment. Should that be the case, then the fruits of their researches will be warmly welcomed! My intention, after all, is merely to present to the serious researcher a definite historical framework that can be built upon and added to as more information comes to light; that, and to vindicate a record that has been supposed for too long to be nothing more than a 'pious fiction'.
THE BIRTH OF PAGANISM
Perhaps the most outstandingly inaccurate claim made today by modernist and liberal scholars, is that the book Genesis grew out of the pagan mythologies of nations like Babylon. It is indeed a much vaunted claim, but one that flies in the face of all the evidence. We shall see, as our study progresses, that as each nation was dispersed from Babel, so they carried with them the names of their founders, and wove around those names a fanciful mythology that led them further and further away from both the true knowledge of God, and a true understanding of their own beginnings. As time passed, so the ancestor worship to which their early peoples were so prone, became more gross and degenerate until we are left with such hideous polytheistic systems as the Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian. Yet, in spite of the parody of religion that we see in the early and modem pagan system, it is still possible to trace the memory, albeit distorted, of a great many subjects that Genesis records so accurately. 1
This is specially true of the Babylonian system. As well as such distorted memories as they possessed of the Flood, and the dispersal of the nations from Babel. They also carried with them distinct memories of Adam, Eve and the Fall. Indeed, as can be seen in the illustration of Figure 1, they were still able to portray Adam, Eve, the Serpent and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil with remarkable accuracy many hundreds of years after supposedly losing the knowledge of God altogether! Eve was known to them as Nini-ti, 'The Lady of the Rib,' which name can also mean in their tongue 'The Lady who causes to live,' which is the very epithet that Genesis itself records of Eve as the 'mother of all living' (see Figure 1.)
Eden was known to the Babylonians as ldinu, and was said to have been the paradise in which the 'immortal,' ones lived. Moreover, the very name of Babylon itself, Bab-ilu, meant literally 'The Gate of God', standing as it did between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers - the very location of Eden as described in the book of Genesis. The original Tigris, Euphrates and Eden were, of course, destroyed beyond all recognition by the Flood of Noah; and yet the Babylonians were to preserve both the knowledge and names of them even within their own otherwise perverse philosophy.
Likewise, Tubal-cain 2 was remembered and worshipped by the Babylonians as Bilkan, the god of metal-working, which name was later further corrupted to Vulcan, the Roman god of fire' And so it goes on. However, the foundation of paganism was itself a direct and calculated attempt to obscure and pervert the true knowledge of God among the early nations, and its success is all too evident even today. These pagan gods were adored merely for the licence that they gave to the practice of perversions and abominations that it would be tedious to describe, and as we ponder these things we surely cannot fail to see the absurdity behind the latest notion to emerge from the modernist school, namely that all religions lead to God! Whoever is responsible for such a nonsensical idea can know neither the God of Whom they speak, nor the true and evil nature of pagan worship.
'As a patroness of war (the goddess) Anath appears in a fragment of the Baal Epic in an incredibly bloody orgy of destruction. For some unknown reason she fiendishly butchers mankind, young and old, in a most horrible and wholesale fashion, wading delightedly in human gore up to her knees - yea, up to her throat, all the while exulting sadistically... "Like gods, like priest; like priest like people" expresses a law that operates unfailingly.' 3
It is thus fallacious for the modernist school to suggest that either these 'gods' or their worshippers bear the faintest resemblance to those who are one day to inherit the Kingdom of God. And equally fallacious is the idea that the Word of God owes its origins to any such insidious and fatal system. 4
REASON AND FAITH
In the light of all this it is, perhaps, time for us to adopt a more reasonable and constructive approach to our study of the early history of mankind, and of the Genesis record in particular. Some, no doubt, will be quick to decry such an act as that of accepting the truth of the Genesis record as an act of blind faith. Yet, where does blind faith come into it when that record is so fully endorsed by the writings of so many disinterested, or indeed antagonistic witnesses? When we read a book about King Henry VIII of England, we are not learning about him by way of 'blind faith,' for we know that there are many independent sources to which we can go in order to verify what we have read. Rather, we believe the historical accounts of Henry VIII by way of informed reason, not faith; and exactly the same thing applies when we read the history that is contained in the book of Genesis. We accept that history because, in the face of so many disinterested witnesses and corroborative statements, that is simply the reasonable thing to do. To discard such a vast weight of independent testimony would be most unreasonable, and would itself be an act of almost incredible faith in the approach and highly questionable logic of modernistic philosophy. It is through the sheer reasonableness, then of accepting the overwhelming testimony of so many witnesses that we come to accept the Genesis record as a truly historical and factual account; and if this leads us on to faith in the God of Whom Genesis so eloquently testifies, then that faith is seen to be a reasonable and informed faith, and not a blind faith as some would wrongly assert.
And so we arrive at the main object of our present study. We shall see that the brief but comprehensive portion of the book of Genesis known as the Table of Nations, embraces a truly vast panorama of human history that took several centuries to be fulfilled. Indeed, it seems that the migration and dispersal of the nations from Babel did not finally settle down until only the last century or so. Ever since those distant days when the Plain of Shinar witnessed the first migrations, humanity has been spreading itself out across the face of the globe in waves that were irresistible and energetic in the days of the Vikings as ever thy were in the days of Nimrod and Asshur, and, on an admittedly smaller scale, are still observable today. Mankind, in spite of its active determination to do otherwise, has finally obeyed the commandment of God to 'multiply and fill the earth' (see Figure 2.)
THE HISTORlCAL NOTlCES
'When all men were of one language, some of them built a high tower as if they would thereby ascend up to heaven, but the gods sent storms of wind and overthrew the tower, and gave everyone his peculiar language and for this reason it was that the city was called Babylon' The Sybil.
'After this they were dispersed abroad, on account of their languages, and went out by colonies everywhere and each colony took possession of that land which they lighted upon, and unto which God led them; so that the whole continent was filled with them, both the inland and maritime countries. There were some also who passed over the sea in ships and inhabited the islands: and some of these nations do still retain the names which were given to them by their first founders; but some also have lost them . . ' (Flaius Josephus, Antiquities, Book 1, Chapter V.)
PART ONE: THE LINEAGE OF JAPHETH
Refer to Table 1 and Map 1.
Literally the progenitor of many nations, all the Indo-European peoples, in fact - it would be surprising indeed if his name had gone unremembered among them. As it is, we find that the early Greeks worshipped him as IAPETOS, or IAPETUS, whom they regarded as the son of heaven and earth, and the father of many nations. Likewise, in the ancient Sanskrit vedas of India, he is remembered as PRA-JAPATI, the sun and ostensible Lord of Creation. His name was further corrupted and assimilated into the Roman pantheon as IUPATER, which eventually became that of Jupiter. None of these names are recognized as being of Greek, Indian or Latin origin; but are rather mere corruptions of the Hebrew name of Japheth. Similarly, the early Saxon races perpetuated his name as Sceaf, (Pr. 'sheef,' or 'shaif,') and recorded his name in their early genealogies as the son of Noah, the forebear of their various peoples.
He was the father of the Cimmerians who settled originally on the shores of the Caspian Sea. They were later driven away by the Elamites (see 49). At the time of the Babylonian Exile, the Jews knew them as the tribes that dwell in the 'uttermost parts of the north' (Ezekiel 38:6). The Assyrians referred to them as the Gimirraya. Esarhaddon (68l-668 BC) records his defeat of the Gimirrai; whilst Ashurbanipal tells us of the Cimmerian invasion of Lydia (see Lud, 52), in the days of the Lydian king Gugu around the year 660 BC (see Map l).
His descendants settled originally in what is now Armenia; although in later Jewish traditions he was associated with his father Gomer with the Germanic races. Hence, Germanic Jews are still known as Ashkenazi (see Figure 3). More immediately, perhaps, the Assyrians tell us in their inscriptions of the Askuza, a tribe who allied themselves with the Mannai in a revolt during the seventh century BC - an incident that is also mentioned by Jeremiah 51:27. Indeed, it is in this statement that Jeremiah incidentally confirms the identity of the Ashchenazim with the Askuza. This name, the Askuza of the Assyrian records, later became the Skythai (Scythians) of Herodotus. Other early sources confirm their place of settlement in what was later to become Pontus and Bythinia, where the peoples of Ashchenaz gave their name to the lake and harbour of Ascanius, and to the district of Ascania. Somewhat more tentatively, perhaps, they are also said to have give their name to the Axenus or Euxine Sea (the modern Black Sea), on whose shores they first settled. Josephus tells us they were subsequently known to the Greeks as the Rheginians (see Map 1).
JAPHETH | ---------------------------------------------------------------- Gomer Magog Madai Javan Tubal Meshech Tiras (2) (6) (7) (8) (13) (14) (15) | | | ------------------------------------------ | Elishah Tarshish Kittim Dodanim | (9) (10) (11) (12) | --------------------------------- -------------|------------ Ashchenaz Riphath Togarmah (3) (4) (5)
Table1. THE LINEAGE OF JAPHETH, PROGENITOR OF ALL THE INDO-EUROPEAN RACES
His descendants gave their name to the Riphaean mountains, which early cosmographers thought of as constituting the then northern boundary of the world. More certainly, Pliny, Melo and Solinus record the name of Riphath as that of the Riphaei, Riphaces and Piphataei who were later known to history as the Paphlagonians, the descent and identification of which is confirmed by Josephus (see Map 1).
His earliest descendants settled in Armenia. We know from certain Hittite documents that in the fourteenth century BC, the then region of Tegarama, which lay between Carchemish and Haran, was sacked by 'the enemy from Isuwa, (that is from beyond the Euphrates).' Both Sargon II and Sennacherib mention the city of Tilgarimanu, the capital of Kammanu which lay on the border of Tabal (see 13). This city lay some 30 miles due east of present-day Malatya, and was not finally destroyed until the year 695 BC. It is after this destruction of Tilgarimanu that the descendants ofTogarmah become lost in obscurity. In line with the Assyrian policy of that time, the survivors would have been uprooted and transported to other lands within the Assyrian empire (see Map 1).
His immediate descendants being known as the Magogites, Josephus tells us that they were later known to the Greeks as the Scythians. However, given the subsequent history of the peoples of Ashchenaz (see 3), who are far more certainly identified as the later Scythians (Greek Skythai and Assyrian Askuza), it is much more likely that the early Magogites' were assimilated into the peoples of Ashchenas, thus making up merely a part of the Scythian hordes (see Map 1).
His descendants became the Madaeans, who are better known to us as the Medes. The Assyrians recorded the name as Amada; the Greeks as Medai; and the Old Persian inscriptions speak of them as the Mada. The earliest reference to the Medes that is found in secular records is in the inscriptions of Shalmaneser III, King of Assyria from c.858-24 BC, in which he tells us that he invaded their lands for their famous and excellent horses. Both Strabo and Herodotus confirm the fact that the Medes were of Indo-European (that is, Japhetic) extract, and we know also that their language was of this group. After 63l BC, the Medes joined with the children of Ashchenas (that is the Askuasa or Scythians), and those of Gomer (the Cimmerians), in order to throw off the Assyrian yoke (see Map 1).
The name of Javan's descendants appears in Assyrian documents as the Iamanu, where we are told that they engaged the Assyrians in a major naval battle during the reign of Sargon II (721-705 BC). The Archaemenian inscriptions also refer to them as the Yauna. Homer wrote in the Iliad that Iawones (Hebrew Iawan) was the father of the Ionians (Greek Iones); a nation that was later famed in the old world for the high quality of their yarn and bronze vessels. The Hebrews knew the Greek races as the Jevanim (Iewanim) (see Map 1).
He was the ancestor of the Aeolians, and hs name constantly appears in Greek history and mythology. Two Greek cities were named after him, namely Elis and Elissus; and a district was named Ellas in his memory. There is also reason to believe that his name is perpetuated in the Greek paradise, the Elysian Fields. The Amarna tablets refer to his descendants as the Alashia, and the Hittites knew them as the Alasiya. Their name also appears in the Ugaritic inscriptions (see Map I).
The father of the peoples of Tarshish or Tartesis, whose descendants are thought by most to have settled in Spain. The Mediterranean Sea was once known as the Sea of Tarshish, and it is known that the Phoenicians built a class of sailing vessel called a ship of Tarshish. However, Phoenician inscriptions that have been found on Sardinia, and which date to the ninth century BC, mention Tarshish without, unfortunately, providing us with a positive identification of its geographical location. Josephus records the name as Tharsus, and tells us that it used to be the name under which Cilicia was once known, the chief and 'Noblest' city of which was Tarsus. For various reasons this is unlikely, and the matter remains as yet unresolved (see Map 1).
Referred to in the old Phoenician inscriptions as the 'kt' or 'kty,' this people settled on the island of Cyprus. They were to give their name to the ancient Cypriot city of Kition, that is modern Larnaka. This city was known to the Romans as Citium (see Map 1).
This is the collective name of the people descended from Dodan, who were known to the Greeks as the Donlani, the Dardanians of Asia Minor. They settled initially around the area of Troy, whose coastal regions are known to this day as the Dardanelles. The original progenitor of this people was to be subsequently deified and worshipped as Jupiter Dodonaeus. (Here we have a mingling of the names of Japheth and Dodan). The propagators of this cult built the priestly city of Dodona as the chief seat of his worship. Egyptian records tell us that the 'drdny' were allies of the Hittites (see 38) at the battle of Kadesh (see Map 1).
The descendants of Tubal first come to our notice in the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser I, King of Assyria c.1100 BC. He refers to them as the Tabali, whose original area of settlement (that is, Tabal) was adjacent to that of Tegarama (that is, Togarmah, see 5). Suhsequently, Josephus was to record the name of Tubal's descendants as the Thobelites, who later became the Iberes. Their land, in Josephus' day, was known to the Romans as Iberia, and covered what is today the state of Georgia in the USSR. From here, having crossed the Caucasus mountain range, this people migrated due north-east, where they gave their old tribal name to the river Tobol, and hence to the modern-day city of Tobolsk (see Map 1).
The descendants of Mesheeh are often spoken of in close association with those of Tubal (see 13), the Assyrians, for example, mentioning the Tabal and Musku, whilst Herodotus also writes of the Tiberanoi and Moschoi. A very much earlier reference to the posterity of Mesbech is an inscription of c.1200 BC which tells us how they overran the Hittite kingdom; and an inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I c. 1100 BC, who tells us that, in his own day, the Muska-a-ia were able to put an army of 20,000 men into the field. The activities of this same people are also subsequently reported by Tukul-ti-ninurta II, Ashurnasirpal II, Sargon and Shalmaneser III, who refers to them as the Mushki. Josephus knew them as the Mosochenu (LXX. Mosoch), whom, he says were known in his days as the Cappadocians (but see 34). He also points out that their chief city was known to his contemporaries as Mazaca, which was also once the name of the entire nation.
Some later writers have pointed out that the name is preserved in the old tribal name of the Muscovites of Russia, who gave their name in turn to the city of Moscow. Such an identification, it must be said, is not at all unlikely, especially when we consider the subsequent history of their historically close associates, the people of Tubal, and the fact that the name of the city is still today rendered in the Russian tongue as Moskva - an exceedingly close, not to say identical relationship to the Assyrian Musku. Intriguingly, we read in the book of Ezekiel 38:2 of 'Gog of the land of Magug' (see 6), the prince of Rosh, (Rosh is the name under which the modern Israelis know Russia), Meshech and Tabal. All these, with the armies of Gomer (see 2), Togarma (see 5), Persia (modern Iran), Ethiopia and Libya, are to come against the restored land of Israel in the last days. In view of this prophecy, the present-day political stance of these various nations is instructive and immensely sobering (see Map 1).
Merenptah of Egypt, who reigned during the thirteenth century BC, provides us with what is so for our earliest reference to the people of Tiras, recording their name as the Tursha, and referring to them as invaders from the north. The Greeks were later to know them as the Tyrsenoi, whom they feared as marauding pirates. Josephus identifies them as the tribe who were known to the Romans as Thirasians, but to the Greeks as Thracians. History attests that they were indeed a most savage race, given over to a perpetual state of 'tipsy excess'. as one authority put it. They are also described as a 'ruddy and blue-eyed, people'. Tiras himself was worshipped by his descendants as the god Mars, but under his own name of Thuras. The river Athyras was also named after him, and it is not at all unlikely that the Eturscans, a nation of hitherto mysterious origin, owe to him both their name and descent. The ancient city of Troas (Troy) appears to perpetuate his name, as also does the Taunrus mountain range (see Map l).
.../Back to Contents