There is a hot, still ongoing discussion about the true background in the various biblical tables of nations to distinguish the origin of Asian nations. This especially relates to the question from whom of the three sons of Noah they are descending, from Sem, Ham or Japhet? In his paper Paul Phelps argues not only the Chinese, but all the Asian nations should be regarded as Eastern Hebrew nations (Paul Phelps), while many like Henry Morris see them clearly as descendants of Ham. He writes about Gen. 9:24:
"Descendants of Ham included the Egyptians and Sumerians, who founded the first two great empires of antiquity, as well as other great nations such as the Phoenicians, Hittites, and Canaanites. The modern African tribes and the Mongol tribes (including today the Chinese and Japanese), as well as the American Indians and the South Sea Islanders, are probably dominantly Hamitic in origin."
Regarding Gen. 10:16-18 Morris writes:
The Biblical mention of a people in the Far East named “Sinim” (Isaiah 49:12), together with references in ancient secular histories to people in the Far East called “Sinae,” at least suggests the possibility that some of Sin’s descendants migrated eastward, while others went south into the land of Canaan. It is significant that the Chinese people have always been identified by the prefix “Sino-” (e.g., Sino-Japanese War; Sinology, the study of Chinese history). The name “Sin” is frequently encountered in Chinese names in the form “Siang” or its equivalent.
The evidence is tenuous but, of all the names in the Table of Nations, it does seem that two sons of Canaan, Heth (Hittites = Khittae = Cathay) and Sin (Sinites = Sinim = China), are the most likely to have become ancestors of the Oriental peoples. Since it seems reasonable that divine inspiration would include in such a table information concerning the ancestry of all the major streams of human development, it is reasonable to conclude that the Mongoloid peoples (and therefore also the American Indians) have come mostly from the Hamitic line.
|30 Ham Nations and their Migration Places|
As interesting and biblical this sounds, this is not what other Asians more familiar with local Oriental traditions are willing to agree. One of them is Paul Phelps. Instead of summarizing what seems ("t does not seem") the author of the newly published book "Oriental Origins in the Bible" demonstrates how the Hebrew text itself hints into another direction and says:
[All men in fact belong to one family because Adam and Eve were parents of all (Gen. 3:20,) but there are three genealogies after the Flood; Gen. 9:18-19,
The sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth... These three were the sons of Noah; and from these the whole earth was peopled.
Bible scholars have traced Ham’s descendants to Africa, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and into the South Pacific regions. The name Ham means hot and indicates that Ham’s people went into hot climates. Japheth’s descendants are traceable to the Aryan people of Europe, central Asia, Iran and north India. The name Japheth means enlarged (expanded in size) which reveals the nature of the Japhetic people, and is also prophetic of their world-wide expansion.
Bible scholarship tradition has the view that the descendants of Shem settled only in western Asia, mostly Arabs and Jews. But this conclusion does not take east Asia into account (half of humanity) and gives only a small portion to Shem. But that cannot be correct because Shem was given the greatest honour of all. He also said, “Blessed by the LORD my God be Shem...” (Gen. 9:26). According to the Biblical record, Shem is the original forefather of both the West Asian people and East Asian people. In the Genesis account, the ancestry of all the East Asian people can be traced to Shem. Shem means honourable name, which fits well with East Asian cultural values. In the Hebrew Bible, God is referred to as ‘The Honourable Name’ (HA-SHÈM), thus associating God with the people of Shem. In Genesis 10:21, Shem is called “the father of all the children of Eber,” meaning the Hebrew people. The word Hebrew means ‘of Eber,’ or ‘descended from Eber.’ Gen. 10:25,
To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg,
for in his days the earth was divided,
and his brother’s name was Joktan.
The Hebrew race has therefore descended from Eber in two branches: Peleg and Joktan. The name Peleg means division, (indicating the division of mankind in Babylon, Gen. 11:7-9), and the name Joktan means diminished, (indicating the diminished lifespan of mankind at that time).
Joktan’s family of thirteen sons is the largest family of early Bible times. Only Joktan’s first-generation lineage was recorded; Gen. 10:26-29; I Chron. 1:19-23. (Even this much is unusual because Joktan’s descendants are not mentioned in later Bible history.) All later Bible history is based on Peleg’s lineage (Gen. 11) so readers have traditionally thought Peleg’s descendants are the only existing Hebrews. Peleg’s lineage has more visibility in the Bible because it led up to Abraham—and God took Abraham’s people to lead the Bible narrative. But the descendants of Joktan made another even larger branch of Hebrews. The total disappearance of Joktan’s people from the Bible narrative means that his family left west Asia entirely and migrated to another land far away.
|On Josephus' table of nations ( 1st A.D.), Joktam is placed in Pakistan|
While his arguments for this view could be supported from current research in view of at least some Han-Chinese groups and several people groups in the Indian subcontinent (some claim the Brahmans of India are descendants of Abraham), it is difficult to apply this view for most of the more than 700 non-Chinese people nations in China. –Alexander Zephyr uses Ps. 83 to remind that conclusions done through pure grammatical and cultural comparison are not sufficient for a sound result. Ps. 83 clearly states shows what happened with the descendants of Peleg, which would include Joktams people in the Middle East and refuses to accept Phelps and Kwoks pure speculation regarding the Joktam migration to the East. -Further research must be done. In order to better reach those people nations for Christ and explain what their ancestors once knew from their creator research regarding the Ham AND Sem nations in Asia need to be reflected.