Enumerating the Seventy Nations
- Main article Seventy nations
A list of the seventy nations
The haggadic assumption that there are seventy nations and languages in the world is based upon the ethnological table given in Gen. 10-11, where seventy grandsons of Noah are enumerated, each of whom became the ancestor of a nation. These are the primordial nations, sometimes referred to as the "seventy tounges," representing all humanity. The Talmud (BT Sukkah 55:B) teaches that the seventy bulls that were offered in the Holy Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles served as atonement for the seventy nations of the world. Truly, as the rabbis observed, "if the nations of the world had only known how much they needed the Temple, they would have surrounded it with armed fortresses to protect it" (Bamidbar Rabbah 1, 3).
The souls that appeared from Noach to Israel became the roots of the seventy nations. They did not appear all at once, rather progressively. The enumeration below follows the kabbalistic counting, based on the following rules:
- Each time the verse names a child without further describing his progeny, that child was father of one of the seventy nations. These nations are named after their patriarch with the additional suffix -ite.
- Starting the children of Shem, the terms "sons and daughters" refers to progeny over and above what had been mentioned previously. This unamed progeny also refers to one of the seventy nations. These nations are named after their patriarch with the additional suffix -ian.
- The last three nations are Ishmael, Esav and Israel.
They are numbered from 1 to 70 in order of appearance. Names marked in italics are represented by their children.
1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noach: Shem, Cham, and Yefeth; and unto them were sons born after the flood. 2 The sons of Yefeth: Gomer, and (1) Magog, and (2) Madai, and Yavan, and (3) Tuval, and (4) Meshekh, and (5) Tiras. 3 And the sons of Gomer: (6) Ashkenaz, and (7) Rifath, and (8) Togarmah. 4 And the sons of Yavan: (9) Elishah, and (10) Tarshish, (11) Kittim, and (12) Dodanim. 5 Of these were the isles of the nations divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
6 And the sons of Cham: Khush, and Mitzraim, and (13) Put, and Canaan. 7 And the sons of Khush: (14) Seva, and (15) Chavila, and (16) Savtah, and Ra'amah, and (17) Savtekha; and the sons of Ra'amah: (18) Sheva, and (19) Dedan. 8 And Khush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before HaShem; wherefore it is said: 'Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before HaShem.' 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babylon, and Erekh, and Akkad, and Khalneh, in the land of Shin'ar. 11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and Rehovoth Ir, and Khalach, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Khalach--the same is the great city. 13 And Mitzraim begot (20) Ludim, and (21) 'Anamim, and (22) Lehavim, and (23) Naftuchim, 14 and (24) Pathrusim, and Kasluchim--whence went forth the (25) Philistines--and (26) Kaftorim.
15 And Canaan begot (27) Sidon his firstborn, and (28) Cheth; 16 and the (29) Yevusite, and the (30) Amorite, and the (31) Girgashite; 17 and the (32) Chivite, and the (33) 'Arkite, and the (34) Sinite; 18 and the (35) Arvadite, and the (36) Tzemarite, and the (37) Chamathite; and afterward were the families of the Canaanite spread abroad. 19 And the border of the Canaanite was from Sidon, as thou goest toward Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Tzevoim, unto Lasha'. 20 These are the sons of Cham, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, in their nations.
21 And unto Shem, the father of all the children of Ever, the elder brother of Yafeth, to him also were children born. 22 The sons of Shem: (38) 'Elam, and (39) Asshur, and Arpakhshad, and (40) Lud, and Aram. 23 And the sons of Aram: (41) Utz, and (42) Chul, and (43) Gether, and (44) Mash. 24 And Arpakhshad begot Shelach; and Shelach begot Ever. 25 And unto Ever were born two sons; the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Yoqtan. 26 And Yoqtan begot (45) Almodad, and (46) Shelef, and (47) Chatzarmaveth, and (48) Yerach; 27 and (49) Hadoram, and (50) Uzal, and (51) Diqlah; 28 and (52) Oval, and (53) Avimael, and (54) Sheva; 29 and (55) Ofir, and (56) Chavilah, and (57) Yovav; all these were the sons of Yoqtan. 30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest toward Sefar, unto the mountain of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. 32 These are the families of the sons of Noach, after their generations, in their nations; and of these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
10 These are the generations of Shem. Shem was a hundred years old, and begot Arpakhshad two years after the flood. 11 And Shem lived after he begot Arpakhshad five hundred years, and begot (58) sons and daughters. 12 And Arpakhshad lived five and thirty years, and begot Shelah. 13 And Arpakhhshad lived after he begot Shelach four hundred and three years, and begot (59) sons and daughters. 14 And Shelach lived thirty years, and begot Ever. 15 And Shelach lived after he begot Ever four hundred and three years, and begot (60) sons and daughters. 16 And Ever lived four and thirty years, and begot Peleg. 17 And Ever lived after he begot Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begot (61) sons and daughters. 18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begot R'eu. 19 And Peleg lived after he begot R'eu two hundred and nine years, and begot (62) sons and daughters. 20 And R'eu lived two and thirty years, and begot Serug. 21 And R'eu lived after he begot Serug two hundred and seven years, and begot (63) sons and daughters. 22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nachor. 23 And Serug lived after he begot Nachor two hundred years, and begot (64) sons and daughters. 24 And Nachor lived nine and twenty years, and begot Terach. 25 And Nachor lived after he begot Terach a hundred and nineteen years, and begot (65) sons and daughters. 26 And Terach lived seventy years, and begot Avram, (66) Nachor, and Haran.
27 Now these are the generations of Terach. Terach begot Avram, Nachor, and Haran; and Haran begot (67) Lot. 28 And Haran died in the presence of his father Terach in the land of his nativity, in Ur Casdim. 29 And Avram and Nachor took them wives: the name of Avram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milkkah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milkkah, and the father of Yiskkah.
(70) Jacob (=Israel)