Table of Nations
The biblical redactors viewed the different civilizations and language-groups of the ancient world originating from a single family - Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives - survivors of the Flood which destroyed the antediluvian civilization and its sinful multitudes.
This is a rather simple but obvious way to explain the re-population of the earth following the deluge. And there are hints that there is a certain historical reality behind the lists of descendants / nations coming from the three lines of Noah's sons.
An important part of the story is the fate of Cush and his three brothers - Mizraim, Phut and Canaan - whom the biblical redactor recognises as the eponymous founders of the lands of Kush (Ethiopia), Musri (Egypt), Put (Libya) and Canaan (Lebanon/Phoenicia).
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this entry was last changed Oct 11, 2010