Kinship Of The Biblical Nations
All scriptural references are from "The Message", unless otherwise noted

There were so many different peoples in the old testament: Israelites, Edomites, Canaanites, Amalekites, etc. that one wonders how they relate to one another. We searched the Scriptures to sort them out:



These were descendants from Noah's son, Shem, through Abraham (Genesis 11:10-27). Abraham had a son named Isaac, who had a son named Jacob, who God renamed "Israel". Jacob/Israel had twelve sons, and these were the forefathers to the nation of Israel. The Israelites nation was divided into twelve tribes according to these twelve forefathers: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Joseph and Asher. However, when God separated the tribes, he set aside the Levites (from Levi) as a priestly group, and replaced it with the tribe springing from Joseph's firstborn son, Manasseh. Jews consider themselves as descended from the Israelites. This is why Israel is a Jewish nation today.
Genesis 25:19,26, Genesis 32:28
Genesis 41:51, Exodus 1:1-5
Numbers 1:4-15, Numbers 1:49-51



The Ishmaelites were an "uncle nation" to the Israelites because Ishmael was the half brother of Isaac (who was the father of Israel). God promised Ishmael would become a nation with twelve chieftains: Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. Muslims believe that they are descended from the Ishmaelites.
Genesis 16:11-16, Genesis 21:18
Genesis 17:20, Genesis 25:13-16



Edom, a.k.a. Esau, was the twin brother of Jacob/Israel, therefore they were a direct brother tribe to the Israelites (Genesis 25:24-30). God decreed that the Israelites were not to hate the Edomites due to their brotherly ties (Deuteronomy 23:7)(KJV, NIV).



Moab was one of the sons of Lot. Lot was Abraham's nephew (Genesis 11:27), making him a cousin of Isaac, the father of Jacob/Isreal. After Lot and his daughters escaped the destruction of Sodom, they settled in a mountain near the land of Zoar (Genesis 19:30). There were no men around for the girls to marry and the girls were concerned about carrying on the family inheritance, so they caused Lot to become drunk, made themselves pregnant through him, and bore sons (Genesis 19:31-36). This occurred before God gave the laws against incest (Leviticus 18). The firstborn daughter gave birth to Moab, who became the father of the nation of the Moabites. Therefore, the Moabites were a cousin nation to the Israelites.
Genesis 19: 14-37



Same story as for the Moabites, except that this was Ben-Ammi, the son of the second daughter of Lot. Therefore, the Ammonites were also a cousin nation to the Israelites.
Genesis 19:14-38



Canaan was the son of Ham, making him the grandson of Noah (Genesis 9:18). Canaan had two sons, named Sidon and Heth. It is interesting to note that Esau took wives from the daughters of Heth (Genesis 26:34-35, 27: 46) (KJV). Canaan also fathered the following nations: Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and the Hamathites. So, all these Canaanite families were descended from Noah's son, Ham. Since Ham was the brother of Shem, and Shem was the ancestor of the Israelites, this makes the Canaanites and the Israelites cousin nations.
Genesis 10: 15-20