Genesis 10:5

Hebrew Bible

3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittim, and the Dodanim. 5 From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to its language, according to their families, by their nations. 6 The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

Zephaniah 2:11

Hebrew Bible

9 Therefore, as surely as I live,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, “be certain that Moab will become like Sodom and the Ammonites like Gomorrah. They will be overrun by weeds, filled with salt pits, and permanently desolate. Those of my people who are left will plunder their belongings; those who are left in Judah will take possession of their land.” 10 This is how they will be repaid for their arrogance, for they taunted and verbally harassed the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 11 The Lord will terrify them, for he will weaken all the gods of the earth. All the coastlands of the nations40 will worship the Lord in their own lands. 12 “You Ethiopians will also die by my sword!” 13 The Lord will attack the north and destroy Assyria. He will make Nineveh a heap of ruins; it will be as barren as the desert.

 Notes and References

"... The nature of YHWH’s actions against “all the gods of the earth” is cryptically described as starvation in 2:11. The phrase with gods other than YHWH as the indirect object sheds light on the nature of the conflict behind the intervention, since it consistently affirms Yahweh’s superiority to other gods (compare 1 Chronicles 16:25 / Psalm 96:4; Psalm 89:7). Since other uses of the phrase do not include any actions against human beings, and because 2:11b explicitly mentions deities, “them” in 2:11a is most likely cataphoric, and so does not refer in the first place to Moab and Ammon. Consequently, 2:11 is less a “summary-appraisal” of 2:8–10 than it is a complementary and contrasting image of deliverance. At the same time, since the deities associated with Moab and Ammon surely figure among “all the gods of the earth, YHWH’s action is not without consequence for Moab and Ammon.” Despite a lack of clarity regarding the nature of this divine intervention and its effects in the supernatural realm, its outcomes in human terms are clear. YHWH’s demonstrated superiority to all other gods incites non-Israelites to worship him, wherever and whoever they are. While Marvin Sweeney takes the subject of the verb in 2:11 to be “all the gods of the earth” and so speaks of their “submission” to the God of Israel, it is more likely that non-Israelites are in view. Note, first, that the only other occurrence in the Hebrew Bible of the phrase “all the coastlands of the nations” in Genesis 10:5 refers to human beings, not to deities. The syntagm is particularly striking in the Genesis context for its inclusion of all humanity, as after the deluge “all the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, each one according to his language.” Second, not only the phrase, but also the key term “coastlands” is consistently restricted to places (coastlands, Isaiah 11:11; perhaps Psalm 97:11) or people (Esther 1:10; Psalm 72:10; Isaia 20:6; note the parallel use in Isaiah 40:15), and never refers to deities. There is thus no precedent for understanding this phrase as a reference to various deities, and the alternative proposed here is plausible even if it involves a sharp semantic contrast ..."

Timmer, D. C. "The Non-Israelite Nations in Zephaniah: Conceptual Coherence and the Relationship of the Parts to the Whole" in Boda, Mark J., et al. (eds.) The Book of the Twelve and the New Form Criticism (pp. 245-263) Society of Biblical Literature, 2015

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