“May God enlarge Japhet, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant” (ESV, Gen. 9:27).
The last of Noah’s prophecies concerns Japheth and his descendants. According to Genesis 10:2-5 Japheth’s sons included Gomer, Magog, Javan and Meshech—names familiar to Biblical readers as describing those tribes which settled in areas that would later be called Eastern Europe and Russia. “From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations” (Gen. 10:5, NKJV). An anthropologist would refer to Japheth’s descendants as the Indo-European peoples. What was the prophetic blessing? According to Genesis 9:27, they would be “enlarged.” This must refer to territorial and temporal enlargement—exactly what took place in the later history of the Indo-European peoples and their culture. Who can doubt that much of the world’s exploration as well as creative culture appeared among Japheth’s descendants?