By Agnes Heller

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The model of human evolution that most closely resembles that expressed in the Table of Nations is the trellis theory of human development. In this paradigm, groups of geographically circumscribed human beings develop specific somatic characteristics based upon factors in their environment, but they are subject to periodic genetic exchanges that ensure the common evolution of the species. Genetic exchange is limited primarily by the significant, though not insurmountable barrier posed by geographic distance.

Exod 4:24—26). 53 Bellis has also hypothesized that the reason the author introduced the conflict over the Cushite wife into the context of the Pentateuch may stem from an issue of contemporary relevance for the author. 54 It is beyond contention that Moses married a foreign woman from the south,55 and the redactor of Numbers to his or her 48. Felder, Troubling, 42. Cf. John Waters, "Who was Hagar," in Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation(ed. Cain Hope Felder; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991), 187-205 (204).

28-29, Sheba and Havilah are said to be brothers, sons of Joktan and great-, great-, great-grandsons of Shem. In like manner, Meshech appears in two genealogies. He is a son of Japheth in v. 2 and a grandson of Shem in v. 23. Similarly, in v. 13, Ludim (which sounds like a plural gentilic related to the name Lud) is a son of Mitzraim and grandson of Ham, while Lud occurs in v. 34 The differences in the construction of the names Lud and Ludim may be the result of a curious feature of the genealogies for the sons of Ham—namely, the names follow a general pattern.

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