These were people with different languages who lived on earth after Noah's flood, but before God confounded Noah's descendants language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
In chapter 10 of Genesis we see listed the "generations" of Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
You can read most of this chapter on your own, i.e. without
however there are some key verses that must be noted.
Note: These were people with different languages who lived on earth after Noah's flood, but before God confounded Noah's descendants language, that they may not understand one another's speech. See Gen. 11:1-5Genesis 10:1
Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.  The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.  And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.  And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
Notice that there were already Gentiles, races other than Noah's, in their lands, i.e. gentile nations from the sixth day creation (Gen. 1:26). Look up the word "gentiles" in Strong's concordance. Noah's offspring would come in contact with the gentiles as they (Noah's offspring) spread forth, and it would be by these that the nations would be divided in their lands.
including Biblical historians,
often overlook a very important fact about the names of peoples.
And that is that folks are often called by the name of
the geographical location,
the land, in which they live.
For example, if you are from Texas you might be called a Texan.
Can you tell what nationality one is if he/she is called a Texan?
In the New Testament the word for "Jew" is ioudaios.
Look it up in Strong's concordance.
It means either a person who is
of the tribe of Judah
or a person who resides in the land of Judea.
You must determine which meaning
is intended in a particular verse
by the context of that verse, i.e. you must rightly divide the scripture,
which in many cases is accomplished by simply reading it correctly
in the first place without trying to make it fit some traditional teaching.
Let's look at another Biblical example
and dispel another myth of ignorance.
You'll often hear it said that Moses married a Kenite, a descendent of Cain.
The following verse seems to confirm that.
And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.
Wasn't Jethro Moses' father in law?
Was he a Kenite?
When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt;
So who was Midian?
Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.  And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
was definitely not of the lineage of Cain,
the father of the Kenites.
How is it then that the Bible says Moses' father in law (and therefore Moses' wife) was a Kenite?
Because he lived in the land of the Kenites.
If he had lived in Texas, Moses' father in law would have been called a Texan.
Hopefully you can see that it does not take a "rocket scientist" to use a little common sense.
historians were more attuned to this still common practice of identifying
people from the land in which they are from,
the histories of the origins of the nations would not be so confusing to them.
The ancient Greeks of the era of Plato and Aristotle
are not the same race as the "olive skinned" people who inhabit Greece today.
The ancient Greeks are called "danoi"
in the history books
and were of the tribe of Dan, i.e. they were Hebrews.
You can look it up for yourself, it's there.
Let's continue then with Genesis 10:6.
Genesis 10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
Remember, Joseph married an Egyptian.
Does that necessarily tell you what race she was?
No it does not.
You cannot tell the national origin or race of a person who is just called an American,
though America is predominantly Caucasian.
 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
He became a "mighty one" or hero, i.e. he became a despot.
 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
Nimrod was brazen and of course God could see him.
 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
The word "Babel" means "confusion" and the "confusion"
spoken of here
is man's "confusing of the truth" from our Father rather than learning and listening to Him.
Remember, God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), man is!
Man, because he knows not the Word of God,
makes up confusing stories, or shall we say stories that confuse the people,
like "apples" and "snakes" and "races from incest" and "rapture theories",
and on and on and on.
Nimrod made up stories that other gods were God, or even more outrageous that he was god.
And as it was in the beginning so shall it be in the end.
The great Babylon (from the word Babel)
of the Book of Revelation is the great "confusion" or "deception" of the end time.
You either have the truth of God's
Word, His seal, in your mind,
or you already live in Babylon, which is "story land", the State of Confusion.
You better get out of there!
We continue now with the generations.
Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,  And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.  And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,  And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.  And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,  And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,  And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,  And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.  And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.  These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.
 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
It is from "eber" that we get "ebrews"
who were the people who came from across the great river Euphrates.
 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.  And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.  And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.  And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.  And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazar-maveth, and Jerah,  And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,  And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,  And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.  And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.
 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
In #2239 we will conclude Part 1 of the great Book of Genesis after we discover how man attempts to reach heaven with a pile of his own confusion.
To study the 1st. 11 chapters of Genesis word for word: (live link to) All 11 chapters in one complete study
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.