Noah’s Sons Part 4: Shem

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Genesis 10

21 And sons were also born to Shem (the older brother of Japheth), the father of all the sons of Eber.

22 The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah was the father of Eber. 25 Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg because in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. 26 Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan. 30 Their dwelling place was from Mesha all the way to Sephar in the eastern hills. 31 These are the sons of Shem according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, and according to their nations.

The son of Noah named Shem played a special role for the family. Shem’s son Arphaxad had a son names Shelah, and then Shelah had a son named Eber. Later in time the nation of Israel was named after Eber, calling them the Hebrews. Eber had a son named Peleg, and as we see in verse 25 the Earth was divided. Remember, this lineage comes a short time after the Flood of Noah, and not only did the rains come during that devastating flood, but there was great tectonic and volcanic activity as well. So apparently there was a great divide, conceivably fairly new still, when Peleg was born. And in fact, lingustics experts confirm these genealogies by the fact that there was a unified language at one point. Peleg, the son of Eber, who was born when the Earth was divided and left behind large swaths of water, later became the Greek word Pelagos, which means “the sea”. The other son of Eber, Joktan, had many sons as noted in verses 26-29. And these became the Arabians. Shem, then, is the father of the Jews and of the Arabs. Furthermore, we also see in Genesis 21 a spiritual shared father in Abraham for the Middle East. His son by the handmaiden Hagar was named Ishmael and was the father of the Mulsims, and his son with his wife Sarah was Isaac and was the father of the Jews, including the lineage leading to Jesus the Christ.

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  1. Ah this is so, so rich. I just live it. But you robbed us here in this part. You didn’t go on to give some geographic references to where Shems descendants settled like you just did for Ham and Japhet.
    Loving this !

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