Genealogy and Nations of Shem

Gen. 10:21-25:
21 Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born.
22 The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram.
23 The sons of Aram were Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash.
24 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah; and Shelah became the father of Eber.
25 Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.


Now the discussion goes to the genealogy of Shem. He is called the father of the children of Eber for emphasis. Eber is actually his great grandson. He is also called out as the older brother of Hapheth (NASB). [The KJV says that Japheth is the elder.]. We know from Gen 9:24 that Ham was the youngest. The way of Jewish writing favors the KJV. Japheth was the elder son. The words in the NASB and other similar Bibles must be referring to Shem being the older of Ham. Verses 22-29 just list all the sons of Shem and his offspring. It is thought the word "Eber" is the root for the future word "Jew". Abraham was called Hebrew which means the children of Eber. There is very little or nothing known of those names in the table below with no offspring. The important lineage is, of course, the lineage to Jesus. What is the lineage to Jesus? The line of PELEG. God even defined the meaning of the name Peleg as "divided" or "division".

Gen. 10:26-32:
26 Joktan became the father of Almodad and Sheleph and Hazarmaveth and Jerah
27 and Hadoram and Uzal and Diklah
28 and Obal and Abimael and Sheba
29 and Ophir and Havilah and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan.
30 Now their settlement extended from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the hill country of the east.
31 These are the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, according to their nations.
32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.


Now the genealogy of Joktan is given from Gen. 26-29. The "division" referred to is considered by scholars to refer to the division that occurs at Babel. There are 70 families listed from the families of Noah. I wonder if that is a number of significance (the number 7 and multiples of it are considered perfect, complete). Seventy nations were listed here that led the later Jewish writers to attach such significance to it. This is the same number of the children of Israel that came into Egypt from Canaan (Genesis 46:27). When Israel had multiplied and was returning from Egypt by Moses, God’s chosen nation exhorted the people to “Remember the days of old. . . . When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel” (Deut. 10:22; Deut. 32:7- 8).

The number seventy has ever since been significant with the nation Israel. There were “seventy weeks were determined upon thy people” (Dan. 9:24), and Israel’s history can be understood with successive cycles of seventy “weeks” of years. Israel was led by seventy elders (Numb. 11:16, 25) and later there were seventy members of the Jewish Sanhedrin. Seventy scholars translated the Old Testament into Greek to produce the Septuagint. The Babylonian captivity lasted seventy years. Jerusalem and Herod’s temple were destroyed by the Romans about seventy years after Herod’s attempt to murder Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, in His infancy. This is food for thought.





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