ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Meaning: name; renown
He was probably the eldest of Noah's sons. The words “brother of Japheth the elder” in Gen. 10:21 are more correctly rendered “the elder brother of Japheth,” as in the Revised Version. Shem's name is generally mentioned first in the list of Noah's sons. He and his wife were saved in the ark (7:13). Noah foretold his preeminence over Canaan (9:23-27).
The following table shows how his his descendants dispersed after the Tower of Babel:
SHEM —Elam Persian tribes —Asshur Assyrian —Arphaxad ~ Abraham Isaac —Jacob Hebrews —Esau Edomites Ishmael Mingled with Arab tribes —Lud Lydians —Aram Syrians