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Shem

Meaning: name; renown

the first mentioned of the sons of Noah (Gen. 5:32; 6:10)

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).

He died at the age of 600 years, having been for many years contemporary with Abraham, according to the usual chronology. The Israelitish nation sprang from him (Gen. 11:10-26; 1 Chr. 1:24-27).

The following table shows how his his descendants dispersed after the Tower of Babel:

       SHEM
         —Elam
              Persian tribes
         —Asshur
              AssyrianArphaxad
              ~ Abraham
                   IsaacJacob
                          HebrewsEsau
                          Edomites
                   Ishmael
                      Mingled with Arab tribes
         —Lud
              LydiansAram
              Syrians

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