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Shem

Hebrew: שֵׁם —transliteration: Shem

Meaning: name; renown

also known as: Sem

The first mentioned of this son of Noah is in Genesis 5:32 and 6:10. He was probably the eldest of Noah's sons. His descendants are called Semites and one of his early descendants was Heber (Eber) for whom the Hebrews are named.

The words “brother of Japheth the elder” in Genesis 10:21 are more correctly rendered “the elder brother of Japheth,” as in the Revised King James 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 (Genesis 11:10-26; 1 Chronicles 1:24-27).

Semites or Semitic people is a term for descendants of Shem (Sem) who speak (or spoke) the Semitic languages, such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya, Tigre, and Maltese.

The following table shows how Shem’s 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

Relatives

Genealogy

Mary, mother of JesusHeli (Eli)MatthatLeviMelchiJanna (Jannai)JosephMattathiah (Mattathias)AmosNahum ➤ Esli ➤ Naggai ➤ MaathMattathiah (Mattathias)Semei (Semein)Joseph (Yosef/Josech)JudahJoannas (Joanna)RhesaZerubbabelShealtielNeriMelchiAddiCosamElmodamEr ➤ Jose ➤ Eliezer ➤ Jorim ➤ MatthatLeviSimeonJudahJoseph ➤ Jonan ➤ EliakimMelea ➤ Menan ➤ Mattathah ➤ NathanKING DAVIDJesseObedBoazSalmonNahshonAmminadabRamHezronPerezJudahJacobIsaacABRAHAMTerahNahorSerug (Saruch)ReuPelegEberShelahCainanArphaxadSHEM (Sem)NOAHLamechMethuselahEnochJaredMahalalel (Mahalaleel)CainanEnosh (Enos)SethADAM (created by God).

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