Origins: The Generations of Noah: The Sons of Shem

Shalom, everyone! The following is a diagram of the generations of Noah (Noach), from his son Shem to his 8th great-grandson Terah, based upon the accounts of the Book of Genesis (Bereshith) in the Tanakh, the Book of Jasher, and the Book of Jubilees. Shem was actually the second son of Noah, though he is mentioned first in the Book of Genesis. The descendants of Shem also known as “Shemites,” “Semites” or “Semitic” in the English language. Please click twice on the diagram to expand to full size:

The Generations of Noah: From Shem to Abraham

Shem is the progenitor of the Afro-Asiatic peoples originally known collectively as the Sumerians, but later as “Shemites” or “Semites.” From the Sumerians were descended the ancient Persians (Elam), the Assyrians (Asshur), the Arameans (Aram), the Chaldeans, and Hebrews (Arpachshad), all of whom originated in Mesopotamia. Shem‘s descendants continued to settle in Mesopotamia but later migrated throughout regions known today as the Levant, southern Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, Northeast Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Shemites frequently intermarried with Hamites as they were always in close proximity to each other.

Shem married Sedeqetelebab, daughter of Eliakim, and had issue:

  • Five sons ElamAsshurArpachshadLud, and Aram; and
  • At least one daughter whose name is unknown. This daughter later married Madai, son of Japheth, and together they became the progenitors of the Medes (Jubilees 10:35-36).

According to Josephus, Shem and his descendants inhabited a territory from the Euphrates River in present-day Syria to the lands with a coastline on the Indian Ocean. The territory allotted to Shem includes Persia, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Jordan, the Arabian Peninsula, the India subcontinent, and eastern and southern Africa all the way to the Cape Peninsula. Much of Africa south of the Sahara Desert would be uninhabited until after successive migrations of both Shemites and Hamites fleeing capture from the northern invading superpowers (Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans).

Son of Shem Descendants
Elam Elam was the progenitor of the Elamites, ancestors of the Persians. Elam had issue:

  • Three sons Shushan, Machol and Harmon (Jasher 7:15).

Though the Persians were originally a Shemitic people, modern Persians today are largely a fusion of Japhetic and Shemitic peoples as their modern language, Farsi, is classified as an Indo-European language.

 Asshur Asshur established the city of Nineveh and was the progenitor of the Assyrians. Asshur had issue:

  • Two sons Mirus and Mokil (Jasher 7:15).
 Arpachshad Arpachshad was the ancestor of the Chaldeans. Arpachshad married Rasueja daughter of Shushan, son of Elam (Jubilees 8:1), and had issue:

  • At least three sons Kainam, Aschol and Anar (Jasher 7:15, Jubilees 8:1).
    • Kainam later married Melka daughter of Madai, and had one son Shelah (Jubilees 8:5). In the Books of Genesis and JasherShem is listed as Shelah‘s father; Kainam is not mentioned.
  • Arpachshad is also mentioned as the father of Kesed (Jubilees 8:6), the progenitor of the Chaldeans (Kasdim) (Jubilees 11:3).
    • Kesed had issue one son Ur and one daughter Mu’ak (Jubilees 8:6).
    • Shelah married Mu’ak daughter of Kesed (Jubilees 8:6), and had issue one son Eber (Ever/Erverh). Eber is the progenitor of the Hebrews (Israelites, IshmaelitesEdomites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Qahtanites).
      • Eber married Azurad daughter of Nebrod (Nimrod), son of Cush, grandson of Ham (Jubilees 8:7). They had two sons Peleg and Joktan (Jasher 7:19-20).
      • Peleg married Lomna daughter of Sina’ar, and had issue, two sons Reu (Yen) (Jasher 7:22, Jubilees 10:18)and Kaber (Jubilees 11:7):
        • Reu (Yen) married Ora daughter of Ur and had issue, one son Serug (Seroh) (Jubilees 11:1).
        • Kaber had issue, one daughter Melka (Jubilees 11:7).
          • Serug married Melka daughter of Kaber, and had issue one son Nahor and one daughter Karnebo (Cornebo) (Jubilees 11:8).
            • Karnebo married Abram and had issue, one daughter, Edna, also known as Amthelo (Jubilees 11:14-16, Jasher 7:50-51).
              • Nahor married Isjaka daughter of Nestag of the Chaldeans and had issue, one son Terah (Jubilees 11:10).
                • Terah married Edna/Amthelo daughter of Abram and Karnebo, and had issue, three sons Haran, Nahor and Abram. In his old age, Terah took another wife, Pelilah, who bore him one son, ZobaAbram was named after his maternal grandfather who died before he was born (Jubilees 11:14-16). Abram‘s name was changed many years later by YAH to “Abraham.” Terah and his family left the Ur Kasdim (Ur of the Chaldees) and crossed the Euphrates going west into Aram, calling their new home “Haran.” Abraham and his family migrated further south into the Land of Canaan.
      • Joktan had issue 13 sons: Almodad, Sheleph, Hazamaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab (Jasher 7:21). According to Josephus, the children of Joktan migrated a large territory east of Mesopotamia, from the Kabul River (called Cophens in ancient times) in present-day western Pakistan, to Herat in present-day western Afghanistan.
 Lud Lud (Ludim), also called “Lydians” by the Greeks, settled in western Anatolia (Turkey) and remained an independent people until they were conquered by the Persians, then the Greeks and finally the Romans. Lud had issue:

  • Two sons Bizayon and Pethor (Jasher 7:17).
 Aram Aram was the progenitor of the Aramites/Arameans, whom the Greeks called Syrians. Aram had issue:

  • Four sons Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash (Jasher 7:17):
    • Uz founded Trachonitis (Lajat) and Damascus;
    • Hul was an ancestor of the Arameans;
    • Gether was the ancestor of the Bactrians;
    • Mash was the ancestor of the Mesaneans.
 Unnamed Daughter Married Madai, son of Japheth, and together they became the progenitors of the Medes (Jubilees 10:35-36).

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