Genesis 11:10-32

May 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Bible Study, Christianity | Leave a comment
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These are the records of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old, and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood; and Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and he had other sons and daughters. Arpachshad lived thirty-five years, and became the father of Shelah; and Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Shelah, and he had other sons and daughters. Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber; and Shelah lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Eber, and he had other sons and daughters. Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg; and Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and he had other sons and daughters. Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu; and Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after he became the father of Reu, and he had other sons and daughters. Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug; and Reu lived two hundred and seven years after he became the father of Serug, and he had other sons and daughters. Serug lived thirty years, and became the father of Nahor; and Serug lived two hundred years after he became the father of Nahor, and he had other sons and daughters. Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah; and Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years after he became the father of Terah, and he had other sons and daughters. Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. Sarai was barren; she had no child. Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.

This week, we look at the lineage of Shem and follow it to Abram. This may seem like a long list of names to some people, and for many it is a “boring” part that they skip over, but these people don’t understand the importance of having these names here. They connect Abram to Adam, who is connected to Noah, thereby tracing the lineage of the Jewish people to the beginning. The names also give a basis for the actual time man has been around and even the age of the earth. Even though the life spans of many were longer then than they are today, the genealogies of the book of Genesis give a young age for the earth. Some would say that there are spans of time between the names, as if the names listed are just important people and not all of the ancestors. There is no scriptural basis for this belief and it is dangerous because it allows man to add unscriptural, outside beliefs into the Bible (like millions of years and evolution).

As with the times before, we see that this passage starts with the phrase “these are the records of the generations of”. Again, this is an indication that we are narrowing down further in the growing group of people that populate the earth to follow a specific group/family of people. This time, we are going to end with Abram and begin following him. It is important however to look at some of the other people in his line as well. We see that Shem was 100 when he had Arpachshad. Arpachshad’s grandson is Eber. There is some significance to Eber. It is believed that Eber is where the designation Hebrew came for the Jewish people. Eber had two sons, Peleg and Joktan (who isn’t mentioned here but in Gen. 10:25). It was during Peleg’s time on earth that the judgment at Babel was given and the people groups were split by family through the confusion of languages.

We then follow the line of men to Terah, who had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Here again, the phrase “these are the records of the generations of” is used, denoting that we are narrowing it down even further to get to the person of interest. We find out that Haran is the father of Lot, but he died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of Ur, of the Chaldeans. Haran is also the father of Milcah and Iscah. Nahor, Terah’s son, married his niece Milcah while Abram took Sarai, his half sister (Gen. 20:12) as his wife. After the families have been laid out, we are told a special piece of information about Sarai; she’s unable to have children. With this information in hand, we are told that Terah set out with Lot, Abram, and Sarai for the land of Canaan. We aren’t told why they were traveling to that land, and it would be easy to speculate. Did God speak to him like he did Abram? We don’t know. All we know is that Terah left with them and went to Haran. As they stopped in Haran, and settled here. Again, we don’t know why Terah decided not to continue on to Canaan, only that he didn’t. For whatever reason, he stopped at Haran, and it was here that he died. We aren’t given a time frame as to how long Terah and his family lived in Haran, but I don’t think that it was very long.

With his father now gone and his wife and nephew depending on him, Abram is faced with a choice. Does he continue on to Canaan? Does he return to the land of his fathers, Ur of the Chaldeans? Join us next week to find out! 🙂

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