Genesis 11:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug.

King James Bible
And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:

American Standard Version
And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Sarug.

English Revised Version
And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:

Webster's Bible Translation
And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug.

Genesis 11:20 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

After describing the division of the one family which sprang from the three sons of Noah, into many nations scattered over the earth and speaking different languages, the narrative returns to Shem, and traces his descendants in a direct line to Terah the father of Abraham. The first five members of this pedigree have already been given in the genealogy of the Shemites; and in that case the object was to point out the connection in which all the descendants of Eber stood to one another. They are repeated here to show the direct descent of the Terahites through Peleg from Shem, but more especially to follow the chronological thread of the family line, which could not be given in the genealogical tree without disturbing the uniformity of its plan. By the statement in Genesis 11:10, that "Shem, a hundred years old, begat Arphaxad two years after the flood," the chronological date already given of Noah's age at the birth of his sons (Genesis 5:32) and at the commencement of the flood (Genesis 7:11) are made still more definite. As the expression "after the flood" refers to the commencement of the flood (Genesis 9:28), and according to Genesis 7:11 the flood began in the second month, or near the beginning of the six hundredth year of Noah's life, though the year 600 is given in Genesis 7:6 in round numbers, it is not necessary to assume, as some do, in order to reconcile the difference between our verse and Genesis 5:32, that the number 500 in Genesis 5:32 stands as a round number for 502. On the other hand, there can be no objection to such an assumption. The different statements may be easily reconciled by placing the birth of Shem at the end of the five hundredth year of Noah's life, and the birth of Arphaxad at the end of the hundredth year of that of Shem; in which case Shem would be just 99 years old when the flood began, and would be fully 100 years old "two years after the flood," that is to say, in the second year from the commencement of the flood, when he begat Arphaxad. In this case the "two years after the flood" are not to be added to the sum-total of the chronological data, but are included in it. The table given here forms in a chronological and material respect the direct continuation of the one in Genesis 5, and differs from it only in form, viz., by giving merely the length of life of the different fathers before and after the birth of their sons, without also summing up the whole number of their years as is the case there, since this is superfluous for chronological purposes. But on comparing the chronological data of the two tables, we find this very important difference in the duration of life before and after the flood, that the patriarchs after the flood lived upon an average only half the number of years of those before it, and that with Peleg the average duration of life was again reduced by one half. Whilst Noah with his 950 years belonged entirely to the old world, and Shem, who was born before the flood, reached the age of 600, Arphaxad lived only 438 years, Salah 433, and Eber 464; and again, with Peleg the duration of life fell to 239 years, Reu also lived only 239 years, Serug 230, and Nahor not more than 148. Here, then, we see that the two catastrophes, the flood and the separation of the human race into nations, exerted a powerful influence in shortening the duration of life; the former by altering the climate of the earth, the latter by changing the habits of men. But while the length of life diminished, the children were born proportionally earlier. Shem begat his first-born in his hundredth year, Arphaxad in the thirty-fifth, Salah in the thirtieth, and so on to Terah, who had no children till his seventieth year; consequently the human race, notwithstanding the shortening of life, increased with sufficient rapidity to people the earth very soon after their dispersion. There is nothing astonishing, therefore, in the circumstance, that wherever Abraham went he found tribes, towns, and kingdoms, though only 365 years had elapsed since the flood, when we consider that eleven generations would have followed one another in that time, and that, supposing every marriage to have been blessed with eight children on an average (four male and four female), the eleventh generation would contain 12,582,912 couples, or 25,165,824 individuals. And is we reckon ten children as the average number, the eleventh generation would contain 146,484,375 pairs, or 292,968,750 individuals. In neither of these cases have we included such of the earlier generations as would be still living, although their number would be by no means inconsiderable, since nearly all the patriarchs from Shem to Terah were alive at the time of Abram's migration. In Genesis 11:26 the genealogy closes, like that in Genesis 5:32, with the names of three sons of Terah, all of whom sustained an important relation to the subsequent history, viz., Abram as the father of the chosen family, Nahor as the ancestor of Rebekah (cf. Genesis 11:29 with Genesis 22:20-23), and Haran as the father of Lot (Genesis 11:27).

Genesis 11:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

A.M.

1819. B.C.

2185. Serug.

Luke 3:35 Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber...

Saruch.

Cross References
Genesis 11:19
And Peleg lived after he fathered Reu 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:21
And Reu lived after he fathered Serug 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

Numbers 31:40
The persons were 16,000, of which the LORD's tribute was 32 persons.

1 Kings 20:16
And they went out at noon, while Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the booths, he and the thirty-two kings who helped him.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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