Genesis 10:22
The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
10:15-32 The posterity of Canaan were numerous, rich, and pleasantly seated; yet Canaan was under a Divine curse, and not a curse causeless. Those that are under the curse of God, may, perhaps, thrive and prosper in this world; for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us. The curse of God always works really, and always terribly. Perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work so that others can see it; or a slow curse, and does not work soon; but sinners are reserved by it for a day of wrath Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing. Abram and his seed, God's covenant people, descended from Eber, and from him were called Hebrews. How much better it is to be like Eber, the father of a family of saints and honest men, than the father of a family of hunters after power, worldly wealth, or vanities. Goodness is true greatness.Twenty-six of the primitive nations are descended from Shem, of which five are immediate.

(45) Elam was settled in a part of the modern Persia, to which he gave name. This name seems to be preserved in Elymais, a province of that country bordering on the Dijlah, and now included in Khusistan. It was early governed by its own kings Genesis 14:1, and continued to occupy a distinct place among the nations in the time of the later prophets Isaiah 22:6; Jeremiah 49:34; Ezekiel 32:24. Its capital was Shushan or Susa Daniel 8:2, now Shuster.

(46) Asshur seems to have originally occupied a district of Mesopotamia, which was bounded on the east by the Tigris Genesis 2:14. The inviting plains and slopes on the east of the Tigris would soon occasion a migration of part of the nation across that river. It is possible there may have been an ancient Asshur occupying the same region even before the flood Genesis 2:14.

(47) Arpakshad is traced in Ἀῤῥαπαχῖτις Arrapachitis, Arrhapachitis, a region in the north of Assyria. V. Bohlen and Benfey identify it with Ariapakshata, denoting a country beside Aria. Gesenius renders it border or stronghold of the Kasdim; but the components of the word are uncertain. The nations descended from Arpakshad are noted at the close on account of their late origin, as well as their import for the subsequent narrative.

(48) Lud is usually identified with the Lydians, Λυδοὶ Ludoi, who by migration at length reached and gave their name to a part of the west coast of Asia Minor.

(49) Aram gave name to the upper parts of Mesopotamia and the parts of Syria north of Palestine. Hence, we read of Aram Naharaim (of the two rivers), Aram Dammesek (of Damascus), Aram Maakah on the southwest border of Damascus, about the sources of the Jordan, Aram Beth Rechob in the same neighborhood, and Aram Zoba to the north of Damascus. The name is perhaps varied in the Ἄριμοι Arimoi of Homer (Iliad 2:783) and Strabo (xiii. 4, 6). From Aram are descended four later nations.

21. Unto Shem—The historian introduces him with marked distinction as "the father of Eber," the ancestor of the Hebrews. Of Elam came the Elamites or Persians: see Genesis 14:9 Isaiah 21:2 Jeremiah 49:34 Daniel 8:2 Acts 2:9.

Asshur was father of the Assyrians: see Genesis 10:11.

Of Arphaxad the Chaldeans, as many conceive; or, as others, the inhabitants of that part of Assyria, from him called Arphaxitis, which Ptolemy corruptly calls Arrapachitis.

Lud was father of the Lydians, a well-known people in Asia the Less.

Of Aram the Syrians, known by the name of Aramites, both in sacred and other authors: compare with this Genesis 22:21. The children of Shem,.... Whose names are

Elam and Ashur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram; and who, as Josephus (f) says, inhabited Asia, from Euphrates to the Indian ocean: his first born, Elam, was the father of the Elymaeans, from whom sprung the Persians, as the same writer observes, and his posterity are called Elamites, Acts 2:10 their country Elam, and is sometimes mentioned with Media, when the Persians and Medes are intended, Isaiah 21:2 see also Isaiah 22:6, &c. in Daniel's time, Shushan, in the province of Elam, was the seat of the kings of Persia: the country of Elymais, so called from this man, is said by Pliny (g) to be divided from Susiane by the river Eulaeus, and to join with Persia; and the famous city of Elymais, the metropolis of the country, is placed by Josephus (h) in Persia. Ashur, the second son of Shem, gives name to Assyria, a country frequently mentioned in Scripture; and which, according to Ptolemy (i), was bounded on the north by part of Armenia the great, and the mountain Niphates, on the west by Mesopotamia and the river Tigris, on the south by Susiane, and on the east by part of Media. Strabo says (k) they call Babylonia, and great part of the country about it, Assyria, in which was Ninus or Nineveh, the chief city of the Assyrian empire; and which was built by Ashur, as Josephus (l) affirms, and says he gave the name of Assyrians to his subjects: Arphaxad, the third son of Shem, from him that part of Assyria, which lay northward next to Armenia, was called Arphaxitis, as it is probable that was its original name, though corruptly called by Ptolemy (m) Arrapachitis: Josephus says (n), he gave name to the Arphaxadaeans, whom he ruled over, now called Chaldeans; and indeed the name of the Chaldeans may as well be derived from the latter part of Arphaxad's name, "Chashad", as from Chesed, the son of Nahor, and brother of Abraham, as it more commonly is; since the Chaldeans were called Chasdim before Chesed was born, and were a nation when Abraham came out of Ur, before Chesed could be old or considerable enough to build towns and found a nation; see Genesis 11:31 though Bochart treats this as a mere dream, yet he is obliged to have recourse to the usual refuge, that Ur was called Ur of the Chaldees, by anticipation. The fourth son of Shem was Lud, from whom sprung the Lydians, a people of Asia minor, and whose country is called Lydia, including Mysia and Caria, which all lay by the river Maeander; and Lud, in the Phoenician language, signifies bending and crooked, as that river was, being full of windings and turnings: some think that the posterity of Lud are carried too far off from those of his brethren, but know not where else to fix them. From Aram, the last son of Shem, sprung the Aramaeans, called by the Greeks Syrians, as Josephus (o) observes; and by Homer (p) and Hesiod (q) and so says Strabo (r); some by the Arimi understand the Syrians, now called Arami; and elsewhere (s) he observes, that they who are by us called Syrians, are by the Syrians themselves called Aramaeans, and this is the name they give to themselves to this day: the country inhabited by them included Mesopotamia and Syria, and particularly all those places that have the name of Aram added to them, as Padan Aram, and Aram Naharaim (which is Mesopotamia), Aram of Damascus, Aram Zobah, Aram Maacha, and Aram Beth Rehob, Genesis 28:2 and the title of Psalm 60:1, the Septuagint version here adds, "and Cainan", but without any authority.

(f) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. (g) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 27. (h) Antiqu. l. 12. c. 8. sect. 1.((i) Geograph. l. 6. c. 1.((k) Ib. l. 16. p. 507. (l) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. (m) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 1.) (n) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.). So R. Gedaliah, in Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 76. 2.((o) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.) (p) Iliad. 2.((q) Theogonia. (r) Geograph. l. 13. p. 431. l. 16. p. 540. (s) Ib. l. 1. p. 28.

The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. The sons of Shem] This is the account by P, corresponding to the previous mention of “the sons of Japheth,” Genesis 10:2, and “the sons of Ham,” Genesis 10:6.

Elam] The name of a people and a country east of the Tigris and north of the Persian Gulf. The Elamites were at one time supreme in Western Asia (see note on Genesis 14:1). They do not appear to have been a Semitic race; but the place of Elam in this verse probably indicates the easternmost people with which the descendants of Shem were brought into contact.

Asshur] See note on Genesis 10:11. The Assyrians were the most powerful of the Semitic peoples.

Arpachshad] This name used to be identified with Ἀῤῥαπαχῖτις, a mountainous region north of Assyria, but this does not explain the two final syllables in which we naturally recognize Chesed, or the Chasdim, viz. = the “Chaldeans,” a people dwelling in the south of Babylonia. Sayce explains the word to mean “the wall of Chesed,” i.e. “the fortress-protected country of the Chaldeans.” Cheyne thinks that the name in this passage and elsewhere is an erroneous fusion of two names, “Arpach” and “Chesed.” (Z.A.T.W. 1897, p. 190.

Lud] Presumably the Lydians of Asia Minor, though it is difficult to explain why they should be here associated with the “sons of Shem.”

Aram] The people inhabiting the whole country north-east of Palestine, the northern region of the Euphrates Valley (Aram-Naharaim) and the country of Syria proper (Aram-Dammesek).

The people denoted by Aram were destined to exercise a great influence throughout Western Asia. The Aramaean language gradually prevailed over the other Semitic dialects, and before the Christian era it had displaced even the Hebrew language among the Jews. The Aramaic tongue spoken by our Lord and the Apostles was like the language in which portions of the books of Ezra and Daniel were written.Verse 22. - The children of Shem were twenty-six in number, of whom five were sons. Elam. Elymais, a region adjoining Snaiana and Media, stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Rod Sea; the people first met with as Persians. And Asshur. The ancestor of the Assyrians (vide ver. 11). And Arphaxad. A region in the north of Assyria; the Arrhapacitis of Ptolemy (Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch). The explanation of the name is "fortress of the Chaldaeans ' (Ewald); "highland of the Chaldaeans" (Knobel). And Lud. The Lydians of Asia Minor, to which they appear to have migrated from the land of Shem (Josephus, Bochart, Keil, Kalisch). And Aram. "The high land;" Mesopotamia being the Aram of the two rivers, and Syria the Aram of Damascua Descendants of Shem. - Genesis 10:21. For the construction, vid., Genesis 4:26. Shem is called the father of all the sons of Eber, because two tribes sprang from Eber through Peleg and Joktan, viz., the Abrahamides, and also the Arabian tribe of the Joktanides (Genesis 4:26.). - On the expression, "the brother of Japhet הגּדול," see Genesis 9:24. The names of the five sons of Shem occur elsewhere as the names of the tribes and countries; at the same time, as there is no proof that in any single instance the name was transferred from the country to its earliest inhabitants, no well-grounded objection can be offered to the assumption, which the analogy of the other descendants of Shem renders probable, that they were originally the names of individuals. As the name of a people, Elam denotes the Elymaeans, who stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea, but who are first met with as Persians no longer speaking a Semitic language. Asshur: the Assyrians who settled in the country of Assyria, Ἀτουρία, to the east of the Tigris, but who afterwards spread in the direction of Asia Minor. Arphaxad: the inhabitants of Ἀῤῥαπαχῖχτις in northern Assyria. The explanation given of the name, viz., "fortress of the Chaldeans" (Ewald), "highland of the Chaldeans" (Knobel), "territory of the Chaldeans" (Dietrich), are very questionable. Lud: the Lydians of Asia Minor, whose connection with the Assyrians is confirmed by the names of the ancestors of their kings. Aram: the ancestor of the Aramaeans of Syria and Mesopotamia.
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