Genesis 11:10
This is the account of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad.
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 11:10-26
Post-Diluvial GenealogyG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 11:10-26
Race of ManMerle D'Aubigne.Genesis 11:10-26
The Generations of ShemT. H. Leale.Genesis 11:10-26
The Order of Grace is -W. Roberts Genesis 11:10-26
Divine TraditionsR.A. Redford Genesis 11:10-32
A genealogy of Shem and of Terah, in order to set forth clearly the position of Abraham and that of his nephew Lot, and their connection with Ur of the Chaldees and Canaan. The chosen family is about to be separated from their country, but we are not told that there was no light of God shining in Ur of the Chaldees. Probably there was the tradition of Shem's knowledge handed down through the generations. Arphaxad was born two years after the Flood; Salah, thirty-seven years; Eber, sixty-seven years; Peleg, one hundred and one years; Reu, one hundred and thirty-one years; Serug, one hundred and sixty-three years; Nahor, one hundred and ninety-three years; Terah, the father of Abraham, two hundred and twenty-two years - no great length of time for traditions to be preserved. The call of Abram was not merely his separation from idolatry, but his consecration to the special vocation of founding the religious institutions which were to be connected with his family. - R.

These are the generations of Shem.

II. THE DIRECTION OF THE STREAM OF HISTORY TOWARDS THE MESSIAH. "God calmly and resolutely proceeds with His purpose of mercy. In the accomplishment of this eternal purpose He moves with all the solemn grandeur of long suffering patience. One day is with Him as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Out of Adam's three sons He selects one to be the progenitor of the seed of the woman. Out of Noah's three sons He again selects one. And now out of Terah's three is one to be selected. Among the children of this one He will choose a second one, and among his a third one before He reaches the holy family. Doubtless this gradual mode of proceeding is in keeping with the hereditary training of the holy nation, and the due adjustment of the Divine measures for at length bringing the fulness of the Gentiles in the covenant of everlasting peace."

III. THE GRADUAL, NARROWING OF HUMAN LIFE. "In the manifold weakenings of the highest life endurance, in the genealogy of them, there are, nevertheless, distinctly observable a number of abrupt breaks —

1. From Shem to Arphaxad, or from 600 years to 438;

2. From Eber to Peleg, or from 464 years to 239.

3. From Serug to Nahor, or from 230 years to 148; beyond which last, again, there extend the lives of Terah, with his 205, and of Abraham, with his 175 years. Farther on we have Isaac with 180 years, Jacob 147, and Joseph 110. So gradually does the human term of life approach the limit set by the Psalmist (Psalm 90:10). Moses reached the age of 120 years. The deadly efficacy goes on still in the bodily sphere, although the counter working of salvation has commenced in the spiritual."

(T. H. Leale.)

The general title is expressed thus, "These are the generations of Shem." Of these Moses was speaking (chap. Genesis 10), so far as Peleg, whose name was given him upon the occasion of dividing the earth; by way of parenthesis, he includes the history and cause of this earth's division, in the former part of this chapter. He now returns to draw up the line full unto Abram, about which this title is set in the front. Consider the use of all these mentioned in the title.

1. To point where the Church of God was after the flood.

2. To show God's providence in singling out some generations in the world for His Church, these and not others.

3. To make known to us the state of the Church either for truth or for corruption at this time.

4. To continue to us the right chronology of the world, not for speculation only, but for pious practice to us, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

5. To make us better understand some passages of the prophets mentioning these persons or their conditions.

6. To show us the true line of Christ, and to confirm the New Testament given by Him. Every generation in the Church from the flood is but to bring Christ nearer.

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

The human race may be compared to an immense temple ruined, but now rebuilding, the numerous compartments of which represent the several nations of the earth. True, the different portions of the edifice present great anomalies; but yet the foundation and the cornerstone are the same. All spring from the same level, and all should be directed to the same end. The walls of the building have been thrown down, and the stones scattered by a great earthquake; yet a mighty Architect has appeared, and His powerful hand is gradually raising the temple wails. The only difference between one side of the edifice and the other is, that here the restoration is somewhat further advanced, while there it is less forward. Alas! some places are still overgrown with thorns, where not a single stone appears. Yet the great Architect may one day look down on these desolate spots, and there the building may suddenly and rapidly spring up, reaching the summit long before those lofty walls which seem to have outgrown the others, but which are still standing half-raised and incomplete. "The last shall be first."

(Merle D'Aubigne.)

1. God's providence hath pointed out His Church and recorded its line, after as before the flood; herein helping the faith of following ages.

2. God chooseth what generations and families He pleaseth to pitch His Church in them.

3. A family God may choose out of the world to set His name upon them, when the world is passed by; a few or little remnant God reserveth.

4. Every generation in the Church from the flood is but to bring Christ nearer.

5. Times are appointed for the birth of everyone in the Church for His work (ver. 10).

6. Length of days, etc., God giveth to His chief witnesses, as Shem was to Isaac's days; much work he had to do in that compass of time.

7. The eminentest in the Church, may have many children degenerate from it. More care should be used to keep them closer to God (ver. 11).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

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