Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Who Begat Whom

Genealogies can skip generations.

Genesis 10:15-32 (NKJV)

Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite; the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. These were the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands and in their nations.

And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder. The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aramwere Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations.

These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.

The passage seems to zoom in on Eber – Shem’s great-grandson (or great-great-grandson). Eber is mentioned even before Shem’s sons are named.

This part of Genesis is tracing the genealogy from Noah to Abraham, and Eber is a key stopover along the way. Eber is the root of Hebrew. This text shows Eber as the great-grandson of Shem. However, the Septuagint has Arphaxad begetting Cainan and Cainan begetting Salah, making Eber Shem’s great-great-grandson. That agrees with Luke 3:36.

Extra generations are no big deal in Hebrew genealogies. That’s why this passage calls Shem, “the father of all the children of Eber.” Some translations render this as, “the ancestor of all the children of Eber.”

That’s OK but not literal. The Hebrew word used has the same root as abba.

We’ve been talking about praying to the Lord in the same way we would talk to our boss. This isn’t the norm in America and that’s not good. Christianity isn’t what it should be.

We need a revival. Ask the Lord to deliver America from its spiritual doldrums.

And ask Him what He wants you to do about it.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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