The old guys (Lk 3:35-3:35)

“The son of Serug,

The son of Reu,

The son of Peleg,

The son of Eber,

The son of Shelah.”


τοῦ Σεροὺχ τοῦ Ῥαγαῦ τοῦ Φάλεκ τοῦ Ἔβερ τοῦ Σαλὰ


This section is based on Genesis, chapter 11:14-23, which has more details about these people.  Luke listed the names without indicating how they are connected, Nahor was the son of Serug (τοῦ Σεροὺχ), the son of Reu (τοῦ Ῥαγαῦ), the son of Peleg (τοῦ Φάλεκ), the son of Eber (τοῦ Ἔβερ), the son of Shelah (τοῦ Σαλὰ), just as he has done throughout this genealogy.  According to Genesis, Shelah, had a son, Eber, who had a son, Peleg.  There was no mention of his brother Joktan and his 13 Arab sons here, since Peleg seems more important.  Peleg had a son, Reu, who had a son, Serug, who in turn had a son, named Nahor, who was the grandfather of Abraham.  1 Chronicles, chapter 1:24-27 has the same genealogy.

The priests in the days of the high priest Joiakim (Neh 12:12-12:21)

“In the days of Joiakim, the priests, and the heads of the ancestral houses of the Seraiah family was Meraiah. For the Jeremiah family it was Hananiah. For the Ezra family it was Meshullam. For the Amariah family it was Jehohanan. For the Malluchi family it was Jonathan. For the Shebaniah family it was Joseph. For the Harim family it was Adna. For the Meraioth family it was Helkai. For the Iddo family it was Zechariah. For the Ginnethon family it was Meshullam. For the Abijah family it was Zichri. For the family of Miniamin it was unknown. For the Moadiah family it was Piltai. For the Bilgah family it was Shammua. For the Shemaiah family it was Jehonathan. For the Joiarib family it was Mattenai. For the Jedaiah family it was Uzzi. For the Sallai family it was Kallai. For the Amok family it was Eber. For the Hilkiah family it was Hashabiah. For the Jedaiah family it was Nethanel.”

Joiakim was the son of Jeshua and the high priest before Eliashib, sometime around 500 BCE. There are 3 families are not mentioned elsewhere, the Meraioth family, the missing Miniamin family leader, and the Joiarib family compared to the list of signers in chapter 10. Otherwise all these families have been mentioned before in this work. Family names were very important.

The sons of Shashak (1 Chr 8:22-8:25)

“Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, Iphdeiah, and Penuel were the sons of Shashak.”

This Shashak, who was the son of the Benjaminite Beriah, had 11 sons. (1) Ishpan, (9) Anthothijah, and (10) Iphdeiah appear only here. (2) Eber was the same name as the son of Elpaal, while (3) Eliel is the same name as a son of Shimei. (4) Abdon was the name of one of the judges that preceded Samson in Judges, chapter 12, but there were also a couple of other people with the name of Abdon. There were 12 other people with the name of (5) Zichri with 4 of them being Benjaminites including the son of Shimei just mentioned before this. There were 9 people named (6) Hanan, but none of them Benjaminites besides this one. 13 people had the name of (7) Hananiah, while 5 others were named (8) Elam. There were 2 people with the name of (11) Penuel, but that was a town on the east side of the Jordan River that Gideon had some trouble with in Judges, chapter 8.

The descendents of Elpaal in Ono and Lod (1 Chr 8:12-8:12)

“The sons of Elpaal were Eber, Misham, and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod with its towns.”

The Benjaminite Elpaal had 3 sons. This (1) Eber is not to be confused with the son of Shem, the father of the Hebrews. (2) Misham and (3) Shemed only appear here. Supposedly these 3 men build the cities of Ono, about 30 miles northwest of Jerusalem in the plain of Ono, and Lod, which may be the same as Lydda, near Joppa.

The seven clans of Gad (1 Chr 5:13-5:13)

“Their seven Gad kindred according to their clans were Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia, and Eber.”

There seems to be 7 clans of Gad. There are 11 biblical people with the name of Michael, including an angel. Surprisingly enough, there are 21 biblical people with the name of Meshullam. Sheba is the name of a place and a number of people. This is the only mention of Jorai, Jacan, and Zia. There were at least 5 people with the name of Eber.


From Shem to Abraham (1 Chr 1:24-1:27)

“Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah; Eber, Peleg, Reu; Serug, Nahor, Terah; Abram, that is, Abraham.”

This section is based on Genesis, chapter 11, which has more details about these people. Here the names are listed without indicating how they are connected. This was also a partial duplication of the preceding verses. Now we only interested in Shem as the other two sons of Noah fade away. According to Genesis, (1) Shem’s 3rd son, (2) Arpachshad, had a son, (3) Shelah, who in turn had a son, Eber. (4) Eber also had a son, (5) Peleg. There is no mention of his brother Joktan and his 13 Arab sons here. Now Peleg seems more important, the reverse of the preceding section. This genealogy went into new territory as it follows the lineage of Peleg, not Joktan. Peleg had a son, (6) Reu, who shows up in the genealogies about Abraham. Reu also had a son, (7) Serug, who in turn had a son, named (8) Nahor. Nahor is the name of Abram’s grandfather and his brother. The older Nahor had a son, (9) Terah, who had 3 named sons, (10) Abram, Nahor, and Haran, so that Nahor was the name of the father of Terah and his son also. Now we get to the family background of Abram. Abram, who appears to be the oldest, took a wife named Sarai, who was barren. Sarai was his half sister, since Terah also had a concubine. Haran had three children, Lot, Milcah, and Iscah. However, he died early before his father Terah had died. They all lived at Ur in the Chaldeans, probably in northwest Mesopotamia. The younger brother of Abram, Nahor, took a wife named Milcah, who was the daughter of his brother Haran, who had died, the sister of Lot and Iscah. Thus Haran married his niece. Haran is a name that will appear again. More importantly, Terah became the father of Abram. So we have about 10 generations from Noah to Abram, about 400 years if you go by the first born. There is never any mention of daughters.

The descendents of Arpachshad (1 Chr 1:18-1:19)

“Arpachshad became the father of Shelah. Shelah became the father of Eber. To Eber were born two sons. The name of the one was Peleg. In his days the earth was divided.”

Once again, we are dependent on Genesis, chapter 10, for comparisons. Arpachshad’s family seems to be the most important since this 3rd son of Shem has only one son mentioned here. His name is Shelah, although there are other biblical characters with this name. He also has only son named Eber. He seems to be very important, although there are a couple of other people named Eber in biblical literature. His name with an “h” became Heber which then established him as the origin of the word Hebrew or Hebrew race. An oral tradition around Heber held that he would not participate in the building of the Tower of Babel so that the original Hebrew language was never confused with the other languages of the world. Eber had two sons, Peleg and Joktan. Here there is an indication that the world was divided, which is what the name Peleg indicates. This may be an allusion to the Tower of Babel incident which meant that people no longer shared a common language.