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.

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.

The patriarchs after the flood (Gen 11:10-11:26)

 “These are the descendants of Shem. When Shem was one hundred years old, he became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood.  Shem lived after the birth of Arpachshad five hundred years, and had other sons and daughters.”

Now we only interested in Shem as the other two sons of Noah fade away.  At age of 100, 2 years after the flood, Shem has a son, Arpachshad, who was his third son, not the first born.  Like the other genealogies he has other sons and daughters and died at the age of 600 years old.

 “When Arpachshad had lived thirty-five years, he became the father of Shelah.  Arpachshad lived after the birth of Shelah four hundred three years, and had other sons and daughters.”

Arpachshad at age 35 had a son, Shelah, but he also had other sons and daughters and died at the age of 438 years old.

“When Shelah had lived thirty years, he became the father of Eber.  Shelah lived after the birth of Eber four hundred three years, and had other sons and daughters.”

Shelah at age 30 had a son, Eber, plus other sons and daughters and died at the age of 433 years old.

 “When Eber had lived thirty-four years, he became the father of Peleg.  Eber lived after the birth of Peleg four hundred thirty years, and had other sons and daughters.”

Eber at age 34 had a son, Peleg, plus other sons and daughters.  There is no mention of Joktan and his thirteen Arab sons.  Now Peleg seems more important, the reverse of the preceding chapter.  Eber died at the age of 437 years old.

 “When Peleg had lived thirty years, he became the father of Reu. Peleg lived after the birth of Reu two hundred nine years, and had other sons and daughters.”

Now the genealogy is into new territory. Peleg at age 30 had a son, Reu, plus other sons and daughters.  Reu shows up in genealogies about Abraham.  Peleg died at the age of 239 years old.  Notice their lives are getting shorter.

“When Reu had lived thirty-two years, he became the father of Serug. Reu lived after the birth of Serug two hundred seven years, and had other sons and daughters.”

 Reu at age 30 had a son, Serug, plus other sons and daughters.  He died at the age of 237 years old.

“When Serug had lived thirty years, he became the father of Nahor.  Serug lived after the birth of Nahor two hundred years, and had other sons and daughters.”

Serug at age 30 had a son, Nahor, plus other sons and daughters and died at the age of 230 years old.

“When Nahor had lived twenty-nine years, he became the father of Terah.  Nahor lived after the birth of Terah a hundred nineteen years, and had other sons and daughters.”

Nahor is the name of Abram’s grandfather and his brother.  At age 29  he had a son, Terah, plus other sons and daughters and died at the age of  138 years old.

 “When Terah had lived seventy years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.”

Terah at age 70 had 3 sons, Abram, Nahor, and Haran.  Nahor was the name of the father of Terah and his son also.  More importantly, he was the father of Abram.  So we have about 10 generations from Noah to Abram, about 400 years if you go by the first born.