circle, the second son of Aram (Gen. 10:23), and grandson of
fertile land. (1.) The son of Aram, and grandson of Shem (Gen.
10:23; 1 Chr. 1:17).
(2.) One of the Horite "dukes" in the land of Edom (Gen.
(3.) The eldest son of Nahor, Abraham's brother (Gen. 22:21,
son of Shem, born the year after the Deluge. He died at the age
of 438 years (Gen. 11:10-13; 1 Chr. 1:17, 18; Luke 3:36). He
dwelt in Mesopotamia, and became, according to the Jewish
historian Josephus, the progenitor of the Chaldeans. The
tendency is to recognize in the word the name of the country
nearest the ancient domain of the Chaldeans. Some regard the
word as an Egypticized form of the territorial name of Ur
Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees.
(1.) The fourth son of Shem (Gen. 10:22; 1 Chr. 1:17), ancestor
of the Lydians probably.
(2.) One of the Hamitic tribes descended from Mizraim (Gen.
10:13), a people of Africa (Ezek. 27:10; 30:5), on the west of
Egypt. The people called Lud were noted archers (Isa. 66:19;
comp. Jer. 46:9).
the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22); according to Gen. 22:21, a
grandson of Nahor. In Matt. 1:3, 4, and Luke 3:33, this word is
the Greek form of Ram, the father of Amminadab (1 Chr. 2:10).
The word means high, or highlands, and as the name of a
country denotes that elevated region extending from the
northeast of Israel to the Euphrates. It corresponded
generally with the Syria and Mesopotamia of the Greeks and
Romans. In Gen. 25:20; 31:20, 24; Deut. 26:5, the word "Syrian"
is properly "Aramean" (R.V., marg.). Damascus became at length
the capital of the several smaller kingdoms comprehended under
the designation "Aram" or "Syria."
beyond. (1.). The third post-duluvian patriach after Shem (Gen.
10:24; 11:14). He is regarded as the founder of the Hebrew race
(10:21; Num. 24:24). In Luke 3:35 he is called Heber.
(2.) One of the seven heads of the families of the Gadites (1
(3.) The oldest of the three sons of Elpaal the Benjamite
(4.) One of the heads of the familes of Benjamites in
(5.) The head of the priestly family of Amok in the time of
Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:20).
(1.) Ezek. 30:5 (Heb. Lud), a province in the west of Asia
Minor, which derived its name from the fourth son of Shem (Gen.
10:22). It was bounded on the east by the greater Phrygia, and
on the west by Ionia and the AEgean Sea.
(2.) A woman of Thyatira, a "seller of purple," who dwelt in
Philippi (Acts 16:14, 15). She was not a Jewess but a proselyte.
The Lord opened her heart as she heard the gospel from the lips
of Paul (16:13). She thus became the first in Europe who
embraced Christianity. She was a person apparently of
considerable wealth, for she could afford to give a home to Paul
and his companions. (See THYATIRA ¯T0003650.)
second son of Shem (Gen. 10:22; 1 Chr. 1:17). He went from the
land of Shinar and built Nineveh, etc. (Gen. 10:11,12). He
probably gave his name to Assyria, which is the usual
translation of the word, although the form Asshur is sometimes
retained (Num. 24:22, 24; Ezek. 27:23, etc.). In Gen. 2:14
"Assyria" ought to be "Asshur," which was the original capital
of Assyria, a city represented by the mounds of Kalah Sherghat,
on the west bank of the Tigris. This city was founded by
Bel-kap-kapu about B.C. 1700. At a later date the capital was
shifted to Ninua, or Nineveh, now Koyunjik, on the eastern bank
of the river. (See CALAH ¯T0000688; NINEVEH ¯T0002735.)
a name; renown, the first mentioned of the sons of Noah (Gen.
5:32; 6:10). He was probably the eldest of Noah's sons. The
words "brother of Japheth the elder" in Gen. 10:21 are more
correctly rendered "the elder brother of Japheth," as in the
Revised Version. Shem's name is generally mentioned first in the
list of Noah's sons. He and his wife were saved in the ark
(7:13). Noah foretold his preeminence over Canaan (9:23-27). He
died at the age of six hundred years, having been for many years
contemporary with Abraham, according to the usual chronology.
The Israelitish nation sprang from him (Gen. 11:10-26; 1 Chr.
highland, the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22), and the name of the
country inhabited by his descendants (14:1, 9; Isa. 11:11; 21:2,
etc.) lying to the east of Babylonia, and extending to the shore
of the Mediterranean, a distance in a direct line of about 1,000
miles. The name Elam is an Assyrian word meaning "high."
"The inhabitants of Elam, or 'the Highlands,' to the east of
Babylon, were called Elamites. They were divided into several
branches, speaking different dialects of the same agglutinative
language. The race to which they belonged was brachycephalic, or
short-headed, like the pre-Semitic Sumerians of Babylonia.
"The earliest Elamite kingdom seems to have been that of
Anzan, the exact site of which is uncertain; but in the time of
Abraham, Shushan or Susa appears to have already become the
capital of the country. Babylonia was frequently invaded by the
Elamite kings, who at times asserted their supremacy over it (as
in the case of Chedorlaomer, the Kudur-Lagamar, or 'servant of
the goddess Lagamar,' of the cuneiform texts).
"The later Assyrian monarchs made several campaigns against
Elam, and finally Assur-bani-pal (about B.C. 650) succeeded in
conquering the country, which was ravaged with fire and sword.
On the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Elam passed into the hands
of the Persians" (A.H. Sayce).
This country was called by the Greeks Cissia or Susiana.
wide spreading: "God shall enlarge Japheth" (Heb. Yaphat Elohim
le-Yephet, Gen. 9:27. Some, however, derive the name from
_yaphah_, "to be beautiful;" hence white), one of the sons of
Noah, mentioned last in order (Gen. 5:32; 6:10; 7:13), perhaps
first by birth (10:21; comp. 9:24). He and his wife were two of
the eight saved in the ark (1 Pet. 3:20). He was the progenitor
of many tribes inhabiting the east of Europe and the north of
Asia (Gen. 10:2-5). An act of filial piety (9:20-27) was the
occasion of Noah's prophecy of the extension of his posterity.
After the Flood the earth was re-peopled by the descendants of
Noah, "the sons of Japheth" (Gen. 10:2), "the sons of Ham" (6),
and "the sons of Shem" (22). It is important to notice that
modern ethnological science, reasoning from a careful analysis
of facts, has arrived at the conclusion that there is a
three-fold division of the human family, corresponding in a
remarkable way with the great ethnological chapter of the book
of Genesis (10). The three great races thus distinguished are
called the Semitic, Aryan, and Turanian (Allophylian). "Setting
aside the cases where the ethnic names employed are of doubtful
application, it cannot reasonably be questioned that the author
[of Gen. 10] has in his account of the sons of Japheth classed
together the Cymry or Celts (Gomer), the Medes (Madai), and the
Ionians or Greeks (Javan), thereby anticipating what has become
known in modern times as the 'Indo-European Theory,' or the
essential unity of the Aryan (Asiatic) race with the principal
races of Europe, indicated by the Celts and the Ionians. Nor can
it be doubted that he has thrown together under the one head of
'children of Shem' the Assyrians (Asshur), the Syrians (Aram),
the Hebrews (Eber), and the Joktanian Arabs (Joktan), four of
the principal races which modern ethnology recognizes under the
heading of 'Semitic.' Again, under the heading of 'sons of Ham,'
the author has arranged 'Cush', i.e., the Ethiopians; 'Mizraim,'
the people of Egypt; 'Sheba and Dedan,' or certain of the
Southern Arabs; and 'Nimrod,' or the ancient people of Babylon,
four races between which the latest linguistic researches have
established a close affinity" (Rawlinson's Hist. Illustrations).
(Gr. diaspora, "scattered," James 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1) of the Jews.
At various times, and from the operation of divers causes, the
Jews were separated and scattered into foreign countries "to the
outmost parts of heaven" (Deut. 30:4).
(1.) Many were dispersed over Assyria, Media, Babylonia, and
Persia, descendants of those who had been transported thither by
the Exile. The ten tribes, after existing as a separate kingdom
for two hundred and fifty-five years, were carried captive (B.C.
721) by Shalmaneser (or Sargon), king of Assyria. They never
returned to their own land as a distinct people, although many
individuals from among these tribes, there can be no doubt,
joined with the bands that returned from Babylon on the
proclamation of Cyrus.
(2.) Many Jews migrated to Egypt and took up their abode
there. This migration began in the days of Solomon (2 Kings
18:21, 24; Isa. 30:7). Alexander the Great placed a large number
of Jews in Alexandria, which he had founded, and conferred on
them equal rights with the Egyptians. Ptolemy Philadelphus, it
is said, caused the Jewish Scriptures to be translated into
Greek (the work began B.C. 284), for the use of the Alexandrian
Jews. The Jews in Egypt continued for many ages to exercise a
powerful influence on the public interests of that country. From
Egypt they spread along the coast of Africa to Cyrene (Acts
2:10) and to Ethiopia (8:27).
(3.) After the time of Seleucus Nicator (B.C. 280), one of the
captains of Alexander the Great, large numbers of Jews migrated
into Syria, where they enjoyed equal rights with the
Macedonians. From Syria they found their way into Asia Minor.
Antiochus the Great, king of Syria and Asia, removed 3,000
families of Jews from Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and planted
them in Phrygia and Lydia.
(4.) From Asia Minor many Jews moved into Greece and
Macedonia, chiefly for purposes of commerce. In the apostles'
time they were found in considerable numbers in all the
From the time of Pompey the Great (B.C. 63) numbers of Jews
from Israel and Greece went to Rome, where they had a
separate quarter of the city assigned to them. Here they enjoyed
Thus were the Jews everywhere scattered abroad. This, in the
overruling providence of God, ultimately contributed in a great
degree toward opening the way for the spread of the gospel into
Dispersion, from the plain of Shinar. This was occasioned by
the confusion of tongues at Babel (Gen. 11:9). They were
scattered abroad "every one after his tongue, after their
families, in their nations" (Gen. 10:5, 20,31).
The tenth chapter of Genesis gives us an account of the
principal nations of the earth in their migrations from the
plain of Shinar, which was their common residence after the
Flood. In general, it may be said that the descendants of
Japheth were scattered over the north, those of Shem over the
central regions, and those of Ham over the extreme south. The
following table shows how the different families were dispersed:
| - Japheth
| - Gomer
| Cimmerians, Armenians
| - Magog
| Caucasians, Scythians
| - Madal
| Medes and Persian tribes
| - Javan
| - Elishah
| - Tarshish
| Etruscans, Romans
| - Chittim
| Cyprians, Macedonians
| - Dodanim
| - Tubal
| Tibareni, Tartars
| - Mechech
| Moschi, Muscovites
| - Tiras
| - Shem
| - Elam
| Persian tribes
| - Asshur
| - Arphaxad
| - Abraham
| - Isaac
| - Jacob
| - Esau
| - Ishmael
| Mingled with Arab tribes
| - Lud
| - Aram
| - Ham
| - Cush
| - Mizrain
| - Phut
| Lybians, Mauritanians
| - Canaan
| Canaanites, Phoenicians
among the Jews was suited to the climate and conditions of the
country. They probably adopted the kind of architecture for
their dwellings which they found already existing when they
entered Canaan (Deut. 6:10; Num. 13:19). Phoenician artists (2
Sam. 5:11; 1 Kings 5:6, 18) assisted at the erection of the
royal palace and the temple at Jerusalem. Foreigners also
assisted at the restoration of the temple after the Exile (Ezra
In Gen. 11:3, 9, we have the first recorded instance of the
erection of buildings. The cities of the plain of Shinar were
founded by the descendants of Shem (10:11, 12, 22).
The Israelites were by occupation shepherds and dwellers in
tents (Gen. 47:3); but from the time of their entering Canaan
they became dwellers in towns, and in houses built of the native
limestone of Israel. Much building was carried on in
Solomon's time. Besides the buildings he completed at Jerusalem,
he also built Baalath and Tadmor (1 Kings 9:15, 24). Many of the
kings of Israel and Judah were engaged in erecting various
Herod and his sons and successors restored the temple, and
built fortifications and other structures of great magnificence
in Jerusalem (Luke 21:5).
The instruments used in building are mentioned as the
plumb-line (Amos 7:7), the measuring-reed (Ezek. 40:3), and the
saw (1 Kings 7:9).
Believers are "God's building" (1 Cor. 3:9); and heaven is
called "a building of God" (2 Cor. 5:1). Christ is the only
foundation of his church (1 Cor. 3:10-12), of which he also is
the builder (Matt. 16:18).
king of righteousness, the king of Salem (q.v.). All we know of
him is recorded in Gen. 14:18-20. He is subsequently mentioned
only once in the Old Testament, in Ps. 110:4. The typical
significance of his history is set forth in detail in the
Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. 7. The apostle there points out the
superiority of his priesthood to that of Aaron in these several
respects, (1) Even Abraham paid him tithes; (2) he blessed
Abraham; (3) he is the type of a Priest who lives for ever; (4)
Levi, yet unborn, paid him tithes in the person of Abraham; (5)
the permanence of his priesthood in Christ implied the
abrogation of the Levitical system; (6) he was made priest not
without an oath; and (7) his priesthood can neither be
transmitted nor interrupted by death: "this man, because he
continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood."
The question as to who this mysterious personage was has given
rise to a great deal of modern speculation. It is an old
tradition among the Jews that he was Shem, the son of Noah, who
may have survived to this time. Melchizedek was a Canaanitish
prince, a worshipper of the true God, and in his peculiar
history and character an instructive type of our Lord, the great
High Priest (Heb. 5:6, 7; 6:20). One of the Amarna tablets is
from Ebed-Tob, king of Jerusalem, the successor of Melchizedek,
in which he claims the very attributes and dignity given to
Melchizedek in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
The southern portion of Babylonia, Lower Mesopotamia, lying
chiefly on the right bank of the Euphrates, but commonly used of
the whole of the Mesopotamian plain. The Hebrew name is Kasdim,
which is usually rendered "Chaldeans" (Jer. 50:10; 51:24,35).
The country so named is a vast plain formed by the deposits of
the Euphrates and the Tigris, extending to about 400 miles along
the course of these rivers, and about 100 miles in average
breadth. "In former days the vast plains of Babylon were
nourished by a complicated system of canals and water-courses,
which spread over the surface of the country like a network. The
wants of a teeming population were supplied by a rich soil, not
less bountiful than that on the banks of the Egyptian Nile. Like
islands rising from a golden sea of waving corn stood frequent
groves of palm-trees and pleasant gardens, affording to the
idler or traveller their grateful and highly-valued shade.
Crowds of passengers hurried along the dusty roads to and from
the busy city. The land was rich in corn and wine."
Recent discoveries, more especially in Babylonia, have thrown
much light on the history of the Hebrew patriarchs, and have
illustrated or confirmed the Biblical narrative in many points.
The ancestor of the Hebrew people, Abram, was, we are told, born
at "Ur of the Chaldees." "Chaldees" is a mistranslation of the
Hebrew _Kasdim_, Kasdim being the Old Testament name of the
Babylonians, while the Chaldees were a tribe who lived on the
shores of the Persian Gulf, and did not become a part of the
Babylonian population till the time of Hezekiah. Ur was one of
the oldest and most famous of the Babylonian cities. Its site is
now called Mugheir, or Mugayyar, on the western bank of the
Euphrates, in Southern Babylonia. About a century before the
birth of Abram it was ruled by a powerful dynasty of kings.
Their conquests extended to Elam on the one side, and to the
Lebanon on the other. They were followed by a dynasty of princes
whose capital was Babylon, and who seem to have been of South
Arabian origin. The founder of the dynasty was Sumu-abi ("Shem
is my father"). But soon afterwards Babylonia fell under Elamite
dominion. The kings of Babylon were compelled to acknowledge the
supremacy of Elam, and a rival kingdom to that of Babylon, and
governed by Elamites, sprang up at Larsa, not far from Ur, but
on the opposite bank of the river. In the time of Abram the king
of Larsa was Eri-Aku, the son of an Elamite prince, and Eri-Aku,
as has long been recognized, is the Biblical "Arioch king of
Ellasar" (Gen. 14:1). The contemporaneous king of Babylon in the
north, in the country termed Shinar in Scripture, was
Khammu-rabi. (See BABYLON ¯T0000409; ABRAHAM ¯T0000054; AMRAPHEL
the language of the Hebrew nation, and that in which the Old
Testament is written, with the exception of a few portions in
Chaldee. In the Old Testament it is only spoken of as "Jewish"
(2 Kings 18:26, 28; Isa. 36:11, 13; 2 Chr 32:18). This name is
first used by the Jews in times subsequent to the close of the
It is one of the class of languages called Semitic, because
they were chiefly spoken among the descendants of Shem.
When Abraham entered Canaan it is obvious that he found the
language of its inhabitants closely allied to his own. Isaiah
(19:18) calls it "the language of Canaan." Whether this
language, as seen in the earliest books of the Old Testament,
was the very dialect which Abraham brought with him into Canaan,
or whether it was the common tongue of the Canaanitish nations
which he only adopted, is uncertain; probably the latter opinion
is the correct one. For the thousand years between Moses and the
Babylonian exile the Hebrew language underwent little or no
modification. It preserves all through a remarkable uniformity
of structure. From the first it appears in its full maturity of
development. But through intercourse with Damascus, Assyria, and
Babylon, from the time of David, and more particularly from the
period of the Exile, it comes under the influence of the Aramaic
idiom, and this is seen in the writings which date from this
period. It was never spoken in its purity by the Jews after
their return from Babylon. They now spoke Hebrew with a large
admixture of Aramaic or Chaldee, which latterly became the
predominant element in the national language.
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has only about six thousand
words, all derived from about five hundred roots. Hence the same
word has sometimes a great variety of meanings. So long as it
was a living language, and for ages after, only the consonants
of the words were written. This also has been a source of
difficulty in interpreting certain words, for the meaning varies
according to the vowels which may be supplied. The Hebrew is one
of the oldest languages of which we have any knowledge. It is
essentially identical with the Phoenician language. (See MOABITE
STONE ¯T0002586.) The Semitic languages, to which class the
Hebrew and Phoenician belonged, were spoken over a very wide
area: in Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel and Arabia, in
all the countries from the Mediterranean to the borders of
Assyria, and from the mountains of Armenia to the Indian Ocean.
The rounded form of the letters, as seen in the Moabite stone,
was probably that in which the ancient Hebrew was written down
to the time of the Exile, when the present square or Chaldean
form was adopted.
rest, (Heb. Noah) the grandson of Methuselah (Gen. 5:25-29), who
was for two hundred and fifty years contemporary with Adam, and
the son of Lamech, who was about fifty years old at the time of
Adam's death. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the
connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the
second great progenitor of the human family.
The words of his father Lamech at his birth (Gen. 5:29) have
been regarded as in a sense prophetical, designating Noah as a
type of Him who is the true "rest and comfort" of men under the
burden of life (Matt.11:28).
He lived five hundred years, and then there were born unto him
three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 5:32). He was a "just
man and perfect in his generation," and "walked with God" (comp.
Ezek. 14:14,20). But now the descendants of Cain and of Seth
began to intermarry, and then there sprang up a race
distinguished for their ungodliness. Men became more and more
corrupt, and God determined to sweep the earth of its wicked
population (Gen. 6:7). But with Noah God entered into a
covenant, with a promise of deliverance from the threatened
deluge (18). He was accordingly commanded to build an ark
(6:14-16) for the saving of himself and his house. An interval
of one hundred and twenty years elapsed while the ark was being
built (6:3), during which Noah bore constant testimony against
the unbelief and wickedness of that generation (1 Pet. 3:18-20;
2 Pet. 2:5).
When the ark of "gopher-wood" (mentioned only here) was at
length completed according to the command of the Lord, the
living creatures that were to be preserved entered into it; and
then Noah and his wife and sons and daughters-in-law entered it,
and the "Lord shut him in" (Gen.7:16). The judgment-threatened
now fell on the guilty world, "the world that then was, being
overflowed with water, perished" (2 Pet. 3:6). The ark floated
on the waters for one hundred and fifty days, and then rested on
the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:3,4); but not for a considerable
time after this was divine permission given him to leave the
ark, so that he and his family were a whole year shut up within
it (Gen. 6-14).
On leaving the ark Noah's first act was to erect an altar, the
first of which there is any mention, and offer the sacrifices of
adoring thanks and praise to God, who entered into a covenant
with him, the first covenant between God and man, granting him
possession of the earth by a new and special charter, which
remains in force to the present time (Gen. 8:21-9:17). As a sign
and witness of this covenant, the rainbow was adopted and set
apart by God, as a sure pledge that never again would the earth
be destroyed by a flood.
But, alas! Noah after this fell into grievous sin (Gen. 9:21);
and the conduct of Ham on this sad occasion led to the memorable
prediction regarding his three sons and their descendants. Noah
"lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years, and he
died" (28:29). (See DELUGE ¯T0001011).
Noah, motion, (Heb. No'ah) one of the five daughters of
Zelophehad (Num.26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Josh. 17:3).