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Shem the son of Noah. Was he the most precious one?

Because the world was increasingly sinning, God brought the Flood to punish the wicked but told Noah to build an ark to save the good people, his sons, and their animals. At the end of a journey that lasted 40 days and 40 nights, Noah’s ark came to rest on top of Mount Ararat, and the Bible tells us that this event took place in 2345 BC. Shem son of Noah is the firstborn.

Who is Shem?

Shem, the son of Noah, is the one who survived the flood. Reading this article, you will understand that Shem, son of Noah, was not the most precious one because all the brothers were the same in Noah’s eyes.

None of them was better. Enjoy your reading, and I hope you will find out new information about Noah’s eldest descendant.

Shem, son of Noah, bore seven sons and the nations: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. Their descendants spread to the coastal areas around the Mediterranean and lived in harmony with Shem’s people. This was an early suggestion that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would also bless the Gentiles.

Shem is Noah’s eldest son and the man from whom most of us are descended.

A version that states that Shem was the first to bring the descendants to the earth. This has been passed down from generation to generation, this has been distorted, and there are several variants. Greek legend says that Shem and his wife had to repopulate the land by throwing stones after them. Then those stones became men and women.

The Hindu version of the legend tells of Shem, son of Noah, being warned by a fish that a flood will destroy humanity. The fish teaches the man to build a boat, and the man survives the flood because the fish takes the ship to safety.

What is the meaning of Shem in the Bible?

A person’s name can influence the way they perceive themselves and how others perceive them. It may reflect their parents’ beliefs, culture, or philosophy of life. In the following lines, you will discover the hidden meaning of the etymology of Shem’s name.

Shem in the Bible means:

  • name
  • renown
  • a reborn person

The biblical word “shem,” meaning “name,” appears over 800 times in the books of the First Testament and about 180 times in the New Testament. From the biblical perspective, the name is directly related to the reality it is meant to express. Thus, it can tell the origin of “Adam” or the composition “adamah.” Transforming it into something from the earth. The eldest son of Noah and the ancestor of many descendants.

He was one of the eight who escaped the flood in the ark, and after the flood, when Noah got drunk, Shem and Japheth covered their father’s nakedness.

Shem, son of Noah, was 100 years old two years after the flood. And he became the father of a great boy whom he called Arphaxad, through whom the descendent to the Messiah took place, and it may have been in connection with this that Noah made his prophetic claim.


What happened to Shem after the flood?

When Noah heard from God that a flood was coming to get rid of the evil people in the world, Noah showed God’s faith and listened to God’s words. Noah gathered a pair of every animal in the world and his whole family. The flood meant a hard time for Noah in the world, but the rainbow God left behind pleased him, the rainbow signifying that God would not bring another flood on humankind ever again.

After the flood, Shem, son of Noah, begat Arphaxad. After he had him, he preached the word of God and lived another 500 years old, and when he died, he was 600 years old.

Since the descendants of Shem listed in Genesis are identified with people known to have spoken related languages in antiquity, the term “Semitic” relates to the idea that his descendants are the Semites. This is, in any case, a modern usage of the word and does not mean that all of Shem’s descendants spoke Semitic languages. It is stated that Shem, son of Noah, lived 500 years after the birth of Arphaxad, thus inferring that Shem lived 600 years.

Where did Shem live in the Bible?

By the special attention that God has bestowed on him, man is a being of inestimable value. What distinguishes and elevates man from other creatures is his God-given soul. Because of the soul that permeates it, our body is not merely a material construct. 


According to Bible, Shem lived in Mesha with his whole family. It is also said that the first generation of Shem lived on a mountain near Mesha. God gave the first people saved after the flood a role in His creation. To grow, multiply and populate all the lands of the world.


Bible mentions that man was created to be someone, not something, because of his self-consciousness and capacity for conscious and free reaction, directly linked to his soul. That is why in every human being, there is harmony between body and soul. This is why God is the one who wants to save Noah’s family. To choose the most righteous people to populate the earth.


shem son of noah

Who are the modern-day descendants of Shem?

When God saved Noah, his family told them to fulfill the whole earth with children. Who one day will be called all of the children of God the Almighty. Shem, the son of Noah, was obedient and listened to God; this is why his wife gave birth to 5 children. Their children also gave birth to other human beings, now 27 descendants.

Twenty-seven nations and modern descendants are born of Shem. The nations of Shem had as their ancestors the following:

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Primary Takeaways

  • Shem is a worthy man and a responsible one.
  • He was the first man to step outside after the Flood.
  • Shem wanted to help his father when Noah got drunk.


Key Verse

Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem, son of Noah and Japheth, took a garment, laid it on their shoulders, walked backward, and covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him.” 

Genesis 9:20-24 (NIV)

Biographic resource

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The sons of Shem settled in the world in various territories. And the mention that they spread according to the spoken language highlights the time at which the biblical author wrote these lines, at a time when the division of the speeches had already taken place, then the “episode” of the tower of Babel and the multiplication of the lessons had long since been consummated.