Abraham and Noah are two of the most prominent figures in the Bible. They are both considered patriarchs of the Israelites and the Arabs, as well as examples of faith and obedience to God. But how are they related to each other? In this article, we will explore the biblical genealogy of Abraham and Noah, and see how they are connected through their common ancestor, Shem.
The Descendants of Shem
Shem was one of the three sons of Noah, who survived the great flood with their wives on the ark. According to Genesis 10, Shem had five sons: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. These sons became the ancestors of various nations and peoples in the ancient Near East, such as the Elamites, Assyrians, Arameans and others.
The Bible traces the lineage of Abraham through Arphaxad, who was the third son of Shem. Arphaxad had a son named Shelah, who had a son named Eber. Eber had two sons: Peleg and Joktan. Peleg had a son named Reu, who had a son named Serug. Serug had a son named Nahor, who had a son named Terah. Terah had three sons: Abram (later renamed Abraham), Nahor and Haran.
The Family of Terah
Terah lived in Ur of the Chaldeans, a city in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). He married an unnamed woman, who bore him three sons: Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran had a son named Lot, and two daughters named Milcah and Iscah. Haran died in Ur before his father Terah.
Terah also took another wife, whose name was Sarai (later renamed Sarah). Sarai was barren and had no children. According to Genesis 20:12, Sarai was also Terah’s daughter by another wife, making her Abram’s half-sister.
Terah decided to leave Ur and go to the land of Canaan with his family. He took Abram, Sarai, Lot and all their possessions and servants. They traveled as far as Haran, a city in northern Mesopotamia (modern-day Turkey), where they settled for a while.
The Call of Abraham
While Terah was still alive in Haran, God appeared to Abram and made a covenant with him. God promised to make Abram a great nation, to bless him and make his name great, to give him the land of Canaan as an inheritance, and to bless all the families of the earth through him. God also commanded Abram to leave his father’s house and go to the land that he would show him.
Abram obeyed God and left Haran with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot and all their possessions and servants. He was 75 years old when he departed from Haran. He traveled through Canaan and built altars to worship God at various places.
The Sons of Abraham
Abram and Sarai faced many challenges and difficulties in their journey of faith. They encountered famines, wars, kings, plagues and conflicts. They also struggled with infertility for many years. God repeatedly reaffirmed his promise to give Abram a son and heir, but Abram and Sarai grew impatient and doubtful.
When Abram was 86 years old, Sarai suggested that he should take her Egyptian maid Hagar as a concubine and have a child by her. Abram agreed to this plan and Hagar conceived a son by him. Hagar named her son Ishmael, meaning “God hears”. Ishmael became the father of the Ishmaelites or Arabs.
When Abram was 99 years old, God appeared to him again and changed his name to Abraham, meaning “father of many nations”. God also changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, meaning “princess”. God renewed his covenant with Abraham and gave him the sign of circumcision as a mark of his people. God also promised to give Abraham a son by Sarah within a year.
As God had said, Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham when he was 100 years old. Abraham named his son Isaac, meaning “laughter”. Isaac became the father of the Israelites or Jews.
Abraham was related to Noah through his son Shem. Abraham was the tenth generation from Noah through Shem’s line. Abraham was also related to Noah through his wife Sarah, who was his half-sister by another wife of Terah.
Abraham was the father of two great nations: the Israelites through Isaac and the Arabs through Ishmael. Both nations claim Abraham as their ancestor and honor him as a prophet.
Abraham is also revered by Christians as the father of faith and the friend of God. He is an example of obedience, trust and hope in God’s promises.
According to the Bible, Abraham and Noah are related to each other and to us. They are part of God’s plan to bless the world through his chosen people. They are also part of our spiritual family, as we share the same faith in the same God.