This chapter is about the Tower of Babel & the accounts of Shem (Noah’s, I’m assuming, oldest son) & Terah (Noah’s 7x-great-grandson) Terah is Abraham’s dad. Yes, that Abraham. Like Abraham & Isaac. Terah is also Lot’s grandpa. Lot from Sodom & Gomorrah fame. So that would make Lot Abraham’s nephew.
This is generations after the flood. People have one language & the same way of talking. The same slang, the same vocabulary. People moved eastward, they found a plain in Sinar (also known as Babylonia). They settled here. So here’s where in human history that we began to take root, build actual cities. Not just tent cities. But with brick & mortar. They wanted to build a huge tower that reached all the way to heaven. Because they wanted to make a name for themselves. And so they wouldn’t be scattered over the world/earth.
God came down to see the city & the tower. Then God said, “If as one people speaking the same language they’ve begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” C’mon how sweet is that?! If we had stayed knowing the same language we could’ve done anything. Literally, anything. Then God said to someone (we don’t know who, maybe the “persons” he was talking to when he created mankind.), “Come, let US (who is us?) go down & confuse their language. So they’ll not understand each other.”
God then flung them all over the earth. They stopped building the city. And thusly, the tower. Mind you this is only between 8 & 10 generations after the flood. Apparently humanity didn’t learn its lesson. As we’ll see time & time again. But it’s called Babel because it was there that God caused confused the language of the entire world. Or caused them to babel. And God scattered humanity all over the earth. This is where I believe we, as the human race, became different races.
Here’s the account of Shem: 2 years after the flood, Shem was 100 years old. Shem became the father of Arphaxad. After Arphaxad (Noah’s grandson) was born, Shem lived 500 more years & had more sons & daughters (though they’re unnamed & the number is unknown also).
Arphaxad was 35 years old when his son Shelah (Noah’s great-grandson) was born. After Shelah was born, Arphaxad lived 403 years & had other sons & daughters (they’re also unnamed & the number is unknown).
When Shelah was 30 years old, Eber (Noah’s great-great-grandson) was born. After Eber was born, Shelah lived 403 years & also had unnamed & unnumbered sons & daughters.
When Eber was 34 years old, Peleg (Noah’s 4x-great-grandson) was born. After Peleg was born Eber lived 430 years & had other sons & daughters. All unnamed & unnumbered.
When Peleg was 30 years old, Reu (Noah’s 5x-great-grandson) was born. After Reu was born, Peleg lived 207 years old. He also had unnamed & unnumbered sons & daughters.
When Reu was 32 years old, Serug (Noah’s 6x-great-grandson) was born. After Serug was born, Reu lived 207 years. He also had unnamed & unnumbered sons & daughtes.
When Serug was 30 years old, Nahor (Noah’s 7x-great-grandson) was born. And after Nahor was born, Serug lived 200 years. Yes, he too had unnamed & unnumbered sons & daughers.
Nahor was 29 years old when Terah (Noah’s 8x-great-grandson) was born. Nahor lived 119 years after Terah was born. And guess, yes…unnamed & unnumbered sons & daughters.
Now here’s the fun part. Terah was 70 years old when Abram, Nahor, & Haran (Terah obviously named one of his sons after his dad. And this would make these 3 men Noah’s 9x-great-grandsons). Let’s talk about Abram. Now if you move the ‘m’ to the end & then add “ha,” you’ll have Abraham. Yes, that Abraham. Like Abraham & Isaac. Like the “father” of the Jewish faith, & technically the Christian & Islamic faiths. (I’ll get into that in another chapter!)
Now here’s the account of Terah: Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, & Haran. Haran was the father of Lot (Lot would be Noah’s 10x-great-grandson). So Lot & Abram were uncle & nephew. (This will matter later.) While Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, “in the land of his birth.” So Haran must’ve had kids before he died because of Lot. Abram & Nahor both got wives. Abram’s wife’s name is Sarai. Nahor’s wife’s name is Milcah. Milcah is the daughter of Haran & Lot’s sister. It also mentioned one more sibling of Lot, their name is Iscah. Milcah (Abram’s sister-in-law) & Nahor had kids. I say this because the bible mentions that Sarai was barren, that she couldn’t have kids. Why would the bible mention Sarai’s childlessness if her sister-in-law didn’t have kids?
Then Terah took Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), & Sarai (Abram’s wife, Lot’s aunt by marriage, & Terah’s daughter-in-law) & set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. I’m not sure if this means that they got to the grave of Haran (because in verse 28, Haran died.) or that there was city there named after him . Or if they established a city there & named it after him? Terah lived 205 years & he died in Haran.