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History as Lineage – Genesis 11:10-11:32

The history of an individual is best represented through his lineage.  While time calculations may imply how long one has remained, the lineage indicates where one has come from.  Terah is from the lineage directly connected to the flood.  He is the descendant of Noah, the descendant of Adam.  Sarah, as one without lineage, is now in the same line.

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Genesis 11:10-32

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 These are the records of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old, and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood; 11 and Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and he had other sons and daughters.

12 Arpachshad lived thirty-five years, and became the father of Shelah; 13 and Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Shelah, and he had other sons and daughters.

14 Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber; 15 and Shelah lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Eber, and he had other sons and daughters.

16 Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg; 17 and Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and he had other sons and daughters.

18 Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu; 19 and Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after he became the father of Reu, and he had other sons and daughters.

20 Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug; 21 and Reu lived two hundred and seven years after he became the father of Serug, and he had other sons and daughters.

22 Serug lived thirty years, and became the father of Nahor; 23 and Serug lived two hundred years after he became the father of Nahor, and he had other sons and daughters.

24 Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah; 25 and Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years after he became the father of Terah, and he had other sons and daughters.

26 Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.

27 Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Sarai was barren; she had no child.

31 Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. 32 The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.

 

The Theme Explained

Before continuing, read the passage above and slowly let the images soak in.  Each image is someone’s personal expression of the theme.  Discover how the images reveal the theme from the passage.


The lineage of Terah, Abram, and Sarah connects this family with the events through which God shaped world history.  Lineage is the bridge which illustrates the importance of one life in the grand scheme of creation.

The lineage of Terah begins with Shem and the flood.  The flood represents a turning point in Man’s relationship with God.  No longer will God allow Man to spiral down into his destruction as he did with the flood.  Rather, it is the initiation of the covenant of grace, that God would forever allow redemption for Man in whose heart wickedness will always remain.  From the flood, the author draws a direct hereditary line to Terah, Abram and Sarah.  There is no deviation, no side narrative.

The ages determined by the birth of the son imply that it is the birth of the next generation which defines the preceding.  The highlighting of the single son in each cycle does not convey any importance upon that son, only that the purpose is to draw the connection to Terah.  The exact repetition of the cycle from Shem’s son to Terah moves the cycles into white noise in the ears of the reader.  The author might have simply stated “after the flood, Shem begat Terah” and the same point would have been made.

The history of an individual is best represented through his lineage.  While time calculations may imply how long one has remained, lineage indicates where one has come from.  Terah is from the lineage directly connected to the flood.  He is the descendant of Noah, the descendant of Adam.  Sarah, as one without lineage, is now in the same line.

 

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