Search the Site



Heb., “name,” “renown”

One of the three sons of Noah. Shem occupies a special place among the sons of Noah because he was the eldest (Gen 5:32; Gen 9:18), the recipient of special blessing (Gen 9:26), and the ancestor of a group of peoples that included the Hebrews (Eber, Gen 10:21, Gen 10:24). Thus the term “Semite” (“Shemite”) has its derivation in reference to his descendants.

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.