These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:…
I. THE LINE IN WHICH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUE GOD WAS PRESERVED.
II. THE DIRECTION OF THE STREAM OF HISTORY TOWARDS THE MESSIAH. "God calmly and resolutely proceeds with His purpose of mercy. In the accomplishment of this eternal purpose He moves with all the solemn grandeur of long suffering patience. One day is with Him as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Out of Adam's three sons He selects one to be the progenitor of the seed of the woman. Out of Noah's three sons He again selects one. And now out of Terah's three is one to be selected. Among the children of this one He will choose a second one, and among his a third one before He reaches the holy family. Doubtless this gradual mode of proceeding is in keeping with the hereditary training of the holy nation, and the due adjustment of the Divine measures for at length bringing the fulness of the Gentiles in the covenant of everlasting peace."
III. THE GRADUAL, NARROWING OF HUMAN LIFE. "In the manifold weakenings of the highest life endurance, in the genealogy of them, there are, nevertheless, distinctly observable a number of abrupt breaks —
1. From Shem to Arphaxad, or from 600 years to 438;
2. From Eber to Peleg, or from 464 years to 239.
3. From Serug to Nahor, or from 230 years to 148; beyond which last, again, there extend the lives of Terah, with his 205, and of Abraham, with his 175 years. Farther on we have Isaac with 180 years, Jacob 147, and Joseph 110. So gradually does the human term of life approach the limit set by the Psalmist (Psalm 90:10). Moses reached the age of 120 years. The deadly efficacy goes on still in the bodily sphere, although the counter working of salvation has commenced in the spiritual."
(T. H. Leale.)
Parallel VersesKJV: These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: