- Locate the passage
This section is marked by the beginning of a new toledoth through the lineage of Shem. The passage shows the lineage of Abraham through the line of Shem.
The passage is narrative. It is an extended genealogy list. There is no conversation recorded in this periscope.
- Determine the structure of the passage
11:10-26 – The importance of a good family line
- Exegete the passage
The passage is parallel with the Genealogy list in Genesis 5 in that 10 generations are listed culminating in the Patriarch under consideration in the text (In Genesis 5, Noah is the 10th generation; in Genesis 11, Abraham is the 10th generation).
- The main difference in the structure is the absence of the phrase “and he died” from the genealogy lists in Genesis 11.
- Another difference between the two lists is the use of the phrase, “[other] sons and daughters” indicating that this list is not intended to be a complete family tree, but a selective line.
The passage continues the toledoth structure of the book and demonstrates the reliability of the text and the significance of Abraham’s link to Noah through Shem.
The difference between this genealogy of Shem and that of 10:22-31 is that the first list focuses on Eber’s line through Joktan, while the latter list focuses on Eber’s line through Peleg.
The name, “Eber” is likely of Akkadian roots and means, “to cross over.” However, the description in Gen. 10:21 seems to connect Eber to the Hebrews. The two share the same root.Richard S. Hess, “Eber (Person),” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 260. Thus, the significance of the line of Abraham through Eber notes the heritage of the Hebrew people through the line of Shem.
This brief toledoth ends with anticipation of the next …
- Let the structure of the text drive the sermon
The passage demonstrates:
- God’s Provision through the family
- God was revealing the significance of a family of faith
- Ill. Prov. 22:1 – “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.”
- God’s Sovereign plan of history
- God was setting the stage for Abraham and his faith
- God Knows my name
- No one is lost in history. God knows everything about you.
- All of history anticipates what how God will redeem His people