What does Genesis 11:14 mean?
ESV: When Shelah had lived 30 years, he fathered Eber.
NIV: When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber.
NASB: Shelah lived thirty years, and fathered Eber;
CSB: Shelah lived 30 years and fathered Eber.
NLT: When Shelah was 30 years old, he became the father of Eber.
KJV: And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
The line from Noah to Abraham follows through Shem to Arpachshad to Shelah and now to Eber. The Eberites and their descendants became a well-known people (Numbers 24:24). As compared to the generations listed prior to the flood (Genesis 5), this verse presents an earlier age of fatherhood, and a shorter lifespan. This is a trend which will continue through the genealogy, as man's life rapidly shortens leading up to the birth of Abram (Genesis 11:19–26).
Genesis 11:10–26 provides a direct genealogy from Noah to Abram, through Noah's blessed-by-God son, Shem. This record shows a direct genetic line from Noah and the flood, through Peleg and the dispersion of humanity at the Tower of Babel, to Terah, Abram's father.
Genesis 11 contains three sections: God confuses and scatters the people of the world to stop the building of Babel and its tower. A genealogy is provided showing the direct links between Noah and Abram. The ''generations'' of Terah are introduced, providing a description of the family out of which God will call Abram to become the father of His chosen people.
Genesis 10 provided a table of the nations, describing the peoples and tribes that descended from Noah's three sons and where they settled. Genesis 11 describes how God scattered the peoples of the world after confusing their languages to stop the building of Babel and its tower. The chapter also provides a direct genealogy from Noah to Abram and then introduces Abram by way of his father Terah. The following chapter will begin the story of Abram and God's chosen people, Israel.
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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