What does Genesis 11:20 mean?
ESV: When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug.
NIV: When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug.
NASB: Reu lived thirty-two years, and fathered Serug;
CSB: Reu lived 32 years and fathered Serug.
NLT: When Reu was 32 years old, he became the father of Serug.
KJV: And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:
Verse Commentary:
The line from Noah to Abraham follows through Shem to Arpachshad to Shelah to Eber to Peleg to Reu and now to Serug. The name Serug may be associated with a place called Sarugi about 20 miles from Haran, where Abram's family will eventually settle. As shown in other verses, this generation will continue the trend of rapidly decreasing lifespans seen after the flood. From creation to the flood, man lives nearly a thousand years (Genesis 5). From the flood to Peleg, man's life is a few centuries. From Peleg to Abram, human life drops to roughly a hundred years at best.
Verse Context:
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.
Chapter Summary:
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.
Chapter Context:
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.
Book Summary:
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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