Genesis 11 – Part 5 – So, Is God A Chauvinist? Series
Contributed by Ross Cochrane on Feb 16, 2010 (message contributor)
Summary: In Genesis 11 we have the family tree of Shem, but only 3 women are mentioned by name - very Chauvinistic to our modern way of thinking!
Genesis 11 - Part 5 - SO, IS GOD A CHAUVINIST?
Being an only son not only meant growing up in a house full of women, but also it meant that I was the last of the Cochrane's in my family line. I carried on the name of Cochrane when I had a son. My son's wife is about to have a son. This means that the Cochrane line will be continued through him!
Jewish heritage apparently now comes down through the daughters, but it hasn't always been so. In Genesis 11 we have the family tree of Shem, but only 3 women are mentioned by name - very Chauvinistic to our modern way of thinking! Is God a chauvinist? The only thing I can say is that those who accuse Him of being so, don't know Him.
Another unusual thing about genealogies in the Bible is that they occasionally miss a generation or two altogether for the sake of brevity or emphasis, so we really can't figure out the years properly.
And talk about people living a long life! Shem was 100 years old when he had Arphaxad, but then he lives on for another 500 years and has other children. Not too bad for an old fella! 600 years old! Apparently genes have been corrupted throughout the ages and we live a whole lot less. It seems that the impact of the flood effected longevity - Shem may have lived 600 years but his children lived shorter lives, like only 438 years for Arphaxad. He died so young! Wouldn't it be good to live longer and see how centuries and see how quickly the world changes. Even in the 54 years that I have lived, the world has changed. Who remembers Engelbert Humperdink now?
So who cares, you may say? Why do we have these genealogies in the Bible? Let's just speed read and get to the good parts. Well, don't read too quickly through this genealogy. Everyone of them was an ancestor of Christ. IF SHEM'S LINE HADN'T BEEN CONTINUED, WE WOULD NOT HAVE A SAVIOUR! Shem's descendents are miraculously protected throughout the pages of the Bible down through the ages of history.
The Jewish race came through Shem (Semites).
We know a little bit about Shem, but we know very little about his children. They are only names on the pages of the Bible. Perhaps they didn't accomplish anything worthwhile concerning God's purposes in the world. JUST NAMES AND LOST POTENTIAL. How sad it is when people have so much potential but end up as mere names on a page, or worse, missed out altogether. I don't want that to happen to me.
LORD, HELP ME REACH MY POTENTIAL IN LIFE.
In Genesis 11:29, 30 the names of the wives of Abram and Nahor are given. As I said, this is unusual for a genealogy which "chauvinistically" (at least from a modern point of view), only mentions male children and their fathers by name.
WHY ARE WOMEN MENTIONED?
Terah was Nahor's son, and this passage records how Nahor married his niece, MILCAH, daughter of Haran. Why is her name mentioned, I wonder? Milcah's name features again in the Bible, but Haran also had another daughter, ISCAH. She is not mentioned again.
Terah, Nahor's son, had more than one wife. Bigomy! His wives aren't mentioned by name, but his beautiful daughter SARAI is.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT SARAI?
From this passage, we know that ABRAM MARRIED SARAI. Nothing unusual about this except for one thing....Sarai was Abram's HALF SISTER (Genesis 20:12)!! She was a daughter of his father, Terah, but not his mother (Sounds a little like "Days Of Our Lives" already. Imagine being married to your sister?!! Later, marriages to your half brothers and sisters were forbidden in the Mosaic law).
We also know that Sarai is NOT ABLE TO HAVE ANY CHILDREN (Genesis 11:30).
The family experienced some grief. Haran, father of Lot, died prematurely. We don't know the circumstances of his death but he didn't die in his home town, Haran (How would you like to have a town named after you? So cool!). He died while he was with his father at Ur. Perhaps this is what prompted their father Terah to go to the city of Haran. Terah was actually on his way to Canaan but perhaps he stopped in to Haran, as Henry Morris says to settle his son's affairs after his death.
WAS HARAN MURDERED? We don't know how he died. Perhaps the reason they had to leave Ur was because of the suspicious nature of Haran's death. Perhaps they were being harassed, because of some vendetta against Haran. I can think of all kinds of scenarios but we just don't know. For whatever reason, they move from Ur.