Shem Ham & Japheth birth order


Shem Ham & Japheth

We all know that Shem Ham and Japheth are Noah’s three sons. But do we know their chronological order of birth? Theologians and scholars seem to have different accounts. But could the Bible allows different order of birth and still maintain its status as infallible and inherent?

On the other hand, if the theologians and scholars give differing accounts of this, wouldn’t they be promulgating a lie? If there are competing truths, we can only accept the one from the Bible. From the perspective of the ones listening to these teachers and theologians, some controversy arises.

  • Even though they will assert that these are coming from the Bible. This is not true. The words are actually coming from the minds of men, as we will later see
  • Another fundamental problem arises also. If they are incorrect on the simple subject as the birth order of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, then how could they be right on a more complex subject. Like salvation, the nature of CHRIST, water baptism, etc.

The Bible is the Infallible and Inherent

The pages of the Bible declare it to be the Word of the Living God, for example

(2Timothy 3:16–17) Every scripture is God inspired, and beneficial for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction– the one in righteousness; that the man of God should be complete for accomplishing every work good.

Therefore if the Bible is the word of GOD, then it has to be infallible. By implication the Scripture is perfect.

We read that “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7) and also “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6 )

The Bible must be our only source for truth

We go to the Bible for all sources of truth (2 Peter 1:20-21) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation

(Psa 119:160) The beginning of thy words is truth; and all the judgments of thy righteousness endure for ever (John 17:17)  Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth:

There is a severe penalty for those who do not divide the Word in truth

(Rev 22:18-19) I testify to everyone who hears the word of the prophecy of this book: Whoever will place upon these things, God shall place upon him the plagues that are written in this book. And whoever subtracts from the words of the Scripture of this prophecy, God shall subtract his part from The Tree of Life and from The Holy City, those things which are written in this book.

GOD hide the truth from the unsaved

In studying the chronological relationship between Shem, Ham, and Japheth, we discover an important truth of the Bible. It is the fact that GOD hides the truth of the Gospel from those who are unsaved!

(Matthew 11:25).. At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent… GOD speak to men in parables

GOD only reveals the truth to the saved

(Mark 4: 33-34) And with such many parables he spoke to them the word, as they were able to hear.  And without parables he did not speak to them. But in private he explained all to his disciples. So, if the “Jesus” of the Bible wrote the Bible then we must conclude from that, the entire Bible is in the form of parables.

Another passage goes even further (Matthew 13:10-11)  And having come, the disciples said to him, why in parables do you speak to them? And he answering said to them that, To you has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those it has not been given. By the way Jesus was referring to Israelites on both sides (Matthew 13: 12) For whosoever has, it shall be given to him, and he shall abound; but whosoever does not have, even what he has shall be lifted from him.

Why would GOD hide HIS Word from unbelievers?

So why did God write the Bible in such a way? The next verse puts it quite succinctly:

(Matthew 13: 13-15)  On account of this I speak to them in parables. For seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor perceive.And is fulfilled by them the prophecy of Isaiah, the one saying, hearing you shall hear, and in no way should you perceive; and seeing you shall see, and in no way should you know. For the heart of this people was thickened, and with the ears heavily they heard, and they closed the eyelids of their eyes; lest at any time they should see with the eyes, and with the ears should hear, and the heart should perceive, and they should turn, and I shall heal them.

Shem, Ham, and Japhet, the chronology of the Bible

When the Bible introduces the brothers for the first time, they are listed in the order of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Gen_5:32 )And Noah was five hundred years and he procreated three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Admittedly from this verse alone, we do not have enough information to believe this is a chronological order yet.  But consequently, when we read further on we find a pattern.  All three brothers appear together in the Bible only 6 times. The 6 verses below show that GOD enumerates them as Shem, Ham, and Japhet.

  • Gen_5:32And Noah was five hundred years(old) and he procreated three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
  • Gen_6:10And Noah procreated three sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth.
  • Gen_7:13 In this day entered Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth, the sons of Noah, and the wife of Noah, and the three wives of his sons with him into the ark.
  • Gen_9:18And these were the sons of Noah, the ones coming forth from the ark, Shem, Ham, Japheth. And Ham was father of Canaan.
  • Gen_10:1And these (are) the generations of the sons of Noah — Shem, Ham, Japheth. And were born to them sons after the flood.
  • 1Ch_1:4Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth.

By adding Noah to the mix, GOD even makes HIS intention clearer for what the chronological order is (1Ch_1:4) Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth …with Noah, obviously the oldest one because he is the father; secondly comes his oldest son, Shem; then his middle son Ham; then, Japheth the baby of the three. Therefore we have to conclude that the true chronologic order is Shem, Ham, and Japheth

Shem, Japhet, and Ham chronology from Zondervan Dictionary

Many YouTubers and forums draw attention to a quote from the Zondervan Dictionary.

“Ham: the youngest son of Noah, born probably about 96 years before the flood, and one of the eight persons to live through the flood. He became the progenitor of the dark races, not the negroes, but the Egyptian, Ethiopians, Libyans and Canaanites (Gen.10:6-20)His indecency when his father lay drunken brought a curse upon Canaan…”

As we can clearly see, the Zondervan is introducing a new chronological order of Shem, Japhet, and Ham!. This is in clear violation of what the words of the Bible teaches us earlier, that the order is Shem, Ham, and Japhet

Zondervan Dictionary is at odds with the Bible

In line with what we learned earlier,GOD HIDE THE TRUTH FROM THE UNSAVED. In line with that truism, GOD here introduces a stumbling block for the readers: Starting from (Gen 9:20-24). We will do a verse by verse analysis, avoiding any assumptions, or theorizings.

  • (Gen_5:32 )And Noah was five hundred years and he procreated three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Noah was 500 years old and he engendered three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet

  • (Gen 9:20)  And Noah the man began to be a farmer of the land. And he planted a vineyard,

Apparently, after the flood, Noah chose farming as his occupation and cultivated a vineyard

  • (Gen 9:21) and drank from the wine, and became intoxicated, and became naked in his house.

One day Noah drank so much that he became drunk. At some point, he became unclothes in his house. No explanation was given in this verse for the reason why he is naked. The reader should not assume something the Bible has not made clear.

  • (Gen 9:22)  And Ham the father of Canaan looked at the nakedness of his father; and going forth, he announced it to his two brothers outside.

Apparently Ham was first on the scene and noticed that his father Noah is drunk and naked. A point of note here, is that GOD is confirming for the second time so far that Ham is the father of Canaan. It does not say here that Ham did anything inappropriate other than to neglect his fathers’ condition. He should have covered his father but instead, he chose to tell his brothers who were outside. The law is that he should clothe the naked.

Ham’s sin was probably neglect. In a spiritual sense, each man should cover their brother’s shame or sin as in (Ezk 18:7) 

Noah’s youngest son is Canaan

  • (Gen 9:23)  And Shem and Japheth taking the cloak, placed it upon their two backs, and went backwards, and they covered up the nakedness of their father; and their face was backwards, and they did not look at the nakedness of their father.

So here we have the other two brothers of Ham walking backward with a cloak to cover up the nakedness of their father. It’s hard to imagine this but GOD assures us that they did not see the nakedness of their father. But Ham did.

  • (Gen 9:24And Noah sobered up from the wine, and knew as much as his younger son did to him.

So at some point, Noah sobered up from his drunkenness. The Bible stated that when Noah woke up he “knew as much as his younger son did to him” this is where people came upon the idea that Ham was the youngest son of Noah and will point to this verse as proof that the birth order is Shem, Japhet, and Ham. That idea could also entertain another possibly of Japheth, Shem, and Ham. as the birth order.

Why is Canaan Noah’s youngest son?

So, did ( Gen 9:24) states that Ham is the youngest son of Noah? Let us examine this further. We need to understand when the bible uses a word, we must examine the word in its context. For example, the word “son” can be a direct son, like Ham is a son of Noah. On the other hand, the meaning could be extended to a further descendant. 

(Gen 48:5)  Now then, your two sons, the ones born to you in the land of Egypt, before my coming to you in Egypt, are mine, Ephraim and Manasseh, as Reuben and Simeon they shall be mine.

Jacob is stating that Ephraim and Manasseh are his sons although they are actually his grandsons. They are His sons for the purpose of sharing the land. Each has equal inheritance as  Reuben and Simeon. This is the blessings that Jacob gave to his two grandsons, integrating them into the twelve tribes of Israel co-equal with the other sons of Jacob.

(Gen 48:16)  the angel rescuing me from all evils, bless these boys! And my name shall be called upon them , and the name of my fathers — Abraham and Isaac. And may they multiply into a great multitude upon the earth.

Canaan is Noah’s youngest son

Going back to did ( Gen 9:24) we can see from the context that Noah is referring to Canaan. Maybe that is the reason the Bible mentions that Ham is the father of Canaan twice before this incident. At this time maybe Ham was the only of the three sons had male offspring. Or maybe the others had but they were older than Canaan. If that is not enough, then the following verse confirms it.

(Gen 9:25)  And he said, Accursed be Canaan — a child, he will be a domestic servant to his brothers.

It is abundantly clear that Noah is referring to Canaan and not Ham. Why would Noah be cursing Canaan if Ham was the one who did something inappropriate to him?

Shem Japheth & Ham by Flavius Josephus

This is a good example of how false doctrine and works of errors had crept into the false Christian doctrine and has influenced their false theology.

Who is Flavius Josephus?

Pretty much everything we know of Josephus Flavius is out of his mouth; his autobiography “THE LIFE OF FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS”. Claims to be a Jew,  born in Jerusalem in AD 37 – 38, (a couple of years after Christ’s crucifixion). Flavius claimed to be the son of a priest and his mother descended from the royal Jewish line.  He became a Pharisee and then a military commander in the Jewish resistance.claimed to be an eyewitness to Jerusalem’s destruction in AD 70. Apparently he likes to toot his own horn;  In is own words: “Moreover when I was a child, and about fourteen years of age, I was commended by all. for the love I had to learning; on which account the high priests and principal men of the city came then frequently to me together, in order to know my opinion about the accurate understanding of points of the law“.

His major works

His major works are his account of the Jewish revolt (The Jewish War) and a complete history of God’s people from creation to the first century (Antiquities of the Jews). Obviously he had access to Biblical text in Jerusalem or elsewhere. He couldn’t be giving firsthand information since he was born in AD 38. This work reads like a creative paraphrasing of the narratives of the Old Testament and much of the earlier new testament. For all his efforts this work is a cavalcade of errors and misinformation

Eusebius, the first church historian, calls Josephus Flavius “the most famous Jew of his time”  This is interesting because if Flavius Josephus died in AD 100, then how did Eusebius write about him as if they were contemporary. Eusebius was born 263 A.D! The 1544 Greek edition appeared to be the basis of the 1732 English translation by William Whiston.

His works achieved enormous popularity in the English-speaking world. It was often the book, second only to the Bible, that Christians most frequently owned. For two millennia Christian scholars have preserved and studied Josephus’s works, especially clergy often incorporate details from Josephus works in their sermons just as if it is coming from the pages of Biblical text

Quotes from Flavius regarding the birth order of Shem, Japhet, and Ham

CHAPTER 4. Concerning The Tower Of
Babylon, And The Confusion Of Tongues

1. Now the sons of Noah were three, – Shem, Japhet, and Ham, born one hundred years before the Deluge. These first of all descended from the mountains into the plains, and fixed their habitation there; and persuaded others who were greatly afraid of the lower grounds on account of the flood, and so were very loath to come down from the higher places, to venture to follow their examples. Now the plain in which they first dwelt  was called Shinar

He plainly teaches that the birth order is Shem, Japhet, and Ham

There you have it. Shem the oldest, Japhet the second and the youngest son Ham!. He even corroborates this error below. Compare the two and see that Flavius thinks the youngest son is Ham. But here he offers an alibi as to why Canaan was cursed instead of Ham

CHAPTER 6. How Every Nation Was
Denominated From Their First Inhabitants.
3. Noah, when, after the deluge,
the earth was resettled in its former condition, set about its cultivation; and
when he had planted it with vines, and when the fruit was ripe, and he had
gathered the grapes in their season, and the wine was ready for use, he offered
sacrifice, and feasted, and, being drunk, he fell asleep, and lay naked in an
unseemly manner. When his youngest son saw this, he came laughing, and showed
him to his brethren; but they covered their father's nakedness. And when Noah
was made sensible of what had been done, he prayed for prosperity to his other
sons; but for Ham, he did not curse him, by reason of his nearness in blood,
but cursed his prosperity: and when the rest of them escaped that curse, God
inflicted it on the children of Canaan. 

Josephus contradicts the Bible several times

But if that was not enough, Josephus’s other errors and stupidity is plainly evident in his writings. It is hard to miss or ignore them.  Let us take another look at the passage in chapter 4.v1 of his writings:

1. Now the sons of Noah were three, – Shem, Japhet, and Ham, born one hundred years before the Deluge. These first of all descended from the mountains into the plains, and fixed their habitation there; and persuaded others who were greatly afraid of the lower grounds on account of the flood, and so were very loath to come down from the higher places, to venture to follow their examples. Now the plain in which they first dwelt  was called Shinar

Yes, Josephus is declaring that there were other people, other than Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japhet with their wives, who survived the flood. living up in the mountains.

But the Bible said the flood covered the highest mountains.  (Gen 7:20) Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

(Gen 9:18)  And these were the sons of Noah, the ones coming forth from the ark, Shem, Ham, Japheth. And Ham was father of Canaan.

(Gen 9:19These three are the sons of Noah. From these, men were disseminated upon all the earth.

Therefore if the Bible clearly said only Noah and his family of eight survived the flood, then where did those people who were living in the mountains come from?

But Josephus continues with even more errors. Please take a look at another one that is even more startling! his book in chapter 6.v4 declares:

CHAPTER 6. How Every Nation Was
Denominated From Their First Inhabitants.
4. Shem, the third son of Noah, had
five sons, who inhabited the land that began at Euphrates, and reached to the
Indian Ocean. For Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the
Persians. Ashur lived at the city Nineve; and named his subjects Assyrians, who
became the most fortunate nation, beyond others. Arphaxad named the
Arphaxadites, who are now called Chaldeans. Aram had the Aramites, which the
Greeks called Syrians; as Laud founded the Laudites, which are now called

Josephus contradicts himself again

Firstly, Josephus contradicts himself. He now saying Shem is the third son of Noah! Also, he is apparently mixing up the Assur of Shem with the ones of Ham.

(Gen 10:6-11) the sons of Ham — Cush, and Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush — Seba and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah. And the sons of Raamah – Sheba and Dedan. Cush procreated Nimrod. This one began to be a giant upon the earth. This one was a giant hunter with hounds before the LORD God. On account of this they shall say, As Nimrod a giant hunter with hounds before the LORD. And came to pass the beginning of his kingdom — Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From out of that land came forth Assyria. And he built Nineveh, also in the midst of Calah —

These are the Assyrians who gave so much headache to Israel. They are Hamites. He is mixing them up with the Asshur of Shem. Who went out of history early, never heard from again. This mix-up may be attributed to the KJV translation which uses the same word for both.

(Gen 10:22)  Sons of Shem — Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Cainan. (Gen 10:23)  And the sons of Aram — Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

This one referred to here is Shemite. With the authority that Josephus has among the Bible scholars today, then how would he not know the difference between the two. This man claimed he was whom that the high priests and principal men of the city came frequently too, in order to know his opinion about the accurate understanding of points of the law”!

Japhet, Ham, and Shem, according to some theologians

Then there are the groups of theologians who teach that the order of birth as Japhet, Ham, and Shem the youngest. We already see where they got Ham to be the youngest. But these have made a new twist on the birth order by naming Japhet as the oldest. Let us investigate how this one originated. In other words, we will see how GOD made them “see and not see” at the same time.

We read in Genesis chapter 10 that GOD is listing the descendants of the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japhet. As we pointed out earlier, that whenever GOD discusses them together, HE does it in order of their birth.

But in this the 10th chapter of Genesis, there is a change, because GOD starts with Japheth, the one whom HE previously lists as the youngest of the three. Then HE continues with Ham and going upward to the oldest, Shem. This is the reason this teacher assumes that it is the chronological birth order.

By reason of first-born, The CHRIST comes through Shem

But that is an erroneous view. A key principle in the Bible is that of the first-born. The First-born is entitled to the inheritance and blessing. Shem is the First-born and he is entitled to the blessing. This is the reason that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob come through his line. This line goes straight to the MESSIAH who is a genetic part of Israel. What GOD is doing here in Genesis 10, is taking out the little details of human genealogies to concentrate on the line that leads to the MESSIAH.

This is simply called saving the best for the last. Shem is the one that the entire Bible is focussed on. If one read the Bible from cover to cover we notice that soon after this chapter, we read very little about Ham’s generation and even less of Japheth. The only time one reads about Japhet’s descendants, it is in a very bad light, when Gog, Magog, Meshech is mentioned.

Incidentally in the genealogies of Genesis 10:1-31 begs the question: Why does the genealogy of the youngest, Japhets only take up 92 words. Ham takes a whopping 263 words, around three times that of Japhet. Apparently Ham has more significance. There is a spiritual dimension that is intertwined in this.

Quotes from The Book of Jasher

Another faulty interpretation that may have given rise to the possible genealogy of Japheth, Ham, and Shem, could have come out of the pages of the Book of Jasher chapter. 7v1, The book of Jasher, may have erroneously interpreted from which Genesis 10:21

Jasher Chapter 7

1.And these are the names of the sons of Noah: Japheth, Ham and Shem; andchildren were born to them after the flood, for they had taken wives before the flood.

Japheth the elder or Shem the elder

Gen 10:21  And to Shem was born, even to him, the father of all the sons of Eber, brother of Japheth the greater. 

Shem is the elder of the Two

The Idea that Japheth was the older brother of Shem is derived from a faulty interpretation of (Genesis 10:21) is where these theologians and writers stumble. It goes back to my premise that GOD intentionally hides the truth of the Gospel from those HE does not intend to save.

Read it one more time…slowly… Gen 10:21 And to Shem was born, even to him, the father of all the sons of Eber, brother of Japheth the greater.

The key thing is to bear in mind is that GOD has already that  GOD had already dwelt with the cases of Japheth and Ham. Therefore all the other references in the verse are about Shem. Therefore the elder can only be referring to Shem, NOT Japheth. Furthermore, Shem is the father of all the sons of Eber. Japhet is NOT. Shem is also the brother to Japheth(as well as Ham) Cleary GOD is NOT referring to Japhet. HE is referring to Shem as the elder.

Jasher Chapter 5

17. And Naamah conceived and bare a son, and he called his name Japheth, saying, God has enlarged me in the earth; and she conceived again and bare a son, and he called his name Shem, saying, God has made me a remnant, to raise up seed in the midst of the earth.

This is just confirming the above, that they erroneously believe Japhet was the eldest.

And here they also confirm the erroneous belief that Shem was the second and obviously Ham, they believe must be the youngest

Ham, Shem & Japhet according to Harold Camping

As ridiculous as it may seem, there is yet another strange twist on the chronology of the sons of Noah. That says that Ham is the older, then Shem and Japheth the younger of the three. The main proponent of this error was a man called Harold Camping.

Harold Camping

Harold Camping (July 19, 1921 – December 15, 2013) was an American Christian radio broadcaster, author and evangelist. He is notable for issuing a succession of failed predictions of End Times dates. His first prediction was that Judgment Day would occur on September 6, 1994. This didn’t happen so he revised the date to September 29 and then to October 2 of 2005, which didn’t happen either. Camping had a call-in show which aired on the Family Radio channel. It invited listeners to call in and get answers to their questions related to the Bible. During this time, I got familiar with the station and his ministry. He seemed to have some good solid teachings which impressed me, but now in retrospect, he had some very bad ones.

More predictions of the second coming of CHRIST

His other belief is that black people brought from Africa to slavery in the Americas are just black people…gentiles.  He is a firm believer in the replacement theology gospel-that Israel of the Bible no longer exists but was warped into or replaced by Christians over time. All this coming from a man with a degree in civil engineering and who had studied the bible longer than any living human being at the time.

Camping next predicted the Second Coming of Christ to May 21, 2011. But May 21 passed without that happening. Camping alibi was he believed that a “spiritual” judgment had occurred on that date, but the actual physical Rapture would take place on October 21st .  During the time leading up to October 21st he suffered a stroke and died in June 2011.  

Camping was the author of several books: The more prominent being, “1994”; “Time Has an End”: A Biblical History of the World 11,013 B. C. – 2011 A. D”; “First Principles of Bible Study”; and “Adam When? A Biblical Solution to the Timetable of Mankind” The book Adam When? has some solid teaching especially its critique of evolution. In this book, however, Camping got the chronology of the birth order of the sons of Noah wrong.

How Camping saw but could not understand

A very true statement by Camping declares that:

“Whenever we have to force a verse or struggle with a verse to make it fit into our idea of what the Word says or will allow, we are on dangerous ground”  In Chapter one, page eight of this book camping declares, and I quote:

On page 46 of the book “Adam When” he writes the following:

“We find that in Genesis 5:32 declares that Noah was 500 years old when he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, yet in the 10th verse of Genesis 11 we are told that when ‘Shem was a hundred years old, he became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood’”

He further reason that “Since Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood, Shem must have been born when Noah was 502. And since Genesis 10:21 refers to Shem, the older brother of Japheth, we can know that Japheth was born when Noah was more than 502 years old.”

Camping consequently concludes:

“Thus, Ham must have been born when Noah was 500  as the oldest of the three sons. We may, therefore, reasonably conclude that Shem was born when his father was 502…Again, as in Abram’s case Shem’s name probably appears first in Bible record because of his place in GOD’s plan”

This may sound like a reasonable conclusion to Camping and others, but rather it amounts to conjecture. This is why the Bible precepts like (Mat 13:14) is so relevant. It will show that GOD wrote the Bible in such a way that Camping is actually staring at the answer, but will be unable to see it.

How old was Noah when he procreated Shem?

This will show how Camping and others begin to stumble at (Gen 5:32). It is a key phrase to determine Noah’s age when he procreated Shem. Let us compare two different translations to see the context.

(Gen 5:32)  And Noah was five hundred years (old) and he procreated three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (ABP+)
(Gen 5:32)  And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth(KJV+)

The word “old” is in a bracket in the ABP+, as it is in many other translations. This is indicating that this word is not in the original manuscript. This is inserted to make the phrase more readable to the English readers. They probably think it means Noah was 500 years old, but that is beside the point. They are careful to let you know that the word did not belong there.

But the KJV has included it in the translation, making it change the meaning of the verse entirely! Obviously, this is effectively a private interpretation by the KJV translators and it only throws in an obstacle for those reading.

Since there is no indication that the brothers are triplets, we must Now examine the two verbs in the sentence (wasG1510) and ( procreated(G1080)

Noah procreated Shem after he was 500 years old

This particular word G1510 can be used in a variety of ways, including with the word “sojourned” as in

(Act_7:6)  And God thus spoke, that his seed will beG1510.8.3 a sojournerG3941 in an alien land, and they shall enslave it, and inflict evil for four hundred years.

You can basically look at this passage as having two parts. (firstly)Noah sojourned/lived 500 years. (secondly) he procreated three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Procreated can only mean that Noah became the father of the three. One clue is that the 500 may not have anything to his age when he procreated the boys. The Greek word G1080 means bear, beget, engender, bring forth, etc., but the verb “was” G1510 seems to shed more light.

The two parts are independent of each other in the context of determining birthdates of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. This is how Camping, et al. runs into a problem. By thinking GOD is saying that when Noah was 500 years old he fathered Shem.

Alternately you could say that Noah didn’t start procreating sons until after he was 500 years. No sons when he was 499, or 500 years old. but he would start procreating at 501, 502, 503, etc.

How old was shem when he procreated Arphaxad

Now let us sort out the consternation that Camping et al., is having. Let look at the second verse he mentions to sort out his consternation.

Gen 11:10  And these are the generations of Shem. And Shem was a hundred years (old) when he procreated Arphaxad, the second year after the flood.

We already learned these facts from the Bible, that the flood started in the 600 year of Noah’s life. (Gen 7:6)  And Noah was six hundred years old, and the flood of the water came upon the earth.

Therefore Noah procreated Shem when he was 502 years old

Shem procreated Arphaxad when he was 100 years. Arphaxad was born 2 years after the flood when Noah was 600 years old. Therefore, Noah would be 602 years old himself when Arphaxad was born.  If the end of the flood was Noah 600th birthday, then it would be Shem’s 98 birthday. If Noah was 600 years old when Shem was 98 years old, then Shem would have to be born when Noah was 502 years old. As you can see from that deduction that Camping was correct that Noah procreated Shem when he was 502.

But subsequently, when he read (Gen 5:32) he assumed that Noah started procreating when he was 500 years, then he invokes (Gen 10:21) to show that Shem was indeed Japhet’s older brother (which is also correct) he now has nowhere to go but to make Ham the oldest brother. To his idea, Ham had to be born before Noah’s 502nd  birthday. The most convenient date to him was Noah’s 500th (birthday) because he thinks that is what he read in (Gen 5:32)

That is a perfect principle of Bible study. But if he really believes what he said about the principle of good Bible study, then why did he try to fit Ham into the first-born position, when he knows that Shem’s as the first on the chronology is because of his place in GOD’s plan. The right of the firstborn.


Men are all liars and the Bible says it. In order to find the truth, we must rely on the Bible alone. Dictionaries, Josephus, Camping and the book of Jasher are the ideas of man. At the very least they are just ignorant men, but at their worst, they are meant for deception. This is a simple study on the birth order of the sons of Noah. If these sources are all so wrong, then just imagine how wrong they could be on some of the more weightier matters of salvation.

(Matthew 13: 12) For whosoever has, it shall be given to him, and he shall abound; but whosoever does not have, even what he has shall be lifted from him.


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