SEDER OLAM - Revisited

סדר עולם - חדש





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Creation

Generations  1-14
(3760 - 2080 BCE)

Generations 15-21
(2080 - 1240 BCE)

Generations 22-28
(1240 - 400 BCE)

Generations 29-35
(400 BCE - 440 CE)

Generations 36-42
(440 - 1280 CE)

Generations 43-49
(1280 - 2120 CE)

Generation 50
(Messianic)



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The descendants from Noah

Ashkenaz

Yavan

Cush

Mizrayim

Canaan

Aram

Arpachshad

Ancient Mesopotamia

Origin of the Hebrews








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Hebrew years 1800 to 1920 (1960-1840 BCE)

The descendants from Noah

The Biblical text mentions the following descendants of Noah from the sons of Gomer, Yavan and Cush on Yafeth's side, from Mizrahim and Canaan on Cham's side, and Aram and Arpachshad for Shem's side.

Map of the world from Noah
A map of the world after Noah, in an edition published in 1854

- Gomer, son of Yafeth, had the following sons who initially populated the Caucasus region before some of them moved north into Central and Eastern Europe:

- Ashkenaz: the ancestor of some people of Central Europe, the Scythians, who then gave root to the Slavic people; his name, decomposed as Esh-Ke-Naz, would mean fire like Naz, whatever Naz may have meant; or it could have meant Esh-Kanaz where KNH (כנה) is an old form for named: in such case, Ashkenaz may have meant fire-named; maybe he was red-haired at birth

- Rifath: he may be the ancestor to the Eurasian people in Asia Minor; in Hebrew, his name means burning so he may have also been red-haired

- Togarmah: the ancestor of Caucasian people such as the Georgians; his name is using the Hebrew root TGR (תגר) which means challenge

- Yavan, son of Yafeth, had the following sons who populated the Greek region and the Mediterranean islands in general:

- Elishah: the ancestor of some of the Greek and Cyprus people; in the times of Ancient Egypt, Cyprus was called Alashiya; the name Elishah may have also been the origin of the word Hellas for Greece

- Tarshish: according to Josephus, he was the ancestor of some people in Asia Minor, about the Taurus mountains; Tarshish will later be the name of a harbour in Antiquity, assumed to have been located in Asia Minor, but other theories assume it was a harbour in the very remote part of the known world, so probably as far as the Spanish coast (mentioned as Tartassus in Herodotus' map of the ancient world)

- Kittim: he probably was the ancestor of people from Cyprus because the ancient name of Larnaca was Kition

- Dodanim: probably the ancestor of people from Rhodes because their name has later been mentioned as Rodanim [1]

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- Cush, son of Cham, had the following sons who mostly populated Southern Egypt and Eastern Africa regions, before spreading to the rest of the African continent, with the notable exception of Nimrod as explained below:

- Seba: his name means grand-father; he is believed to be the ancestor of people from Yemen and Ethiopia

- Havilah: generally associated with the people who populated the northern part of the Arabian peninsula

- Savtah: associated with the people of Yemen

- Raamah: also associated with the Yemen and the southern part of Arabian regions

- Savteca: he established himself in Eritrea

- Nimrod was the first mighty man who ruled over a vast region in Mesopotamia called Shinaar in the Bible; his main city was Babel, the future Babylon

The ancient world according to Herodotus
The ancient world according to Herodotus

- Mizrayim, son of Cham, established himself in the Nile valley, which was before the Flood the place of two different settlements: Lower Egypt in the north and Upper Egypt in the south; the name Mizrayim may have been adopted based on the fact that, when he came to the region, he united both north and south parts under one rule; his name may have been Mizri before becoming the dual Mizr-ayim (the suffix -ayim means two in Hebrew); the sons of Mizrayim were:


- Ludim: he was the ancestor of a people who left the Nile valley, crossed the sea and established themselves in Asia Minor, in a region called Lydia

- Anamim: he was the ancestor of people who established in Lybia; they were referenced in Assyrian records as Anami

- Lehavim: possibly the ancestor of the Lubim, who populated Lybia

- Naftu’him: possibly the ancestor who established himself in Memphis who was called Na-Ptah

- Patrusim: they went to southern Egypt and established himself in Thebes region; his name means Pa-To-Ris, meaning southerner in Ancient Egypt

- Caslu’him: they established himself in southern Egypt, in a region called Kalushet, some distance north from Assuan, and also was the ancestor of the Philistines[2] who was a people from the lineage of Cham who moved north from Egypt, and south from the region of Canaan, at some point in the time

- Caftorim: they first settled in the island of Crete, and then conquered the coastal cities in the Levant and mixed with the Philistine people in the sough; the Caftorim were part of were called the "Sea People"

- Canaan, son of Cham, established himself in the Levant region and had the following sons:

- Sidon: he gave birth to the city-state that gave root to the Phoenician people

- Heth: ancestor of the Hittites, a people who established themselves in Anatolia and Canaan mountains, and who became a regional power during Biblical times

- Jebusite: a people who lived in the hill on the southern side of the present-day city of Jerusalem

- Amorite: a people who established themselves in Syria

- Girgashite: a sea-people known by the Egyptians as the Kirkash; they will leave Canaan just before the conquest by Joshua and will re-locate in present-day Lybia

- Hivite: they lived in the mountainous region of Canaan and of the Levant

- Arkite: they established the city-state of Arka in northern Phoenicia, which will be mentioned in one of the Amarna letters dated 1350 BCE [3]

- Sinite: they were desert dwellers, and gave the name to the wilderness of Zin (Negev and Sinai)

- Arvadite: they founded the city-state of Arwad in northern Phoenicia (now in coastal Syria)

- Zemarite: they founded the city-state of Zemar in Phoenicia, mentioned as Zumur in the Amarna letters

- Hamathite: they founded the city-state of Hamath north from Phoenicia (in Syria today)

Map of the Levant region
Map of the Levant region

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The Biblical text also mentions Noah’s descendants from his son Shem:

- The sons of Aram, ancestor of the Aramaeans, were:

- Utz: who may have been the founder of the city-state Damascus

- H’ul: ancestor of Armenian people

- Gether: ancestor of people living east from Iran

- Mash: also called Meshech in I Chronicles 1:17, there have been several hypothesis about his descendants, one of them locating them near the Black Sea [4]

- As of Arpachshad, son of Shem, he is linked to the Hebrews by his son Shelah’ who established himself in the lower part of Mesopotamia; his name means messenger in Hebrew

The human life started to reduce in duration after the Flood, as God had wished it. Presumably it translated into DNA mutations for the human kind that exposed them to elements, diseases or else, that started to shorten their expected life. It is at this time that physical mutations occured such as the red-haired people in the lineage of Yafeth.These mutations gave root to multiple genetic changes in the human population which, also, affected physical traits: skin colour, form of eye, texture of hair, and so on, and also gave root to multiple DNA types.

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The people of Ancient Mesopotamia

Shem was 98 years old at the time of the Flood and he begot Arpachshad when he was 100 years old (Genesis 11:10). So Shem was born in 1558, as the Flood occurred in 1656, and Arpachshad was born in 1658. Shem died in 2158, at the age of 600 years old (Genesis 11:11).

Shem gave root to all the peoples who returned and established in Mesopotamia after the Flood.

And unto Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, to him also were children born. The sons of Shem: Elam, and Asshur, and Arpachshad, and Lud, and Aram. And the sons of Aram: Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. And Arpachshad begot Shelah; and Shelah begot Eber.
--- Genesis 10:21-24

Elam gave root to the Persian people, the Elamites, who settled towards the East of Mesopotamia. Asshur is the ancestor of the Assyrians and they settled in Northern Mesopotamia. Lud was Luddu in Assyrian language, that is known as Lydia: they were some people established in Asia Minor. Aram was the ancestor of the Aramaeans and settled North from Mesopotamia and Assyria, is today's Northern Syria and part of Southern Turkey.


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The origin of the Hebrews

Arpachshad founded the dynasty of Ur. The name of this city may be derived from the prefix of his name Ar-Ur, as founder of such dynasty named after him. He is probably the historical king Ur-Nammu, who founded this Ur dynasty in the times after the Flood from around 2100 BCE. In the depictions of these times, the kings and officials are all represented with long beards, maybe as a proof that these people still lived long years compared to their successors.

Stela of Ur-Nammu
Stela of Ur-Nammu

Arpachshad was 35 years old when he begot Shelah’, in year 1693. He then lived 403 years and died in 2096 (Genesis 11:12-13).

Shelah’ was 30 years old when he begot Eber, in year 1723. He then lived 403 years and died in year 2126 (Genesis 11:14-15).

Eber was 34 years when he begot Peleg, in year 1757. He then lived 430 years and died in year 2187 (Genesis 11:16-17). At the time of his death, Shem had already died, in year 2158, 29 years earlier. But this overlap of life durations enabled Shem, the righteous son of Noah, to instruct Eber in the knowledge of God. The name Eber means to cross over in Hebrew. He is the direct ancestor of the Hebrews whose name derived from Eber

And to Eber were two sons. The name of the one was Peleg, because in his days the earth dispersed, and the name of his brother was Yoktan.
--- Genesis 10:25

Presumably, Eber’s first son, Peleg, was a name that was given to him when the dispersion happened on earth. This will be the dispersion of the human population after the construction of the Tower of Babel (see next generation in Hebrew year 1997).

Eber also represented the 14th human generation since the Creation: 1-Adam > 2-Seth > 3-Enosh > 4-Kenan > 5-Mahalalel > 6-Jared > 7-Hanoch > 8- Metushalach > 9- Lemech > 10- Noach > 11- Shem > 12- Arpachshad > 13- Shelah > 14- Eber. Already at the 7th generation, with Hanoch who walked in the path of God, we witnessed God's attempt to awaken his essence in the human race. Eber represented His 2nd attempt (because 14 is twice 7), and from him will be issued the people, the Hebrews, that God has wished to choose to carry His message.

Hanoch was the first man since the Creation to truly walk in the path of God. He represented the 7th human generation since Adam (). This number 7 is symptomatic of God's presence because the 7th day is the Shabbat, a day dedicated by God. So Hanoch had been inspired by God and represented the first divine attempt to awaken the human race to the path of God.

Yoktan, whose name means small, had the following 13 sons:

- Almodad: it is assumed that he was ancestor to some of the Arabian tribes

- Shelef

- Chatsarmaveth: his name means the courtyard of death; it is assumed that he is ancestor to some Yemenite tribe

- Yerah’

- Hadoram: his name means the south

- Uzal: he settled in Sana, Yemen

- Diklah

- O’val

- Avimael

- Sheva: he is the ancestor of the Queen of Sheba, who lived during the reign of King Solomon 

- Ophir: he is the ancestor of sea people somewhere in Africa, who extracted and traded their gold in ancient times

- ‘Havilah: his name means circular and the land where he dwelt also had gold (Genesis 2:11); it is believed that this place is in the Hijaz mountains in Western Arabia

- Yovav

 
Peleg was 30 years when he begot Reu’, in year 1787. He then lived 209 years and died in year 1996 (Genesis 11:18-19). Peleg was the first person to have lived a short life compared to his ancestors who were all still alive at the time of his death (Noah, Shem, Arpachshad. Shelah’ and Eber). It is them who had renamed him Peleg because he died at the time of the so-called dispersion

The name of the one was Peleg, because in his days the earth dispersed, […]. 
--- Genesis 10:25

Reu’ was 32 years when he begot Sherug, in year 1819. He then lived 207 years and died in year 2026 (Genesis 11:20-21).

Sherug was 30 years when he begot Nachor, in year 1849. He then lived 200 years and died in year 2049 (Genesis 11:22-23). It is assumed that he had settled in the city of Ur and started to worship idols.

Nachor was 29 years when he begot Terach, in year 1878. He then lived 119 years and died in year 1997 (Genesis 11:24-25). Nachor lived a very short life, of 148 years.


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Notes:

[1] According to I Chronicles 1:7

[2] According to Genesis 10:14

[3] See article in Wikipedia
 
[4] There is also a Meshech son of Yafeth, whereas the current Meshech is the one being grandson of Shem; it may be that the latter was a son of the former, and took his name after being "pulled" (which explains his name Meshech in Hebrew) from Yafeth and adopted by Aram son of Shem with a change of name to Mash




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