- 12th Patriarch of Genesis
- Born 2 Years after Great Flood
- Grandson of Prophet Noah
- Father of Semetic Races (Arabs, Hebrews, Assyrians, et al)
Arpachshad, (alternatively spelled Arphaxad or Arphacsad), was one of the five sons of Shem, the eldest son of Noah (Genesis 10:22, 24; 11:10-13; 1 Chron. 1:17-18). Arpachshad's brothers were Elam, Asshur, Lud and Aram; he is an ancestor of Abraham. He is said by Gen. 11:10 to have been born two years after the Flood, when Shem was 100.
Genesis 11 Narrative
10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
Some ancient Jewish sources, particularly Jubilees, point to Arpachshad as the immediate progenitor of Ura and Kesed, who allegedly founded the city of Ur Kesdim (Ur of the Chaldees) on the west bank of the Euphrates (Jub. 9:4; 11:1-7) — the same bank where Ur, identified by Leonard Woolley in 1927 as Ur of the Chaldees, is located.
Until Woolley's identification of Ur, Arpachshad was understood by many Jewish and Muslim scholars to be an area in northern Mesopotamia, Urfa of the Yazidis. This led to the identification of Arpachshad with Urfa-Kasid (due to similarities in the names ארפ־כשד and כשדים) - a land associated with the Khaldis, whom Josephus confused with the Chaldeans. Donald B. Redford asserted that Arpachshad is to be identified with Babylon.
Another Arpaxad is referenced in the deuterocanonical Book of Judith as a king of the Medes, and if this supposed Median king is contemporary with the conquest of the Assyrians, he could be identified with Phraortes (c. 665 - 633 BC). If he is contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar II (named as king of the Assyrians in Judith), he might be identified with Cyaxares (r. 625–585 BC).
Marriage and Family
Arpachshad's son is called Shelah, except in the Septuagint, where his son is Cainan (קינן), Shelah being Arpachshad's grandson. Cainan is also identified as Arpachshad's son in Luke 3:36 and Jubilees 8:1. The Book of Jubilees additionally identifies Arpachshad's wife as Rasu'aya, the daughter of Susan, who was the son (or daughter in some versions) of Shem's older son Elam. (Arpachshad's mother is named in this source as Sedeqetelebab; for competing traditions on the name of Shem's wife see wives aboard the Ark.)
|Offspring of Arpachshad or Arphaxad and Rasu'aya|
|Salah ben Arphaxad||Mesopotamia||Mesopotamia|
|Offspring of Shem and unknown parent|
|Ashur ben Shem||Mesopotamia||Mesopotamia|| |
|Arpachshad ben Shem||Mesopotamia||Mesopotamia|| Rasu'aya|
|Aram ben Shem||Mesopotamia||Mesopotamia|| |
|Elam ben Shem||Mesopotamia||Mesopotamia|| |
|Lud ben Shem||Mesopotamia||Mesopotamia|| |
|Daughters of Shem|