The Posterity of Shem
From verses 15-32 we are given the genealogy of Ham, the one who brought the curse on his son Canaan. We have seen a bit of the lineage of Japheth, and of Ham. We will not see their genealogies any more in Scripture. The genealogy of Shem is what becomes important for the bringing of Messiah into the world for the putting away of sin.
There is a man in the lineage of Shem whom I want to point out. This character may seem to be insignificant, but we are told something concerning his name that should cause us to wonder. Wonder about this child named after an event of catastrophic proportions. He is “Peleg”, “And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” Genesis 10:25 (KJV). There was an earthquake which had taken place which must have shook the very foundations of the earth.
The earthquake must have been a new event, and that would tell us a few things. First, it would tell us that God had originally created a perfect creation, but now it is defective and marred due to the sin of mankind. Secondly, it could also tell us that this was how God divided the peoples of the earth from one another following the confusion of the languages as mentioned in chapter 11. Could the earth have shaken so violently that the earth became the continents that we have today? Some say no. Who is to say for sure? If God could cause the earth to stand still for a whole day (Joshua 10:12-13); and if He could cause it to go backwards in a sundial 10 degrees [that is not in temperature] (Isaiah 38:7-8), then why could He not cause an earthquake and divide the earth? I say He could, and may have just done so.
The lineage of Shem is important for us to know, because it is through Shem that we have received our Lord and Savior as a man, and more importantly as the God-Man. The lineage of Shem is seen throughout the Old Testament, and then again in the New Testament in the genealogies the gospel writers, Matthew and Luke, have written down to provide evidence to us of the royalty, deity, and humanity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.