bridging to another story

Genesis 11
 10 This is the account of Shem’s family line.
 
Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.



 12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. 13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

 14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

 16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. 17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.


 18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. 19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

 20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. 21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

 22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. 23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

 24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

 26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.
***
Here, we get a focus on Shem’s family line, but instead of following Joktan after Eber, we get the focus on Peleg and his descendants.

This genealogy differs from the one in chapter ten as it is concerned with tracing a certain line – and thus only names one son, mentioning ‘other sons and daughters’ but not focusing on them.  In this way, it’s similar to the genealogy of chapter 5, which traces the line from Adam to Noah.

This is not a genealogy for the sake of it – it is a joining of dots, a line from A to B. It’s a bridging of stories, of generations.  It looks to show how this person is related to that person.

When it reaches Terah, it changes form, naming three of his sons.  Something about Terah, then, is about to be said.  Some new story is about to begin.  It’s both a link and an introduction, an end and a beginning.

The beginning of a story with a cast of new characters, characters we will get to know more deeply than we did their forebears.  

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