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Abraham Lived During The Life Of Shem

He was no doubt familiar with antediluvian events and would have given to his generation a very direct account of the same.

Abraham was one of Shem’s most distinguished descendants. (The line of descent from Shem down to Abraham is listed in Genesis 11:10-26.)  This is listed on the Bible Timeline Chart around 2004 BC. His ancestors were ordered as follows.

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Ancestor Age Upon Fatherhood Age Upon Death
Shem 100 600
Arphaxad 35 438
Shelah 30 433
Eber 34 464
Peleg 30 239
Reu 32 239
Serug 30 230
Nahor 29 148
Terah 70 205
Abraham 100 175


Abraham and Shem
“The genealogy of Shem to Abraham according to the Bible”

Abraham (then named Abram) was born in Ur of the Chaldeans in Mesopotamia when his father Terah was 70 years old. There were several generations linking Shem with Abraham. However, Shem was still alive when Abraham was born. As mentioned in Genesis 11:11, Shem lived 500 years more after the birth of Arphaxad. This overlapping of years between the two may have allowed Abraham to learn about the antediluvian events directly from one of the people who survived the flood such as Shem. This included the Genesis creation narrative, the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, as well as other notable ancestors who came before Shem. Although the construction of the Tower of Babel was mentioned before the appearance of Abraham in Genesis 11, it is not clear whether Abraham lived before, during, or after this event.

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32 thoughts on “Abraham Lived During The Life Of Shem

  1. It is clear Abram/Abraham lived after the Tower of Babel. In fact, the scattering more than likely occured at or right after Peleg. Fot is says, he was called Peleg because the earth was divided. This would put the scattering at about 101 years after the flood.

  2. What is the possibility that shem could have been the ageless one or the king of Salem Abraham paid tribute to and the new testament refers to him as the king with no begining and no end after the order of Melchizedek

    1. I was thingking the same but bible said clearly about Shem parents and the ages of his life.

      1. It was said to justify Jesus being a priest without having Levite ancestry. Just as Melchizedek, the high priest of God did not. It was giving an example of another priest not of the line of Levi.

    2. Shem could not be ageless because he had mother and father , Melchizedek did not have a mother and father he had no genealogy. Melchizedek was the pre Christ

  3. In reference to Abram knowing Shem, a disputed book ” the book of jasher” records Abram living and serving Shem for almost 40 years before going back to his fathers house and destroying his fathers idols which were also Nimrods idols . Then it goes on to Abram being thrown into a brick kiln and walking around unharmed.

    1. The book of Jasher also records that Shem attended Sarah’s Funeral, along with Eber, Shem’s great-grandson.

    2. If the Bible did not make reference to the Book of Jasher in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18 I would doubt its authenticity

      1. Me to! Who were witnesses to Abraham attending some funeral .
        Scripture states Isaac and Ishmael buried there father , Abraham other sons with Ketura was not mentioned , he gave them their inheritance and seed then away from Issac

  4. Wait…if the calculation based on on the chart, wouldnt this mean that Seth was 560 years old when Abraham died. Thats mean he still live another 40 years after Abraham died ?

    1. Yes, Shem outlived Abraham by some 35 years even though he was 12 generations older than Abraham. I believe he is the Melquizedec of Genesis and Hebrews.

    2. Yes We are missng something, Abraham and Sarah had a child in their old age?
      His great grandad’s were up to 5 times his age, and still having children.
      What appears to be couldn’t be

    3. The Bible mentions clearly that only Noah, his wife, and his sons were saved after the flood.
      And doing the calculation here, Noah was born 821 years after the birth of Enosh, Seth’s son. Seth only lived 807 years after the birth of Enosh, so he was not alive when Noah was born.

      1. All righteous men died before the flood even Methuselah and Lamech Noah’s father. But Enoch was taken before the flood, the righteous Enoch Walked with God so he was no more for God took him.

    4. Please read the Bible stop adding to Gods Word ! Seth descendant died in the Flood, there no mention of Seth after the flood check the table of the nation . Google it, if you don’t know. Although Google have lots of misinformation, unless it takes you to the scriptures

  5. Wait…if the calculation based on on the chart, wouldnt this mean that Shem was 560 years old when Abraham died. Thats mean he still live another 40 years after Abraham died ?

    1. Shem was 600 yrs old when he died.

      1. There is a slight possibility that Shem was living when Abram was born, but that they knew each other of had any source of relationship is improbable. Even thou they are descendants, Abram was in the east and Shem had moved to Shinar where he died. Plus Shem was 550 years older than Abram.

    2. Exactly, àbraham and Sarah would be laughed at, they weren’t old
      We are missing something soméwhere

  6. how old was shem when abraham died

    1. Here is my calculation:

      When Abraham died, Shem was 565, Shelah 430, Eber 400.

    2. How old was noah

  7. There seems to be some miscalculation regarding the age of Abraham in this article.

    Genesis 11:26-27 says Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.

    But in Genesis 11:32 says that Terah died at the age of 205 and then it says that after Terah died Abram set out for Canaan at 75. Genesis 12:4.

    This means Terah must have been 130 years of age when Abram was born.

    It probably means Terah became the father of three sons between the age of 70 to 130. If this Calculation is right then Shem must have been 450 years of age when Abram was born. And Abraham must have been 150 years old and Isaac must have been 50 years old, when Shem died.

    1. There are differing viewpoints on the age of Terah when Abram was born. For example and Thank you for your thoughts and input!

    2. Exciting to see you mentioning Gen 12:4.

      That verse is key to accurately calculating the age of Terah when Abram was born.

      Combine Gen 11:32 and Gen 12:4 reveals Abram was born when Terah was 130.

    3. I suggest you google and check out the background life of Abraham from the Book of Jasher. The Book of Jasher is referred to in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18. The Bookof Jasher has got valuable information about Abraham’s birth, persecution, mentorship and training in Shem’s School of Righteousness, and the call to leave for Canaan.


        A good article that states that the book of Jasher we see today is not the same one that is mentioned in the Bible

    4. Not likely, you are missing something

  8. The Greek Septuagint gives a very different time line for the ages of Shems descendants.

    1. You can find a lot of resources on exactly what the differences are with a Google search, but we also have a short discussion at Thank you.

  9. There is a whole historical fiction story dedicated to this point written around Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japeth. I guess if someone studies it would be common knowledge, but the story by the author at gives a pretty serious account of what life would have been like and who they would have known.

    Stop and think about this too. It is most likely Shem would have been alive around the same time as Job. The lands of Ur and Uz were nearby to each other and decedents were regionally nearby. I am for certain though that Abraham would have come after the events of Babel.

    To make that otherwise would require a bit of squeezing more than years in genealogy. Look at the cultures and etymology, how books were written, ect… I believe it becomes self evident.

  10. I don’t know, but the calculation I get for the time from the death of Shem to death of Abraham is (2,681 years), giving the age at the birth of the next generation being subtracted from age of death, then added to the next age of death with the next age of death subtracted andadded to the next etc… I believe that this push calculations further back in years BC. Historically Sumer was formed 4500 BC by archeological excavations and Mizrahi was formed 3150 BC with would be consistent to me, dating after flood, then even further back pre-flood. Stumbled across your site studying, very interesting because I was trying to make sense why I’m studying.

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