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Shem
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Shem

Shem (שם "Name; renown; prosperity", Standard Hebrew Šem, Tiberian Hebrew Šēm; Greek Σημ, Sēm) was one of the sons of Noah in the Bible. He is most popularly regarded as the eldest son, though some traditions regard him as the second son. He is mentioned in Genesis 5:32, 6:10; 7:13; 9:18,23,26-27; 10; 11:10; also in 1 Chronicles 1:4. Jesus is descended from Shem in an unbroken line. The Jews derive their origin from Shem and are sometimes referred to as Semitic. The Children of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Aram, Arpachshad and Lud, in addition to daughters.

Terms like "Shemites" and "sons" of an eponymous "father" in general, are not supported outside of religious studies by modern scholarship. In the Ancient Near East (and in the Aegean), the earliest attempts at arriving at an ethnology that would explain the contemporary sense that there were relative similarities and differences among neighboring or distant tribes, was expressed in terms of genealogy: this approach is reflected in terms like "Semite" and "Hamite". Both "Semite" and "Hamite" are rarely used now, and are sometimes perceived as offensive. However, while the vague term Hamitic dropped out of mainstream academic use in the sixties, Semitic remains an indispensable technical term for, in particular, the Semitic languages, and is commonly used in the fixed phrase anti-Semitic.

See Sons of Noah for further discussion.


Sem is also the name of a commune in the Ariège département, in France


SEM is the abbreviation for scanning electron microscope