Shem (/ʃɛm/; Hebrew: שֵׁם Šēm; Arabic: سَام, romanized: Sām)[lower-alpha 1] was one of the sons of Noah in the Bible (Genesis 5–11[1] and 1 Chronicles 1:4) and the Quran.

Shem, son of Noah, 16th-century depiction by Guillaume Rouillé
FamilyJapheth and Ham (brothers)
Shem, Ham and Japheth by James Tissot 1904.

The children of Shem were Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram, in addition to unnamed daughters. Abraham, the patriarch of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, was one of the descendants of Arphaxad.

In medieval and early modern European tradition he was considered to be the ancestor of the peoples of Asia,[2][3][4] and he gives his name to the title "Semites" formerly given to West Asian peoples.[5]

Islamic literature describes Shem as one of the believing sons of Noah. Some sources even identify Shem as a prophet in his own right and that he was the next prophet after his father.[6]

Geographic identifications for the Sons of Noah (Flavius Josephus, c. 100 AD); Shem's sons are in green.

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