(name), the eldest son of Noah (Genesis 5:32). He was 98 years old, married, and childless at the time of the flood. After it, he, with his father, brothers, sisters-in-law, and wife, received the blessing of God (Genesis 9:1) and entered into the covenant. With the help of his brother Japheth he covered the nakedness of their father and received the first blessing (Genesis 9:25-27). He died at the age of 630 years. The portion of the earth occupied by the descendants of Shem (Genesis 10:21, 31) begins at its northwestern extremity with Lydia and includes Syria (Aram), Chaldaea (Arphaxad), parts of Assyria (Asshur), of Persia (Elam), and of the Arabian peninsula (Joktan). Modern scholars have given the name of Shemitic or Semitic to the languages spoken by his real or supposed descendants.
Smith's Bible Names Dictionary (1866).