Aram, son of Shem

Aram, son of Shem

Ask a question about 'Aram, son of Shem'
Start a new discussion about 'Aram, son of Shem'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Aram is a son of Shem
Shem was one of the sons of Noah in the Hebrew Bible as well as in Islamic literature. He is most popularly regarded as the eldest son, though some traditions regard him as the second son. Genesis 10:21 refers to relative ages of Shem and his brother Japheth, but with sufficient ambiguity in each...

, according to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, and the father of Uz
Uz (son of Aram)
According to the Table of nations of Genesis 10 in the Hebrew Bible, Uz is one of the sons of Aram, son of Shem. This makes him the great-grandson of Noah....

, Hul
In the Book of Genesis, Hul is the son of Aram, son of Shem. According to the 1st century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus it was he who founded Armenia....

, Gether
According to the Table of Nations in the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible Gether was the third son of Aram, son of Shem.In Arabic traditions, he became the father of Thamud, whose brother the Qur'an calls Salih....

 and Mash. The Book of Chronicles confirms Aram as one of Shem's sons, confirming Uz, Hul, Gether and Mash, as also on the list of Shem's descendants. Aram son of Shem is recognized as a prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

 in Mandaeism
Mandaeism or Mandaeanism is a Gnostic religion with a strongly dualistic worldview. Its adherents, the Mandaeans, revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Noah, Shem, Aram and especially John the Baptist...

 and as an Islamic prophet. Aram is usually regarded as being the eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

ous ancestor of the Aramaean people of Northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....



The name Aram (אֲרָם or ʾĂrām) means "exalted", from the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon , 'ărâm, and "highland", in Strong's Concordance
Strong's Concordance
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, generally known as Strong's Concordance, is a concordance of the King James Bible that was constructed under the direction of Dr. James Strong and first published in 1890. Dr. Strong was Professor of exegetical theology at Drew Theological Seminary at...

, 'ărâm or arawm'. It is Hebrew word #758. A related word, #759 ארמון 'armôn, is defined as "citadel, palace, fortress" by Brown-Driver-Briggs. The same word in Strong's Concordance is ארמון 'armôn or ar-mone', "From an unused root (meaning to be elevated); a citadel (from its height): - castle, palace." Strong's goes on to compare it with Hebrew word #2038 הרמון harmôn har-mone' "From the same as 2036; a castle (from its height): - palace."

Masoretic Text

The Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

 of the Hebrew Bible (Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, c. 15th century BCE, later in Jewish sources) uses the Hebrew word ארמי ărammìy for Aramean (or Syrian, some translations). Bethuel
Bethuel , in the Hebrew Bible, was an Aramean man, the youngest son of Nahor and Milcah, the nephew of Abraham, and the father of Laban and Rebekah....

 the Aramean from Padan-aram is identified as the father-in-law of Isaac
Isaac as described in the Hebrew Bible, was the only son Abraham had with his wife Sarah, and was the father of Jacob and Esau. Isaac was one of the three patriarchs of the Israelites...

. Laban
Laban (Bible)
Laban is the son of Bethuel, brother of Rebekah and the father of Leah and Rachel and Bilhah and Zilpah as described in the Book of Genesis. As such he is brother-in-law to Isaac and both father-in-law and uncle to Jacob...

 the son of Bethuel is also referred to as an Aramean who lived in Haran in Padan-aram (map, bottom). Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch...

 26:5 might refer to the fact that both Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

 and his grandfather Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 had lived for a time in Syria, or to Jacob being the son of a Syrian mother: "Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: 'My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous.' " (New International Version) The Hebrew word רמי rammîy is found at 2Chronicles 22:5, also translated Aramaean or Syrian.

The land of Aram-Naharaim
Aram-Naharaim is a region that is mentioned five times in the Hebrew Bible. It is commonly identified with Nahrima mentioned in three tablets of the Amarna correspondence as a geographical description of the kingdom of Mitanni...

 ("Aram of the Two Rivers") included Padan-Aram and the city of Haran
Haran (biblical place)
Ḥaran, Charan, or Charran is a Biblical place. Haran is almost universally identified with Harran, an Assyrian city whose ruins are in present-day Turkey. In the Hebrew Bible, the name first appears in the Book of Genesis, in the context of Patriarchal times...

, Haran being mentioned ten times in the Bible. This region is traditionally thought to be populated by descendants of Aram, as is the nearby land of Aram
Aram (Biblical region)
Aram is the name of a region mentioned in the Bible located in central Syria, including where the city of Aleppo now stands.-Etymology:The etymology is uncertain. One standard explanation is an original meaning of "highlands"...

 that included Aram Damascus
Aram Damascus
Aram Damascus was an Aramaean state around Damascus in Syria, from the late 12th century BCE to 734 BCE.Sources for this state come from texts that can be divided into three categories: Assyrian annals, Aramaean texts, and the Hebrew Bible....

 and Aram Rehob
Aram Rehob
Aram Rehob was an early Aramaean kingdom, of which the chief city was Rehob or Beth-Rehob, associated with Aram-Zobah as hostile to King David. Num. xiii.21 and Judges xviii.28 place a Beth-Rehob in the Lebanon region near Tel Dan. Moore conjecturally identifies it with Paneas....

. Haran may also be spelled "Harran" (see map of Syrian cities, bottom). Haran
Haran or Aran is a figure in Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. Haran was born in Ur Kaśdim , the son of Terah and thus a descendant of Shem. Haran's brothers were Abram/Abraham and Nahor...

, or Aran
Haran or Aran is a figure in Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. Haran was born in Ur Kaśdim , the son of Terah and thus a descendant of Shem. Haran's brothers were Abram/Abraham and Nahor...

, was, too, the name of Lot's father, the name of a son of Caleb
Caleb is a male given name. A character called Caleb is named in both the Bible and Quran.-Caleb:When the Hebrews came to the outskirts of Canaan, the land that had been promised to them by God, after having fled slavery in Egypt, Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan to report on what was...

, and the name of a son of Shimei
Shimei is the name of a number of persons referenced in the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinical literature.*The second son of Gershon and grandson of Levi...

. David wrote of his striving with Aram-Naharaim and Aram-Zobah (Psalms 60:1). Aram-Naharaim is mentioned five times in Young's Literal Translation.


According to the Book of Jubilees (9:5,6), the inheritance of the Earth to be bequeathed to the descendants of Aram included all of the land between the Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

 and Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

 rivers "to the north of the Chaldees
Chaldea or Chaldaea , from Greek , Chaldaia; Akkadian ; Hebrew כשדים, Kaśdim; Aramaic: ܟܐܠܕܘ, Kaldo) was a marshy land located in modern-day southern Iraq which came to briefly rule Babylon...

 to the border of the mountains of Asshur
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

 and the land of 'Arara
Urartu , corresponding to Ararat or Kingdom of Van was an Iron Age kingdom centered around Lake Van in the Armenian Highland....


Sons of Shem

"The mountains of Asshur in the north, and all the land of Elam, Asshur, and Babel, and Susan and Ma'edai" (Persia, Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

, Babylonia
Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia , with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as a major power when Hammurabi Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as...

, and Media, ie. the Medes
The MedesThe Medes...

 the sons of Madai
Madai is a son of Japheth and one of the 16 grandsons of Noah in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible. Biblical scholars have identified Madai with various nations, from the Mitanni of early records, to the Iranian Medes of much later records...

) were apportioned to sons of Shem (Jubilees 8:21) and, consistent with the statement of the Book of Jubilees on Aram, the Aramaeans have historically been predominant in the north here, specifically central Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, where Aramaic was the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

, or common language, before the advent of Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...


Ebla Tablets and Naram-Sin of Akkad

The toponym A-ra-mu appears in an inscription at Ebla
Ebla Idlib Governorate, Syria) was an ancient city about southwest of Aleppo. It was an important city-state in two periods, first in the late third millennium BC, then again between 1800 and 1650 BC....

 listing geographical names, and the term Armi, which is the Eblaite
Eblaite language
Eblaite is an extinct Semitic language, which was spoken in the 3rd millennium BC in the ancient city of Ebla, at Tell Mardikh , between Aleppo and Hama, in western modern Syria....

 term for nearby Aleppo
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...

, occurs frequently in the Ebla tablets
Ebla tablets
The Ebla tablets are a collection of as many as 1800 complete clay tablets, 4700 fragments and many thousand minor chips found in the palace archives of the ancient city of Ebla, Syria. The tablets were discovered by Italian archaeologist Paolo Matthiae and his team in 1974–75 during their...

 (ca. 2300 BC).
The inscriptions of Naram-Sin of Akkad, in the Akkadian language, closely associated Arman (ie. Aleppo) with Ebla. One of the annals of Naram-Sin (22nd century, Sumerian King List, Dynasty of Akkad) mentions that he captured "Dubul, the ensi
ENSI is a Sumerian title designating the ruler or prince of a city state...

 of A-ra-me" (Arame is seemingly a genitive form), in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains.

Mari and Ugarit

Other early references to a place or people of "Aram" have appeared in the archives at Mari (c. 1900 BC) and at Ugarit
Ugarit was an ancient port city in the eastern Mediterranean at the Ras Shamra headland near Latakia, Syria. It is located near Minet el-Beida in northern Syria. It is some seven miles north of Laodicea ad Mare and approximately fifty miles east of Cyprus...

 (c. 1300 BC) (see map, bottom).

Tiglath-Pileser I

Tiglath-Pileser I
Tiglath-Pileser I
Tiglath-Pileser I was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian period . According to Georges Roux, Tiglath-Pileser was "one of the two or three great Assyrian monarchs since the days of Shamshi-Adad I"...

 (c. 1100 BC), in impressions of his later annals, referred to the Arameans:
"I have crossed the Euphrates 28 times, twice in one year, in pursuit of the Aramaean Aḫlamū" (kurAḫ-la-me-e kurAr-ma-a-iameš).


The Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 storm-god, Hadad
Haddad was a northwest Semitic storm and rain god, cognate in name and origin with the Akkadian god Adad. Hadad was often called simply Ba‘al , but this title was also used for other gods. The bull was the symbolic animal of Hadad. He appeared as a bearded deity, often shown as holding a club and...

, was patron deity of both Aram and Ugarit. The King of Aram (Syria) was called Ben-Hadad (English: son of Hadad; Aramaic: Bar-Hadad).

In Islam

Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

Hud (prophet)
Hud is the name of a prophet of ancient Arabia, who is mentioned in the Qur'an. The eleventh chapter of the Qur'an, Hud, is named after him, though the narrative of Hud comprises only a small portion of the chapter.-Historical context:...

, a seer of ancient Arabia, is believed by Muslim scholars to have been a descendant of Aram. Hud is said to have preached in 'Ad, in Arabia, according to the Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

. The town's eponymous ancestor, Ad, is considered to have been the son of Uz, one of Aram's sons.

In the chapter of the Quran named after Hud
Hud (sura)
Sura Hud is the 11th chapter of the Qur'an with 123 verses. It is a Makkan sura.-Contents and themes:...

Chapter 11, is where, in verse 44, the ship of Noah
Noah's Ark
Noah's Ark is a vessel appearing in the Book of Genesis and the Quran . These narratives describe the construction of the ark by Noah at God's command to save himself, his family, and the world's animals from the worldwide deluge of the Great Flood.In the narrative of the ark, God sees the...

 is described as coming to rest on Mount Judi
Mount Judi
Mount Judi , according to very Early Christian and Islamic tradition , is the Noah's apobaterion or "Place of Descent", the location where the Ark came to rest after the Great Flood....

 after "waves like mountains" brought "retribution" upon "wrongdoing folk."

See also

  • Citadel of Aleppo
    Citadel of Aleppo
    The Citadel of Aleppo is a large medieval fortified palace in the centre of the old city of Aleppo, northern Syria. It is considered to be one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC...

  • Aramaeans
    The Aramaeans, also Arameans , were a Northwest Semitic semi-nomadic and pastoralist people who originated in what is now modern Syria during the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age...

  • Sons of Noah
    Sons of Noah
    The Seventy Nations or Sons of Noah is an extensive list of descendants of Noah appearing in of the Hebrew Bible, representing an ethnology from an Iron Age Levantine perspective...

  • Hebrew language
    Hebrew language
    Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

  • Aleppo Codex
    Aleppo Codex
    The Aleppo Codex is a medieval bound manuscript of the Hebrew Bible. The codex was written in the 10th century A.D.The codex has long been considered to be the most authoritative document in the masorah , the tradition by which the Hebrew Scriptures have been preserved from generation to generation...

  • North Syrian Arabic
    North Syrian Arabic
    North Syrian Arabic is the variety of Arabic spoken in Northern Syria. This dialect is spoken mainly in the region of Aleppo. It is a variant of Levantine Arabic.-External links:*...

  • Syrian Arabic
    Syrian Arabic
    Syrian Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken in Syria.-History:Syrian Arabic proper is a form of Levantine Arabic, and may be divided into South Syrian Arabic, spoken in the cities of Damascus, Homs and Hama, and North Syrian Arabic, spoken in the region of Aleppo. Allied dialects are spoken in...

  • Levantine Arabic
    Levantine Arabic
    Levantine Arabic is a broad variety of Arabic spoken in the 100 to 200 km-wide Eastern Mediterranean coastal strip...

  • Arabic language
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

  • Syriac language
    Syriac language
    Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared as a script in the 1st century AD after being spoken as an unwritten language for five centuries, Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from...

  • Assyrian people
    Assyrian people
    The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

  • Aleppo Vilayet
  • Ottoman Syria
    Ottoman Syria
    Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

  • Aleppo
    Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...

External links