*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Genesis 11:16-21 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 11:16
  • Genesis 11:17
  • Genesis 11:18
  • Genesis 11:19
  • Genesis 11:20
  • Genesis 11:21

The genealogy covering the ten generations from Shem to Abraham continues with Peleg, Reu, and Serug.

The line of Peleg is the fifth generation in the journey from Shem to Abram. Peleg’s father Eber lived a total of 464 years. This makes him the longest living person recorded in the Bible who was born after the flood. Peleg’s brother Joktan was the ancestor of Arabian tribes while Peleg is the forefather of northwest Mesopotamian families.[1] Peleg’s son Reu is not identified with any specific location. His name means “friend.” Reu’s son Serug is the name of an ancient city (Sarugi) west of Haran in northwestern Mesopotamia. The city of Sarugi, in the Balikh Valley, is the site of the modern village of Suruc on one of the important Near Eastern trade routes. [This is likely a vestige of the settlement of Serug in the area of northwestern Mesopotamia.]

[1] Mathews, K. A. Genesis 1-11:26. Vol. 1A. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996. Print. The New American Commentary.

Biblical Text

16 Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg; 17 and Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and he had other sons and daughters. 18 Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu; 19 and Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after he became the father of Reu, and he had other sons and daughters. 20 Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug; 21 and Reu lived two hundred and seven years after he became the father of Serug, and he had other sons and daughters.

Check out our other commentaries:

  • Numbers 13:3-16 meaning

    Numbers 13:3-16 contains a list of the names of the men sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. The tribe of Levi was......
  • James 1:16-18 meaning

    James concludes his emphasis on suffering well, remaining humble, and overcoming temptation by directing his readers to the nature of God.......
  • Mark 6:7-9 meaning

    The twelve Disciples are sent out......
  • Hosea 1:8-9 meaning

    Hosea’s wife gives birth to a third child, and the LORD commands Hosea to name him Lo-ammi, meaning that the Israelites are not God’s people.......
  • Romans 15:17-19 meaning

    God commissioned Paul to take the gospel to the Gentiles, and now many Gentiles are obeying God. Paul says this is a reason to boast......