|Wife of Abraham and first of the biblical matriarchs (see also Rebecca, Leah and Rachel), c. 18-15 centuries B.C.E. Travelled with Abraham from Ur to Haran and onward to Canaan. Sarah [Hebrew: 'princess'] was barren and suggested Abraham marry her slave-maid Hagar, who bore him a son, Ishmael. Her name changed from Sarai to Sarah when God appeared to Abraham and promised him that she would bear a son and become the mother of nations. Later, Sarah laughed when she overheard three strangers, angels in disguise, repeat the promise (Genesis 18:12). Isaac, meaning 'he laughed', was born in due course. Sarah did not want Isaac to share his inheritance with Ishmael and demanded that Abraham evict Hagar and her son. Sarah died aged 127 and was buried by Abraham in the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron.|
|One of the twelve spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. Sethur represented the tribe of Asher (Numbers 13:13).|
|One of the twelve spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. Shamua represented the tribe of Reuben (Numbers 13:4).|
|One of the twelve spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. Shaphat represented the tribe of Simeon (Numbers 13:5).|
|1. Descendant of Noah. Son of Yoktan and brother of Almodad, Shelef, Chatzarmaveth, Yerach, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Oval, Avimael, Ophir, Havilah and Yovav.|
2. Son of Yakshan and brother of Dedan.
3. Descendant of Noah. Son of Raamah and brother of Dedan.
|1. Son of Chamor, the chief Hivite. He fell in love with Jacob's daughter Dinah and seduced her. After he sent his father Chamor to request her hand in marriage Jacob and his sons agreed providing all the males in his family and in the city of Shechem were circumcised. While the men were recovering, Dinah's brothers Simeon and Levi slaughtered Shechem and his compatriots (Genesis 33, 34).
2. A town in central Palestine, now also known as Nablus, of considerable importance during the Biblical era. Situated between mount Gerizim and mount Ebal, it is associated with Abraham, who set up camp and built an altar to God there (Genesis 12:6). Jacob, who entered Shechem after leaving Padan Aram, pitched his tent on land purchased from Chamor the Hivite (see above). Jacob buried his family's foreign gods under the terebinth tree near Shechem before building an altar to God at Beth-El. His son Joseph later searched for his brothers in the pasture-lands near Shechem (Genesis 37:12).|
|Third son of Judah and brother of Er and Onan. Because Judah failed to arrange for him to marry his brothers' widow Tamar, she seduced Judah whilst in disguise as a sacred prostitute (Genesis 38:11).|
|Descendant of Noah. Son of Yoktan and brother of Almodad, Chatzarmaveth, Yerach, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Oval, Avimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah and Yovav.|
|Leader of the tribe of Simeon in the wilderness, son ofTzuri-shaddai. Shelumiel was one of the twelve princes representing each tribe who had directed the census (Numbers 1:6). His offerings to the Tabernacle are listed at Numbers 7:36.|
|The eldest son of Noah and said to be the father of the Semitic peoples, including Hebrews and Arabs. 'Shem' may mean 'fame', 'name', 'appellation' or 'son'.Together with Noah and his wife, he and his brothers and their families joined Noah in the Ark at the time of the Flood; Shem was present at the time of God's covenant with Noah. In Genesis 9:20-27 the story is told how his brother Ham gazed upon Noah as he lay naked in his tent, he and his brother Yepheth entered the tent backwards and covered their father. He had five sons, Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud and Aram, and 25 descendants.King Malkhi-tzedek is identifed by some rabbinic sources as Shem.|
|One of the two chief Hebrew midwives who were instructed by Pharoah to kill any Jewish male babies that they delivered. Shifra and Puah did not follow Pharoah's command, as they 'feared God', but let the infant boys live. When challenged by the king, the midwives replied that the Hebrew women always gave birth before the midwives arrived (Exodus 1:15). The midwives were rewarded by God by having large families of their own.|
|1.Eldest son of Canaan and a grandson of Ham, Sidon is known as the founder of the great Phoenician (Canaanite) city and port of Sidon (Genesis 10:15).
2. An important walled city in Phoenicia (modern Lebanon), still known under that name.|
|The second son of Jacob and Leah and the eponymous ancestor of the Israelite tribe of that name. His name is said to have originated from his mother's words 'God has heard (shama) that I was unloved'' (Genesis 29:33). He was a key figure in the affair of his sister Dinah, killing the men of Shechem with his brother Levi, incurring the anger of Jacob (Genesis 34, cf. 49:7, Jacob's curse on his deathbed). He was involved in selling his brother Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Simeon was selected as the hostage to be left behind as a guarantee that the brothers would return with Benjamin, and was released upon their return.|
|According to Genesis 10:17, the Sinites were among the several ethnic groups that inhabited Canaan before the formation of the Israelite federation. They were the next generation after Canaan, son of Ham. It is not completely clear where they settled, but it is likely that they originated within the original Canaanite territory, i.e. between Sidon in the north to Gaza in the south, and from the Mediterranean in the west towards the Dead Sea in the east.|