Arpachshad or Arphaxad or Arphacsad ( ; Arabic: أرفخشذ, "Ārfakhshad" ; "healer," "releaser") was one of the five sons of
Shem, the son of Noah("Genesis" 10:22, 24; 11:10-13; "1 Chron." 1:17-18). His brothers were Elam, Asshur, Lud and Aram; he is an ancestor of Abraham. He is said by Gen. 11:10 to have been born two years after the Flood, when Shem was 100.
Arpachshad's son is called Shelah, except in the
Septuagint, where his son is Cainan(קינן), Shelah being Arpachshad's grandson. Cainan is also identified as Arpachshad's son in Luke 3:36.
Other ancient Jewish sources, particularly the
Book of Jubilees, point to Arpachshad as the immediate progenitor of Ura and Kesed, who allegedly founded the city of "Ur Kesdim" (Ur of the Chaldees) on the west bank of the Euphrates(Jub. 9:4; 11:1-7) — the same bank where Ur, identified by Leonard Woolleyin 1927 as Ur of the Chaldees, is located [ [http://fontes.lstc.edu/~rklein/Documents/Ur.htm Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 2001: Where Was Abraham's Ur?] ] .
Donald B. Redford has asserted ["Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times", p. 405] that Arpachshad is to be identified with
Babylon.Until Woolley's identification of Ur, Arpachshad was understood by many Jewish and Muslimscholars to be an area in northern Mesopotamia, Urfa of the Yazidis. This led to the identification of Arpachshad with Urfa-Kasid (due to similarities in the names ארפ־כשד and כשדים) - a land associated with the Khaldis, whom Josephusconfused with the Chaldeans.
Another "Arpachshad" is referenced in the
deuterocanonical Book of Judithas being the "king of the Medes" contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar II, but this is thought to be a corruption of the historical name Cyaxares(Hvakhshathra).
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