"Renown", "Prosperity." The first mentioned of the sons of Noah.1 He was probably the eldest of Noah's sons. The words "brother of Japheth the elder" in Gen. 10:21 are more correctly rendered "the elder brother of Japheth," as in the Revised Version. He and his wife were saved in the ark.2 Noah foretold his preeminence over Canaan.3 He died at the age of six hundred years, having been for many years contemporary with Abraham, according to the usual chronology.

The Semites are traditionally supposed to be descended from Shem.4



  1. Gen. 5:32; 6:10.
  2. Gen. 7:13.
  3. Gen. 9:23-27.
  4. Gen. 11:10-26; 1 Chr. 1:24-27.


  • Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This article incorporates text from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) by M.G. Easton, which is in the public domain.