A son of Shem, born two years after the global Flood (about 2368 B.C.E.) and died 438 years later. He was an ancestor of the Hebrews through his grandson Eber. (Gen. 10:22, 24; 11:10-13; 1 Chron. 1:17-27) He is shown to be the father of Shelah, although Luke’s account (3:35, 36), by the inclusion of Cainan, apparently would make him Shelah’s grandfather; but see CAINAN No. 2.—Gen. 10:24; 11:12; 1 Chron. 1:24.
The meaning of the name Arpachshad has been the subject of much discussion, but it is generally conceded to have some relation to the early Chaldeans. The Soncino Books of the Bible (Chronicles) in commenting on 1 Chronicles 1:18 states: “It may be noted that the Hebrew for chshad (the second half of the noun) represents the first part of Casdim, ‘the Chaldeans,’ and Arpachshad may be intended as the originator of that people who are not otherwise mentioned in the list.” Lexicographers Koehler and Baumgartner (Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, p. 89) relate the name to the country referred to as “Arrapachitis” in the writings of Ptolemy, a land situated between Urmia and Lake Van, hence in the region of Armenia.