SHEH (Hebrew for " name, renown, posterity "), in the Bible, the eldest of the three sons of NOAH, whose superiority over Canaan is reflected in the tradition that Noah pronounced a curse upon the latter (Gen. ix. 20-27). In the genealogies (x. 21 sqq.), Shem numbers among his descendants Assyrian, Arabian, Aramaean and Hebrew populations, whence the ethnic Semitic (strictly speaking, Shemitic) has been coined as a convenient term for these peoples. It is not altogether scientific, since the Lydians (Lud) and Elamites are included among Shem's " sons," apparently on account of their geographical position or because of their indebtedness to Assyrian culture. On the traditions of Shem, see E. Meyer, Israeliten . Nachbarslamme (Halle, 1906), pp. 219 sqq.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)