son of Shem, born the year after the Deluge. He died at the age of 438 years (Ge 1:10-13; 1Ch 1:17-18; Lu 3:36). He dwelt in Mesopotamia, and became, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, the progenitor of the Chaldeans. The tendency is to recognize in the word the name of the country nearest the ancient domain of the Chaldeans. Some regard the word as an Egypticized form of the territorial name of Ur Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees.
(Ge 10:21-24. Professor Rawlinson translates: "unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japhet, were children born, Arphaxad": Ge 11:10) ("the stronghold of the Chaldees".) Shem's descendants are mentioned last, because the subsequent sacred history concerns them chiefly. His being forefather to Eber or Heber is specified, to mark that the chosen people of God, the Hebrew, sprang from Shem: Arphaxad was father of Salah. There was a portion of Assyria called Arrapachitis, from Arapkha, "the city of the four sacred fish," often seen on cylinders; but the affinity is doubtful.
1. A king of the Medes (Jdt 1:1 ff.). He reigned at Ecbatana, which he strongly fortified. Nebuchadrezzar, king of Assyria, made war upon him, defeated him, and put him to death. 2. The spelling of Arpachshad in AV, and at Lu 3:36 by RV also. See Arpachshad.