Se'rug (Heb. Serug', שׂרוּג, branch [Gesen.], or strength [Fürst]; Sept. Σερούχ; New Test. Σαρούχ, '" Saruch," Lu 3:35; Josephus Σεροῦγος, Ant. 1, 6, 5), one of the postdiluvian patriarchs, being the son of Reu, and the father of Nahor the grandfather of Abraham (Ge 11:20; 1Ch 1:6). B.C. 2352-2122. His age is given in the Hebrew Bible, at the above passages, as 230 years — thirty years before he begat Nahor and two hundred years afterwards. But in the Sept. 130 years are assigned to him before he begat Nahor (making his total age 330), being one of its systematic variations in the ages of the patriarchs between Shem and Terah. SEE CHRONOLOGY. Bochart (Phaleg, 2, 114) conjectures that the town of Seruj, a day's journey from Charrse, in Mesopotamia, was named from this patriarch. Suidas and others ascribe to him the deification of dead benefactors of mankind. Epiphanius (Adv. Hoeres. 1, 6, 8), who says that his name signifies "provocation," states that, though in his time idolatry took its rise, yet it was confined to pictures; and that the deification of dead men, as well as the making of idols, was subsequent. He characterizes the religion of mankind up to Serug's days as Scythic; after Serug and the building of the Tower of Babel, the Hellenic or Greek form of religion was introduced, and continued to the writer's time (see Petavius, Anim. adv. Epiph. Oper. 2:13). The account given by John of Antioch is as follows: Serug, of the race of Japhet, taught the duty of honoring eminent deceased men, either by images or statues (εἰκόνες) and ἀνδρίαντες, which, however, may here be used of pictures), of worshipping them on certain anniversaries as if still living, of preserving a record of their actions in the sacred books of the priests, and of calling them gods as being benefactors of mankind. Hence arose polytheism and idolatry (see Fragm. Historic. Groec. 4, 345, and note). It is in accordance with his being called of the race of Japhet that Epiphanius sends Phaleg and Reu to Thrace (Epist. ad Descr. Paul. § 2). There is, of course, little or no historical value in any of these statements, beyond the fact that the charge of idolatry is brought against Terah and the fathers beyond the Euphrates in Jos 24:2.

Bible concordance for SERUG.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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