Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I heard a Dvar Torah regarding the 3 sons of Noach, according to which it would indicate that they were triplets. Are there any commentaries that indicate that Shem Cham and Yafes were triplets?

share|improve this question

Rashi to Bereishit 10:21 says that Yafet was two years older than Shem.

...When Scripture says (11:10): “Shem was a hundred years old, etc.” two years after the Flood, you must say that Japheth was the elder, because Noah was five hundred years old when he first had children, and the Flood came to pass in the six hundredth year. Consequently, the eldest of his sons was a hundred years old [at the time of the Flood], and Shem did not reach [the age of] a hundred until two years after the Flood. — [from Gen. Rabbah 37:7]

share|improve this answer
Does anyone say otherwise? – Double AA Sep 30 '13 at 19:39
@doubleaa: No idea. – Menachem Sep 30 '13 at 19:44

Although it is a dispute among the different Rishonim which one was older, the Pasuk (11:10) that says Shem was a hundred years old two years after the Mabul strongly implies that the others were not the same age.

So I guess my contribution to the answer is that it isn't just Rashi on that verse, and on the verse which introduce them in the order of Shem, Cham and Yafes, that sites their ages, and they don't say triplets.

That doesn't exclude learning that they are triplets, but it makes it difficult. It is completely incompatible with Rashi (not just his opinion, but his whole approach to 11:10), for what that is worth.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.