Serug was the son of Reu, a Hebrew living in Mesopotamia, the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers. The grandson of Peleg, he fathered Nahor in uncertain times. He was born 161 years after the Great Flood in the sixth generation from Noah, who was 761 years old at the time. He would live to be 230 years old, and most likely would have greeted his great grandchildren, Abram and Sarai when they came with Terah in their exodus from the big city of Ur.
The name Serug (Heb: שְׂרֽוּג) means "shoot", or "branch". It is from a root meaning to entwined, so it may indicate a vine. The verb clearly indicates a close connection to the family of the father.
In the second century after the Flood, humanity was growing as fast as conditions allowed. However, to survive, the community stayed close, settling in the fertile plain of Shinar between the great rivers named for the mighty pre-flood rivers of Noah and Shem spoke. It was in this plain that towns were built by the ambitious founding fathers such as Asshur and Nimrod.
One hundred sixty-one years after Noah, his family and the animals stepped out of the Ark, a son was born to a friendly man named Reu (Hebrew: friend), and he named his son Serug, hoping to continue the close-knit family with a new and fruitful "branch". The trust that Noah and Shem had for Yahweh, though, was a minority point of view, as mankind began to listen to Nimrod, who put his trust in the collective strength of the race against what was becoming a wild world outside the boundaries of the established cities.
Adulthood and Legacy
The man named "Branch" fathered a son he called "Nahor", meaning "Wrath" (as in the flared nostrils and snort of an angry animal). The family values of community seems to have become a snare as the protective hand of God was forgotten. The command to "fill the earth" did not make sense to those who wanted to "make a name for themselves".
However, in the naming of his son, Serug held out hope that God would work mighty things in those who trusted their roots in the promises that He had made. He undoubtedly was uneasy with the way the world was going around him. His son would name one of his children "Terah", a wanderer, as the family drifted apart.
It is perhaps a testimony to his faith, though, that the family among Shem's son Aram seems to have stayed together after the dispersion. It was to that Aramean community that Terah would return in Serug's old age. The God of their fathers had protected his ancestors even in the midst of rising idolatry.