The Bible provides the following information in relation to the Creation to
calling of Abraham period.
FROM GENESIS 5:3-31,7:6,11,9:28-29
* Fathered * * Thereafter * * Total *
Adam 130 800 930
Seth 105 807 912
Enosh 90 815 905
Cainan 70 840 910
Mahalaleel 65 830 895
Jared 162 800 962
Enoch 65 300 365
Methuselah 187 782 969
Lamech 182 595 777
Noah to Flood 600 350 950
FROM GENESIS 11:10-26
* Fathered * * Thereafter *
Arphaxad 35 403
Salah 30 403
Eber 34 430
Peleg 30 209
Reu 32 207
Serug 30 200
Nahor 29 119
These figures need to be adjusted for the following.
A) Many people when assembling the chronology of the Creation to Abraham
period do not take into account the effect of accumulated months.
The way years are counted in English, a persons age is determined
on the basis of how many full years have one has lived. However, in
the bible a persons age is determined according to the year of the
life they happen to be living! An example of this can be seen in the
verses mentioning the age of Noah.
Gen 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood
of waters was on the earth.
7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life in
the second month, the seventeenth day of the
month, on that day all the foundations of
the great deep were broken up, and the
windows of heaven were opened.
This can have the effect of overstating the actual number of years
which have elapsed.
B) The English terms 'begot' or 'father of' found in Genesis should be
rendered 'fathered', it does not mean 'will begot' or 'will father'.
It refers to when the child is born!
C) Genesis 11:10 indicates Shem fathered Arphaxad 2 years after the Flood.
However, Genesis 11:10 also states Shem was only 100 years of age when
Arphaxad was born.
Since Genesis 5:32 states Shem was born when Noah was 500 years of age,
Noah can be no older than 601 years when Arphaxad was born.
That is Arphaxad had to be born after the Flood, in the second year,
that is to say in the year immediately following the Flood.
[NB: 1) The word translated 'two' in Gen 11:10 is Strong's reference
8147 which can also be rendered 'second' as in 1Kings 15:25,
2Kings 1:17, 14:1, 15:32, Daniel 2:1, Haggai 1:1 and
Zechariah 1:1. ]
D) Since Methuselah lives to 969 years of age (or 968 years in English
terms) and can not outlive the start of the Flood, this has to be
taken into account when calculating the years elapsed.
Taking the above into consideration and converting the numbers to the
English form of counting provides the following;
* Adjusted *
Methuselah 968 1,648
To Flood ended 1 1
Terah 69 282
1,931 full years
To this must be added the age of Abraham when he was called by God to
enter the Promised Land of Canaan.
Genesis 12:4 indicates Abraham was 75 years old when he departed from
Haran and entered Canaan. However, a more literal rendering of this verse
reads as follows;
Gen 12:4 And Abram a son of five years and seventy years
when he departed from Haran. ....
In Genesis 12:4 it is not necessarily wrong to translate the Hebrew as 75
years, but the verse can also be understood to be saying Abraham was at this
time a son (builder) of both 5 years and 70 years!
(NB: God sometimes uses the Hebrew term 'son' to refer to the number of
years since He has called a person. Refer 1Sam 13:1 in the NKJV.
This situation is also encountered in relation to the age of Joseph
when he appeared before Pharaoh (Gen 41:46), this is discussed later.)
[ NB: 1) In other words this was the 70th year since Abraham's birth and
the 5th year since God had first called him.
3) It is not unusual in Genesis for the lower number of years to be
stated before the greater value, but it is unusual for this form
to be encountered in conjunction with the term 'son of'. ]
Abraham was 70 years old when he departed from Haran (in English terms,
69 years old).
* Adjusted *
Creation to birth of Abraham 1,931
Age of Abraham when he enters Canaan 69
2,000 full years
Therefore, the minimum number of years which could have past prior to the
calling of Abraham to enter the land of Canaan was 2,000 years!