Creation

Creation to
the Calling of Abraham

Moses




The Bible provides the following information in relation to the Creation
to the calling of Abraham.

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
                        -----
                        1,656

FROM GENESIS 11:10-26


                     * Fathered *   * Thereafter *

        Shem                2
        Arphaxad           35            403
        Salah              30            403
        Eber               34            430
        Peleg              30            209 
        Reu                32            207
        Serug              30            200
        Nahor              29            119
        Terah              70
        Abraham
                          ---
                          292



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 person's age is determined
    on the basis of how many full years they have lived. However, in
    Scripture a person's age is determined according to the year of
    their life! 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. 

    So Scripture is saying Noah is 600 years old (Gen 7:6), but he
    was actually living his 600th year of life (Gen 7:11) - in current
    English culture it would be said that he was only 599 years old.

    As a result of this, those biblical chronologists who ignore
    this issue tend to overstate the actual number of years which
    have elapsed.


B)  On the topic of how years are counted, another issue arises.

    In Scripture are the years of a persons life counted relative
    to their birthdays OR are the years relative to the number of
    calendar years their life has spanned?

    Let us look at these two approaches while trying to MINIMISE
    the tally of the number of years passing.

    Birthday approach

    Adam         129 yrs  +  a few days        130 th yr
    Seth         104 yrs  +  a few days        234 th yr
    Enosh         89 yrs  +  a few days        323 rd yr
    Cainan        69 yrs  +  a few days        392 nd yr
    Mahalaleel    64 yrs  +  a few days        456 th yr
    Jared        161 yrs  +  a few days        617 th yr
    Enoch         64 yrs  +  a few days        681 th yr
    Methuselah   968 yrs  +  a few days       1649 th yr
    
    (Have left out Lamech and Noah because it seems they
     lived further into their birthday years. Noah for
     example was still living his 600th year all the
     time the flood waters were upon the earth.)

    
    Calendar Year approach

    [ This approach is seen in respect to the counting of
      the years a king reigns. Any portion of a calendar
      year being considered a full year. ]
                                                   Died Yr
   
    Adam           130               =  130 th yr     930
    Seth           105      + 104    =  234 th yr    1041
    Enosh           90      +  89    =  323 rd yr    1138
    Cainan          70      +  69    =  392 nd yr    1232
    Mahalaleel      65      +  64    =  456 th yr    1286
    Jared          162      + 161    =  617 th yr    1417
    Enoch           65      +  64    =  681 th yr     981
    Methuselah     187      + 186    =  867 th yr    1649
    Lamech         182      + 181    = 1048 th yr    1643
    Noah           600      + 599    = 1647 th yr

   
    NB: What can immediately be seen is that the counting of
        all 'calendar years spanned' approach is invalid! It
        results in the death of Methuselah in the 1649th year,
        some two years after a Deluge in the 1647th year.


C)  Another critical issue to identify is :- That the English terms
    'begot' or 'father of' found in Genesis should be rendered
    'fathered'. The reference is to when the child is born!


D)  What we see in the information presented for the Adam to Flood
    period is that the age when they became a father plus the
    subsequent number of years always equals their age at death.

    This suggests that year counts are also entirely counted
    based on the passing of birthday markers.

    NB: Otherwise any mixing of birthday approach and the
        years spanned approach would generate occasional
        one year discrepancies.


E)  A period of time which needs special attention is the Methuselah
    to Flood period.

    Methuselah dies in his 969th year.

    [ Assuming he died of natural causes prior to the start of
      the Deluge he would have had to die before the 17th day
      of the 2nd month of the year of the Flood. ]


    Minimum counting for this period arrives at,

    Methuselah fathers in his             187th year
    Lamech     fathers in his   (182-1)   181st year
    Noah to Flood an additional (600-1)   599   years
                                         ------
                                          967th year

    [ NB Numbers adjusted for the year of father and the year
      of son being double counted. ]

    A value 2 years lower than the 969th year of Methuselah. This
    indicates the use of 'minimum additional days' is not to be
    applied to the birth of Lamech or Noah. As it is necessary
    to lift the total number of passing years to have the Flood
    occur in the 1649th year. 
 
 
F)  The Flood lasted a period of less than one year.

    For a fuller discussion, refer FLOOD CHRONOLOGY

    (The Deluge itself spanned 300 days. Starting from the 17th day
     of the 2nd month and finishing on the 16th day of the 12th month.)
                      


G)  Genesis 11:10 indicates Shem fathered Arphaxad 2 years after the
    Flood.

    However, Genesis 5:32 states Shem was born when Noah was 500 years
    of age and Genesis 11:10 states Shem was only 100 years of age when
    Arphaxad was born.
   
    The indication is that Arphaxad had to be born immediately 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.
         2) The bible counts inclusively. The first period after the
            Flood occurred in the same year as the Flood. It seems
            that technically the Deluge was shown to have ended when
            the dove brought the freshly picked olive leaf to Noah.
            This was about two weeks prior to the end of that calendar
            year. The following year was the second year. ]  
 

H)  We do NOT know the exact birth date of Noah.

    Genesis 7:11 states Noah was living his 600th year when the Deluge
    began on the 17th day of the second month.

    Genesis 7:6 states Noah was six hundred years old when the flood
    of waters were upon the earth. In other words, during the entire
    period of the Deluge it happens that Noah was living in his 600th
    year of life.

         Gen  7:6    Noah was six hundred years old when the
                     floodwaters were on the earth.

    The waters of the Deluge increased over 150 days (Gen 17:24) and
    receded over another 150 days (Gen 8:3). As the 300 days of Deluge
    spanned the period 17th day 2nd month to the 16th day of the 12th
    month, any time after this Noah could have become one year older.

    Genesis 8:13 states that the 1st day of the 1st month of the next
    year was the 601st year. 

         Gen  8:13  And it came to pass in the six hundred and
                    first year, in the first month, the first
                    day of the month, that the waters were dried
                    up from the earth;  ...

    Given the chronology of the Flood and the teaching of Gen 8:13,
    Noah's birthday fell between the inclusive dates - 17th day of
    the twelfth month to 1st day of the first month of the next year.


The details of the Adam to Arphaxad period can be quite confusing.
So hopefully the following will help to clarify.


Year When     Person   Yr of Life    Extra Days in    * Example only *
Born                    Son Born     his becoming         Son born
                                     a Father Year

day 1, yr 1   Adam        130th      few              129 yrs + 2 days

early  130    Seth        105th      few              234 yrs + 4 days

early  234    Enosh        90th      few              323 yrs + 6 days

early  323    Cainan       70th      few              392 yrs + 8 days
 
early  392    Mahalaleel   65th      few              456 yrs + 10 days
  
early  456    Jared       162nd      few              617 yrs + 12 days

early  617    Enoch        65th      few              681 yrs + 14 days

early  681    Methuselah  187nd      possibly many    867/868

   867/868    Lamech      182nd      possibly many   late 1049

late  1049    Noah        500th      few             1548 yrs + few days

 1548/1549    Shem        100th      few             1649 yrs + 1 day

early 1650    Arphaxad


From this compilation the following can be noticed;

   1)  Methuselah was born in the 681st year and as we know he died
       after living a further 968 complete years (dying shortly
       afterwards in his 969th year). Since he did not outlive the
       Flood we know he died in the 1649th year. The year of the
       Flood! (Presumably prior to the actual event.)

   2)  Noah was born in the 1049th year and after living 599 complete
       years he starts his 600th year late in the year 1648. After
       living safely through the Deluge he starts his 601st year
       late in the 1649th year.  

   3)  Arphaxad was born in the 1650th year. The year immediately
       following the year of the Flood.

   4)  Noah living 950 years after having been born late in the
       1049th year will live into the 1999th or 2000th year.
       Noah is also stated as living 350 years after the Deluge.
       So a Flood ending late in the 1649th year would also have
       Noah living into the latter portion of the 1999th year or
       even quite late into the 2000th year. 



So in summary, after taking all the above points into consideration and
converting the numbers to the English form of counting, we can arrive at
the following 'minimum' compilation;


                                   * Adjusted *

           Adam            (130-1)      129
           Seth            (105-1)      104
           Enosh           ( 90-1)       89
           Cainan          ( 70-1)       69
           Mahalaleel      ( 65-1)       64
           Jared           (162-1)      161
           Enoch           ( 65-1)       64
           Methuselah      (969-1)      968        1,648
 
           Flood Year                     1            1

           Shem            (  2-2)        -
           Arphaxad        ( 35-1)       34
           Salah           ( 30-1)       29
           Eber            ( 34-1)       33
           Peleg           ( 30-1)       29 
           Reu             ( 32-1)       31
           Serug           ( 30-1)       29
           Nahor           ( 29-1)       28
           Terah           ( 70-1)       69          282
                                                   -----
                                                   1,931  full years




So, having resolved the Adam to Terah period, it is now necessary
to consider the timing of the calling of Abraham. 


At what age was 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 (ie 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).] 
 

What is possibly being suggested is;

      1) This was the 70th year since Abraham's birth, and

      2) The 5th year since God had called him to leave Mesopotamia.


Please refer to; 
PEOPLES AGES MENTIONED IN GENESIS

      [NB: 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 order to be encountered in conjunction with the
           term 'son of'. ]


Understanding that Abraham left Haran when he was 70 years old, ie
he was living his 70th year, would mean that in English terms he was
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 leave Haran and to enter the land of Canaan
was 2,000 years!

Placing this calling of Abraham in the 2001st year. 




Creation
to Exodus

Introduction



The Death
of
Abraham's
Father
The Age of
Jacob when
Joseph was
Born
The 400 years
& 430 years
Time
Puzzle
Overview of
Creation
to
Exodus


C h r o n o l o g y   O u t l i n e





----------------------------------------------------------


Email contact

c-heath@bibleinsight.com
              
Bible Study Index page
Other Topics