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
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 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
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.
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. ]
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
[ 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
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
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;
[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.