The Geneologies of Genesis

There is a timeline built into the Bible.

It is not subject to fuzzy guesswork. It is not a matter of interpretation. The verses which contain each record of the number of years for specific historical events are plainly stated.

However, this timeline is either discarded, ignored, or doubted by many scholars. Others are unaware of this timeline having been told to skip all geneologies as irrelevant.

But there are many lessons which come into clear view when the span of years spelled out within Bible passages are set down in order and are studied and taken seriously. We can learn more about God and appreciate more the way in which He has brought us salvation. His providence is clearly seen.

To see a visual chart with Bible verse support, Click here

Some Observations

  • For the last 50 years of Adam's life, the first 9 patriarchs were all living.

  • Fourteen years after Seth died, Noah was born. Seth was a child of promise after Abel was murdered by Cain. Noah received that promise from God that he and his family would be saved from the flood and that God would not destroy the world again with a world wide flood.

  • The last 40 years of Noah's life, all 10 patriarchs born after the flood were alive including Abraham.

  • Shem, the son of Noah, lived to see the first 100 plus years of Isaac's life and the first 50 years of Jacob's life.

  • Seventy-eight years after the death of Shem, the children of Israel moved into Egypt during the drought.

  • The first deaths from old age began occuring during Abraham's lifetime. First, Noah died. Then Abraham's grandfather, Nahor died. His lifespan was considerably shorter than that of the others. His son, Haran also died in Ur. It was perhaps at this time that Terah, Abraham's father, left Ur and moved his family to Haran.

  • The long ages of the earlier patriarchs allowed for God to leave a witness to future generations which were shortened after the flood, first to 500 years, then after 4 generations to about 250 years. By the time the children of Israel left Egypt, the age span was about 120 years which God had before ordained.

    (Gen 6:3 "And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.")

    God had determined that the life span of man should be reduced when he saw the wickedness which developed before the flood.

  • The time span from the end of the flood to the call of Abraham to move to the land of Caanan was only 370 years. Noah died 350 years after the flood.

  • The time span from the end of the flood to the entering into Egypt was 580 years.

  • The time span from the death of the last of the 10 patriarchs born after the flood to the entering into Egypt was just under 50 years.

  • Three generations overlapped during the first 2000 years of history. Adam lived to tell Methusaleh of the experience of walking with God in the garden, of the fall, the first murder, and all he knew firsthand from God of the creation. Methuselah lived to the year of the flood and could have related all this to Shem, Noah's son who would live 500 years after the flood to impart this and all the experiences of the flood to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The events of creation, the Garden of Eden, the fall, and the flood were not the result of hundreds of retellings of ancient history changing the real events to myth. God had left a witness in Shem. Jacob lived the first part of his life while Shem was still alive. He knew of the long ages of men which had lived before him. That is why he remarked to Pharoah that "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are 130 years; few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage." Gen 47:9

Some Bible teachers insist that these long life spans recorded in scripture should not be given credence. But if these long life spans are believed to be wrong or misleading, the question must be asked, "Why are they wrong?". The Christian who believes that the Bible is the Word of God in all other areas must consider these questions.

  • Is this not part of God's Word?
  • Are these chapters from Genesis in the Bible by mistake?
  • If so, why does Jesus refer to Adam, Noah, and the flood?
  • Is the Bible then not the whole inspired Word of God but only a book which contains the Word of God?  Is it then up to us to figure out which is from God and which is not?
  • Is any man qualified to do this?

One reason that this record of the long life spans before the flood is cast out or ignored, would be that it has never been scientifically observed in recorded history? But can the resurrection be scientifically tested?

  • Which is scientifically easier to believe; that at the beginning men lived to over 900 years, or that Jesus was resurrected from the dead?
  • If you can believe the ressurection of Jesus, then why not the early history He gave to faithful men to record?

Here are the records from the Bible set down and added together.   This particular chart takes you from Adam through Moses.   The numbers to the left on the chart show the number of years since Adam.

Is there room for more generations?

From Adam to the flood is 1,656 years when you do the math. Is there room for generations in between these patriarchs which can give space for longer ages? Could these be grandsons or great grandsons?

After taking a look at the chart and accompanying Bible verses, you can see that these questions are moot.   The word "son" is not even used.   What scripture tells us is how old each one is when the next one is born.   Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born, Seth was 105 years old when Enos was born, and so on.   Though the word "begot" seems to infer a father and son relationship, supposing that the next patriarch is not the son but perhaps a grandson or great grandson does not change the number of years which the Bible tells us elapsed between the birth of the one patriarch and the birth of the next.   Adam was still 130 years old when Seth was born according to scripture.   The argument that there are generations between these patriarchs does not at all change the number of years which elapsed between the birth of each patriarch and the birth of the next patriarch if you believe the plain statements of scripture.

Answers in Genesis Bookstore

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Adam and His Kin
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Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood
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Annals of the World
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Chronology of the Old Testament
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The Genesis Flood
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The Long War Against God
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Adamsí Chart of History
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The World that Perished
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The Puzzle of Ancient Man
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Unwrapping the Pharaohs
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Godís Promise to the Chinese
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After the Flood
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