It is usually taken for granted by those interested in Biblical chronology
that the year 4,004 BC as first proposed by Archbishop Ussher, give or take a
few years, is the date the book of Genesis gives for the date of creation. The
Jews use a slightly different chronology first proposed by Rabbi Yossi, a
disciple of the great Rabbi Akiva which proposes a date of 3760 BCE largely on
account of a misunderstanding of the Persian period.
This of course has created tremendous controversy in this age of science in
which C14 dating has cast tremendous doubt on such figures. It is therefore
interesting that another interpretation can be understood from the genealogies
that the Biblical chronologists have used to determine the date of Adam. I am
therefore including here some extracts from a book by Harold Camping "Adam When"
which deserves a second look and warrants further debate.
THE BIBLICAL CALENDAR OF HISTORY
A Chronological Record of Events
According to the Holy Bible
By Harold Camping
Chapters 5 and 11 of the Book of Genesis have long been a seemingly
insurmountable obstacle to students of the Bible. Inasmuch as they begin with
Adam and end with Abraham, they have their roots in creation and their outreach
into the era of the great civilizations of Babylon and Egypt, which flourished
during Abraham's day. They therefore tantalize the scholar who is trying to
reconstruct history. Unfortunately, because a solution to an understanding of
these chapters has not been forthcoming, the events embraced within their scope
-- creation, the fall of man, the Noachian flood -- are likewise often looked
upon as accounts impervious to clear understanding.
Bishop Ussher's attempt to understand these chronological notices has only
worsened matters. His conclusions that Adam's date was 4004 B.C., the flood date
was 2349 B.C., and that the Israelites spent 215 years in Egypt, agree neither
with the Biblical nor the secular evidence.
But these chapters of Genesis are part of the Word of God, and therefore they
must be true and dependable. The question is, can they be rightly understood? I
would be so presumptuous as to suggest a solution to these chronologies. This
solution will be compared with some of the pertinent archaeological evidence.
THE BIBLICAL CALENDAR OF HISTORY
The Clue Phrase "Called His Name"
In Genesis 4 and 5 we read of the birth of Enosh to Seth. Why did God use
different language to describe this event in Genesis 4 from that in Genesis 5?
In Genesis 4:26, "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called
his name Enos." (All Scripture references are from the King James Bible.) But
the Bible says in Genesis 5:6, "And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and
begat Enos." Why did God use the phrase "called his name" in connection with
Enos's birth in Genesis 4 but not in Genesis 5? It is obvious that the phrases
"[Seth] begat Enos" or "Methuselah begat Lamech" did not ensure that Enos was
the immediate son of Seth or Lamech of Methuselah. Many instances can be found
where a father-son relationship appears to be indicated and yet other Scriptural
evidence points to a more distant ancestry. Matthew 1:1, where Jesus is referred
to as the Son of David, and David, the son of Abraham, is illustrative.
A more careful examination of the Scriptures reveals why the phrase "called
his name," which is the Hebrew "qara," was used. In every place where this
phrase is employed, there can be no doubt of the existing relationship;
invariably it is indicative of parent and child. Thus, the Bible says, for
example, in Genesis 21:3, "Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto
him . . . Isaac." We read in Genesis 25:25, "And they called his name Esau" and
Isaiah 7:14, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call
his name Immanuel." In every instance where this "clue" phrase appears, one can
be certain that an immediate son is being described and not a more remote
God's use of this "clue" phrase thus assures us that Seth was the immediate
son of Adam (Gen. 4:25), Enos of Seth (Gen. 4:26), and Noah of his father,
Lamech (Gen. 5:28-29). What about the rest of the names appearing in these
genealogies under discussion? Two are decipherable. Other Biblical evidence
shows clearly that Shem was the immediate son of Noah, even though the phrase
"called his name" is not used.1 The Bible shows, too, by other information that
when Terah was 130 he became the father of Abram.2 But in the case of all the
other names listed in these chapters there is no Biblical evidence of any kind
that points to an intermediate father-son relationship. In fact, there is
internal evidence within these accounts that points to other than immediate
An Ancient Calendar
In further reflection upon this situation, two Biblical notices should be
examined. The first is that of Genesis 7 and 8, where the dates of the flood
events are referenced to the age of Noah. Thus Genesis 8:13 records, "And it
came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first
day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth." Genesis 7:6
tells us, "Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the
earth." Could the calendars of ancient peoples have been tied to the life spans
of certain individuals?
The second notice is that of the New Testament where Christ declared in
Matthew 24:34, "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be
fulfilled." In this reference Christ is speaking of events that will take place
just before His return. He is therefore insisting that "this generation" will
continue at least for almost two thousand years, for this much time has now
elapsed, and all the events of which He prophesied in Matthew 24 have not yet
happened. As a matter of fact, this is the generation of Jesus Christ. For
instance, the year 1995 A.D. is the year of our Lord.4 The events of today are
dated exactly as they were in Noah's day, by reference to the birth date of a
Since this method of dating events was practiced in Noah's day, and was
suggested by Jesus Himself, and is actually the practice used today, could not
this have been the method described in Genesis 5 and 11? Is it not possible that
these accounts are a calendar which gives the name of the patriarch whose life
span was the reference point of his period or generation in history? This would
make abundant sense, for it would provide continuity and clarity in historical
Calendar Confirmation from Egypt
God gives additional evidence to support this reasoning. In Exodus 6 God
gives genealogical information concerning some of the descendants of Jacob. The
information given does not appear very meaningful to our present day and age,
but hidden among these verses are three numbers. The first is found in verse 16
where it is stated that Levi's three sons were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, and
the years of Levi's life were 137. The second is in verse 18, where it says
Kohath's four sons were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, and the years of
Kohath's life were 133. The third is in verse 20, where it says Amram was
married to Jochebed, and she bore him Moses and Aaron, and the years of Amram's
life were 137. At first reading, it appears that Levi was the great-grandfather,
Kohath the grandfather, Amram the father, and Moses and Aaron the sons. But is
this so? There is no other Biblical evidence that indicates this is the case,
and there is no use anywhere in the Bible of the phrase "called his name" in
reference to these men that would point to an immediate father-son relationship.
Why would God give the life spans of only three individuals among so many?
To solve this puzzle, let us assume that God is giving us the calendar for
the Israelitish sojourn in Egypt. One might recall that Jacob came to Egypt with
his sons including Levi, and that the Israelites went out of Egypt under the
leadership of Moses and Aaron. Both Levi and Aaron are mentioned in Exodus 6 and
the age of Aaron at the time of Israel's departure from Egypt is given as 83
(Exodus 7:7). It can be shown from the Biblical references that when Levi
entered Egypt he was 60 to 63 years of age, with the burden of the evidence
pointing to 60 years.5 Since he died at the age of 137, he lived 77 years in
Egypt. If this is a calendar giving the names of the reference patriarchs or
generations, we would expect that Kohath was a descendant of Levi and was born
the year of Levi's death; and that Amram was a descendant of Kohath, and that he
was born the year of Kohath's death. Aaron in turn was born the year of Amram's
death, and was descended from Amram. Let us add these time spans together:
|77 years in Egypt
133 years in Egypt
137 years in Egypt
83 years in Egypt
430 years total time
Turning now to the Biblical record, we discover the following interesting
information in Exodus 12:40-41, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel,
who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at
the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to
pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt." God thus
shows us clearly that the calendar used to record the passage of time during the
Egyptian sojourn was based on the lives of Levi and his descendants, Kohath,
Amram, and Aaron. This also explains the prophecy given to Abraham in Genesis
15:13-16, that his descendants would be oppressed 400 years (they were not
oppressed during the beginning of their sojourn) in a land that was not theirs,
and that they would return to their own land in the fourth generation.
Aaron's was the Fourth Generation
I believe that God in His wonderful wisdom has given us the key that unlocks
the hitherto perplexing genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11. These chapters are a
calendar. The time was divided into patriarchal periods or generations, even as
the New Testament period is the generation of Jesus Christ, and as the Egyptian
sojourn was so divided. Thus, for example, when Methuselah died, bringing to an
end his generation, a man who was born in the year of Methuselah's death was
selected to be the next reigning patriarch, or at least the next man for
calendar reference. After Methuselah, this was Lamech. None of the conditions of
his selection are given, except that he had to be a descendant of Methuselah.
The Bible indicates that Methuselah was 187 years old when he begat Lamech;
i.e., when he was 187, the forefather of Lamech was born to Methuselah (Gen.
5:25). This notice establishes the certainty of Lamech's blood descent from
Methuselah by showing where his forefather tied into the life of Methuselah.
The selection of the next patriarch had to include a birth date coinciding
with Methuselah's death date to ensure a rational history. Had he been born one
or more years earlier, an overlap would have occurred that would have blurred
history. If Lamech had been born one or more years later than Methuselah's
death, a gap would have occurred that would have confused history. Therefore,
when a citizen of the world of that day spoke of an event occurring in the year
Methuselah 950, only one year in history coincided with that date. Again, if he
spoke of the year Lamech 2, only one year coincided with that date, and he knew
precisely how many years transpired from Methuselah 950 to Lamech 2.
At the beginning men were comparatively scarce. Thus it seems apparent that
when Adam died, there was no one born that year who was qualified to become the
next reference patriarch. When Seth died 112 years later, the same situation
prevailed. But when Enosh, grandson of Adam, died 98 years after Seth, a child
who was a descendant of Enosh was born in the same year, and this child was
eventually named as the next reference patriarch. This was Kenan. Kenan's life
span thus became the calendar reference for that period of history. The calendar
was continued in this fashion until Methuselah died and Lamech was born.
When Lamech was born, he became the one to whom the calendar was referenced.
His descendant, who was born the year of Lamech's death and who would have
become the next patriarch, died in the flood. This can easily be known, for
Lamech died five years before the flood and only Noah and his immediate family
survived the flood. Noah, who was an immediate son of Lamech, of necessity
became a substitute calendar reference, even though he was not born the year of
Lamech's death. Thus, the flood events are all dated by the life span of Noah
(Gen. 7:6, 7:11, 8:4-5, 8:13-14).
When Noah died 350 years after the flood, the same situation prevailed that
existed when Adam died. Few people lived upon the earth, and no one met the
conditions required to become the next reference patriarch. When Shem died 152
years after Noah, the child Arpachshad, a descendant of Shem, was born in the
same year and he became the next patriarch. The calendar was then continued in
this same fashion until Terah was born.
After Terah was born, he became the reference patriarch. During Terah's life
span, God brought into being the nation of Israel through Terah's immediate son,
Abram. Thus, the descendant of Terah who was born the year of Terah's death was
outside the Messianic line and outside of God's chronological purposes. God
effectively had narrowed men down to the family of Abram. The normal method of
calendar keeping was set aside in the absence of patriarchs who qualified. When
Abraham died, no descendant of his was born the year of his death. When Isaac,
the immediate son of Abraham, died, the same situation prevailed. This was
repeated when Jacob, the immediate son of Isaac, died. But in the year that
Levi, the immediate son of Jacob died, a descendant of Levi was born whose name
was Kohath, and he apparently met the qualifications of a reference patriarch.
Thus, he continued the calendar line as we have seen. Amram followed Kohath, and
Aaron followed Amram. Interestingly it can be shown that in a real sense Aaron's
generation continued until Christ's began almost 2,000 years ago.6 God has thus
given in His Word a complete calendar from creation to Christ.
A chronology beginning with Adam may now be set forth. To tie this
genealogical table to our present calendar, synchronization between the Biblical
and secular histories should be found. Because so much work has been done in
recent years, particularly in relation to the dating of the kings of Israel,
this can be done rather readily. Edwin R. Thiele, in his book The Mysterious
Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, established the date of the death of Solomon and
the division of the kingdom as 931 B.C.7 Since Solomon reigned 40 years (I Kings
11:42) and began to build the temple in the fourth year of his reign (I Kings
6:1), the construction began in the year 967 B.C. This date in turn can be
related to the Exodus because in at least two places God gives a time bridge
from the Exodus to the building of the temple. The first is recorded in I Kings
6:1, where 480 years is indicated as the time span between these events. The
second can be shown from the chronology of the Hebrew judges.8
A time span of 480 years brings us to 1447 B.C. as the date of the Exodus. If
we work back from this date to Adam, we arrive at the date for Adam as 11013
B.C. The key dates are as follows:
|Creation of Adam
Entrance into Egypt
Foundation of temple laid
Division of kingdom
The First Civilization
The development of a Biblical chronology beginning with Adam is interesting,
but will it hold up when compared with the known facts of secular history? To
ascertain this, the earliest civilization of antiquity will next be examined to
determine its location and the time of its emergence.
The threshold of history appears to be located in the area of the present-day
nation of Iraq. Albright writes:
Archaeological research has established that there is no focus of
civilization in the earth that can begin to compete in antiquity and activity
with the basin of the Eastern Mediterranean and the region immediately to the
east of it . . . The Obeidan is the earliest clearly defined culture of
Babylonia, where we find its remains underlying nearly all the oldest cities of
the country, such as Ur, Erech, Lagash, Eridu, etc. This proves that the
occupation of the marshlands of Babylonia by human settlers came rather late in
history of the irrigation culture, probably not far from 3700 B.C.
Thus, the archaeological evidence shows that the location of the first
civilization after the flood was in the Mesopotamia Valley, and this agrees
exactly with the Bible, for it reports the first cities were Babylon, Erech,
Nineveh, etc. (Gen. 10:10-11).
The date 3700 B.C. suggested by Albright is apparently satisfactory to most
archaeologists. M. B. Rowton writes that in Uruk, one of the most ancient
Mesopotamia sites, the earliest level of monumental buildings is that of the
level known as Uruk V. He concludes,10 "the beginning of Uruk V can plausibly be
dated 3500 B.C." The dates 3500 or 3700 B.C. are estimates arrived at by
starting at a more clearly defined historical point and allowing a reasonable
period of time for each level of occupation prior to this. Thus, the
archaeological evidence appears to indicate that prior to about 3700 B.C. there
was no substantial culture anywhere in the world. About 3700-3500 B.C. the first
great civilization began to be formed in the plains of Sumer in the land of
Babylon, Erech, Ur, etc.
How does this time compare with the Biblical chronology? In Genesis 10 the
notice is given that the first building activity after the flood is that of
Nimrod, the beginning of whose kingdom was Babel, Erech, and Accad, all of them
in the land of Shinar (Gen. 10:10). When did Nimrod come upon the scene? His
genealogical descent is that of Noah, Ham, Cush, Nimrod (Gen. 10:1, 6, 8). The
Bible offers no timetable for this side of the family tree, but it does offer
precise information regarding another branch, that of Noah, Shem, Arpachshad,
and Shelah. In studying the genealogical statements of the Bible, it might be
noted that very often two branches of the tree are offered. One is that of the
descendants leading eventually to Christ and about which precise timetables are
given, as we have seen. The second is the genealogical descent of that side of
the family which turned away from God. It can be shown that the timetable of
these two lines run roughly parallel.
It thus may be assumed that Ham and Shem were contemporaries (they obviously
were, inasmuch as they were brothers), that Arpachshad and Cush were nearly
contemporaries, and that Shelah and Nimrod were probably men of the same period
of history. Thus, if Shelah's date is known, it may be surmised that Nimrod's
was close to the same date.
Shelah's date by Biblical reckoning was 4050 B.C. to 3617 B.C. Nimrod then
must have lived about this time. The Bible would thus suggest a date of about
3900 B.C. to 3617 B.C. for the founding of the great cities of the Mesopotamia
Valley. Thus, the date suggested by the evidence of archaeology (3700-3500 B.C.)
accords very well with the Biblical statement.
It is of more than passing interest in this connection that the name Nimrod
has left its mark on the Mesopotamia Valley. The great archaeologist George
The remarkable ruin generally called Ahkerhuf, which lies a little to the
southwest of Baghdad, is known to many as the "Tel-Nimrod;" the great dam across
the Tigris below Mosul is the "Suhr-el-Nimrud;" one of the chief of the buried
cities in the same neighborhood is called "Nimrud" simply; and the name of
"Birs-Nimrud" attaches to the grandest mass of ruins in the lower country.
The Confusion of Tongues
Another piece of history that should be interesting to investigate is the
Tower of Babel. Is there any secular evidence that relates to the account of the
confusion of tongues as set forth in Genesis 11? There is, indeed.
It might be noted that the Genesis 11 account indicates that prior to this
time in history, all men spoke one language. Moreover, the leading civilization
was that of the people who dwelt in the plains of Shinar or Sumer. Their desire
to be the one great civilization of the world prompted the building of the
tower, which in turn brought God's interference with their plans so that they
were forced to separate into various nations.
As has already been shown, the first great civilization of the world as
revealed by secular evidence was that which sprang forth in the Mesopotamia
Valley. The time of the beginning of the second important civilization of
antiquity could be of real significance. Presumably, it would have begun very
shortly after the Tower of Babel. The events concerning the Tower of Babel are
known to have occurred during the generation of Peleg, for in his days the earth
was divided (Gen. 10:25). Peleg's generation was from 3153 B.C. to 2914 B.C.
Therefore, one would expect no important civilizations other than Babylonia to
have an antiquity greater than about 3150 B.C.
Egypt Becomes a Great Civilization
All archaeological evidence points to Egypt as the second great civilization
to appear. While there was a primitive culture in Egypt prior to the First
Dynasty, the uniting of all of Egypt under Pharaoh Menes to form the First
Dynasty was the signal for a major burst in the arts of civilization. Albright
It is now certain that the level of Egyptian culture remained considerably
below that of Mesopotamia until the First Dynasty, when under strong indirect
influence from the Euphrates Valley, it forged ahead of the latter in a
Interestingly, the new civilization of Egypt beginning with the First Dynasty
was patterned after the Babylonian (Mesopotamian) culture. Albright continues:14
The close of the Predynastic Age and the beginning of the Thinite (period of
first two centuries) Period witnessed a sudden burst in the arts of
civilization. This seems to have been connected in some way with an increase of
cultural influence from Asia, since there are numerous exact parallels between
Mesopotamia and Egyptian culture at this time, the former being demonstrably
older and more original in nearly every instance.
The date of the beginning of the First Dynasty under Menes is calculated to
be somewhere between 2800 B.C. and 3100 B.C. The early archaeologists such as
Breasted dated his reign at about 3400 B.C. As new archaeological evidence was
uncovered, this date was moved forward to about 3000 B.C. Albright believes 2850
B.C. is a good estimate.15 William C. Hayes suggests 3100 B.C. is the best date
Considering the above information, one is struck by the fact that prior to
about 3100 B.C. to 2850 B.C., only one civilization of consequence existed in
the world. That was the nation of Babylonia on the plains of Shinar. Then at
that time, in a sudden burst of progress, Egypt grew to become a second great
civilization, a civilization patterned after the first. These dates are in
almost exact agreement with the Biblical date for the Tower of Babel. Surely the
confusion of tongues as recorded in Genesis 11 sent thousands of people skilled
in all the arts and crafts of Mesopotamia to Egypt and elsewhere. Thus, accord
can be seen between the sacred and the secular records by this indirect evidence
of the timetable of the civilizations of antiquity.
Writing and the Tower of Babel
It might be noted that writing had its beginning in Mesopotamia and may be
related to the confusion of tongues. Sir Leonard Wooley writes:17 "All the
archaeological evidence seems to prove that true writing was first developed in
southern Mesopotamia." The timing for this event is given as 3500 B.C. to 3000
B.C. Gelb concludes:18 "The date of the earliest Sumerian writing should be set
tentatively at about 3100 B.C."
The confusion of tongues in Sumer some time in the period between 3150-2900
B.C. could well have been the catalyst that produced writing. Before this
dramatic civilization-splitting event, all was secure. Only one language was
spoken in all the world. Verbal communication was adequate and dependable. But
then came the fearful event that shook the very foundations of this great
civilization; and men could no longer understand each other. There must be a
better way. The application of the spoken word to clay tablets would provide
insurance that this kind of happening would never again totally destroy a
culture. The clay tablets would prove to be a reference point. One surely can
see the possibility if not the probability of this connection between writing
and the Tower of Babel.
We thus see that the chronology of history established by Biblical reckoning
agrees rather satisfactorily with the archaeological evidence of the earliest
civilizations. The Biblical timetable is of course the most reliable, for it is
God's Word. If we have properly interpreted it, it should make possible a far
more definitive analysis of the secular evidence than ever before. It should
also provide a dependable framework in which to understand dating evidence such
as that offered by radiometric isotopes like carbon 14.
Hopefully, a perspective of history has been set forth that shows that
answers are potentially forthcoming when we begin with the Biblical framework.
The concept of a 13,000-year-old world, which began to be repopulated after the
flood some 7,000 years ago, and which 1,500 years later had grown to a point
that allowed the spawning of the first great cities, surely makes much more
sense than that of mankind being around for hundreds or even thousands of
millenniums, and then becoming a cohesive city civilization only in the last
5,500 years. Furthermore, the apparent possibility of the end of the age
occurring in our time also accords far better with the shorter timetable.
Admittedly, the first purpose of the Bible is not to be a textbook of science
or history. It is fundamentally a presentation of God's grace revealed through
Jesus Christ. But when the Bible does speak in any field of learning, it does so
with great care, accuracy, and authority. Three reasons might be advanced for
this: (1) these subjects are often an integral part of the plan of salvation;
(2) they are part of God's message to man; and (3) by reason of His very nature,
God is accurate when He speaks. Therefore, it possibly has much more to offer
than many have supposed. I hope that others will be encouraged to build upon the
suggestions offered in this presentation.
A Calendar of Events in Biblical History
|CREATION (about 13,000 years ago)
|CREATION OF ADAM
|BIRTH OF SETH. Adam was 130 when Seth was born (Gen.
|BIRTH OF ENOS. Seth was 105 when Enos was born (Gen.
|END OF ENOS’S PERIOD 905 years after his birth (Gen.
5:11), which is the year Kenan was born and which began his period
|END OF KENAN’S PERIOD 910 years after his birth
(Gen. 5:14). This is the year Mahalaleel was born and the beginning of
|END OF MAHALALEEL’S PERIOD 895 years after his birth
(Gen.5:17). This is the year Jared was born and the beginning of his
|END OF JARED’S PERIOD 962 years after his birth
(Gen.5:20). This is the year Enoch was born and the beginning of his
|END OF ENOCH’S PERIOD 365 years after his birth
(Gen.5:23). This is the year Methuselah was born and the beginning of
|END OF METHUSELAH’S PERIOD 969 years after his birth
(Gen. 5:27). This is the year Lamech was born and the beginning of his
|BIRTH OF NOAH. Lamech was 182 when Noah was born
|THE FLOOD (about 7,000 years ago). Noah was 600
whenthe flood came (Gen. 7:6)
|DEATH OF SHEM 502 years after the flood (Gen.
11:10-11). This is the year Arpachshad was born and the beginning of his
|END OF ARPACHSHAD’S PERIOD 438 years after his birth
(Gen. 11:12-13). This is the year Shelah was born and the beginning of
|END OF SHELAH’S PERIOD 433 years after his birth
(Gen.11:14-15). This is the year Eber was born and the beginning of his
|END OF EBER’S PERIOD 464 years after his birth
(Gen.11:16-17). This is the year Peleg was born and the beginning of his
|TOWER OF BABEL. During Peleg’s patriarchal period,
the division of the continents occurred. The Tower of Babel must have
been between these dates (Gen. 10:25)
|END OF PELEG’S PERIOD 239 years after his birth
(Gen.11:18-19). This is the year Reu was born and the beginning of his
|END OF REU’S PERIOD 239 years after his birth
(Gen.11:20-21). This is the year Serug was born and the beginning of his
|END OF SERUG’S PERIOD 230 years after his birth
(Gen. 11:22-23). This is the year Nahor was born and the beginning of
|END OF NAHOR’S PERIOD 148 years after his birth
(Gen. 11:24-25). This is the year Terah was born and the beginning of
|BIRTH OF ABRAM TO TERAH. Terah was 130 years old at
the birth of Abram
|ABRAM ENTERED CANAAN
|CIRCUMCISION OF ABRAM when he was 99 years of age
|BIRTH OF ISAAC. Abraham was 100 years of age at the
birth of Isaac (Gen. 21:5)
|BIRTH OF JACOB. Isaac was 60 years old at birth of
Jacob (Gen. 25:26)
|Jacob arrives in Haran at the age of
|Jacob works for seven years for Rachel and is then
married to Leah
|Reuben is born to Leah the following year, when
|Simeon is born to Leah when Jacob is
|Levi is born to Leah when Jacob is
|Jacob finishes his second seven-year contract for
Rachel when he is
|Jacob works for wages for 20 yrs. In the 17th year
of this period, Joseph is born. Jacob is
|At the end of the 20-yr. period, Joseph is weaned
and Jacob wishes to leaven Haran. He is
|Jacob works for six years longer for his flocks and
leaves Haran at age
|JACOB’S FAMILY ARRIVES IN EGYPT when Jacob is 130
Remember that the death year of one patriarch coincides with the birth year
of the next, so the result must look like this:
|Levi’s time in Egypt (137 minus 60)
Kohath’s period of patriarchal leadership
Amram’s period of patriarchal leadership
Aaron’s age at the time of the Exodus (Ex. 7:7)
Total 430 years
1 Compare Genesis 7:13, 9:18, and I Peter 3:20.
2 Compare Genesis 11:27 ff, Genesis 12:4, and Acts 7:4.
3 For example, Genesis 10:21 describes Shem as "the father of all the
children of Eber," though Eber is removed from Shem by several generations (cf.
4 The fact that Jesus was born a few years earlier (probably 7 B.C.) does not
diminish the force of this argument, for 1995 A.D. is in principle related only
to Christ's birth date and not to any other.
5 Camping, Harold, Adam When?, Chap. 3.
6 Ibid., Chap. 6.
7 Thiele, Edwin R., The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, Eerdmans,
Rev. 1965 edition, pp. 53-54. Much additional support can be given to the
accuracy of this date from the reigns of three of the greatest of the Egyptian
Pharaohs -- Sesostris III, Tuthmosis III, and Rameses II. A discussion of this
is of course beyond the scope of the article.
8 Camping, Harold, Chap. 5.
9 Albright, William Foxwell, From the Stone Age to Christianity, Doubleday &
Co., Inc., 1957, p. 32.
10 Rowton, M. B., in The Cambridge Ancient History, Cambridge University
Press, 1964, pp. 57-58.
11 Camping, Harold, Chap. 7.
12 Rawlinson, George, Egypt and Babylon, John W. Lovell Co., p. 9.
13 Albright, p. 142.
14 Ibid., p. 157.
16 Hayes, William C., The Cambridge Ancient History, 1965, p. 4.
17 Wooley, Sir Leonard, The Beginnings of Civilization, The New York American
Library, 1965, p. 364.
18 Gelb, A Study of Writing, p. 63.