Genealogy of Noah according to the Bible


This article should be cited as "The Genealogy of Noah according to the Bible", by Will Johnson,, copyright 2009, all rights reserved.

See also my article Genealogy of Adam and Eve according to the Bible

Without giving an opinion as to whether these details are true or not, I'm going to present the source citations for the descendants of Noah and show when they each lived relatively.

That is, the years below are not absolute years, but rather relative years, with the creation of Adam as year one. In this manner we completely avoid any attempt to date backward from today to these persons. The point of this article, being only to show who lived at the same time as whom.

In the below table, the references in "( )" are the chapter and verse in Genesis that states that particular fact. Column D is calculated by adding column A to column C. Column A for a son, is calculated by adding column A and column B of his father.

Much of the below table was generated from Genesis Chapter 5

 Name A) Year
Born (Calculated)
B) Age at
fatherhood (Cited)
C) Age at
Death (Cited)
D) Year of
Death (Calculated
 Adam  1  130 (5:3)  930 (5:5)  931
 Seth  131  105 (5:6)  912 (5:8)  1043
 Enos  236  90 (5:9)  905 (5:11)  1141
 Cainan  326  70 (5:12)  910 (5:14)  1236
 Mahalalel  396  65 (5:15)  895 (5:17)  1291
 Jared  461  162 (5:18)  962 (5:20)  1423
 Enoch  623  65 (5:21)  365 (5:24)
 Methuselah  688  187 (5:25)  969 (5:27)  1657
 Lamech  875  182 (5:28)  777 (5:31)  1652
Noah 1057 500 (5:32) 950 (9:28) 2007
Shem 1557 100 (11:10) 600 (11:11) 2157
Arphaxad 1657 35 (11:12) 438 (11:13) 2095
Shelah 1692 30 (5:25) 433 (11:15) 2125
Eber 1722 34 (11:16) 464 (11:17) 2186
Peleg 1756 30 (11:18) 239 (11:19) 1995
Reu 1786 32 (11:20) 239 (11:21) 2025
Serug 1818 30 (11:22) 230 (11:23) 2048
Nahor 1848 29 (11:24) 148 (11:25) 1996
Terah 1877 70 (11:26) 275 (11:32) 2152
Abraham 1947 100 (21:5) 175 (25:7) 2122
Isaac 2047 60 (25:26) 180 (35:28) 2227
Jacob 2107 no answer 147 (47:28) 2254
Judah fourth-born
no answer no answer
Perez (46:12) no answer no answer
Hezron (46:12) no answer no answer
no answer no answer
Amminidab (Ex 6:23) no answer no answer
Nahshon (Ex 6:23) no answer no answer
Salmon () no answer no answer
Boaz (Ruth 3:10) no answer no answer
Obed () no answer no answer
Jesse () no answer no answer
David seventh son
(1Chr 2:15)
no answer no answer

You can see from the end of this table, how the task of chronology is made difficult when your source doesn't supply even relative dates. Scholars have made approximations as to when these people lived, but we simply have very little to use. The last entry above, King David of Israel is supposed to have lived more-or-less around 1050 or 1000 BC. That general time-period, but give-or-take how much?  50 years? 100 years?

We can make rough guesses using the "average age at fatherhood" or something like that, but we have to acknowledge that these are only guesses to fill-in what is missing.  The years of reign of the Kings of Israel and Judah are back-calculated by anchoring a later event, and then subtracting the stated years of reign.  This method has also been challenged however.

But as you can see in the table above, we can get from Adam to Judah with apparently precise calculation of the relative year. Then we are floating until we come to King David or his son Solomon. We really have no good data points to fix the years for anybody between Judah and David. These men could have been age 25 when they became fathers, as easily as age 65, our source simply doesn't tell us. And nothing else between Exodus and the book of Kings tell us either. Statements such as "twelve generations passed... and 400 years later" can be discarded as theological numbers not presenting known facts, but rather attempting to establish a pattern for a theological purpose.  Attempts have been made to reconcile certain portions and make guesses, but they are simply that.

So the entire 4004 BC year that the King James bible prints in the column of the first page, and which comes from Ussher, is ultimately based on... nothing, or if you prefer, a rough guess.  But what is that guess itself based on?  How do we have any idea how much time spanned between David and Judah?

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