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IntroductionThe Bible, in the time period from Adam to Noah gives no known internal or external chronological pegs upon which to hang any dating of the events it describes. Any attempt to date these events, must rely entirely on parts of the Bible outside this time period. For example, attempts have been made to date the flood. For other time period, attempts have been made to date the Exodus, or to date the arrival of the Israelites in Palestine, or to date the reign of King David. All of these attempts rely on commentary and extrapolation from relative dates. None of them are firmly based on any link to a specific date, internal or external. Even the statement that the Exodus occurred under "Ramses" is fuzzy and contradictory. Therefore I will not here, attempt to again present the evidence for a certain specific absolute year, but will only present relative dating, that is, the events are dated only in relation to each other, not in relation to any absolute time. So my dating sets the year 0 as the creation of Adam, and counts forward from that point, instead of trying to count backward from today.
My Knol contents, will be primarily of use to genealogists who are interested in recording the primary evidence for certain relationships, irrespective of the veracity of those relationships. So the point here, is not that these connections represent what actually occurred, or when they occurred, but only that they represent what is stated to have occurred and when.
Adam and EveIn Genesis 1:27 God makes "man in his own image; male and female".
But then in Genesis 2:7 God forms "the man", and later in 2:22 "the woman"
They are first called Adam in Genesis 3:17 and Eve in Genesis 3:20.
Their first-born son was Cain, Genesis 4:1. "Later" she gave birth to his brother Abel (Genesis 4:2).
When they were adults, Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4:8)
We don't know how old Adam and Eve were when they had Cain and Abel, but Adam was certainly much less than 130 years old. We know this because in Genesis 5:3 we find the statement that Adam was 130 years old when he had Seth. Eve describes Seth as the son God gave her to replace Abel. So Abel, at Seth's birth, must already be dead for this to make sense.
Abel evidently had no children, because nothing more is mentioned on that.
Cain however did have descendants, and here we first encounter something problematic.
Descendants of CainCain had a son Enoch (Genesis 4:17) who had a son Irad, who had a son Mehujael who had a son Methushael who had a son Lamech (Genesis 4:18). Lamech had two named sons by his wife Adah and one named son and a daughter by his wife Zillah (Genesis 4:19-22). About these sons, the Bible says "Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock"; "Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute".
If Jabal was the father of all who raise livestock, then none of the descendants of Adam's other named son Seth, could have raised livestock. They must have all been either hunters or agriculturists.
The other interesting thing to note, is the use of the present-tense. It says not "those who did live in tents", but rather "whose who live in tents". Since even the most religiously-conservative reader thinks these books were written by Moses (and religiously-liberal readers think they were written much later), then we can only assume that Noah's line was not the sole living line from the time of the Flood. Otherwise Cain's line would have already been extinct by the time these statements were recorded. Alternatively, the children of Seth, could have intermarried with the children of Cain, meaning that we today are all descendants of Cain as well, through some daughter-line. Thus those who live in tents and those who play the harp, etc, descend through a daughter line who intermarried with one of Seth's descendants.
SethAdam and Eve's next son was named Seth (Genesis 4:25) and he had a son Enosh (Genesis 4:26). Seth was given to Eve, she says, to replace Abel. So Seth never knew his brother Abel, but possibly knew his brother Cain.
Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old (Genesis 5:3), and Adam died at the age of 930 (Genesis 5:5). We are not told whether Eve was living at the time of Adam's death, nor are we told at what age she died. In fact the only women mentioned at all, from the time of Adam until the time of Noah, is when we see that "Cain lay with his wife", and then we see later that Lamech, his descendant, had two wives Adah and Zillah. That's all we get, no other names of any woman, and no mention of any other woman for the next two thousand years.
As an aside, the non-canonical "Book of Jubilees" does record the names of all these wives. The Book of Jubilees is a very important book for the study of non-canonical Jewish literature, but nevertheless was put in its current form possibly as late as the 2nd century BCE and so at least several hundred (if not a thousand) years after Genesis was written. The only full text of the Book of Jubilees which exists is the Ethiopic version. In addition, Gregory Abu'l Faraj, a writer from the time of the Crusades, evidently quoting Pseudo-Methodius states that when Cain was born, at the same time, he had a sister born named Klimya. And when Abel was born, at the same time, he had a sister born named Labhudha. The Book of Jubilees, calls Cain's wife "Awan". A discussion of some Armenian Apocrypha relating to Adam and Eve, and noting variants of these names is at this link. In addition to the above Book of Jubilees, there is another important non-canonical book called the "Book of Adam and Eve", which includes other important notes. In that book, they state that the two twin sisters of Cain and Abel were Luluwa and Aklis (or Achemis).
When Seth was 105 years old, he had a son Enosh (or Enos) (Genesis 5:6). Seth died at the age of 912 (Genesis 5:8)
Enosh to NoahThe remaining generations from Enosh to Noah, are nothing more than a list of who was the father of whom, and how old they were when they had this son and how old they were when they died. That list is first mentioned in Genesis 5 and is presented in the chart below. This list is mentioned again in 1 Chronicles 1, and again in Luke 3, both times in a shorter version by leaving out the relative dating altogether.
Relative Dating ChartColumn A is the name of the man in that generation.
Column B for each generation is calculated by adding Column B for his father to Column C for his father
Column C for each generation is cited to the Genesis chapter and verse where that age is stated
Column D for each generation is cited to the Genesis chapter and verse where that age is stated
Column E for each generation is calculated by adding Column B to Column D
|A) Name||B) Relative Birth Year (Calculated) ||C) Age at Fatherhood (Cited) ||D) Age at Death (Cited) ||E) Relative Death Year (Calculated) |
|Adam||0|| 130 (5:3) || 930 (5:5) ||930|
|Seth|| 130 || 105 (5:6) || 912 (5:8) ||1042|
|Enosh||235|| 90 (5:9) || 905 (5:11) ||1140|
|Kenan||325|| 70 (5:12) || 910 (5:14) ||1235|
| Mahalalel ||395|| 65 (5:15) || 895 (5:17) ||1290|
| Jared ||460|| 162 (5:18) || 962 (5:20) ||1422|
|Enoch||622|| 65 (5:21) ||vanished at age 365 (5:24) |
| Methuselah ||687|| 187 (5:25) || 969 (5:27) ||1656|
|Lamech||873|| 182 (5:28) || 777 (5:31) ||1650|
|Noah||1055|| 500 (5:32) || 950 (9:28) ||2005|
The FloodOn the question of the relative dating of the flood, we are told that "Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came upon the Earth". Using my chart above, we obtain the relative date of 1655 for when the flood began. It should be fairly apparent that it's quite possible that Methuselah was killed by the Flood.
See also: Genealogy of Noah in which I will show that although Abraham could have known Noah, he most likely did not, and I will explain why.
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