Friday, August 14, 2020

Creation to Captivity

 

Age of the Earth as Tallied from Creation to the Captivity using Biblical References

B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, August 14, 2020 

Introduction

The age of the earth is hot topic in today’s culture. The concept of millions of years is not a reality of the past and is a farce from the false religion of humanism (e.g., atheism, naturalism, secularism). There is no greater authority than God and His Word. If someone wants to know the age of the earth then they need to rely on God’s Word, not man’s fallible, sinful, error-prone, opinions about the past. God was there and He eye-witnessed history. 

It would be a faulty appeal to authority fallacy to reject God’s Word, who is the ultimate authority on all subjects, and appeal to arbitrary man’s ideas about the past. So any reliable date for the age of the earth must be grounded in God’s Word. 

Sadly, far too many people, Christians included, just accept secular humanistic dates of the age of the earth without thinking about it. When people use the text of Scripture they get thousands of years—usually around 6,000 years ago or hovering around 4,000 BC. Some Christians like to leave open a range from 6-10 thousand but that leads to more errors than “you can shake a stick at” when you look at the details of stretching that out. Nevertheless, hosts of Christians and Jews have done this calculation of the age of the earth over the past 2,000 years and I’ve written about this previously.

What Was My Goal?

But what I wanted to do is see what date I could get. Not that I am a chronology “junkie”, but I wanted to see if I could come up with a ballpark figure of what others had calculated (using texts based on the Hebrew Old Testament). The Greek LXX translation, though ancient, has inflated dates in the Genesis chrono-genealogies and other errors in Genesis in its translation, so it is better to stick with an original language basis—which is what most Bible translations are based on.

Furthermore, my goal was to go from Creation to the Captivity. Virtually everyone agrees[1] that the captivity of the Jews in finality by the Babylonians was somewhere between 586 BC-588 BC. At this point, it’s not worth the battle over this 2 year discrepancy. So my standard chronology will be +/- 2 due to this.    

I’ve broken this chronology into three tables with references provided. The three tables tabulate data from: 

·         Creation to the Initial Promise given to Abraham

·         The Initial Promise to Abraham to the end of Solomon’s reign (with a  countdown to the Exodus)

·         From Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) until the Captivity   

 The Data Tables (A.M. Dates Anno Mundi--from Creation Forward)

 Table 1: Creation to the Initial Promise given to Abraham  

  

Count from Creation (A.M. or Anno Mundi)

Patriarch/

Event

Age at subsequent son/notes

Age at death/

notes

Bible reference

0

Creation Week

5 days before Adam’s creation on the 6th day

Creation began on Day 1

Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:11, 31:17

0

Adam and Eve

130

930

Genesis 5:3-5, Mark 10:6

130

Seth

105

912

Genesis 5:6-8

235

Enosh

90

905

Genesis 5:9-11

325

Cainan

70

910

Genesis 5:12-14

395

Mahalalel

65

895

Genesis 5:15-17

460

Jared

162

962

Genesis 5:18-20

622

Enoch

65

365+  

Genesis 5:21-23

687

Methuselah

187

969

Genesis 5:25-27

874

Lamech

182

777

Genesis 5:28-31

1056

Noah

502; Noah was 500 when he had his oldest son, Japheth (Genesis 5:32) even though all sons are listed with Shem first. Shem was the one of importance for the lineage of Abraham and ultimately Christ. Shem was second oldest being born 2 years after Japheth, since he was 100, two years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10-11), which is when Noah was 502 years old. Ham was the youngest (Genesis 9:22-24).

950

Genesis 7:6, 9:29,11:10-11

1558

Shem

100

600

Genesis 11:10-11

1656

The Flood

 

 

Noah was 600 when the Flood came (Genesis 7:6)

1658

Arphaxad

35

438

Genesis 11:12-13

1693

Shelah

30

433

Genesis 11:14-15

1723

Eber

34

464

Genesis 11:16-17

1757

Peleg

30

239

Genesis 11:18-19

1787

Reu

32

239

Genesis 11:20-21

1819

Serug

30

230

Genesis 11:22-23

1849

Nahor

29

148

Genesis 11:24-25

1878

Terah

70

205

Genesis 11:26-32

1948

Terah fathers Haran, his oldest son

Though all of Terah’s sons are listed, this date is for the eldest. Abraham (Abram) was again listed first due to his importance

 

Genesis 11:28-29

2008

Terah fathers Abram (Abraham)

130

175

Genesis 11:31-12:4, 25:7

2083

The Promise

The year promise for Abraham and the beginning of the sojourn of Abraham and his promised descendants through Sarah

Abe was 75

Genesis 12:1-7

 

This gives us 2083 years to the initial promise to Abraham. Abraham is born around 2000 years after creation, and most agree that Abraham lived about 2000 BC as well. So this lets me know that I’m in the ballpark so far. In fact, these are the easy calculations—since all the data is readily given; so its simple math for this first table.   

Table 2: The Initial Promise to Abraham Countdown to the end of Solomon’s Reign including a countdown to the Exodus

Count

Count to Exodus 

Event

Notes

Reference

2083

430

Initial Promise, Sojourn begins

Abraham, 75 years old

Genesis 12:1-7

2093

420

Reiteration of the Promise

Abraham, 85 years old

Genesis 15:13-15

2094

419

Ishmael born (half-Egyptian)

Abraham, 86 years old

Genesis 16:16

2107

406

Final reiteration of the promise to Abraham

Abraham 99 years old

Genesis 17

2108

405

Isaac, child of promise born

Abraham, 100 years old

Genesis 17:19-21; 21:3-5

2113

400

Isaac, child of promise first persecuted by Ishmael, the half-Egyptian; Ishmael and Hagar (his Egyptian mother) are banished as a result; Beginning of persecution of Abraham’s promised descendants through Sarah

Isaac weaning age (which is very young) perhaps 4-5 years old making Abraham 105 years old (1 Samuel 1:23-24)

Genesis 21:8-14

2173

340

Jacob and Esau born

Isaac was 60

Genesis 25:26

 

 

Esau sells his birthright to Jacob

 

 

2183

330

Abraham dies

Abraham, 175 years old

Genesis 25:7-10

 

 

Jacob renamed Israel

 

Genesis 32:28

 

 

Israel has 12 sons (Levi, Joseph, Judah, etc.; Benjamin last)

 

Genesis 29-30; 35:16 (Benjamin)

2264

249

Joseph born

Jacob/Israel, 91 years old

Genesis 37:3; see below

2281

232

Joseph sold into slavery; finally to Egypt

Joseph 17 years old

Genesis 37:28; Genesis 37:2

2293

220

Isaac dies

Isaac, 180 years old; Jacob/Israel, 120 years old

Joseph 29 years old

Genesis 35:28

2294

219

Joseph in position of power in Egypt

Joseph, 30 years old

Genesis 41:41 Genesis 41:46

2294-2301

219-212

Seven years of Plenty

Joseph, 37 years old

Genesis 41:47

2303

210

Israelites into Egypt (2 years into the 7 years of famine)

Jacob, 130 years old

Joseph, 39 years old

Genesis 45:9-46:7; 45:6-11

2320

193

Jacob dies in Egypt

Jacob, 147 years old; after 17 years in Egypt

Joseph, 56 years old

Genesis 47:28

 

 

Levi fathers Kohath  (born in Canaan per Genesis 46:7-11)

Ephraim fathers Shuthelah (possibly before coming to Egypt?)

 

Genesis 50:23, 1 Chronicles 7:20-27; Exodus 6:16-20

 

 

Levi fathers Jochebed who was born in Egypt

Shuthelah fathers Bered

Genesis 50:23, 1 Chronicles 7:20-27; Exodus 6:16-20

 

 

Kohath fathers Amram

Bered fathers Tahath

 

Genesis 50:23, 1 Chronicles 7:20-27; Exodus 6:16-20

2374

139

Joseph (and his brothers) had died

Joseph, 110 year old

Genesis 50:22-26

 

 

Pharaoh wrongly enslaves the Israelites even though the Egyptians were technically his slaves per Genesis 47:20-26

 

Exodus 1:8-14

2432

81?-80

Persecution of baby boys in Egypt

Just before and after the birth of Moses

Exodus 1:15-22

2433

80

Moses born to Amram

Moses, 0 years old

Exodus 2:1-10

2473

40

Moses flees Egypt

Moses, 40 years old

Exodus 2:15

2513

0

10 plagues

Moses, 80 years old

Exodus 7:7 (beginning)

2513

0

Exodus from Egypt/Giving of the Law

Moses, 80 years old; Last persecution of Israelites by Egypt

Exodus; Exodus 20

2553

+40

Fourth generation was the first permitted to enter into Canaan (with their descendants of course)

Moses died 120 years old; Joshua leads the fourth generation and their descendants into Canaan

Numbers 14:34, Deuteronomy 1:35; 2:14;

2558

+45

7 Canaanite tribes destroyed and land distributed; about 450 years after the promise given to the fathers (plural meaning at least Abraham and Isaac) and this is 450 years after Isaac was born

Caleb was 85 now (40 when he spied out the land, 40 years after the wandering, and 5 more years after conquest and now the land distribution)

Joshua 13:1-7, 14:7, Act 13:16-19

2993

+480

Solomon is in his 4th year as king

Temple began to be built

1 Kings 6:1

3029

+516

Solomon’s dies and his reign ends after 40 years in power, 36 years later

The kingdom splits into Israel (Northern) and Judah (Southern)

2 Chronicles 9:30


There have been 946 years from the promise to Abraham until the end of Solomon’s reign and 3029 years since creation.

How did you get the age of Joseph?

To establish the age of Joseph with respect to Jacob his father, you need to do a calculation. Allow me to explain this because Jacob’s age is not given when Joseph is born—which is unlike the previous patriarchs going back to Adam in Genesis 5 and 11. So we have to come to it by a “round-about” way. 

Jacob (Israel) died when he was 147 years old (Genesis 47:28). He had been in the land of Egypt for 17 years (Genesis 47:28). He came to the land of Egypt in the 2nd year of the 7 years of famine (Genesis 45:6-46:7). This was after the 7 years of plenty (Genesis 41:47-49). The first year of plenty, we know that Joseph was 30 years old and that is when he came to power in Egypt (Genesis 41:46-47).

So Joseph was 30 when he came to power to begin the 7 years of plenty. So Joseph was 37 when the years of famine began. Two years later, Joseph was 39. This was when Jacob (Israel) moved to Egypt for his final 17 years. So take Jacob’s total years (147) and subtract 17 years to get to the year he came to Egypt. Jacob was 130 years old when Joseph was 39 years old. Now we have the age relationship between Joseph and his father Jacob.

This means that Jacob was 91 years old when Joseph was born. Because we now know they were 91 years apart, then anytime we know Jacob’s age, we know Joseph was 91 years younger. Or when we know Joseph’s age, Jacob was 91 years older. 

Table 3: Kings of Judah (Southern Kingdom) from Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) until the Captivity 

Count

King/

Queen/

Event

Length of Reign (years or months)

Notes

Reference

3029

Rehoboam

17

Began reign upon Solomon’s death of the Southern Split Kingdom

2 Chronicles 9:31; 1 Kings 14:21

3046

Abijah (Abijam)

3

Jeroboam was king in the Northern Kingdom of Israel for 18 years (he began reigning in Israel at the same time as Rehoboam began reigning in Judah, the Southern Kingdom) Rehoboam reigned 17 years so in the 18th year, Abijah began his 3 year term

1 Kings 15:1-2

3049

Asa

41

In the 20th year of Jeroboam, Asa began to reign in Judah after Abijah’s 3 years on the throne. He then reigned 41 years

1 Kings 15:9-10

3090

Jehoshaphat

25

After Asa, Jehoshaphat began to reign for 25 years

1 Kings 22:41-42

3115

Jehoram (Joram)

8

He had an 8 year reign

2 Chronicles 21:1-5

3123

Ahaziah (Azariah/

Jehoahaz)

1

He only had a 1 year reign

2 Chronicles 22:1-2

3124

Queen Athaliah

6

Mother of Ahaziah, ruled 6 years after killing most of the royal family

2 Chronicles 22:10-12

3130

Joash (Jehoash)

40

Son of Ahaziah/Jehoahaz reigned 40 years starting at the age of 7 after being in hiding from his grandmother Queen Athaliah who killed all of his relatives and tried to kill him too to secure her throne;  After her 6 year reign she was slain by the word and Joash became king at a young age

2 Chronicles 24:1-2, (see also 2 Chronicles 22:10-12)

3170

Amaziah

29

He reigned 29 years

2 Chronicles 24:27-2 Chronicles 25:1

3199

Azariah (Uzziah)

52

He reigned 52 years

2 Chronicles 25:27-2 Chronicles 26:3

3251

Jotham

16

He reigned 16 years

2 Chronicles 26:23-2 Chronicles 27:1

3267

Ahaz

16

He also reigned 16 years

2 Chronicles 27:9-2 Chronicles 28:1

3283

Hezekiah

29

He reigned 29 years

2 Chronicles 28:27-2 Chronicles 29:1

3312

Manasseh

55

He reigned 55 years

2 Chronicles 32:33-2 Chronicles 33:1

3367

Amon

2

He reigned 2 years and after his excessive sin he was killed

2 Chronicles 33:20-21

3369

Josiah

31

He reigned 31 years

2 Chronicles 33:23-2 Chronicles 34:1

3400

Jehoahaz (Shallum)

3 months

He reigned 3 months and was disposed by the Egyptians and carried off to Egypt

2 Chronicles 36:1-4

3400

Jehoiakim (Eliakim)

11

Son of Josiah and brother of Jehoahaz was put on the throne by the Egyptians; His reign was 11 years; his reign was cut short due to Nebuchadnezzar taking him captive to Babylon when opposing each other

2 Chronicles 36:3-5

3411

Jehoiachin (Jeconiah/

Coniah)

3 months (and 10 days)

His short reign of about 3 months was due to Nebuchadnezzar’s further exploits into Jerusalem/Judah; He too was taken into captivity with many precious items from the Temple.

2 Chronicles 36:8-10

3411

Zedekiah (Mattaniah)

11

Son of Josiah, set up as king by Nebuchadnezzar and he reigned 11 years subordinate to Babylon

2 Chronicles 36:10-19

3422

The Captivity and desolation of Jerusalem

 

The Chaldeans under the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and carried off the last of its items.

Daniel 9:2, 2 Chronicles 36:10-19, 2 Chronicles 36:21

From Rehoboam until the Captivity was 393 years in this tabulation. The captivity began 3422 years after Creation by this calculation.

Well, Was I Close?

At this point I had not looked at other chronologies in my possession (Floyd Jones, Jeanne Calmet, Frank Klassen, James Ussher, and several others). So I decided to see where I was at this point. Because of his popularity and his numbers being considered the standard, I looked up  Archbishop James Ussher’s The Annals of the World to see where I was in comparison to where he was at regarding the captivity.

Many of our dates overlapped but then they began to deviate toward the end in the third table with the kings. At the captivity we were off by 6 years. Ussher has the captivity at 3416 AM (Anno Mundi; Years after Creation), where I had 3422 AM. So I decided to investigate why we were different. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to be this close to Ussher’s date!

Ussher was able to spot coregency  (where a king and his son co-reigned during transfers of power) where my initial calculation missed those. This brings the date down by a year here and a year there. So in retrospect, I believe that Ussher was more careful on his numbers and that gives me an even greater respect for what he did—especially without computers and search programs like I have!

If I use 588 BC as Ussher did for the Captivity [to anchor my chronology to Ussher’s chronology], I would have went back to 4010 BC as the creation date. But as I mentioned, I believe I began deviating due to my own human error. I looked up each of the discrepancies of coregency and I firmly believe Ussher got them right and I didn’t. So of course, I’ll still defer to Ussher as the expert and highly recommend his work.  

But the point is that with a little time and effort, it is easier than I thought to add up the age of the earth. There were some tricky spots, like the relationship between Jacob’s and Joseph’s age, but I arrived, like most others, at a date near 4,000 BC and the age of the earth of about 6,000 years.        



[1] Be careful because there are some cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses that have other dates for the captivity to try to make certain false prophecies that they have made appear better.     

Tongues Prophecy

  Tongues And Prophecy…Are They Gifts In The Church Today? Ishmael Abrahams, Biblical Authority Ministries, April 12, 2021 Introduct...