Genesis Time Line

Finally, our KTB started the daily readings on the Old Testament. We agreed (well.. I forced them, to be precise. I'm an authoritarian guy. lol) to have three chapters read every day -- excluding the day when we encountered Psalm 119. This will be the second time that I'm going to read the OT as a whole (not topical like what I usually did).

We start reading from Genesis, and if we are sticking to our schedule, we should be on Exodus chapter 4 by the time this entry is posted in this blog. Well, thankfully I managed to reach the target so far thanks to the fact that I don't have much to do in my office this week God's providence.

I'm doing an extra things when I'm reading Genesis this time though, I searched for the verses that I can extract information about the historical time line of the bible. Why? Because I'm afraid that I will feel sleepy in my readings Because I'm curious. I want to see for myself that the verses doesn't contradict each other-- in a sense, I just want to stop taking things for granted, and study the bible more seriously.

Going through the years after the creation, on the offspring of Adam and Steve Eve, the flood, the covenant family of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (and his 12 sons). The numbers of years might not reflect exact numbers, but I tried to do it anyway out of curiosity. Things got a little bit complicated when I reached Abraham since I can't pinpoint the age of his father when Abraham was born (Gen 11 only said that Terah was 70 when Abram, Nahor and Haran was born), hence a speculation arises. It became more complicated when the chronicles reached Jacob's story since most of the events are hard to locate in the time line (albeit most are minor events). But the peak of the complication was when I tried to locate when Joseph was born. Now, that was a little bit tricky.

It will be great if I can show the excel sheet I made, but I don't know how to do it here... So here we go...

Note: the numbers in the time line shows the numbers of years passed since Adam was created (hence the abbreviation AAB -- After Adam was Born =p). I double checked and triple checked it already, but there can be mistakes, so please correct me if you found something wrong.

0 AAB - God created Adam (Gen 1-2).
Remarks: some suggest that the fall of men happened within one year after the creation, since Cain and Abel are not mentioned yet, and assuming that Eve was having them right after the creation -- But it's not stated in the Bible so I won't list them here
130 AAB - Seth was born (Gen 5:3)
235 AAB - Enosh was born (Gen 5:6)
325 AAB - Kenan was born (Gen 5:9)
395 AAB - Mahalalel was born (Gen 5:12)
460 AAB - Jared was born (Gen 5:15)
622 AAB - Enoch was born (Gen 5:18)
687 AAB - Methuselah was born (Gen 5:21)
874 AAB - Lamech was born (Gen 5:25)
930 AAB - Adam died at the age of 930 years old (Gen 5:5)
987 AAB - God took Enoch away when he was 365 years old (Gen 5:24). In a sense, he never died.

1042 AAB - Seth died at the age of 912 years old (Gen 5:8)
1056 AAB - Noah was born (Gen 5:28)
1140 AAB - Enosh died at the age of 905 years old (Gen 5:11)
1235 AAB - Kenan died at the age of 910 years old (Gen 5:14)
1290 AAB - Mahalalel died at the age of 895 years old (Gen 5:17)
1422 AAB - Jared died at the age of 962 years old (Gen 5:20)
1556 AAB - Shem, Ham and Japeth was born (Gen 5:32). The exact year when each of them was born are unknown. (or maybe, they are triplets?)
1651 AAB - Lamech died at the age of 777 years old (Gen 5:31). And yes, he died before his father, Methuselah. Lucky number 777?
1656 AAB - Methuselah died at the age of 969 years old (Gen 5:27). Oldest man living ever recorded, and hence his name was a synonym for a creature with old age. And yes, he died just before the flood (in the tradition of the Jews, as if God was waiting for him first), or maybe, he died because of it?
1656 AAB - Beginning of the flood (Gen 7:6). The only human mentioned boarding the ark are Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. So far, everything is consistent, since all of the aforementioned people have died (that is, except Enoch).

Let's take a small break here... I'll update the post later. It's coffee break time.

*Added on 28th August 2009*

Ok. Let's continue on the rest of the Genesis time line. The more complicated time line will be here =) but nothing too hard actually.. I'm using my coffee break time for this.

1657 AAB - Noah leaves the ark (Gen 8:13-14).
1659 AAB - Arphaxad was born (Gen 11:10).
Remarks: It was said that Arphaxad was born when Shem was 100 years old, but Noah's three sons was born when Noah was 500 years old, so it seems that the number 100 (or 500) here is an approximation. It wouldn't be too much discrepancy though.. Somewhere around 2-3 years only.
1694 AAB - Shelah was born (Gen 11:12).
1724 AAB - Eber was born (Gen 11:14).
1758 AAB - Peleg was born (Gen 11:16).
1788 AAB - Reu was born (Gen 11:18).
1820 AAB - Serug was born (Gen 11:20).
1850 AAB - Nahor was born (Gen 11:22).
1879 AAB - Terah was born (Gen 11:24).
1949 AAB - Abram, Nahor and Haran was born (Gen 11:26). Again, same case with Shem, Ham and Japeth.
1997 AAB - Peleg died at the age of 209 years old (Gen 11:19).
1998 AAB - Nahor died at the age of 119 years old (Gen11:25).
2006 AAB - Noah died at the age of 950 years old (Gen 9:29).
2024 AAB - Abram set out to Canaan from Haran (Gen 12:4). The year 2024 AAB here is a speculation, as we can't pinpoint the exact year of Abram's birth. It could be earlier than this date, but this is the latest it logically allowed. The subsequent time line will be established using the assumption that Abram was born in 2024 AAB.
2027 AAB - Reu died at the age of 207 years old (Gen 11:21).
2035 AAB - Ishmael was born (Gen 16:16).
2048 AAB - The covenant of circumcision. Abram's name changed to Abraham (Gen 17).
2048 AAB - Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed. This is just a speculation since assuming that it happens between the covenant and Isaac birth, it would most likely happened in 2048/2049.
2049 AAB - Isaac was born (Gen 21:5).
2049 AAB - Hagar and Ishmael was sent away (Gen 21:8).
2050 AAB - Serug died at the age of 200 years old (Gen 11:23).
2084 AAB - Terah died at the age of 205 years old (Gen 11:32).
Remarks: Haran died before Terah, so Haran died in between 1949 to 2084 AAB, of course, we can say that most likely it will be after 1970s AAB since Haran already had a child when he died, which became the daughter of Nahor, Haran's brother.
2089 AAB - Isaac married Rebecah (Gen 25:20).
2097 AAB - Arphaxad died at the age of 403 years old (Gen 11:13).
2109 AAB - Jacob and Esau was born (Gen 25:26).
2124 AAB - Abraham died at the age of 175 years old (Gen 25:7).
2127 AAB - Shelah died at the age of 403 years old (Gen 11:15).
2149 AAB - Esau married Beeri and Basemath (Gen 26:34).
2158 AAB - Shem died at the age of 500 years old (Gen 11:11).  
2165 AAB - Ishmael died at the age of 137 years old (Gen 25:17).
2188 AAB - Eber died at the age of 430 years old (Gen 11:17).
Remarks: between this period, Jacob worked for Laban for 20 years, in the 7th he married Leah and the Rachel in the 14th year.

Things will get a bit messy after this point. =)

2200 AAB - Joseph was born. See 'Remarks: Joseph' below.
2217 AAB - Joseph was sold to Egypt. See 'Remarks: Joseph' below.
2228 AAB - Joseph interpreted the cupbearer's and the baker's dreams. See 'Remarks: Joseph' below.
2229 AAB - Isaac died at the age of 180 years old (Gen 35:28). Rachel died shortly before Isaac, meaning, she died without knowing that Joseph is still alive. Sad. =(
2230 AAB - Jacob interpreted the Pharaoh's dreams- start of the years of plenty. See 'Remarks: Joseph' below.
2237 AAB - Start of the famine. See 'Remarks: Joseph' below.
2239 AAB - Jacob moved to Egypt. See 'Remarks: Joseph' below.

Remarks: Joseph
Okay. This is the messy part. We will be calculating this backwards. Note that Jacob said to the Pharaoh that he was 130 years old when he moved to Egypt (Gen 47:9). This means that he moved to Egypt on 2239 AAB. Note also that it was on the second year of the famine when they moved there (Gen 45:6). It means that the famine started on 2237 AAB, and the years of plenty started on 2230 AAB (Refer to the Pharaoh's dreams interpretation). I hope you're still following me up until this point. This is important facts for determining when Joseph was born.
Then, assuming that the years of plenty started right after Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, we can determine these rest of Joseph's time line easily! We know that he interpreted Pharaoh's dream 2 years after the cupbearer and baker event (Gen 41:1), meaning it happened on 2228 AAB. We also know that Joseph was 30 years old when he served the Pharaoh (Gen 41:46), meaning he was born on 2200 AAB. Lastly, he was sold when he was (at least) 17 (Gen 37:2) meaning that it happened at least on 2217 AAB!

2256 AAB - Jacob died at the age of 147 years old (Gen 47:28).
2310 AAB - Joseph died at the age of 110 years old (Gen 50:22).

And with that.. this long post on Genesis is done! And so far, there are no contradictory statements in Genesis that I see. ^^

Gee.. This is such a long post.. --'



There was a time when I lost my desire to write and to share. There was a time when I didn't see the point of doing a blog to express my thought. I am who I am though, inconsistent as I am in doing this blog, but I do want to share and I do long to write. Today I'm giving it another go. Fingers crossed. But I still wish that "Let there be light" is the message that I convey.
  • January 1st 2012, Kristo