The Bible provides the following information in relation to the Creation to
calling of Abraham period.
FROM GENESIS 5:3-31,7:6,11,9:28-29
* Fathered * * Thereafter * * Total *
Adam 130 800 930
Seth 105 807 912
Enosh 90 815 905
Cainan 70 840 910
Mahalaleel 65 830 895
Jared 162 800 962
Enoch 65 300 365
Methuselah 187 782 969
Lamech 182 595 777
Noah to Flood 600 350 950
FROM GENESIS 11:10-26
* Fathered * * Thereafter *
Arphaxad 35 403
Salah 30 403
Eber 34 430
Peleg 30 209
Reu 32 207
Serug 30 200
Nahor 29 119
These figures need to be adjusted for the following.
A) Many people when assembling the chronology of the Creation to Abraham
period do not take into account the effect of accumulated months.
The way years are counted in English, a person's age is determined
on the basis of how many full years they have lived. However, in
the bible a person's age is determined according to the year of the
life they happen to be living! An example of this can be seen in the
verses mentioning the age of Noah.
Gen 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood
of waters was on the earth.
7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life in
the second month, the seventeenth day of the
month, on that day all the foundations of
the great deep were broken up, and the
windows of heaven were opened.
So if chronologists ignore this issue their chronologies will tend to
overstate the actual number of years which have elapsed.
B) The English terms 'begot' or 'father of' found in Genesis should be
rendered 'fathered'. It refers to when the child is born!
C) If a man fathers a son (or if a man dies) in a certain year of
his life, does that precisely define what calendar year the event
In the case of anyone born (or in the case of Adam 'created') on
the 1st day of the 1st month it does.
However, for other birth dates it does not!
For example, a man born mid year and having a son after having
lived 29 complete years and 3 months; will become a father in
the 30th calendar year of his life. However, the same man having
a son after having lived 29 complete years and 9 months; will
become a father in the 31st calendar year of his life.
It all depends on whether he becomes a father before the end of
that calendar year or after the start of the next calendar year.
So, with the information provided in Genesis, it is not always
easy to quickly determine the exact calendar years in which
these men became fathers or in which calendar year they died.
D) What we see in the information presented for the Adam to Flood period
is that the age when they became a father plus the subsequent number
of years always equals their age at death.
If the additional years represented added calendar years one would
not normally expect this to always be the case. With fathering
falling in one of two possible years and the time of dying falling
in one of two possible years; then the arithmetic should agree only
Another view is that the additional years of life may not have been
calendar years, but rather year values that were derived by simply
deducting the year of life at their death from the year of life when
they became a father. So ensuring the arithmetic would always agree.
E) A period of time which needs special attention is the Methuselah
to Flood period.
Methuselah dies in his 969th year.
[ He may have died in the calendar before the Flood or early in
the year of the Flood. (In any case being the grandfather of
Noah and being advanced in years it seems likely that he died
of natural causes prior to the start of the Deluge.)
Minimum counting for this period arrives at,
Methuselah fathers in his 187th year
Lamech fathers in his (182-1) 181st year
Noah to Flood an additional (600-1) 599th year
(NB: Need to adjust for year of father and year
of son being double counted.)
A value 2 years lower than the 969th year of Methuselah. This
indicates the use of 'minimum counting' is not to be applied
to Lamech and Noah. As it is necessary to lift the value of
967th year up to at least the 969th year.
F) The Flood lasted a period of almost one year.
For a fuller discussion, refer FLOOD CHRONOLOGY
(The Deluge itself spanned 10 months from the 17th day
of the second month up until the 17th day of the 12th month.)
G) Genesis 11:10 indicates Shem fathered Arphaxad 2 years after the
However, Genesis 5:32 states Shem was born when Noah was 500 years
of age and Genesis 11:10 states Shem was only 100 years of age when
Arphaxad was born.
The indication is that Arphaxad had to be born immediately after
the Flood, in the second year. That is to say in the year immediately
following the Flood.
[NB: 1) The word translated 'two' in Gen 11:10 is Strong's reference
8147 which can also be rendered 'second' as in 1Kings 15:25,
2Kings 1:17, 14:1, 15:32, Daniel 2:1, Haggai 1:1 and
Zechariah 1:1. ]
The bible counts inclusively. The first period after the Flood
occurred in the same year as the Flood. It seems that technically
the Deluge was shown to have ended when the dove brought the
freshly picked olive leaf to Noah. This was about two weeks prior
to the end of that calendar year.
The following year was the second year.
H) When was the birth date of Noah? And in what year may he have died?
Genesis 7:11 states Noah was living his 600th year when the Deluge
began on the 17th day of the second month.
Genesis 7:6 states Noah was six hundred years old when the flood
of waters was upon the earth. In other words during the entire
period of the Deluge Noah was living in his 600th year.
The waters of the Deluge increased over 150 days (Gen 17:24) and
receded over another 150 days (Gen 8:3). This meant that starting
with the 17th day of the 12th month all that was necessary was for
the ground to dry.
Genesis 8:13 states that the 1st day of the 1st month of the next
year was Noah's 601st year. However, the Hebrew text does not say
he was a 'son of' 601 years or that he had 'lived' 601 years.
Rather it states;
Gen 8:13 And becoming on first and six hundreds year
on the first on first to the month dried up
the waters from the earth ...
This day represented the 601st calendar year of Noah's life!
At this time he was in English terms still 599 years old and in bible
terms still 600 years old. He had not yet started his 601st year of
life (as determined by the arrival of his next birthday).
So the implication is that the birth date of Noah occurred after
1st day of the first month, but before 17th day of the 2nd month.
So in summary, after taking all the above points into consideration and
converting the numbers to the English form of counting, we can arrive at
the following 'minimum' compilation;
* Adjusted *
Adam (130-1) 129
Seth (105-1) 104
Enosh ( 90-1) 89
Cainan ( 70-1) 69
Mahalaleel ( 65-1) 64
Jared (162-1) 161
Enoch ( 65-1) 64
Methuselah (969-1) 968 1,648
Flood 1 1
Shem ( 2-2) -
Arphaxad ( 35-1) 34
Salah ( 30-1) 29
Eber ( 34-1) 33
Peleg ( 30-1) 29
Reu ( 32-1) 31
Serug ( 30-1) 29
Nahor ( 29-1) 28
Terah ( 70-1) 69 282
1,931 full years
The details of the Adam to Arphaxad period can be quite confusing.
So hopefully the following will help to clarify.
Calendar Person Yr of Life Yr of Life Calendar Calculation
Year Son Born When? Year
1st Adam 130th early 130th
130th Seth 105th early 234th (130+105 -1yr)
234th Enosh 90th early 323rd (234+90 -1yr)
323rd Cainan 70th early 392nd (323+70 -1yr)
392nd Mahalaleel 65th early 456th (392+65 -1yr)
456th Jared 162nd early 617th (456+162 -1yr)
617th Enoch 65th early 681st (617+65 -1yr)
681st Methuselah 187nd late 868th (681+187 -1yr+1yr)
868th Lamech 182nd late 1050th (868+182 -1yr+1yr)
1050th Noah 500th late 1550th (1050+500-1yr+1yr)
1550th Shem 100th late 1650th (1550+100-1yr+1yr)
From this compilation the following can be noticed;
1) Methuselah was born in the 681st year and as we know he died
after living a further 968 complete years (dying in his 969th
year). Since he did not outlive the Flood we know he died in
the 1649th year. The year of the Flood! (Presumably prior to
the actual event.)
2) Noah was born in the 1050th year and after living 599 complete
years lives safely through the Deluge occurring in his 600th
3) Arphaxad was born in the 1650th year. The year immediately
following the year of the Flood.
4) Noah living 950 years after having been born in the 1050th
year will live into the 2,000th year if he lives late into
his 950th year of life (ie into his 951st calendar year).
So, having resolved the Adam to Terah period, it is now necessary
to consider the timing of the calling of Abraham.
At what age was Abraham when he was called by God to enter the
Promised Land of Canaan?
Genesis 12:4 indicates Abraham was 75 years old when he departed from
Haran and entered Canaan. However, a more literal rendering of this
verse reads as follows;
Gen 12:4 And Abram a son of five years and seventy years
when he departed from Haran. ....
In Genesis 12:4 it is not necessarily wrong to translate the Hebrew
as 75 years, but the verse can also be understood to be saying Abraham
was at this time a son (ie builder) of both 5 years and 70 years!
[NB: God sometimes uses the Hebrew term 'son' to refer to the number of
years since He has called a person. Refer 1Sam 13:1 in the NKJV.
This situation is also encountered in relation to the age of Joseph
when he appeared before Pharaoh (Gen 41:46).]
What is possibly being suggested is;
1) This was the 70th year since Abraham's birth, and
2) The 5th year since God had called him to leave Mesopotamia.
Please refer to;
[NB: It is not unusual in Genesis for the lower number of years
to be stated before the greater value, but it is unusual
for this order to be encountered in conjunction with the
term 'son of'. ]
Understanding that Abraham left Haran when he was 70 years old, ie
he was living his 70th year, would mean that in English terms he was
69 years old.
* Adjusted *
Creation to birth of Abraham 1,931
Age of Abraham when he enters Canaan 69
2,000 full years
Therefore, the minimum number of years which could have past prior to
the calling of Abraham to leave Haran and to enter the land of Canaan
was 2,000 years!
Placing this calling of Abraham in the 2001st year.