Monday, July 18, 2011

The Timeline of History: Genesis Chapter 5 and Beyond

A Screenshot of the Scientific Method in Action
I have a scientific mind.  In fact, I am trained as a scientist as I studied Biology in the university prior to Salvation.  So I have a tendency to approach studying the Bible in a scientific way. 

Scientists used to be trained, years ago, in the scientific method, which stated that science was observation.  This seems to no longer be the case.  The theory of evolution has become “fact” without observable evidence of its truth.  I am a firm believer in observation.  I look at observable data and develop a theory based on what is observable.  Then I go and try to disprove my theory.  This is the true scientific method:  The use of the null hypothesis in developing experiments in order to find a proof.

When looking at something like the Bible all the answers will be found contained within the Bible.  So as a scientist I can look at observable data and come to conclusions.  So in order to scientifically approach the Bible, I spent some time making a timeline based on the genealogy of Genesis Chapter 5.  What I have done is follow the ages of the men and created a timeline from Adam’s creation through the life of Perez.  The timeline gives us some interesting insight into the history of the Bible.  The following is some observable data with possible hypotheses, in some cases.

Historical Information found in the time line:

  1. Seth was born 130 years after Adam was created:  In that time his parents lived in the Garden of Eden, Gave birth to Cain and Abel who were twins:  Cain and Abel grew and Cain murdered Abel.  Possible Hypothesis:  If we speculate that this took place when Abel was 40 years old, then the time in the Garden would be less than 90 years.  Of course this is speculation.  We aren’t told how old Abel was when he died.  Also we don’t know the time between their removal from the Garden and the birth of Cain and Abel. 
  2. We can also determine that the flood took place 1656 years after the creation of the world.  This is determined by the fact that Noah was 600 years old when he flood happened.  Possible Hypothesis:  If it took 120 years for the ark to be completed Noah must have begun to build the ark in 1536.
  3. Methuselah died at the age of 969 years.  In the year 1656 after creation.  This is the year of the flood.  Possible Hypothesis:  Methuselah’s name means “His death will bring.”  Is it possible that his name was a prophecy of the judgment of God, as well as a part of the prophecy of Christ as mentioned in “The Names of Truth.”
  4. Shem was born 1558 after creation, and 22 years after the building of the ark had begun.  This is derived from Genesis 11:10 which says that his first son was born two years after the flood when Shem was 100 years old.  He died at 600 years old, 2,158 years after creation.  Shem died 50 years after Jacob’s birth.  He outlived Abraham by 35 years.  Possible Hypothesis:  It is entirely possible that Jacob knew Shem who was his ancestor 11 generations before Jacob.
  5. Eber, the first of the lineage born after the flood lived 464 years.  Lifetimes became shorter and shorter after that.  Jacob’s life was only 147 years.  Possible Hypothesis:  Something was changed during the flood that caused lifetimes to be shorter.  The Bible in Genesis 1:7 tells us that the firmament (atmosphere) divided the waters.

Gen 1:6-7  And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  (7)  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
When the flood happened it says that water came from above and below.  It is entirely possible that  the waters above the firmament were removed, exposing mankind to ultraviolet and gamma radiation, which shortened their lifetimes.

  1. Other interesting points: 
      • Isaac died when Jacob was 120 years old
      • Joseph was born 2199 years after creation; Jacob was 91 years old.
      • Benjamin was born 2206 years after creation when Jacob was 98.
      • Joseph became prime minister of Egypt when Jacob was 121 years old. Joseph was 30 years old.
      • Jacob entered Egypt 2238 years after creation; he was 130 years old.  Joseph was 39 years old. 
      • Rachel died when Jacob was 98 years old; 1 year after they left Laban’s house.
 There is one other interesting I have discovered as a result of this timeline.  I began to do a Bible Study called “Chinese Characters and Genesis.”  This is based on the early written forms of the Chinese language.  The oldest written form of Chinese is approximately 3,500 years old. It is a clay tablet with ancient Chinese characters on it.  Many of the characters speak of Biblical events.  For example the character for Boat, when broken down into sub-characters called radicals is made up of the radicals for 8 mouths in a boat.  The character for the Chinese word, meaning tower is made up of the radicals for mankind one language, clay and grass.  There are many other examples of this.  If you go backward from this time approximately 3500 years it puts you near the time of Shem’s death.  Possible Hypothesis:  The information from Shem’s lifetime was passed to the designers of the written for of Chinese.  That is pure speculation but makes sense from a linguist’s perspective.

If you are interested in having a copy of this timeline, please feel free to email me at this address (link) and I will try to send you an Excel file with the timeline and some other information.

Stream of Thought:

1.  Scientists are no longer practicing the scientific method.
2.  The genealogies can be a witness to much historical information.
3.  There are important things that can be observed in the data.
4.  The data can be used for scientific speculation.


  1. Remarkable work effort that trusts the Bible as the inerrant Word of God!

  2. Another thing to look at after the flood is diet. It was only after the flood that man was given permission to eat meat. (Gen 9:3,4)