25 March 2013

Dating Creation

Taking the geneologies found in the Masoritic Text and fitting them together with an estimate of when the Exodus occured, we might be able to figure out when the Bible places the creation of the world. From Adam to Moses, we can construct the following chart:

Patriarch    Born    Died
Adam           1*          931
Seth             131      1043
Enosh          236      1141
Kenan          326      1236
Mahalalel     396      1291
Jared           461      1423
Enoch          623      988 ("Walked with God")
Methuselah 688      1657 (Died seven days before the flood)
Lamech      875      1652
Noah           1057    2007    1657 = The Flood
Shem          1557    2157
Arphaxad    1657    2095
Shelah        1692    2125
Eber           1722    2195
Peleg          1756    1995
Reu             1786    2025
Sherug        1818    2048
Nahor          1848    1996
Terah           1877    2152
Abraham     1947    2222
Isaac           2047    2267
Jacob          2107    2254

Some interesting things appear when we view this data in chart form. Lamech was the last patriarch to see Adam alive (he died 126 years before Noah was born). Noah not only outlived his great-great-great grandson, he also outlived his great-great-great-great-great-great grandson Nahor, who died quite young (relatively speaking). Abraham also had 215 years to get to know Noah, and so he had a direct testimony of the flood. Key events from creation to when the Israelites enter Egypt are not more than two people removed.

Moses was 80 years old when the Exodus happened, which took place exactly 430 years after the Israelites (Jacob's family) entered Egypt, when Jacob was age 130. Meaning:

2237 = Israelites enter Egypt
2667 = Exodus
Time spent in Egypt = 430 Years (to the day)

Moses died at age 120. From this we can calculate the dates of Moses' life:

Moses    2587    2707

I've estimated before that the Exodus** happened around 1550 BC. 1550 BC now becomes 2667 after the beginning of the sixth day (yom).This would mean Adam was created in the year 4217 BC. The world, according to this calculation, would be 6,230 years and 5 unspecified yom old.

Solomon's temple was supposedly built exactly 480 years after the Exodus, or year 3147 AA (After Adam), or 1070 BC according to my estimate. This was the fourth year of Solomon's reign, so he became king in 3143 AA, or 1074 BC. His father, David, reigned for 40 years with Solomon being his immediate successor. David became king at age 30, so he lived a total of 70 years. This places his life at 3073 - 3143 (he had Solomon the year of his death, apparently) or 1144 - 1074 BC. This is about a hundred years before he is traditionally placed.

Of course, all this rests on the accuracy of one date: the date of the Exodus. That said, I think it is fairly accurate. I don't know if there was an Adam who lived 6,000 years ago (pretty close to the start of the Egyptian calendar), or what event from 2560 BC would count as the flood (around the time when the Great Pyramid was supposed to have been built). I have no idea what any of this is actually calculating. Sure, there was an Abraham, and the Israelites did settle in Egypt, but what happened before is anyone's guess. It does, however, make for an interesting day's work.

*For some reason many people seems to start counting with a year zero. I have no idea how to count zero years. The current Jewish calendar starts counting with year one (the first five days of creation) and says Adam was created on the first day of year two. Since there is no way to know how long, exactly, those first five days were, I'm going to put Adam's creation at the start of year one.

**Going by the Hebrew calendar, which currently places us in year 5773, Exodus happened 1126 BC,