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Patriarch Abraham's Ancestry
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Genesis Chapters Five and Eleven.
index to abbreviated column titles on the previous page
 
– — Years — –
blue pinThe Patriarchs
– before his first son's birth*
– after son's birth
  Length of each life.
10 Pre-Flood
 A
Hebr.
Josephus1
Josephus2
Samaritan
Septuag.  
Hebr.
Sam.
Sept.
 
Hebr.
Joseph.
Sam.
Septuag.
 
See:
Year-Length theory
1.
  ADAM
130
230
130
130
  230
800
800
700
 
930
930
930
930
*It deserves to be noted that both number tens in the listing (Noah and Terah) differ markedly in the Hebrew record from their ancestors in their age at their son's birth (marriage-age).
2.
  SETH
105
205
105
105
  205
807
807
707
 
912
912
912
912
3.
  ENOSH
90
190
90
 90
  190
815
815
715
 
905
905
905
905
4.
  KENAN
70
170
70
 70
  170
840
840
740
 
910
910
910
910
5.
  MAHALALEL
65
165
65
 65
  165
830
830
730
 
895
895
895
895
6.
  JARED
162
162
62
 62
  162
800
785
800
 
962
62
847
962
7.
  ENOCH
65
65
65
 65
  165
300
300
200
 
365
365
365
365
8.
  METHUSELAH
187
187
187
67/187
  167
782
653
802
 
969
969
720
969
9.
  LAMECH
182
182
182
53/182
  188
595
600
565
 
777
777
653
753
10.
  NOAH (3 sons)  1
500
500
500
500
  500  
950
950
950
950
(From firstborn-birth to Flood)
100
100
100
100
  100
 
TO
THE FLOOD -  TOTAL 1656 2156 1556
1307/
1556
2242 
10 Post-Flood
   B
 
1.
  SHEM  (After the Flood)
2
12
2
   2
      2
500
500
500
     
600
   
2.
  ARPHAXAD
35
135
135
135
   135
403
303
330
438
3.
  CAINAN  2
~
~
~
~
   130
~
~
330
     
~
 
4.
  SHELAH
30
130
130
130
   130
403
303
336
433
5.
  EBER
34
134
134
134
   134
430
270
270
     
404
 
6.
  PELEG
30
130
130
130
   130
209
109
209
239
7.
  REU
32
132
132
132
   132
207
107
207
     
239
 
8.
  SERUG
30
130
130
130
   130
200
100
200
230
9.
  NAHOR
29
79
29
  79
   179
119
  69
125
     
148
 
10.
  TERAH   (3 sons)
70
70
70
  70
     70  
205
205/145
1453
205
 SEE #3 TABLE NOTES BELOW
TO
ABRAM's BIRTH – TOTAL
292
952
892
942
1172 

Corrected
cumulative totals would most probably then be:
Pre Flood Ancestry period – total
 2142
Post Flood Ancestry period – total
 1022
 3164 years
If we were then to abuse the biblical data, as many have sincerely done, we would add the probable date of Abram's birth (2165 BC) to this figure, to give us a Creation date of – 5329 BC. But this is certainly NOT the purpose of the Genesis table of Abraham's ancestry! (See 'Stylised Structure...' below). Nor would this add anything to our understanding, but it would add insuperable contradictions to the testimony that God has written into His physical creation. (See 'Age of the Universe').
 
Essential to the faith of every sincere believer is the persuasion that God's testimony in His Creation and in His Word are in perfect and absolute unison. (Rom.8:22-23).

    Table Notes for the above twenty generations:  
1.
Noah's age at birth of his first son was 500, and the Flood occurred in his 600th year. Japheth was probably his first-born as Shem was born when Noah was 502 (Gen.11:10).
 
2.
The Septuagint reading of 'Cainan' in B3 from an older Hebrew text on which the Septuagint was based is confirmed by Luke 3:36, exposing the error in our copies of Genesis 10:24.
 
3.
The Samaritan version, with 145 years for Terah (which means that Abram left Haran/Harran on the death of his father Terah), best accords with the narrative of the text.
 
Otherwise, we must reconcile the apparently ignored death of Isaac's grandfather in Haran (when Isaac was 35 and Abraham 135), whereas Isaac's death even brought an estranged Jacob and Esau together for the funeral of their father. The sons of Jacob, in turn, undertook an even far greater journey for the burial of their father than Terah's death would have required of Isaac and Abraham.
 
Scribal copying errors behind the Hebrew and Septuagint manuscripts' 205-figure is far more likely than an inconsistency in the narrative of the sacred text itself.
 
Note: 
Jeremiah the Prophet's rebuke:
"How can you say, 'We are wise for we have the Law of the Lord,' when actually the lying pen of the Scribes has handled it falsely?"
Jeremiah 8:8.
which
of course implies worse than the above.   
(See: Corrupted Texts).
  Textual Errors  
Those
who hold a Preservationist doctrine on the Bible text (that our present original-language copies are absolutely 'faultless' copies of the original manuscripts) should also note from the above that, if they believe in a textually inspired New Testament, then they hold a faulty Genesis in their hands today (See Note 2 above).
 
In
addition, the Jewish Talmud (the best opinions of the scribes who gave us our Hebrew copies of the Pentateuch) informs us (in Soferim VI, 4 and J. Ta'anit IV, 2*) that even in the days of the Second Temple (Jesus' time) there were three differing versions of the official or master scroll copy of the Pentateuch kept in the Temple (among the most accurate copies in existence at that time) – known as
•  the ma'on ('dwelling place' from its Deut.33:27 variation, and two with me'onah);
•  the za'atutei (from its Ex.24:5 variation, and two with na'arei 'young men');
•  the hi' scrolls (feminine pronoun hi' in the place of hu' in one nine times, as in Gen.38:25, and in two eleven times);
according to their individual unresolvable spelling differences.
In all three the minority reading was eventually discarded.
*As quoted in William Chomsky 1969, Hebrew: The Eternal Language. Philadelphia, USA: The Jewish Publication Society.
But the
blessed Holy Spirit of God has preserved the essence of the Word of God inviolate, just as He has also preserved the essence of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, through all the continuing perversions of Christianity in history; and will do, until its completed-fulflment as the prophesied Bride "prepared for Her Husband", according to Holy Scripture (Rev.21:2).
 
The
human scarring in both of these works of the Spirit are, in themselves, a testimony to God's wonderful persevering grace toward everyone who believes.
 

    Genealogy's Purpose
The Stylised Structure of Abraham's Ancestry
10 – 10
This
ancestral-generations record is structured into:
10
Pre-Flood Ancestors
&
10
Post-Flood Ancestors
each ending with a significant ancestor –
Noah
&
Terah
each of whom in turn had three sons –
Shem Ham Japheth
&
Abram Nahor Haran
 
This
genealogy is clearly not meant to be used as a chronology to date the Creation or the World Flood, as it has so often been abused.
 
Its
10-10 form reflects a mnemonic structure (memory aid), predating Genesis, imposed on the real history of the period, to aid the covenant family's memory of their Abraham-connection to the very earliest acts or self-revelations of God, from which their own patriarch's first knowledge of God had come (long before the Bible began to be written).
 
 
Centuries of scribal copying lost sight of this structure and therefore did not notice the corruption of the text that left the name of 'Cainan' out of Abraham's genealogy in the Hebrew manuscripts of the Massoretic tradition, and so it passed on into our translations today.

 
New
Testament Memory Aid Example
 
 
14 – 14 – 14
 
In
the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew also uses a mnemonic structure in it's first chapter (verses 1-17) to list Jesus Christ's ancestry through David and Abraham.
 
 
The genealogy listing is structured as fourteen times three. This structure is taken from the numerical value (14) of the three-letter name David, which in Hebrew is (דּוד) DVD=14. So likewise, this list of generations also cannot be used to estimate a chronology, such as by averaging a generation and then multiplying by 42 (14X3), for the following reasons.
1. 
There were not 42 generations! David and Jeconiah are both counted twice (Mat.1:17).
2. 
King Jehoiakim, the father of Jeconiah (Jehoiachin), is left out of the genealogy altogether, who –
"filled Jerusalem with innocent blood" (See also Jeremiah 22).
3. 
Kings Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah (between Jehosaphat and Uzziah), three generations, are also completely ignored.
 
The
structure is simply a memory device to show the legal linking of the man Jesus of Nazareth (through His foster-father, Joseph) back to King David and to the great patriarch Abraham.
 
 
Thus, Matthew's Gospel is appropriately titled –
"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."
Matthew 1:1.
Now, let's begin at the beginning   



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