How old is the earth? Has God left any time clues within the scriptures? These are questions that have long been asked, and have long been problematic for theologians. Especially for those attempting to answer them with abstruse and convoluted solutions. Over the years there have been many theologians who have attempted to find the age of the world by use of the scriptures. Unfortunately, many have either polluted, or confused the timeline issue even further by their efforts.
Archbishop James Ussher (Usher) of Armagh, Ireland, attempted find the age of the earth by following the chronological genealogies in scripture. His erroneous calculations greatly influenced Christians of his day. For example, he calculated 1 BC to 1 AD, by counting the year zero. The problem was, there is no year zero. In other words, if an event occurs in 1 BC, and lasts to 1 AD, this is only 1 year. So in order to get an accurate count when crossing the year zero, we must always adjust for this. Archbishop Ussher did not, and this threw his whole calendar off. One might charitably say that this was an easy mistake to make, nevertheless it also illustrates the carelessness with which he made decisions concerning numbers.
Moreover, his calculations, deductions and interpretations were not solely based upon scripture reference. Many of his mathematical processes concerning the age of the world were based upon secular findings. Lest we forget, it is the Holy scriptures that are divinely inspired and inerrant, not secular records. Getting his dates by referencing secular documents (Middle Eastern and Mediterranean sources) he dated the creation of the earth as 4004 BC. Likewise, he placed the flood of Noah's day at around 2349 BC. It doesn't take much study for even a novice to understand that his conclusions were inconsistent, and more importantly, in direct conflict with the Biblical record. Today they only serve as remnants of a crumbling thesis of errors, or as something for mockers and Bible detractors to point to in ridicule.
Many Christians of his day quickly accepted his date of creation as 4004 BC, and unfortunately it was placed within the margin of the King James Bible as a reference. This action immediately gave it a certain credibility, authority, and widespread appeal to the public. However, it was in no way a legitimate study of the age of the earth. This episode is just another example of the many reasons why I do not believe that 'commentaries' (as opposed to Biblical references) should ever be placed on the same page as Holy Canon. They should be kept in a separate book or commentary outside of, or apart from the Bible. Because when they are together, often people confuse what is commentary and what is Bible. But I digress. The point here is, because of this action, to this very day, many Christians believe that the earth is roughly 6000 years old. All based upon these unsound calculations of Ussher.
But not only was his system of dating not based solely upon the Biblical record, in places it was blatantly contrary to it. The contradictions are staggering. So it's important to understand that his errors were "not" due to any Bible inconsistencies (though his work is often used to bring this charge), it was due to his own poor calculations, secular references, and an unsound exegesis.
Another thing that Ussher did was to look at all the genealogical records of the Bible in a strictly (immediate) father/son relationship. Then he would count backward from a known date to find Biblical dates. He obviously did not understand that the genealogies are not all strictly a literal or immediate father/son relationships.
How old is the earth? The truth is, looking at the genealogies in the scriptures, and attempting to come to "sound" Biblical conclusions concerning the age of the earth has proved difficult even for seasoned scholars. Adding to this confusion is the myriad of theological writers who in effect declare, "we really shouldn't take the numbers in the Bible seriously." This phenomenon is quite amazing to me. How can so many people professing to be Christians (even professing belief in inerrancy of scripture), believe that the numbers of the Bible are either simply wrong, are untrustworthy, or not pertinent or relevant for us today.
Still others allow Archaeologists, Paleontologists, Evolutionists and Scientists to define the scriptures for them by trying to "force God's numbers" to conform to these men's conclusions. All these mistakes can be traced to the same age-old problems. Number one, the lack of a "real" trust in the authority of God's Word. And number two, the humanist attempt to make God's word conform to man's ideas of what "seems right" in his own eyes. This is not Christianity, nor is it the way theologians will ever come to truth. The only way for us to come to a real knowledge of the truth of God's word, is if we let the word itself guide us, rather than the reasonings of men.
The key to unlock this mystery of the age of the earth will not be found in the secular evidence, it will be found in the Biblical evidence. Christians will never sort out the truth of God's genealogies by relying on secular facts (so-called), but by our humility in receiving the truth of these numbers by faith, and by considering carefully the authoritative Biblical facts.
- "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
In this Bible Study, my hope is that you might gain some insight into how God has 'always' provided us with a system for understanding the Biblical timeline of history. A system that allows us to accurately know how much time has passed. And amazingly, that system hasn't changed from the beginning. In this Biblical system, God is emphasizing that there is an arrangement that is ordained in His divine plan of existence. It is the Biblical records themselves that reveal His sovereignty and divine Providence over time itself. And the patriarchal time periods are guideposts for the age of the world. The births and death that God ordained meticulously recorded in the Biblical genealogies of history, are not without value. They are neither insular, random, nor capricious.
The far-reaching implication of a Biblical timeline becomes quite evident when we carefully study the scriptures in "light" of the scriptures. We find that not only is there a perfect time record, but that this record reaches from Christ, all the way back to the sixth day of creation when Adam was first formed from the dirt. And in this study, we hope to demonstrate this not with rhetoric, secular history, archaeology, or man's calculations, but by the witness of the word.
And may God give us the wisdom to discern His revealed truth of scripture.
How old is the earth? The key to understanding the truth that is locked in the genealogies of scripture is in comprehending the differences in how God, rather than man, recorded the passing of time. In other words, the system that God inspired to be used is the only system that can reveal the creation timeline. The answer to this puzzle has always been there, but man simply overlooked the obvious. The Patriarchal genealogies of scripture hold the key to knowing the age of the earth, and how to unlock the record of those early years. God has locked the information about the timing of man's past history in the family genealogies.
Many theologians have read the genealogies of Genesis chapter five and eleven, and some frankly wondered if there was any relevant use for them at all. Some even openly doubted their importance to today's Christians (as if God would inspire meaningless words). But the truth is, in these genealogies lies the key to unlocking this question of time, which has mystified men for centuries.
The problem has been that many Christians conclude that these genealogies are all direct Father/Son relationships. This is an obvious and easily refutable error, despite Ussher's calculations. Many of today's learned scholars understand that they are not. Others have erred in attempting to twist certain scriptures that they force them to no longer mean exactly what they say. And then there are those who have simply chosen to conclude that, "the genealogies can't be accurately understood, because they just don't add up correctly." Nevertheless, we know that God did not put these early genealogies in Genesis simply to mystify us, or to merely take up space. They are there to inform and instruct us. Though these genealogies are not all Father/Son relationships, we can still come to understand the timeline because they are meant to be understood as "Patriarchal References" in God's system of documenting time. In other words, God is using certain genealogical names as Patriarchs to date the world in those early years. Each Patriarch or father reference, is a family name representing a chunk or epoch of time. For "God has always known what He was doing, even when we did not!"
The Patriarchal system is not unheard of, even in some cultures of our day. Having someone be a father of many people or even generations is not a new thing. But the problem with the Genesis account has always been, how do we determine exactly how many years have passed between each Patriarch? For a long time there seemed to be no way to answer that question in a consistent and Biblical fashion. But the answer becomes clear when we realize there has to be a system, and it has to be by scripture. We do this by carefully studying the perfect language of God's inspired words, comparing scripture with scripture, and examining the text for clues.
The way the system worked is that when a Patriarch reference died (let's call him Patriarch 'A'), a child in his family line that is born in that same year, became the next Patriarch reference (Patriarch 'B'). Therefore the counting of years begins at his birth. And When this Patriarch 'B' died, a man-child in his direct lineage that was born in the same year he (Patriarch 'B') died, became the next Patriarch reference (Patriarch 'C'). i.e., in the early years of the Patriarchs, the references changed in the year that the previous Patriarch died. So to count the years you would count Patriarch A + Patriarch B + Patriarch C (their total ages). And in the two cases where there is not the population yet where no descendant are born in the year that the Patriarch died (as in the time of Adam or Noah), God gives us the information of the immediate son, so he can become the next Patriarch reference. Up until the time of the Patriarch father Abraham to whom the promises were made, this is the method of keeping track of time that was used. Then Abraham became the Patriarch father up until Christ, whom he foreshadowed.
Let's take a look at a clear biblical example: Arphaxad was a Patriarch reference. He had an immediate son named Cainan. This son Cainan fathered a son named Salah on the very year that the Patriarchal reference Arphaxad (Salah's grandfather) died. So then Salah the grandson, and not Cainan the immediate son, becomes the next Patriarch reference.
This may seem a bit confusing to some Christians because of the way the word begat is used in scripture. God inspired the writers of canon to record this as, "Arphaxad begat Salah." This skips the immediate son Cainan, because only the Patriarch references are written. Thus if we tried to add the years of arphaxad to when his (presumed immediate) son Salah was born, we'd come to an incorrect conclusion of time (as Bishop Ussher did). Because there was a son born in between, and that changes everything. Novice students will think the phrase "Arphaxad begat Salah" means Salah was Arphaxad's immediate son, when in truth he was his grandson.
Knowing the Patriarch references, we know that we read this by adding the full years of Arphaxad's life, to the full years of Salah's life. That will reveal to us how much time passed between Arphaxad's birth and Salah's death. Because the Patriarchal reference of Salah doesn't start while Arphaxad is still alive, and gave birth to a child (as is often supposed), but at Arphaxad's death. Which is why God meticulously gives us the year of death of "all" these Patriarchs. it is not incidental, it is a "must" in order to faithfully add the Patriarch years.
Note: God doesn't do that in the Genealogies of Matthew, or Luke because they are not Patriarchal references. Only for the Patriarch references of Genesis chapters 5 and 11 (which take us to Abraham) are all the dates of their deaths meticulously recorded.
They deaths of Patriarchs are recorded because these are the genealogical reference points that show us how much time has passed in those early years of the world.
So while it may not be widely understood, nevertheless it is how God has always kept track of time in the scriptures. Just as the Birth of Christ is our reference point today, long before the cross the birth of others was also the reference point for tracking time. Each Patriarch reference or generation in the genealogies of scriptures is a bookmark. In the past culture, the children of family leaders (Patriarchs) would call that leader father, regardless of if they were immediate sons, or grandsons, or great grandsons. Because they were the Patriarch fathers of that clan until they died. When they died, a new Patriarch was born.
These things are not mere speculation, the 'fact' that God used these Patriarchal fathers as reference points or markers can be demonstrated conclusively by simply studying the Bible carefully. Of course, that is assuming we all believe that the Bible is the "infallible" word of God, and thus both authoritative and accurate. But if we listen to the arrogance of men, declaring they know the earth is billions of years old, or denying a timeline exists, or that scripture can show this, then we might as well quit right now. However, when we trust scripture, we demonstrate our trust of God. We cannot get caught up in blindly parroting the line that, "no one knows what the Bible says." Before making judgments on this, I ask that you read this article "carefully," checking the pertinent scripture references. Because the truth is not in ignoring, or in stubborn denials of what is written, it is in receiving what is written. The truth is revealed not by men, but by the Spirit of God within us, through the word.
If we look at the practical example of Noah, we can see this name/timeline demonstrated vividly. He was the Patriarchal reference before the flood. Of course, there were not many descendants after the flood (because only 8 people remained) for there to be a son born when Noah died, so his immediate son was the next Patriarch. And God in His magnificent wisdom gives us a window to see how He uses Noah's life span to number time. This is an important fact that should not be glossed over. I'm sure we've all probably read this at least 20 times and never even thought seriously about what was "really" being said.
So if man thinks that this type of dating started around 2000 years ago with Christ, or 4000 years ago in China, or started in ancient Egypt, he is wrong! God is in control of the world being dated by Christ today, as He was when the world was being dated by Noah. And as we go through this study, we'll see how this all fits together "perfectly," like a gigantic divine picture puzzle, with every piece fitting in place gloriously to show the whole picture. It's not idle speculation that God measures time by the Patriarch's life, He has demonstrated it clearly in His word.
The day when Adam was created (let's call it the year zero), he was the first Patriarch. And because It's the beginning of man, there was only Adam. And later there were just a few descendants from him. Therefore God is careful to give us all the information we need in Chapter 4 to let us know that Seth and Enosh were "immediate" sons. God is careful to give us this information in Chapter 4 as a prelude to the genealogical references in Genesis Chapter 5. Note again that at the end of chapter 5, while pausing the genealogical record with Noah and his sons and beginning at verse 6 through verses 10, God gives us all the information we need to know that Noah, and Shem were also "immediate" sons. This of course is easily understood as conditions prevailed as they did at the beginning of time with Adam (few people born). There was only Noah and his family (8 souls) saved. All others perished in the flood, and so it was like starting all over again. And after recording all the information about the flood for us, God continues with the Genealogical timeline references in Genesis chapter 11, which then takes us all the way to the Patriarch Abraham in Chapter 12. We find no more long genealogical references listing death dates as in chapters 5 and 11. This is because Abraham became the Patriarch father generation reference until Christ. You can see the consistency of this in the genealogical records up to Christ recorded in Matthew chapter 1. It (not surprisingly) starts with Abraham. These aren't coincidences, they're God breathed inerrant declarations showing Abraham as the Patriarch father.
Likewise, the information given about Adam and Seth's immediate sons, and the 'pause and information' given about Noah, are not incidental. They provide us with the information "Necessary" to accurately trace the Patriarch calendar references. Again, God knows what He is doing, even when we do not. There are 10 Patriarchs listed before the flood, and 10 Patriarchs listed after the flood, and then the final Patriarch Christ (again, more on this later). Christians know that God doesn't do these things capriciously or on a whim, the number 10 is significant in God's word because it signifies fullness. We have a consistent logical Biblical system of counting the years in God's timeline from Adam.
To add these numbers together we simply need to be careful and trusting. In the Biblical timeline record we see God created Adam in the year 0 of man's history. He lived 130 years, and begat Seth. Since Seth is an immediate son, and a Patriarch reference, we know how many years passed from Adam to Seth. It was 130 until Seth was born. At 105 Seth also had an immediate son, who he named Enos, and he is also a Patriarch reference. So from Adam to Enosh passed 235 years. These were all immediate sons, as clearly recorded in chapter 4. In chapter 5, the Biblical timeline references are named. From Enos (as more and more people were born on the earth to support it) the Patriarch reference goes about in the normal way. That is, the Patriarch reference of a person continues to the year of his death. At that time the next Patriarch in the family line is born, and time is then referenced by his life. This is why God gives us the information only up to Enos (chapter 4) of being immediate sons. It was necessary because there weren't enough people in the world before that time that someone in the direct line would be born the exact year a Patriarch died. By the time Enos died, the world was populated enough to support this (same thing occurred after the Flood).
Enos lived 905 years so that brings us to 1140 years from creation to the next Patriarch Cainan. Cainan lived 910 years which brings us to 2050 years from creation to the next patriarch Mahalaleel. Mahalaleel lived 895 years which brings us to 2945 years from creation to the next Patriarch Jared. Jared lived 962 years which brings us to 3907 years from creation to the next Patriarch Enoch. Enoch lived 365 years which brings us to 4272 years from Creation to the next Patriarch Methuselah. Methuselah lived 969 years which brings us to 5241 years from creation to the next Patriarch Lamech. Lamech lived 777 years which brings us to 6018 years from creation (5 years before the flood).
Now, because the normal Patriarch that would be born that year would be destroyed by the flood (and thus break the line), Lamech's immediate son Noah becomes the next Patriarch. So this year of course cannot be the next reference. Which is of course why God breaks the genealogical record in Genesis 5 at Noah, and gives us information about his immediate sons and the flood with reference to them. Lamech was 182 years old when Noah was born. That started the year of Noah's Patriarchal reign. From Creation to Lamech was 5241, and to the next Patriarch Noah (an immediate son) is 5423 years. The next Patriarchal reference is Shem, who was born when Noah was 502 years old (Genesis 7-6, 11:10) which was 5925 years from creation.
The scriptures tell us Noah was 600 at the year of the flood, so that puts the flood at 6023 years after creation (5 years after the death of Lamech). Did you ever wonder why, when going through the genealogies of Genesis chapters 5 and 11, God is "careful" to give the life spans and birth dates of certain specific family heads (Patriarchs)? While in other chapters with genealogies, it will simply say, this person begat that person, and another begat another? We know that God does everything for a reason, and the obvious reason is so that we would 'know' how long these Patriarchal heads lived, and exactly 'when' the next Patriarch was born. The necessary information is carefully given, even in breaks in the genealogical Patriarchal order (as when most of the world was killed in the flood). In the beginning, and after the flood (new Beginning), God makes sure that we have the information needed to add the years from one to another accurately. He gives us information which otherwise would not be given.
God is very careful to let us know what year the Flood was, who the world was dated by, who and how people's lives and ages relate to it, the relationship between it and births and deaths, etc. Some examples:
We need to go back over the problem that some people have with the word begat. It's important that we realize a Patriarch, or generation father, does not mean an immediate father. In other words, just because it says one "begat" another, doesn't mean that it is his immediate father. In Bible terms, you can be the son of someone in the 3rd and forth generations. An example would be, if I was named David, and had a grandfather named John, I could be spoken of as a son of John, even though he was my grandfather. And it could be written that, John begat David. That doesn't mean I was his immediate son. It means that I came from the loins or genealogical line of this man, John. There could be two or more generations in between. This is just as many Jewish people even today speak of themselves as "the sons or seed of Abraham," and indeed, they clearly called themselves children of Abraham in speaking to Christ (at the time of the cross). While the word begat 'can' mean a father son relationship, it doesn't 'have to' mean that. While most serious Bible students already know this, I will set forth an example to "prove" this. What better example than the very genealogical references we are following. We read in the genealogical record of the Patriarchal Father Arphaxad (Son of Shem),
On the other hand, when God wants us to know there is an immediate sin involved, He uses the Hebrew words [qara' shem], meaning "called his name." This language identifies an immediate father/son relationship. This is why God used this language (qara shem) on Seth, Enosh, and also Lamech (Noah's father). These identify an immediate father taking the duty of giving name to his own child. It is easy to see why this was done with only these Patriarchs. When Adam was born and died, there was relatively few people in the world. And there was the same thing after the Flood of Noah's day. So Adam's and Noah's Sons had to be the next Patriarch to carry on the reference line. In Noah's case, it was because the person who normally would have been the next Patriarch (who would have been born the year Lemech died) was unsaved and would be killed in the flood. So the next Patriarch had to be the immediate son Noah, and then his immediate son Shem. So God provides us with the information that Noah's son Shem, was an immediate son, and of course how old Noah was when he was born. God in His magnificent wisdom always gives us (when needed) the additional information to know that these Patriarchs were immediate sons. There is no missing links or breaks in the lines. It can be numbered from Adam all the way to Abraham. We can figure a direct and ACCURATE timeline straight from the scriptures. No Archaeologists are necessary, only a humble willingness to trust God's word implicitly. And when we step back and look at the whole picture, we see some amazing numbers all add up.
When the scriptures say Enos lived 905 years and died, that's his total time mark. The next calendar reference is Cainam, and he lived 910 years and died. And so all the years that passed between the time of these two Patriarch references in literal years were 1815. Two family head references or Patriarchs have passed. Once we have a clear understanding of what God is doing, and how He uses each Patriarch generations to date, it's relatively easy to follow the age of the world, and date accurately.
So, continuing our addition, from Creation to Lamech was 5241 years, and to the birth of the next Patriarch Noah (an immediate son) is 5423 years. The next Patriarchal reference is Shem, who was born when Noah was 502 years old (Genesis 7-6, 11:10). 5925 years from creation brings us to the birth of the Patriarch Shem. The next calendar Patriarch is Arphaxad. Arphaxad lived 438 years and that brings us to 6963 years from creation to the next Patriarch, which was Salah. Salah lived 433 years and that brings us to 7396 years from creation to the next Patriarch, which was Eber. Eber lived 464 years and that brings us to 7860 years from creation to the next Patriarch, which was Peleg. Peleg lived 239 years which brings us to 8099 years from creation to the next Patriarch, which was Reu. Reu lived 239 years which brings us to 8338 years from creation to the next Patriarch, which was Serug. Serug lived 230 years which brings us to 8568 years from creation to the next Patriarch, which was Nahor. Nahor lived 148 years, which brings us to 8716 years from creation to the next Patriarch, which was Terah. Terah was 130 years old when Abraham was born which was 8846 years from the creation of the world.
Abraham's generation reaches all the way to Christ, because Abraham is spoken of as the father reference until Christ. Christ is the "SEED" of Abraham that was promised. Again, not coincidentally, the Patriarch Genealogies of Genesis 11 end with Abraham.
Also not coincidentally, all dates fall right into place. They even agree (astonishingly to some) with a lot of secular evidence that has been found. Of which I won't get into, as I believe that secular evidence should have little (if any) bearing on what is the truth of God's Word. It's not the word of God, inspired or divine, therefore it cannot be faithfully relied upon to be an interpreter of God's word. History and worldly evidence may be interesting, but it is not a validation of scripture. Scripture is the validation of history. The Bible is it's own interpreter.
Perhaps you can get a better feel for this if we look at this in chart form. The age of the world to Abraham, from the Biblical calendar breaks down as follows:
THE GENEALOGIES OF GENESIS 5 AND 11 Each Patriarch's Year From Creation Age of World Patriarch Years! Each Ends From Christ ----------------------------------------------------------------- Creation --- 0 11,013 B.C Adam 130 130 10,883 B.C. *Seth 105 235 10,778 B.C. *Enos 905 1140 9873 B.C. Cainan 910 2050 8963 B.C. Mahalaleel 895 2945 8068 B.C. Jared 962 3907 7106 B.C. Enoch 365 4272 6741 B.C. Methuselah 969 5241 5772 B.C. Lamech 182 5423 5590 B.C. *Noah 502 5925 5088 B.C. The Flood! 6023 4990 B.C. *Shem 600 6525 4488 B.C. Arphaxad 438 6963 4050 B.C. Salah 433 7396 3617 B.C. Eber 464 7860 3153 B.C. Peleg 239 8099 2914 B.C. Reu 239 8338 2675 B.C. Serug 230 8568 2445 B.C. Nahor 148 8716 2297 B.C. Terah 130 8846 2167 B.C. *Abraham
* Indicates an immediate Son (Dating picks up from their birth, not their father's death)
This ends the Patriarch references of Genesis 5 and 11. When Abraham was born he became the next Patriarchal father. The normal Patriarch that would have been born at the death of Terah would have been outside of the Messianic line (it "MUST" come through Abraham), and therefore outside of God's chronological purposes. So God has in His wisdom, effectively now narrowed the Patriarchs down to the family of Abraham. God has made Abraham the father (Patriarch) of many generations. So he was to be the Patriarch reference until Christ, His seed!
And so we see why the Patriarchal calendar of using the next Patriarch born on the year of the death of the previous, ended with Terah. Because God made Abraham a special Patriarch who would be the father of Israel, until Christ, his Seed, came. Terah was 130 years old when Abraham was born, and Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born, Isaac was 60 years old when Jacob was born, and Jacobs' family arrived in Egypt when he was 130 years old.
At this point, we should stop and examine carefully some widely held misconceptions.
CONTINUING FROM GENESIS 5 AND 11 CHRONOLOGICAL YEARS FROM Age of World REFERENCE CREATION FROM CHRIST ----------------------------------------------------------------- Abraham Born 8846 yrs 2167 B.C. Isaac Born 8946 yrs 2067 B.C. Jacob Born 9006 yrs 2007 B.C. Jacob's Tribe arrived in Egypt 9136 yrs 1877 B.C. when he was 130 years old
This is the point where many theologians get into controversies over just how long the children of Israel actually spent in Egypt. Even though God 'clearly' states that they spent 430 years in Egypt (exodus 12:40), some misguided souls 'incredibly' insist the correct way to understand this is that they actually spent only about 215 to 219 years in Egypt. One of the reasons they give (which we'll touch on later) is that Galatians chapter 3 says the promises made, the covenant confirmed 430 years later, cannot disannul. Another reason is that they claim Genesis 15:13 means, 'your seed' will be strangers and wander in lands (not land) that are not theirs for 400 years (and they will be enslaved and oppressed). In this they reason that:
- The time of sojourning 'includes' the enslavement in Egypt but is 'not' the time in Egypt ONLY. It includes the wandering throughout Canaan that preceded the time in Egypt.
- The time of sojourning is the time that Isaac spends *wandering* until the deliverance from Egypt.
But careful study of the pertinent Biblical facts reveals this is 'not' possible, because God's word says rather clearly in this same chapter 15:
The children of Israel were in Egypt a total of 430 years, 400 of which they were under bondage to the Egyptians and afflicted. The first 30 years, upon entering Egypt (when Joseph was ruler), they were obviously not afflicted. This works our perfectly.
"and the abode of the children of Israel, who have dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years."
That is a 'fact' which any student of the scripture can check out for themselves. It is not the same Hebrew word used in other places for journeyed, wandering or sojournings, and doesn't mean sojournings as we understand the word to mean moving around. It means their dwelling, their seat, or their place of abode. And I challenge any faithful Christian to check that out for themselves. As an example of its use, when the Lord brought the plague of darkness over the land of Egypt, we read:
In fact, in Genesis 15:16 God prophesied that Israel would spend 'four generations' there, and that they would come out in the 4th generation. Again, can that possibly be language to mean, out of many lands? Of course not, it means out of Egypt. And no surprise, that is exactly how many generations God says that Israel was there in Egypt. So God simply had to be talking about Egypt. Yes, God's word is true and "precisely accurate!"
The Generation of Levi The Generation of Kohath The Generation of Amram The Generation of Aaron ----------------------------- 430 Total Years, four Generations
You would think such evidence is overwhelming, but many people are so blinded by the light of TV evangelists and the worldliness of earthly teachings, that they will not receive God's Truth. Not even when He says point blank that they came out of Egypt after 430 years (exodus 12:40-41). They always find a way to rationalize God's word away.
Another good point (do we really need it) that it couldn't possibly be around 215-220 years that they were in Egypt, is that scripture says that at the time they came out, there was 600,000 men (exodus 12:37), not even counting women and children. So there was likely near two million Israelites who came out of Egypt. In fact, scripture tells us that they had grown to such a great number that they were more and mightier than the original Egyptians were. we read that the land was full of the Israelites. How could this be in 215/219 years? They came into Egypt as 12 families, and left as filling the land. Of course, I'm not saying that God couldn't have done it. Of course He is God, He could have. But in logical thinking, 430 years would have worked out just right, and even then there would have had to be God's blessing on procreation.
But that's just a side bar, because we know it wasn't anywhere near 219 years, because we accept God's word by faith. The figure of around 219 years in Egypt make no sense at all. Not to mention the fact that God never once mentioned that number. So let people say whatever they want, but the Word of God speaks for itself. What cannot be, cannot be, and therefore, is not! Anyone can show scripture where Israel sojourned throughout the lands, but 'no one' can, or has given any scripture whatsoever to say that during the 400 or 430 years, they sojourned in many lands. This tactic of confusing the issue is 'slight of hand,' where people say they've given scripture that says something, but never actually gave any scripture that 'actually' said it. They give a scripture, but it doesn't actually say what they claim. That's why careful study of an issue like this is essential.
A key sticking point for some is the text of Galatians chapter 3. There it talks about, "the law, 430 years after the Covenant which was by promise, not being able to disannul." Some reason that the promise was to Abraham, and he died long before the children of Israel entered Egypt. Therefore, they think that this verse maybe gives validation to the theory that they weren't in Egypt 430 years. This 'despite' the fact that God says they were there 430 years in Egypt. The number one rule of sound hermeneutics is that, "all scripture must be brought into agreement, not tossed aside, wrested or left in contradiction of other scripture."
A great reformer once said, 'the Old Testament concealed, is the New Testament Revealed,' and that is so very true. What Galatians chapter 3 is actually showing is the implications and root of the promise to Abraham. The promise was to bring His seed out of Bondage, and give them the promised land. But it would ultimately be fulfilled in Christ. The promises made to Abraham, would be worked out through Jacob. Not 430 years "after the promise" to Abraham, but 430 years "after Jacob" (in whom the promise of Deliverance is worked out) entered Egypt. The law of Moses, given 430 years after the Children of Israel entered Egypt, didn't then mean that the Promise of deliverance was fulfilled. In other words, it doesn't disannul the eternal promise, because the eternal promise wasn't of a earthly land (again, Premillennialism notwithstanding), but was an unconditional promise of a spiritual land in Christ. That's what the scripture was talking about. The true "deliverance of Israel" from bondage, which can only come through the Seed of Abraham, which is Christ! Remember what was said? It was that Abraham's seed would be a stranger in a land that was not theirs and be afflicted 400 years, and in the 4th generation come out with great substance. What this really entailed was that it is a Covenant with Israel, to deliver them. The Deliverance of 'his seed' in Egypt was but a shadow or type of the "true" deliverance to come. And the law of Moses given after this 430 years (when they came out of Egypt) did not break, or end, or fulfill that covenant. That covenant wasn't a covenant concerning a literal land for his immediate seed, but of spiritual inheritance, to all his seed in Christ. The covenant God made concerning the literal land has been fulfilled (Joshua 21:43,44) for Abraham's seed. But that was a shadow of the real promise of Inheritance to come that was for, "Abraham and His Seed." These are two separate and distinct promises.
Israel and the Exodus CHRONOLOGICAL YEARS FROM Age of World REFERENCE CREATION FROM CHRIST ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jacob's Tribe arrived in Egypt 9136 1877 B.C. Exodus from Egypt 430 years later 9566 1447 B.C. Entrance into Canaan 40 years later 9606 1407 B.C. The first 7x7 (Jubilee Year) 9656 1357 B.C. Temple construction begins 480 years after the exodus ^^^ 10046 967 B.C.
Here again, there are some Premillennarians who put forth the argument that 1st Kings 6:1 cannot refer to "literal" years, but must have some 'other kind' of year in view. They think that the 480 years are not literal simply because "they cannot" figure it out or fit it into their calculations. So they throw up their hands in frustration and start talking about copyist errors, or they seek to twist the numbers to fit the chronology of men. This is the problem with much of the Church today. They just don't fully understand the inerrancy of God's word. They unquestionably accept man's word, and yet they question God's word. They question the 430 years Israel spent in Egypt, saying, "Wrong, they must have wandered or sojourned all over." They question the 480 years God says is the time from the exodus to the building of the Temple, saying, "It just can't be, because it just doesn't add up." They question the 7 days of creation, saying, "it's an Allegory." Where is the trust in God and the faith of the saints? I heard one preacher declare, "I just saw conclusive proof from scientists on TV the world is billions of years old." I have to ask, where is their Christian conscience? When Man says the world is billions of years old, Him they believe. When God says He created the world in 6 days, and further defines and elaborates saying six "evenings mornings," they imply, "that wrong, because scientists tell us that this cannot possibly be." It seems to me, as a Christian, that something is 'terribly' skewed or turned around backward here.
The 480 years God speaks about is an "exact" length of time, just as the 430 years were. And just as the 430 were confirmed on many fronts, the 480 years is also confirmed by the Biblical record God inspired written of the Judges and Kings. So again, it's confirmed on two separate fronts. It's so easy for the worldly teacher to simply cry, "I simply don't believe it," or "You're wrong," without so much as even reading the pertinent scriptures. But for those willing to consider the scriptures, we can go through a 'detailed' record of every single year (as it is recorded in scripture) to show it was indeed 480. My hope is that you will check this out and consider the source (the scriptures). You will see quite clearly that it adds up to exactly 480 years. So not only did God say unequivocally that it was 480 years, but He has also blessed us by giving us the additional scriptures with information to account for every one of them.
When we are taught by theologians who start out with incorrect assumptions, we will naturally come to their incorrect conclusions, and in up in error. That is part of the problem with some in understanding the chronology of the judges. We should not assume that the years of oppression of Israel this 480 years are 'separate' from the years of non-oppression. For in actuality, the years of oppression came within the years of the judges. This is because in God's defining, He doesn't date His people by any oppressor or heathen rule. God dates by the rulers or judges "of Israel." The Biblical timeline doesn't work by counting foreign subjugation, and that makes all the difference in the world. Subjugation occurs "within the chronology of Israel." If you'll look carefully at the Biblical references of this period, you'll note that there are two kinds. One describes the time that passed in Israel, or with respect to a Israelite judge. The other describes a time of oppression by a foreign king. The common mistake is to add all these together one on top of another. This is bad calculation because they don't occur "in addition" to one another, the subjugation by foreigners occurs within the Chronology of Israel. This can be shown by the scriptures, but first let's take a look at this time period in a simple chart form:
Years of the Judges Israel Chronology Subjugation WITHIN Chronology --------------------- -------------------------------- Israel served Cushanrishathaim 8 yrs Land had rest 40 years Israel under Eglon 18 years Land had rest 80 years Israel oppressed by Jabin 20 yrs Land had rest 40 yrs Israel under Midian 7 yrs Land had rest 40 yrs Abimelech rules 3 yrs Tola Judged 23 yrs Jair Judged 22 yrs Philistines over Israel 18 yrs Jephthah Judged 6 yrs Ibzan Judged 7 yrs Elon Judged 10 yrs Abdon Judged 8 yrs Philistines over Israel 40 yrs Samson Judged 20 yrs Eli Judged 40 yrs Year Ark moved 1 yr Samuel 20 yrs ------------------------- ------------------------------ Total Years of Israel Total years oppressed within Chronology 360 yrs Israel Chronology 111 yrs
The years of Israel's chronology add up to 'exactly' 360 years. 249 of these years, Israel was not under oppression of another nation. The 111 years of oppression occurred during those 360 years, not independent of them as some have surmised. This makes it precisely 480 years to the laying of the Temple, just as God stated.
If you are counting, that is 360 years, plus the 40 years that Saul reigned and the 40 years David reigned after him. This brings us to a total of 440 years from the entering into Canaan to end of David's reign. When we add the 40 years that Israel spent wandering in the wilderness before entering Canaan, that makes it exactly '480 years' from the exodus, to the laying of the Temple, precisely as God declared before.
So once again, God has given us an exact count to double-check the 360 years of the Judges era, with Biblical validation for each and every one of these years. The alleged facts and unsound theories of theologians that deny God's declaration of 480 years to the Temple is found to be without merit. Feel free to check each one of these years for correctness.
So as we saw in the chart of the Biblical timeline, the exodus occurred in Nisan 15, B.C. 1447. And continuing on, Joshua 5:6-12 indicates that the entrance into Canaan was exactly forty years later, which would bring us to the year 1407 B.C. The next chronological scripture reference is given in Judges 3:11 where God declares that the land had rest for forty years. This does not mean rest as in, 'nothing happened,' it as in, 'until they were delivered.' This would be the period of 1407-1367 B.C. At the beginning of this 40 years, the initial period of the conquest of Canaan took place. This event occurred during the first seven years (Joshua 14:7-10, Deuteronomy 2:14). During this Forty years the people did evil, and so the Lord sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim. They served Cushanrishathaim, King of Mesopotamia, for a period of eight years (Judges 3:8) before they were delivered by Othniel, Son of the younger brother of Caleb (Judges 3:9). This deliverance brought the end of this 40 years.
The next chronological reference concerning Israel is found in Judges 3:30 where we read, 'And the land had rest fourscore years.' This was the period of Othniel from 1367 B.C. to 1287. Afterward the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of God, and so during the latter of this period they served Eglon, King of Moab for eighteen years (Judges 3:12-14). After Othniel died, they were delivered by Ehud (Judges 3:15) and Shamgar (Judges 3:31).
The next chronological passage is that of Judges 5:31, 'And the land had rest forty years.' This was the period from 1287 B.C. to 1247. During this period of Israel's chronology they were oppressed by Jabin, King of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. He oppressed the Israelites for twenty years (Judges 4:3) until (at the end of this 40 years) they were delivered by Deborah and Barak (Judges 4 and 5).
The next chronological reference of Israel is found in Judges 8:28, 'And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.' This was the period from 1247 B.C. to 1207 B.C. And the children of Israel again did evil, and so in this 40 year period, they were given into the hand of Midian for seven years (Judges 6:1). Their deliverer was Gideon. And Gideon's death in 1207 B.C. ended this period. This is a very important date in this study as we shall see.
Abimelech, who was a son of Gideon by a concubine (Judges 8:31) reigned as King for three years (Judges 9:22). This was the period from 1207 B.C. to 1204 B.C. To ensure his reign, he killed his seventy brothers (Judges 9:5). Later he was killed by a millstone dropped upon him by a woman (Judges 9:53). Abimelech's evil and short-lived kingship was followed by the judgeship of Tola, who judged Israel for twenty-three years. This was from 1204 B.C. to 1181 B.C. (Judges 10:1-2).
And after Tola came Jair the Gileadite, who judged Israel for twenty-two years (Judges 10:3) 1181 B.C. to 1159. The Philistines and the Ammonites oppressed Israel during this period for 18 years (Judges 10:7-8).
Four judges who ruled successively followed Jair. Jephthah 6 years (Judges 12:7) 1159-1153 B.C. Ibzan 7 years (Judges 12:9) 1153-1146 B.C. Elon 10 years (Judges 12:11) 1146-1136 B.C. Abdon 8 years (Judges 12:14) 1136-1128 B.C.
But we read in Judges 13:1 that, '..the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.' So obviously some of these Judges ruled under the hand of the Philistines. We read in Judges 13:5 of the prophesy of Samson to deliver them out of the hand of the Philistines, which he did! And by the way, this is yet another 'proof' that the years of oppression came within the years of the judges. Because scripture clearly tells us that at the time of Samson, Israel was under subjugation by the Philistines (judges 14:4, 15:11) and yet we read He judged Israel 20 years till his death (judges 16:31). This is clear indication that the oppression occurred within the years that he was the judge, not to be added after or before his years.
The chronological reference is that of Judges 15:20 where we read clearly:
So if you added up all these years yourself, you will find that the total years from the children of Israel entering of Canaan, to Samuel, the last judge, was 360 years exactly. And it's all backed up 100 percent by the inerrant word of God. We see these truths on many fronts, confirming that both God's Word, and His numbers are true and accurate. So despite the claims of some theologians, by a careful study of the facts we see that it indeed was 480 years from the exodus, to the laying of the Temple. Just as God declared! The scriptural record provides "precise" and adequate information to permit a very exact chronology, even through the difficult period of the Judges. And if that wasn't enough, God tells us again point blank that it was 480 years from the exodus to the laying of the Temple (1st Kings 6:1). It really can't get much clearer than that. And still many theologians' doubt God's Word, and argue about its meaning and accuracy "as if" they are the ones who couldn't possibly be wrong. Once again, God knows what He is doing, even when we do not.
I should pause to add here that David and Solomon reigned as co-regents for 4 years. David helped gather all the materials to build the Temple of God, but he couldn't build it himself as God had forbidden it. The gathering of material was a joint venture. David had made Solomon king (Co-Regency) while he yet reigned. You might want to read 1st Chronicles 22:2-4 and 1st Kings 5:17-18. And David charged Solomon with the building (1st Chronicles 22:14-16 1st Chronicles 28:10). So Solomon does not reign alone until the fourth year, when David dies and He can lay the Temple foundations. Since we know David is a 'type' of Christ, we (with a little thought) can readily understand the spiritual typological significance of why David had to die before the Temple could be built. He who hath an ear, let him hear.
The historical reasons for the co-regency are equally easily found, as Absalom aspired to be king when David was old (2nd Samuel 15:1-8). A few years later another son of David named Adonijah also declared that he would be king (1st kings 1:5). Upon this turn of events, Nathan the prophet instructed Bathsheba, mother of Solomon, to remind King David of his promise that Solomon was the heir to the throne (1st kings 1:11-14). So therefore, before David died and ceased to reign, he declared Solomon King in order to remove any doubt about who was to be his successor. Thus he created the co-regency. This is not idle speculation, it is divinely inspired of God and recorded in the scriptures. Solomon was King before David died. And David was king till the day of his death (1st Kings 1:32-34,47) (1st kings 2:11-12). So it's not speculation, it's all confirmed in scripture. What 'God' said is true (1st Kings 6:1), and what man says is false. God knows what He is doing, even when man does not. And continuing the timeline..
From the Temple Construction CHRONOLOGICAL YEARS FROM Age of World REFERENCE CREATION FROM CHRIST ----------------------------------------------------------------- Temple construction begins EXACTLY 480 Years after the exodus from Egypt just as God said! 10046 967 B.C. Division of kingdoms 36 years later 10082 931 B.C. End of Northern Kingdom of Israel 10303 710 B.C. Israel under Egypt at Josiah's Death 10404 609 B.C. Israel destroyed by Babylon 10426 587 B.C. Babylon Conquered by the Meades and Persians 10474 539 B.C. Ezra returns to Jerusalem 10555 458 B.C. Nehemiah rebuilds walls 10568 445 B.C. Jubilee Year (seven sevens) Believed to be the Birthdate of Christ, exactly 2000 years after Israel was was born. 11006 7 B.C. 11012 1 B.C. The (supposed) year 1 11013 1 A.D. The Anointing and baptism of Christ by John the Baptist 11041 29 A.D. Death Of Christ on cross 11045 33 A.D. To the year 1994, the 40th Jubilee from the cross and exactly 2000 years from 7 B.C. 13006 1994 A.D. The year to date 13008 1996 A.D.
Which brings us to today and the question, "How old is the earth?" The world, according to the scriptures, is 13,008 years old as of 1996. These dates and times have been checked for Biblical accuracy. And you will find that they are all totally in harmony with both the scriptures, and the known dates. And why shouldn't they be, since they come from the scriptures and God knows infinitely more than man does.
Moreover, there are some very interesting Spiritual illustrations in the numbers that we see manifest from the Biblical timeline. This of course is not the scope of this particular study, so we won't really get into it. But a few examples stick out and bear mention. Some examples are that the numbers 7, 20, 40 and 80 1000 consistently pop up in the timeline. It is exactly 600 years from the birth of Israel to the entering into Canaan in 1407 B.C. It is exactly 1000 years from the birth of Israel to David reigning on the Throne. It is exactly 1000 years from King David's reign to the year 7 BC, which is believed to be the true year of Christ's birth. It is exactly 2000 years from the birth of Israel (Jacob) to 7 B.C. And the year 7 B.C. is in fact an Israelite Jubilee of rest (7x7 Leviticus 25:1-11), etc.. etc. Are these things all coincidence? Well, many will say so of course, but I am not one of them. I believe that there is divine method, guidance, and providence to the world's chronology. God inspiring prophesy demonstrates that He is in control of time and events, and has concealed His truths of what is the age of the earth in His word. It is the honor of the faithful saints is to search it out in the scriptures.
THE COMPLETE BIBLICAL TIME LINE EACH PATRIARCH'S YEAR FROM CREATION Age of World PATRIARCH YEARS! EACH ENDS FROM CHRIST ----------------------------------------------------------------- Creation 0 11,013 B.C Adam 130 130 10,883 B.C. *Seth 105 235 10,778 B.C. *Enos 905 1140 9873 B.C. Cainan 910 2050 8963 B.C. Mahalaleel 895 2945 8068 B.C. Jared 962 3907 7106 B.C. Enoch 365 4272 6741 B.C. Methuselah 969 5241 5772 B.C. Lamech 182 5423 5590 B.C. *Noah 502 5925 5088 B.C. The Flood! 6023 4990 B.C. *Shem 600 6525 4488 B.C. Arphaxad 438 6963 4050 B.C. Salah 433 7396 3617 B.C. Eber 464 7860 3153 B.C. Peleg 239 8099 2914 B.C. Reu 239 8338 2675 B.C. Serug 230 8568 2445 B.C. Nahor 148 8716 2297 B.C. Terah 130 8846 2167 B.C. ------------------------------------------------------------------- *Abraham Born 8846 2167 B.C. Isaac Born 8946 2067 B.C. Jacob Born 9006 2007 B.C. Jacob's Tribe arrived in Egypt when he was 130 years old 9136 1877 B.C. Exodus from Egypt 430 years later 9566 1447 B.C. Entrance into Canaan 40 years later 9606 1407 B.C. First 40 years in Israel, which lasts until... 9646 1367 B.C The next 80 years which includes, The first 7x7 (Jubilee Year), 9656 1357 B.C. lasts until... 9726 1287 B.C. The next 40 years of Israel lasts until... 9766 1247 B.C. Gideon judged until... 9806 1207 B.C. Abimelech rules 9809 1204 B.C. Tola judged until 9832 1181 B.C. Jair judged until 9854 1159 B.C. Jephthah judged until 9860 1153 B.C. Ibzan judged until 9867 1146 B.C. Elon judged until 9877 1136 B.C. Abon judged until 9885 1128 B.C. Samson judged until 9905 1108 B.C. Eli Judged until 9945 1068 B.C. When Eli heard Ark was removed, he fell & brake his neck. Ark in hands of Philistines until 9946 1067 B.C. Then Samuel judged until 9966 1047 B.C. Saul was king 40 years until David begins to Reign in.. 10006 1007 B.C. Solomon begins to reign in Co regency in.. 10042 971 B.C. Temple construction begins 480 years after the exodus ^^^ 10046 967 B.C. Division of kingdoms 36 years later 10082 931 B.C. 10 tribes of Israel destroyed 10291 722 B.C. End of Northern Kingdom of Israel 10303 710 B.C. Israel under Egypt at Josiah's Death 10404 609 B.C. Israel destroyed by Babylon 10426 587 B.C. Babylon Conquered by the Meades and Persians 10474 539 B.C. Ezra returns to Jerusalem 10555 458 B.C. Nehemiah rebuilds walls 10568 445 B.C. Jubilee Year (seven sevens) Believed to be the Birthdate of Christ, exactly 2000 years after Israel was was born. 11006 7 B.C. 1 B.C. 11012 1 B.C. The (supposed) year 1 11013 1 A.D. The Anointing and baptism of Christ by John the Baptist 11041 29 A.D. Death Of Christ on cross 11045 33 A.D. To the year 1994, the 40th Jubilee from the cross and exactly 2000 years from 7 B.C. 13006 1994 A.D. The year to date 13008 1996 A.D. ----------- ------------ From Adam From Christ
How old is the earth? The total age of the world, from the creation of Adam to the year 1996, is 13,008 years. Evolutionists, Scientists, Paleontologists, Archaeologists, and Atheists can all say whatever the want. God's Word is as far above man's as the stars are from the earth. For there is one thing that they all never seem to quite understand. And that is that God's Word is authoritative and inerrant and things that "appear" are not always as they seem. It is Biblical study that reveals what is "really" truth, not secular, scientific or historical studies.
In closing, as these last days draw to an end, I pray the good Lord will give us all the wisdom to discern the secrets of His Holy word concerning the age of the world. May we will look for a better city than an earthly place. A glorious heavenly city whose builder and maker is God, and where no calendar is needed to make us wonder at the glory of God. God Bless.
Copyright ©1996 Tony Warren
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Created 5/7/96 / Last Modified 5/30/01