Time Has An End

by Harold Camping
Family Stations Inc.


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Discovering the calendar of history is no easy matter. God has intentionally buried all the necessary information concerning this important subject deep in the language of the Bible. Only in God’s own timetable will He open our understanding concerning this.

To begin our search, we have to remember several very significant truths. The first is that the Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, regardless of how difficult or complicated the language of the Bible may appear to be, it is absolutely true and trustworthy.

Secondly, we must keep in mind that any understanding we may receive must come from the Bible and that that understanding is given by the God of the Bible.

Thirdly, God wrote the Bible in such a way that each conclusion we come to must stand the scrutiny of any and every verse of the Bible that relates to the same subject. This verification of the Bible by the Bible is the only way we can be assured that our conclusions are correct.

Fourthly, we must understand that each word in the original languages of the Bible is completely accurate, exactly how God intended every word to be. Those words came from the mouth of God (Jeremiah 1:9; 36:2; Ezekiel 33:7; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21). Even though we may have great difficulty understanding a particular word or phrase, the truth conveyed by that very word or phrase is altogether trustworthy because it is given to us by God Himself.

The fifth truth that encourages us is the fact that at the present time in history, the evidence is mounting that we are very close to the end of the world. By means of the Bible, God is revealing much additional information concerning this momentous truth — truth that had been denied earlier Bible students.

Verbal Clues to Lineage Patterns of Biblical Speech

We shall now attempt to develop a chronology of history from the Biblical statements, approaching the Bible in the manner we have discussed. We must begin this search with the study of the genealogical record of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11. If further light could be given to arrive at a proper understanding of these important chapters, a great stride forward would be taken toward the development of a consistent statement regarding the exact date of Adam, the Flood, and other phenomena of history. Such new information and interpretation would point up anew the true believers’ trust in the total accuracy and authority of the Bible, especially with regard to the early chapters of Genesis which havev  

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been open to dispute.

The Bible must be accepted as God’s inerrant word to man
and that it is, therefore, entirely trustworthy.

Again, I must emphasize that as a fundamental starting point, one basic fact must be acknowledged as a presupposition upon which this study rests. It is that we will receive enlightenment from God’s Word only when we recognize it as His infallible revelation. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:21; see also II Timothy 3:16). The Bible must be accepted as God’s inerrant word to man and that it is, therefore, entirely trustworthy.

Inspired Verbs

As we examine the genealogical record of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11, is there anything distinctive in the language pattern used that might give us a clue to the understanding of these chapters? The verses do seem very similar to each other. Although there are two that are definitely different from the others (and we will consider those in a moment), all the other genealogical notices in this chapter follow the same pattern, namely, when ‘A’ had lived ‘x’ years, he begot ‘B.’ For example, Genesis 5:12 says, “And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel.” There is no indication that Cainan gave his son the name Mahalaleel. The passage simply says he begat Mahalaleel.

Now let us look more intently at the two passages that stand apart from the usual pattern. The first is Genesis 5:3 which records the genealogical descent of Seth from Adam:

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.

The second passage is Genesis 5, verses 28 and 29, which tell us about the relationship of Lamech to Noah:

And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: and he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

The phrase “called his name,” which is the Hebrew “qara shem,”  

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gives us help with at least a few of the names in these chapters. A search of the Bible reveals no instance where such a phrase is used in connection with the naming of a person, where the person named was not an immediate child or was not immediately related to the person doing the naming. Many examples might be given to show this. Genesis 21:3:

And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

Genesis 25:25:

And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.

The phrase “called his name” is used in regards to the births of all the sons of Jacob; for example, we read in Genesis 29:32:

And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

The phrase is also used in Genesis Chapter 38 where the five sons of Judah are noted in verses 3, 4, 5, 29, and 30. This particular indisputable father-son relationship is underscored in I Chronicles 2:4 by the statement, “All the sons of Judah were five.” Interestingly, the same phrase, qara shem, is used in Isaiah 7:14 where God prophesied that a virgin would bear a son and call his name Immanuel. It is used also in Genesis 5:2 where God called the man “Adam.” We know, of course, from other Biblical data that there were no humans before Adam. From all of this evidence, we can be quite sure that wherever the clue phrase qara shem occurs, an immediate son is being described and not a grandson or some more remote descendant.

. . . wherever the clue phrase qara shem occurs,
an immediate son is being described . . .

Returning to the Genesis account with this knowledge concerning the Bible’s use of the clue phrase “called his name,” we discover in Genesis 4:25 and in Genesis 5:3 that Seth was undoubtedly an immediate son of Adam, for in both of these verses qara shem is used. We find, too, in Genesis 4:26:  

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And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos . . . .

Thus, we can know that Enos was an immediate son of Seth. Likewise, on the same grounds, we can know that Noah was the immediate son of Lamech (Genesis 5:28-29).

Thus, we may conclude on the basis of the information found in the verses cited above that when Adam was 130 years old, Seth was born to him. When Adam was 235 years old and Seth was 105, Enos, the grandson of Adam was born. Similarly, when Lamech was 182 years of age, Noah was born.

Noah’s and Terah’s Sons

Two other generations are named in the genealogical accounts of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 that can be shown to be of an immediate father-son relationship. In neither of these is the clue phrase “called his name” used, but sufficient information is given in other Bible references so that we can confirm that it is an immediate father-son relationship. The first of these pertains to Noah’s son, Shem. In Genesis 5:32, we read:

And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

We can know that these must be immediate sons by the testimony of Genesis 9:18 which reads:

And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

And Genesis 7:13 states that Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, together with their wives, entered the ark. We read in I Peter 3:20 that there were eight souls in the ark. These verses lead us to the inescapable conclusion that Shem was an immediate son of Noah, and not a grandson or later descendant.

The other generation that can be known to represent an immediate father-son relationship is that of Terah and Abram. Genesis 11:26 declares:

And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
 

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The verses that follow give additional information, which points conclusively to the relationship that existed. Genesis 11:27-28 declares:

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

Verse 31 continues:

And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

This language surely has reference to an immediate family relationship. Thus, Abram could only have been the son of Terah, and not his grandson or some later descendant.

Some further clarification might be helpful at this point. Although Genesis 11:26 would seem to indicate that all three of Terah’s sons, Abram, Nahor, and Haran, were born when he was seventy years old, this cannot have been the case unless they were triplets. Verse 32 clearly states that Terah died in Haran at the age of 205 years. Upon his father’s death, Abram left Haran at the age of seventy- five (Genesis 12:4; Acts 7:4). We must, therefore, conclude that Terah was actually 130 years of age at the time of Abram’s birth, and that either Nahor or Haran was the oldest of the three brothers, one having been born when their father was seventy. In the genealogies, Abram is probably mentioned first because he was the important figure in God’s redemptive plan for man.

Thus far, we have established that Seth, Enos, Noah, Shem, and Abram were all immediate sons of their fathers, named in the record of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11. We are left with the remaining names in these two chapters. Are they immediate sons or are they later descendants? The phrase “qara shem” is not used anywhere in the Bible in connection with these names to indicate an immediate father-son relationship. Neither is there other evidence in Scripture which conclusively suggests this kind of relationship.

Is there Scriptural evidence to indicate that these verses are speaking of a relationship other than a father-son relationship? There is, indeed, as we shall now see.  

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Patriarchal Periods

An analysis of the language used in Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 reveals a pattern that is unique only to these chapters. A typical passage is that of Genesis 5:15-17:

And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared: and Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

These verses set forth truth that might be written as the following equation:

When “A” was “x” years old, he begat a son, “B.”
A” then lived “y” years after he begat “B
and begat other sons and daughters.

This language pattern is used to describe men from Adam all the way to Terah, the father of Abraham. The account of Genesis Chapter 5 adds that, thus, all the days of “A” were “x” + “y” years and he died. This was added probably because of the extreme longevity of these ancients. By this added phrase there could be no misunderstanding regarding these long life spans.

How are we to understand these verses? Is “B” the son of “A” or is he a later descendant of “A”? The word “begat” does not help us. In some cases in the Bible it is used where unquestionably an immediate father-son relationship is in view. For example, in I Chronicles 1:34, we read that Abraham begat Isaac. On the other hand, begat is sometimes used where a descendant later than an immediate son is in view. In Matthew 1:8, for example, we read that Joram begat Uzziah. But Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah should come between Joram and Uzziah (II Chronicles Chapters 21-26). Thus, in this case “begat” could have reference only to a later descendant, not an immediate son.

A casual comparison of Genesis 11:16-17 with Genesis 10:25 would seem to offer a solution. The typical language pattern of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 is followed in Genesis 11:16-17, where we read:

And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: and Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.
 

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And in Genesis 10:25 we read:

And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.
s

Do these verses appear to say that Peleg was an immediate son of Eber? If this is so, in Genesis 11:16-17 the word “begat” must necessarily be understood as a reference to an immediate father-son relationship. Since at first this appears to be true for Genesis 11:16-17, we would suspect that this would be true of all of the other verses of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 which follow the same language pattern.

Yet the problem with this reasoning is that other language found in Genesis Chapter 10 indicates that the reference to “sons,” as it is used in Genesis 10:25, does not at all ensure that an immediate father-son relationship is in view, i.e., that Peleg was the immediate son of Eber. In the same chapter, for example, we read in verse 31, “These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.” But in this verse, “sons” has reference to all of the descendants of Shem. Thus, the word “sons” does not prove that a reference is made to the immediate son of the father. It might be noted that Matthew 1:1 also illustrates this truth, for there we read, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Moreover, when we look at Eber and Peleg more carefully, we will discover evidence that suggests very strongly that Peleg could not have been the immediate son of Eber.

The statement of Genesis 10:25 (quoted above) is repeated in I Chronicles 1:19, which suggests that God appears to be calling attention to these facts, as though they are of great importance. From Genesis 11:16-19 we discover that Eber begat Peleg, and Peleg begat Reu. Genesis 11:16-19:

And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: and Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: and Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.

Let us now assume for the moment that Peleg was an immediate son of Eber and that Reu was an immediate son of Peleg. Since according to Genesis 11:16-19, Eber was thirty-four years old when Peleg was born, and presumably thirty years later, Peleg bore Reu, the result would look like the following:  

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We can see from the diagram that these three men must have been contemporaries, with Eber the oldest. But if Eber had actually been born earlier than Peleg and Reu, and if he had outlived both Peleg and Reu (as the diagram shows), so that he was the patriarch of the clan, so to speak, one would surely think it would have been a matter of divine record that he, instead of Peleg, lived when the earth was divided, the event that we find recorded in Genesis 10:25 and I Chronicles 1:19. Thus, we are led again to the conclusion that the term “begat” as used in Genesis Chapters 5 and 11, must have, at least in some instances, reference to a relationship other than that of an immediate father-son.

We see in Genesis Chapters 7 and 8 that the dates of the Flood events are referenced to the age of Noah. Genesis 8:13 records:

And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.

Genesis 7:6 indicates that the 600 years was the age of Noah when the Flood came. This leads us to an important question: Could the calendars of ancient peoples have been tied to the life spans of certain individuals?

As a matter of fact, this present generation is the generation of Jesus Christ. We speak of years today as “A.D.” which means the Year of Our Lord. The events of today are dated exactly as they were in Noah’s day, that is, by reference to the birth date of a person.

The events of today are dated exactly as they were
in Noah’s day, that is, by reference to the birth date of a person.

Since this method of dating events, which was practiced in Noah’s day,  

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was suggested by Jesus Himself, and is actually the practice used today, could not this have been the method described in Genesis Chapters 5 and 11? If so, then Eber, Peleg, and Reu were patriarchs who followed each other in history. Each in turn was the reference point for his period or generation in history. This makes abundant sense and would provide for continuity and clarity in historical reckoning.

Thus, we see that when the Bible records that Eber was thirty-four years old when Peleg was born and lived 430 years after the birth of Peleg, fathering other sons and daughters (Genesis 11:16-17), it means literally that when Eber was thirty-four years of age, a “son” was born to him. This might have been his first (immediate) son, or it might have been a grandson, a great-grandson, or even a great-great-grandson. Significantly, the Bible does not record that Eber “called his name Peleg” because as a point of fact, Peleg was not born until about the time Eber died. The “son” born to Eber at age thirty-four was an ancestor of Peleg, but his name is nonessential insofar as God’s record is concerned. The important fact to remember is that the patriarchal successor to Eber was Peleg. Peleg was a direct descendant, and Eber at age thirty-four was the progenitor of the Peleg line. The result looks like the following:

.

We are suggesting at this point in our study that the language of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11, which follows the equation: “A” lived “x” years and begat  

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B,” and “A” lived after he begat “B” for “y” years, is actually a calendar. Exceptions to the patriarchal calendar are introduced, namely, Adam begetting Seth, Seth begetting Enos, and Lamech begetting Noah. And yet, these exceptions are distinguished by the phrase “called his name,” thus showing Seth, Enos, and Noah to be immediate sons. Of course, some of our conclusions are still tentative; but as we consider more and more data, we will discover how close to the truth we are.

Patriarchal Periods on the Family Tree

In our study thus far, we have seen that when the phrase “called his name,” the Hebrew qara shem, is used in the Bible, it has reference to an immediate son. Thus, we know that Seth was the immediate son of Adam, Enos was the immediate son of Seth, and Noah was the immediate son of Lamech. We have also determined that in two cases where this key phrase is not used in connection with close relatives, there is sufficient evidence in other parts of the Bible to assure us that they are related to each other on an immediate father-son basis. Thus, we know with certainty that Shem was an immediate son of Noah and that Abraham was an immediate son of Terah.

Finally, we discovered that the other individuals named in the genealogical records of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 are probably not related as immediate descendants. In fact, we have seen that the Bible offers some evidence that they were not closely related at all. Rather, we offered the suggestion that the year of birth of one individual coincided with the death year of the person named before him in the ancestral table. Thus, we proposed that each of these remaining characters are patriarchal leaders, each heading his own ancestral division.

The Key that Unlocks Genesis Chapters 5 and 11

Though it may seem a bit removed from our discussion, it develops that an understanding of the Israelites’ genealogy during the time of their sojourn in Egypt provides the key that confirms our understanding of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11. When we study the genealogical descent of Levi, who entered Egypt as a son of Jacob, we find additional evidence that substantiates our Patriarchal Calendar. We will show that during the Egyptian sojourn, a kind of calendar existed which was referenced to descendants of Levi, with each of his descendants being the Calendar Patriarch during his entire lifetime.

To develop this point, let us now examine the various Biblical references that relate to the descendants of Levi, who entered Egypt with his brothers and  

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his father Jacob, when Joseph had become second-in-command in Egypt. These references follow.

    Genesis 46:11: And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

    Exodus 2:1-10: And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

    Exodus 6:16-20: And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families. And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations. And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.  

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    Exodus 7:7: And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.

    Numbers 26:58-59: . . . And Kohath begat Amram. And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.

    I Chronicles 6:1-3a: The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel. And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam.

The Time Bridge

Some interesting observations which impinge on our study will now be noted about these references to the descendants of Levi. They are as follows:

1. The phrase “called his name” (qara shem) is nowhere used in these references except in Exodus 2:10 where the child of this passage is named Moses by the Egyptian princess.

2. It is very clear from the detail given in Exodus 2:1-10 as well as the use of the phrase qara shem that Moses was the son of the unnamed man and woman of Exodus 2:1.

3. With all of the other detail given in Exodus 2:1-10, it is significant that Amram and Jochebed are not named as the father and mother of Moses as Exodus 6:20 would appear to indicate. Why are the names Amram and Jochebed omitted from the detailed account of Exodus 2:1-10 if they were Moses’ father and mother?

4. There is no evidence of an immediate father-son relationship in any of these accounts except in the Exodus 2:1-10 account which relates Moses to an unnamed father and mother.

5. The life spans of Levi and only two of his descendants are noted, as are the ages of Moses and Aaron at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 6:16-20; 7:7). This appears rather strange. What purpose could God have in mind in giving us the ages of just these men? Is there a possibility that in these verses, a time bridge was built across the period from Jacob’s descent into Egypt to the Exodus?  

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Parents and Patriarchs

We shall begin to answer these difficult questions by attempting to determine the age of Levi when he entered Egypt. This information is essential if we are to correlate the various time notices given in the Bible that refer to the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt. In particular, if we can relate Levi’s age to the age of his father Jacob, who was 130 years old when he entered Egypt (Genesis 47:9), we will have the correlation we are seeking.

We do know that Levi’s younger brother Joseph was thirty-nine years of age when Jacob was 130 because Joseph was thirty when he was made ruler over Egypt (Genesis 41:46), and it was during the second year of the famine, or nine years later, that he revealed himself to his brothers (Genesis 45:6). Thus, we know that Jacob was ninety-one years of age when Joseph was born (130 – 39 = 91).

Can we now discover how much younger Joseph was than Levi? The solution to this question depends upon whether Jacob spent twenty years or forty years in Haran with his uncle, Laban. If he spent twenty years, the time sequence would work out something like this: Jacob worked seven years for Rachel (Genesis 29:20). Deceived into marriage with Laban’s older daughter, Leah, Jacob was forced to serve another seven years for Rachel, whom he apparently married at the beginning of this second seven years (Genesis 29:30). Since Jacob worked six years for the flocks he received from Laban (Genesis 31:41), and these six years followed the birth of Joseph (Genesis 30:22-24), all of Jacob’s children, with the exception of Benjamin, must have been born during the period that he worked the second seven years for Rachel. With Levi being the third son and Joseph the last born during this period, Levi must have been at least four years older than Joseph.

It is difficult to conclude that so many children were born to Jacob during the second seven-year period when he was working to pay for Rachel. Presumably, during this period, Leah bore four children, none of whom were twins (Genesis 29:31-35), and she then ceased bearing (Genesis 29:35), and because she ceased bearing, she gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob, with whom he fathered two sons (Genesis 30:9-13), and finally, Leah bore two more sons and a daughter (Genesis 30:16-21). To conclude that all of these events occurred during a seven-year period seems quite impossible.

Jacob: Forty Years in Haran

What alternative to a twenty-year sojourn in Haran does the Bible offer? Genesis 29:18-30 clearly indicates that Jacob worked the first 14 years as  

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payment for Rachel and Leah. Genesis 30:25-34 indicates that following Joseph’s birth, Jacob made a contract to work for Laban, and in return, Jacob would keep as his own the spotted and speckled sheep of the flocks. Genesis 31:41 summarizes his work for Rachel and Leah and indicates that he worked for a period of six years for his flocks:

Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.

This is the key verse that we should examine very carefully. God wrote this verse in such a way that superficially, it appears to teach that Jacob was in Haran for a total of 20 years. Fact is, this is the understanding most Bible scholars derive from this verse, but because that conclusion is altogether incorrect, they are deprived of very essential information required to understand the Biblical Calendar.

This verse indicates there were three major divisions of time during which Jacob lived in Haran. They are as follows:

    1. The fourteen years he worked to obtain Leah and Rachel as wives.

    2. The twenty years he enjoyed the hospitality of living in his uncle’s house.

    3. The six years he worked for the oddly-marked cattle, during which time he was not in Laban’s house.

    We know that Jacob was not in Laban’s house during this final six-year period because of what we read in Genesis 30:35-36. There we read that Laban moved three day’s journey from Jacob.

    And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. And he set three days’ journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

    This information that Jacob was no longer in the house of Laban during this sixyear period is further attested to by the citation of Genesis 31:22, where we read:  

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And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.

With this information in mind, we can now understand Genesis 31:41. The first fourteen years Jacob worked to obtain Leah and Rachel. During the next twenty years, he lived with his family in Laban’s house. Therefore, from the time he married Leah and Rachel until he was no longer living in the house of Laban was a period of 7 + 20 years or 27 years. During these twenty-seven years, Jacob became the father of eleven sons and one daughter. The last son born to him during this time was Joseph. We read that it was shortly after Joseph was born that Jacob worked the final six years to obtain the cattle that he owned at the time he left Haran (Genesis 30:25-34). Joseph was born to Rachel shortly before the final six years (Genesis 30:25). Remember, during this final six years, Jacob was not in the house of Laban. The timing would have been as follows:

    Jacob arrives in Haran at the age of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

    He works seven years for Rachel and is then married to Rachel and Leah. Jacob is then . . . . . . .67

    Reuben is born to Leah the following year when Jacob is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68

    Simeon is born next to Leah when Jacob is . . . . . . . . . . 69

    Levi is born next to Leah when Jacob is . . . . . . . . 70 or 71

    Jacob finishes his second seven-year contract for Rachel when he is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

    With his growing family, Jacob lives twenty years in the house of Laban. In the eighteenth or nineteenth year of this period, Joseph is born. Jacob is then . . . . . . . . . . . 92 or 93

    At the end of this twenty-year period, Jacob wishes to leave Haran. He is. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

    Jacob works six years longer for Laban’s flocks but during this six years, he is not in the house of Laban. At the end of this six years, Jacob is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100

 

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Thus, Levi was about twenty-two years older than Joseph. Since Joseph was thirty-nine years of age when Jacob came to Egypt, Levi at that time would have been 39 + 22 = 61 years of age. Since Levi was the third son born to Leah (Genesis 29:31-34), and since Jacob became married to Leah after being in Haran seven years, Levi would have been born about the tenth or eleventh year after Jacob went to Haran.

The Perfect Tally

One other piece of evidence points precisely to this twenty-two-year age differential and also shows how time was reckoned during the Egyptian sojourn. In fact, it also gives us the Biblical evidence for understanding the language of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11.

We previously saw that Joseph was thirty-nine when Jacob and his family entered Egypt. Since Levi, as we have seen, must have been about twentytwo years older than Joseph, he would have been sixty-one when Jacob’s family entered Egypt. Since Levi died at the age of 137 (Exodus 6:16), 76 years (137 – 61) of his life would have been spent in Egypt.

Let us recall the premise that we established. In the absence of evidence that the Genesis genealogies specifically indicate an immediate father-son relationship, we may assume the relationship to be one which interrelates individual patriarchs living their entire lifetime as the family head. Let us apply this principle to the family of Levi. In Exodus 6:16-20, we saw the genealogical sequence of Levi. His 137 years were followed by Kohath’s 133 years which in turn were followed by Amram’s 137 years; Amram was followed by Aaron. Since we know that Levi lived seventy-six years in Egypt (if our twenty-two-year assumption is correct), and since the Bible indicates that Aaron was eighty-four years old at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 7:7), all of the ingredients are available to establish the chronological sequence during the Egyptian sojourn. Remember that the death year of one patriarch coincides with the birth year of the next, thus, the result must look like this:

Levi’s time in Egypt (137 – 61) 76 years
Kohath’s period of patriarchal leadership 133 years
Amram’s period of patriarchal leadership 137 years
Aaron’s age at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 7:7; Numbers 33:8-9) 84 years
 Total: 430 years
 

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This sum tallies exactly with Israel’s sojourn in the land of Egypt, which was 430 years, as we read in Exodus 12:40-41:

Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

Thus, we see that our assumption is correct that in certain situations, there was a Patriarchal Calendar with one Patriarch living his entire lifetime as the family head. God indicates to us that the generation or Patriarchal period of Kohath followed the period of Levi and commenced in the year that ended Levi’s period. Similarly, Amram’s generation followed Kohath’s. Aaron’s generation began at the death of Amram. In this way, the Bible gives us a time bridge covering the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt that is identical with the 430 years of Exodus 12:40.

There is one other fact we must determine if we are to accurately understand the Biblical method of Calendar keeping during the 430-year period of Israel’s Egyptian experience. That fact is concerned with the age of Aaron at the time Israel went out of Egypt. In Exodus 7:7 we read:

And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.

Additionally, we read in Numbers 33:38-39:

And Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month. And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor.

Later we will learn that Israel left Egypt on the 14th day of the first month of the Biblical Calendar which was March 21, 1447 B.C. of our modern calendar.

Forty years and four days later, they crossed the Jordan River into the land of Canaan on the tenth day of the first month. This corresponds to March 25, in the year 1407 B.C. of our calendar.

Returning now to the death of Aaron, it is reported in Numbers 33:38-39 that he died at the age of 123 in the first day of the fifth month, which was about  

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seven months before Israel crossed the Jordan River. That is, Aaron would have been in the wilderness about thirty-nine and one half years. Remember Aaron stood before Pharaoh when he was eighty-three (Exodus 7:7). Therefore, by the time Israel left Egypt he would have become eighty-four years of age in order to have been 123 years of age when he died (84 + 39 = 123 years).

While Exodus 6:16-20 refers to the generations of Levi by name, significantly, Kohath and Amram are the only two patriarchs of all of those named whose ages have been written into the genealogical record. Obviously, the family of Levi, from Kohath to Amram, and finally to Aaron, was the patriarchal family selected during the 430-year bondage in Egypt to establish the calendar during this period. The method of doing this would have been similar to that done by their forefathers before Abraham.

This, I believe, is the reason why the ages of Levi, Kohath, and Amram have been recorded, and one of the reasons why we are given so many details that relate to the ages of Joseph and Moses. It is why the parents of Moses are not identified as Amram and Jochebed in Exodus 2:1, when so many other details concerning the birth of Moses are given. Amram and Jochebed were not the immediate parents of Moses. Moses was of the patriarchal family of Amram. Amram must have died the year of Aaron’s birth.

This patriarchal system of calendar keeping throws a spotlight of revelation upon God’s prophecy to Abram in Genesis 15:13-16. There He tells Abram that his descendants would be oppressed 400 years in a land that was not theirs and that they would return to their own land in the fourth generation. Levi was the first, Kohath the second, Amram the third, and Aaron the fourth in the prophetic sequence.

Thus, God in His wonderful wisdom has placed in our hands a key that unlocks the hitherto perplexing genealogies of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11. The key is the chronological record of the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt. By properly understanding the timetable of the Egyptian sojourn, we establish the evidence for understanding Genesis Chapters 5 and 11. God gave considerable information about the Egyptian sojourn so that this key could be found.

Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 Are A Calendar

In the genealogies of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11, as we have already learned, in the cases of Adam and Seth, Enos and Lamech, Noah and Shem, and finally, Terah and Abraham, the Bible indicates conclusively the existence of immediate father-son relationships. But we must assume that all of the other names recorded were the patriarchal heads of families and followed each other chronologically, as they did in the case of Levi, Kohath, Amram, and Aaron.  

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Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 are actually a calendar.

When we reflect a bit further on the conclusions of our foregoing study, we discover that Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 are actually a calendar. Think for a moment of our present calendar. We speak of an event that happened in the year 1950, for instance, and what we mean is that this event occurred in the year of our Lord 1950 or that 1950 is the 1,950th year after the birth of Christ. This is the generation or patriarchal period, if you will, of Jesus Christ. In Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus, the Lord of all history, uses the language of man’s earliest history when He describes the certainty of God’s plan until the end of the age. We read in Matthew 24:34:

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

This was the same situation that existed in man’s early history. The time was divided into patriarchal periods or generations even as the New Testament period is the generation of Jesus Christ and as the Egyptian sojourn was so divided. Thus, for example, when Methuselah died, bringing to an end his generation, a man who was born in the year of Methuselah’s death was selected to be the next reigning patriarch or at least the next man for calendar reference. After Methuselah, this was Lamech. None of the conditions of his selection are given except that he had to be a descendant of Methuselah. Therefore, the Bible indicates that Methuselah was 187 years old when he begat Lamech, that is, when he was 187, the forefather of Lamech was born to Methuselah (Genesis 5:25). This notice establishes the certainty of Lamech’s blood descent from Methuselah by showing where his forefather tied into the line of Methuselah.

The selection of the next patriarch had to include a birth date coinciding with Methuselah’s death date to ensure a rational history. Had he been born one or more years earlier, an overlap would have occurred which would have blurred history. If Lamech had been born one or more years later than Methuselah’s death, a gap would have occurred which would have confused history. Therefore, when a citizen of the world of that day spoke of an event occurring in the year Methuselah 950, there was only one year in history that could be this date. Again, if he spoke of the year Lamech 2, there was only one year in history that matched this date, and he knew precisely how many years transpired from Methuselah 950 to Lamech 2.  

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Time Begins

We will now develop the Biblical Calendar as we carefully analyze the Biblical citations beginning with the time of creation as the year 0 (zero). Later, we will tie our findings into our modern calendar, and then we will find that the creation date is the year 11,013 B.C.

We read in Genesis 1:26-27:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God then says in Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 2:1-3:

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

These verses clearly teach that the universe together with mankind was created during a period of six twenty-four-hour days at the very beginning of time. We know that they were twenty-four-hour days because the Bible tells us in Genesis 1:14 and 19:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

In these verses, God takes us to the very threshold of time, to the very beginning moment of the creation of this world. We therefore can assign the year 0 to the beginning of the timeline of God’s Calendar.  

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The next important calendar reference is found in Genesis 5:3-5, where we read:

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: and the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

One hundred and thirty years after Adam was created, he bore a son whose name was called Seth.

This is now the year 130 in our developing calendar.

We then read in Genesis 5:6-8:

And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos: and Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

Is Enos an immediate son of Seth or is he a descendant (grandson, greatgrandson, etc.)? As we have noted, the word “begat” does not necessarily indicate an immediate father-son relationship. So, we can begin to discover the answer to this question regarding Enos in Genesis 4:26. There we read:

And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

The phrase “called his name” assures us that Enos was an immediate son of Seth. Thus, the calendar develops showing that Seth was born in the year 130, and Enos was born 105 years later in the year 235. The Bible then declares in Genesis 5:9-11:

And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan: And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

To understand these verses, we must search the Bible to discover if there is any other information that shows whether or not Enos was the immediate father of Cainan. And not only do we not find any other indication that Cainan was an  

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immediate son of Enos, but we also find that the phrase “called his name” is not used. Therefore, we can be certain that Cainan was not an immediate son. We can also be certain that during the lifetime of Enos, the Calendar was referenced to Enos. And we can be certain that when the Bible uses the word “begat” in a genealogy, it does not necessarily indicate an immediate father-son relationship.

But if this is so, why then does Genesis 5:9 record that “Enos lived ninety years and begat Cainan”? There is a similar phrase in Genesis 11:12, where we read:

And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah.

Like He did when speaking of Enos and Cainan in Genesis 5:9, God indicates here in Genesis 11:12 that “Arphaxad lived five and thirty years and begat Salah.” Presumably, Salah was born to Arphaxad at age thirty-five, just as Cainan presumably was born to Enos at age ninety. However, in Luke Chapter 3, the genealogical descent listed states that a different man named Cainan (who lived many years after the Cainan of Genesis Chapter 5) was in the bloodline of Arphaxad. Luke 3:35-36 records the following information:

. . . Sala, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad . . . .

With the insertion of the name Cainan, Luke Chapter 3 clarifies that Sala was not an immediate son of Arphaxad.

The Bible is not contradicting itself. When we compare all these Scriptures, we discover that Salah could not have been the immediate son of Arphaxad. Therefore, we have additional evidence which assures us that the giving of the age of Enos when he begat Cainan (“Enos lived ninety years and begat Cainan”) does not indicate in any way that Cainan was an immediate son of Enos.

It is remarkable that in order to develop the proof that the Cainan of Genesis Chapter 5 was not an immediate son of Enos, we needed to utilize information recorded in an entirely different part of the Bible — Luke Chapter 3. And it is noteworthy that the name Cainan in Luke 3:36 is the key word that demonstrates that the man named Cainan in Genesis Chapter 5 was not an immediate son of Enos. And amazingly, the Cainan named in Luke 3:36 lived thousands of years after the Cainan of Genesis Chapter 5.

What then could be God’s purpose in telling us that Enos was ninety years old when he begat Cainan? There are at least two reasons why it may be that God has given us this notice.  

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The first reason is that God’s wording of Genesis Chapter 5 assisted in keeping an understanding of the Calendars of the Bible secret until God wished to give us more insight. Throughout the history of the world, theologians and Bible scholars would ordinarily read this and logically and reasonably conclude that Cainan had to be an immediate son of Enos. Does not the Bible clearly say that Enos was ninety years old when he begat Cainan? But that would be a wrong conclusion concerning a timetable of the earth’s existence.

Only in our day has God opened our minds to understand
the principle of Calendar Patriarchs . . .

Only in our day has God opened our minds to understand the principle of Calendar Patriarchs and shown us how to tie together passages such as Genesis Chapters 5 and 11, Exodus Chapter 6, Luke Chapter 3, and other Scriptures to obtain a correct understanding of the Biblical Calendar. And we are reminded that diligent examination of the whole Bible is essential to finding truth.

The second reason is that God is showing that the next Calendar Patriarch is truly of the same bloodline as the previous Calendar Patriarch. This was especially important when a man lived more than 900 years. Where does the bloodline of the next Calendar Patriarch enter into that of the previous Calendar Patriarch? In the case of Cainan, it was when Enos was ninety years of age.

Thus, we know that Enos was born in the year 235, and for the next 905 years, he was the Calendar Patriarch (Genesis 5:11). In the year 325, when Enos was ninety years of age, he became the father of a son. We do not know the name of this son. However, 815 years after the year 325, in the year 1140, the year that Enos died, this unnamed son became the father or the grandfather or the greatgrandfather, etc. (that is, the progenitor) of a man who was named Cainan. This son, Cainan, became the next Calendar Patriarch after Enos.

Thus, in the year 1140 (235 + 905), when Enos died at the age of 905, Cainan (born in the year 1140), became the next Calendar Patriarch. Enos had been the Calendar Patriarch for 905 years. He was followed by Cainan who was the next Calendar Patriarch during the 910 years of his life time (Genesis 5:14).

Seventy years later, Cainan had a son who was the progenitor of a man named Mahalaleel (Genesis 5:12). Mahalaleel was born in the same year that Cainan died. That year was 910 years after the year 1140 when Cainan was born. Thus, the year 2050, the year in which Cainan died, became the year which began the Calendar Patriarchal period of Mahalaleel. His period would continue for the duration of his life time of 895 years (Genesis 5:17).  

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In similar fashion, Jared followed Mahalaleel, Enoch followed Jared, Methuselah followed Enoch, and Lamech followed Methuselah (Genesis 5:15- 27).

However, when Lamech became the Calendar Patriarch, there was a change in the Calendar Patriarchal system. We are alerted to this by the language of Genesis 5:28-29:

And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: and he called his name Noah, saying, this same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

By use of the phrase “called his name,” God is assuring us that when Lamech was 182 years of age, he had a son and named him Noah. Noah was the immediate son of Lamech.

Why did God not continue the Calendar by naming a descendant of Lamech who would have been born the year Lamech died? The reason is that God’s plan for the human race demanded a disruption! The complete destruction of the world by the Universal Flood would occur five years after Lamech died. Thus, with the exception of Noah (and his three sons), all of the descendants of Lamech would have died in the Flood.

Therefore, God continued the Calendar Patriarchal line from Lamech to his immediate son Noah. Thus, the Calendar could continue through the time of the Flood.

We have seen that it was the year 2050 when Mahalaleel was born. Jared was born 895 years later in the year 2945. Enoch was born 962 years later in the year 3907. Methuselah was born 365 years later in the year 4272. Lamech was born 969 years later in the year 5241 (Genesis 5:25-27). And 182 years later, in the year 5423, Noah was born as an immediate son of Lamech (Genesis 5:28- 29).

Noah’s father Lamech lived 595 years after the birth of Noah (Genesis 5:30), and died in the year 6018. Five years later, when Noah had become 600 years of age, in the year 6023, the Flood began.

Noah had become the Calendar Patriarch to carry the Calendar through the time of the Flood. We read in Genesis 7:11:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
 

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In summary, we have learned that the first chapter of Genesis gives us the information concerning the very beginning of time and the creation of the world. The fifth chapter of Genesis gives us the Calendar of time for the first 6,000 years of the history of the world.

From Noah to Abraham

Now we should look at the history of the world from the time of the Flood to the time of Abraham who became the father of the nation of Israel. This calendar is recorded in the eleventh chapter of Genesis.

In Genesis 11:10-11 we read:

These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: and Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

Verse 10 has a real problem within it. It tells us that Shem was 100 years old two years after the Flood. We will discover that to develop an accurate calendar, we must know when Shem was born. The phrase “after the flood” creates the problem.

Earlier, in Genesis 7:11, we read that the Flood began in the 600th year, in the second month, the seventeenth day of Noah’s life. In Genesis 8:13-16, we learn that the Flood was altogether ended, and Noah left the ark in the 601th year, the second month, the twenty-seventh day of the month. Thus, the Flood lasted a total of one year and ten days. And since the Flood began in the year 6023, it therefore ended in the year 6024.

Returning to the question of Genesis 11:10, was Shem 100 years old two years after 6023 or was he 100 years old two years after 6024? If we are to develop an exact calendar, we must find a way to answer this question.

We search the Bible and find our answer to this puzzle in Genesis 9:28- 29. There the Bible records:

And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

The identical phrase “after the flood,” which we are puzzling over in Genesis 11:10, is found in Genesis 9, verse 28, as God is disclosing the death age of Noah. Remember, Noah was 600 years old when the Flood began and 601  

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years old when the Flood ended. Yet in these verses, God informs us that Noah lived 350 years “after the flood” and died at the age of 950.

Therefore, we know that the phrase “after the flood” must be understood as “after the beginning of the Flood.” Noah was 600 years old at the beginning of the Flood and died 350 years later at the age of 950. Three hundred and fifty years after the beginning of the Flood, he died at the age of 950.

Returning to Genesis 11:10, we now are certain that we can understand that Shem was 100 years old two years after the beginning of the Flood. Thus, at the time Shem was 100 years of age, his father Noah would have been 602 years of age. Since two years after the beginning of the Flood was the year 6025, Shem would have been born 100 years earlier, in the year 5925.

Thus, when Noah’s father, who was named Lamech, died in the year 6018, the year 6018 ended the Calendar Patriarchal line of Lamech. However, in the year 6018, Noah was already 595 years of age, so the next year would have been referenced to the 596th year of Noah’s lifetime. Therefore, when the Flood began five years after the death of Lamech, the Calendar was referenced to the 600th year of Noah. The 600th year of Noah was 6,023 years after Creation.

Noah lived to be 950 years of age. In the year Noah died, the year 6373 (6023 + 350), Shem had become 448 years of age. (Remember, we learned Shem was born in the year 5925. The year 6373 was 448 years later.) Therefore, the year after Noah died, the Calendar would have been referenced to the 449th year of Shem. Shem lived to be 600 years of age. He died in the year 6525.

We have just learned that, because of the Universal Flood, God had to interrupt the unfolding of the Calendar of History utilizing the Calendar Patriarchal system (the system in which one Calendar Patriarch died the same year that the next Calendar Patriarch was born).

For many years after the Flood, there was a very similar situation to that which existed in the early years after the creation of Adam and Eve. At that earlier time in history, the first Calendar Patriarch for whom the Calendar was dated throughout his entire lifetime was Enos who was born the year Seth died.

Likewise, it was not until Shem died that, in the same year of his death, a baby was born who would be the next Calendar Patriarch throughout his entire lifetime. We learn that this was a man named Arphaxad. Now, we know from the language of Genesis Chapters 6 through 10 that Shem was the immediate son of Noah. But, when we study all that the Bible says concerning Arphaxad, we find no evidence that he was an immediate son of Shem. We do not find the phrase “called his name” in connection with his  

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birth and neither do we find any other evidence in the Bible that he was an immediate son of Shem. Therefore, we can be certain that he was the next Calendar Patriarch who was born the year Shem died. The ancestor of Arphaxad, who was required in order for Arphaxad to be the next Calendar Patriarch, penetrated the bloodline of Shem when Shem was 100 years old.

As we have learned, the only people surviving the Flood were Noah and his wife together with his three sons and their respective wives. Since Noah lived 350 years after the beginning of the Flood, which occurred in the year 6023, Noah would have died in the year 6373.

Since Shem lived 500 years after he begat the ancestor of Arphaxad in the year 6025, Shem would have died in the year 6525. And in the year 6525, a baby named Arphaxad was born who became the next Calendar Patriarch.

The Calendar of History of Genesis Chapter 11 continues with the following sequence:

Calendar Patriarch Year Born Life span (and math) Genesis 11 Reference
    Arphaxad
6525
    438 (35 + 403)
:12-13
    Salah
6963
    433 (30 + 403)
:14-15
    Eber
7396
    464 (34 + 430)
:16-17
    Peleg
7860
    239 (30 + 209)
:18-19
    Reu
8099
    239 (32 + 207)
:20-21
    Serug
8338
    230 (30 + 200)
:22-23
    Nahor
8568
    148 (29 + 119)
:24-25
    Terah
8716
    205
:32

With the birth of Terah, God again interrupted the Calendar Patriarch procedure. This is because an immediate son of Terah named Abram was to be the beginning of a new direction in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan.

When Nahor died in the year 8716, the condition that had to be met was that the next Calendar Patriarch had to be in the bloodline of Nahor and had to have been born in the year Nahor died. Terah met those qualifications and became the next Calendar Patriarch.

Twice before in the history of the world, God began with a single family to develop the timeline of history. God is showing us in His Word the Bible that the timeline of history is governed by the unfolding of His salvation plan. In both  

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of these previous occasions, it was of necessity that the focus was upon a single family. The first occasion was at the beginning of time when only the family of Adam and Eve inhabited the earth. The second occasion was immediately after the Noachian Flood when only the family of Noah inhabited the earth.

However, about 3,000 years had passed since the Noachian Flood, and the world had become increasingly populated. Unfortunately, the same problem had come into existence that was the cause of the destruction of the world in the days of Noah. That problem was the increasing wickedness of the world. However, God had no plan in mind, at this juncture in history, to again destroy the world. Instead, He isolated a single God-fearing family and continued the development of the timeline of history through this family. This was the family of a man named Abram who was an immediate son of Terah.

Thus, the man Terah was the last individual at that time in history who fulfilled all the qualifications of a Calendar Patriarch. As noted above, he began his Patriarchal Calendar period in the year of his birth, 8716. The shift of the timeline of history from Terah as the last Calendar Patriarch into a new direction was not only made necessary because of the wickedness of the world, but it was also the plan of God to begin, at this point in history, the development of a nation to represent the kingdom of God on this earth.

The kingdom of God consists of each and every
individual who becomes saved.

The timeline of history has a goal; it has a focus. That goal or focus is the development of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God consists of each and every individual who becomes saved. Those who become saved are made citizens of an eternal kingdom that will last forever. The kingdom of God, therefore, is represented in this world by those who have become saved.

For the first approximately 9,000 years of the history of the world, the kingdom of God was represented by individuals who became saved. But it was God’s intention to eventually develop a nation of people to be the external representation of the kingdom of God. It was within this special nation of people that God would further develop His timeline of history.

Thus, at the juncture in history when Terah was serving as the last of a series of Calendar Patriarchs, the mechanism to develop a nation that was to become the external representative of the kingdom of God was put into motion. This was done by God’s selection of an immediate son of Terah, named Abram,  

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to become the beginning of this special nation, the nation to which God gave the name “Israel” (Genesis 35:9-12).

The Bible gives ample evidence that Abram, whose name was later changed to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), was an immediate son of Terah. Fact is, we read in Genesis 11:31 that God called Abram out of the land of Ur of the Chaldees (another name for Babylon) to go to a far away land called Canaan. Abram immediately left Ur of the Chaldees, together with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and his aged father Terah, to go to this new land.

The Bible reveals in Genesis 11:31-32 that they stopped in Haran where Abram’s father died at the age of 205. Since Terah was born in the year 8716, his death year was 8921. The Bible also gives us information that Abram was seventy-five years of age at this time (Genesis 12:4).

From this time forward, the calendar of history that identifies with the unfolding of God’s salvation plan is set forth in the Bible with sufficient citations so that by combining the Biblical information with non-Biblical information (which can be shown to be very accurate), we are able to continue the calendar with complete precision all the way to our day.

We learned that Terah died in the year 8921. In the same year, Abram was seventy-five. This was the year Abram came into the land of Canaan. We read in Genesis 21:5 that when Abram, now called Abraham, was 100 years old, Isaac was born to him and his wife Sarah. (A year earlier, God had changed Sarai’s name to Sarah [Genesis 17:15].) The year of Isaac’s birth was 8946.

When Isaac was sixty years of age, he became the father of Jacob, in the year 9006. When Jacob was 130 years of age, he came with his entire family into the land of Egypt (Genesis 47:9). That was the year 9136.

The people of Israel remained in Egypt exactly 430 years (Exodus 12:40-41). Therefore, they came out of Egypt in the year 9566. Remember, these dates are the years after the year “0” when God created the world.

The next Biblical citation pertaining to God’s Calendar of History is in I Kings 6:1 where God records that it was 480 years after the year Israel came out of Egypt that the construction of the temple began. That was the year 10,046. Here is what God says in I Kings 6:1:

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
 

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Aligning the Biblical Calendar with Our Modern Calendar

As we continue our study of the Biblical Calendar, we should take time to align the Biblical calendar with our secular calendar.

During the Calendar Period of the development of the nation of Israel which extended over the last approximately 1,500 years of Old Testament history, God gave abundant detailed information concerning the passage of time. Thus, we are able not only to know the overall length of that period of time, but we are also able to tie it to the New Testament Calendar making possible a continuous calendar from Creation to the present day. Therefore, as we continue this study, we should set forth several principles that make possible the harmonizing of our modern calendar with that of the Bible.

The first principle we must keep in mind is that the passage of time is governed by God’s decrees. That is, on the fourth day of creation, God created the magnificent celestial clock that is our solar system. Astronomers use that celestial timepiece to measure with great accuracy the length of a day, the number of days from one new moon to another, the time between eclipses and other celestial phenomena, and the number of days in any year. However, it is God who determined that a year should equal a period of time of 365.2422 days and that the average time from one new moon to the next new moon is 29.53059 days.

Secondly, God has placed a great curiosity and interest concerning celestial phenomena such as new moons, eclipses, etc., in the minds of men. That, along with a God-given writing ability, has helped mankind to accurately correlate written historical data with the passage of time and even reference it to our modern calendar.

Thirdly, the Bible names kings who reigned over Israel or Judah, and often, the secular record makes reference to these same kings. Likewise, the secular historical citations often make reference to heathen kings to which the Bible also makes reference.

Keeping this in mind, we can locate precise events, the dates of which are fixed by the secular record. These same events are recorded in the Bible, and if the time intervals between them are exactly the same as in the secular record, then the two calendars can be harmonized.

For example, five historical events are noted on the following charts. The dates for these events are according to the secular record which has been coordinated with our modern calendar.  

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Historical Event Archaeological Modern Calendar/ Year Biblical Calendar Year (beginning with year 0) Source
Joseph released from prison 1886 B.C. 9127 Adam When?,* p. 98, Family Radio
Time Interval: 1886 B.C.-1447 B.C. (439 years)
Pharaoh died in the Red Sea 1447 B.C. 9566 Adam When?,*p. 126, Family Radio
Time Interval: 1447 B.C.-853 B.C. (594 years)
Last year of King Ahab’s reign 853 B.C. 10,160 Handbook of Biblical Chronology, Jack Finegan, Princeton University Press, 1964, p. 196
Time Interval: 853 B.C.-597 B.C. (256 years)
Zedekiah appointed king by Nebuchadnezzar 597 B.C. 10,416 Handbook of Biblical Chronology, Jack Finegan, Princeton University Press, 1964, p. 205
Time Interval: 507 B.C.-539 B.C. (58 years)
Babylon conquered Babylon conquered Persians 539 B.C. 10,474 Handbook of Biblical Chronology, of Jack Finegan, Princeton University Press, 1964, p. 212

* Adam When? may be obtained free of charge from Family Radio.  

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From the Biblical record, the time intervals between these five events are found to be identical to the secular record. Thus, we are able to tie the Biblical Calendar to our Modern Calendar. We see then that the Biblical Calendar year of 9127, based on a calendar beginning with the Creation year zero, meshes with our Modern Calendar year of 1886 B.C., and so on.

Because we can thus harmonize the Biblical Calendar
with our modern calendar, we are enabled to set forth a Calendar
that goes all the way back to Creation.

Because we can thus harmonize the Biblical Calendar with our modern calendar, we are enabled to set forth a Calendar that goes all the way back to Creation. We find that Creation occurred in the year 11,013 B.C. The Flood that came 6,023 years later thus occurred in the year 4990 B.C. (11,013 - 6,023). We can list with great accuracy many events recorded in the Bible. Important ones are as follows.  

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Event and Scripture Reference Biblical Calendar Beginning with Creation at the Year “0” Modern Calendar Harmonized with Biblical Calendar
Creation of Adam. 0 11013 B.C.
Birth of Seth. Adam was when Seth was born (Genesis 5:6). 130 10883 B.C.
Birth of Enos. Seth was 105 when Enos was born (Genesis 5:6). 235 10778 B.C.
End of Enos’ period, 905 years after his birth (Genesis 5:11), which is the year Cainan was born and his period began. 1140 9873 B.C.
End of Cainan’s period, 910 years after his birth (Genesis 5:14). This is the year Mahalaleel was born and his period began. 2050 8963 B.C.
End of Mahalaleel’s period, 895 years after his birth (Genesis 5:17). This is the year Jared was born and his period began. 2945 8068 B.C.
End of Jared’s period, 962 years after his birth (Genesis 5:20). This is the year Enoch was born and his period began. 3907 7106 B.C.
End of Enoch’s period, 365 years after his birth (Genesis 5:23). This is the year Methuselah was born and his period began. 4272 6741 B.C.
End of Methuselah’s period, 969 years after his birth (Genesis 5:27). This is the year Lamech was born and his period began. 5241 5772 B.C.
Birth of Noah. Lamech was 182 when Noah was born (Genesis 5:28-29). 5423 5590 B.C.
 

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Event and Scripture Reference Biblical Calendar Beginning with Creation at the Year "0" Modern Calendar Harmonized with Biblical Calendar
The Flood. Noah was 600 when the Flood came (Genesis 7:6). 6023 4990 B.C.
Death of Shem, 502 years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10-11). This is the year Arphaxad was born and his period began. 6525 4488 B.C.
End of Arphaxad’s period, 438 years after his birth (Genesis 11:12-13). This is the year Salah was born and his period began. 6963 4050 B.C.
End of Salah’s period, 433 years after his birth (Genesis 11:14-15). This is the year Eber was born and his period began. 7396 3617 B.C.
End of Eber’s period, 464 years after his birth (Genesis 11:16- 17). This is the year Peleg was born and his period began. 7860 3153 B.C.
The building of the tower of Babel must have occurred between the dates 3153 B.C. and 2914 B.C. (Genesis 10:25; 11:1-9).
End of Peleg’s period, 239 yrs. after his birth (Genesis 11:18- 19). This is the year Reu was born and his period began. 8099 2914 B.C.
End of Reu’s period, 239 years after his birth (Genesis 11:20- 21). This is the year Serug was born and his period began. 8338 2675 B.C.
End of Serug’s period, 230 years after his birth (Gen. 11:22-23). This is the year Nahor was born born and his period began. 8568 2445 B.C.
End of Nahor’s period, 148 years after his birth (Genesis 11:24-25). This is the year Terah was born and his period began. 8716 2297 B.C.
 

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CALENDAR OF HISTORY Continued
Birth of Abram to Terah. Terah was 130 years old at the birth of Abram s(Genesis 11:26, 32, 12:4). 8846 2167 B.C.
Circumcision of Abraham. He was ninety-nine years of age (Genesis 17:24). 8945 2068 B.C.
Birth of Isaac. Abraham was 100 years old at the birth of Isaac (Genesis 21:5). 8946 2067 B.C.
Birth of Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old at the birth of Jacob (Genesis 25:26). 9006 2007 B.C.
Jacob enters Egypt at the age of 130. This is the year that begins the 430 years Israel was in Egypt (Genesis 47:9). 9136 1877 B.C.
Exodus of Israel from Egypt, 430 years after entrance (Exodus 12:40-41). 9566 1447 B.C.
The beginning of the building of the temple in the fourth year of Solomon (I Kings 6:1). 10,046 967 B.C.
Before we proceed with our study of the Bible’s Calendar of History, let us review what we have learned.

1. The development of God’s salvation program is set forth in time. Every aspect of the unfolding of this marvelous plan has identification with time.

2. To record the time when previous events occurred in history requires some kind of calendar and to anticipate future events in time also requires a calendar.

3. In a very decisive way, God teaches how the Calendar was kept by showing how time was recorded during the 430-year period Israel was in Egypt. The method God uses is a system of Calendar Patriarchs. The Calendar Patriarchal system set forth is that when the death age is given of a man who in his generation was the Calendar Patriarch, the next Calendar Patriarch was born in the same year the previous Calendar Patriarch died.

4. There are two exceptions to this rule. The first is that the usage of the phrase “called his name” always indicates that an immediate son is in view. The second exception is that if the Bible clearly sets forth other evidence that the son who was “begat” was an immediate son, even without the use of the phrase “called his name,” then we must conclude that “begat” in this case indicates an immediate son.v  

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We have now developed from the Biblical information a precise Calendar of History that is integrated into our present secular calendar. We have discovered and compared many exact dates of notable events within these calendars. Now we should begin again at the beginning and witness in some detail the unfolding of God’s salvation plan throughout the history of the world. We will begin at the creation date of 11,013 B.C.

11,013 B.C. Creation

We have learned that the Bible teaches that about 13,000 years ago this world began. When we harmonize the Calendar of the Bible with our modern calendar, we can know that the creation of the world occurred in the year 11,013 B.C. It was in this year that Almighty Eternal Infinite God spoke and, in a period of six literal days of twenty-four hours each, brought this whole universe into existence. He created it in all of its detail as a full-blown operating universe. Thus, when Adam, the first man, was created on the sixth day, he was instantly created with the appearance of age. He could have appeared to be twenty years old or thirty years old or any other adult age.

Likewise, when God created the universe, He instantly created it with an appearance of being many billions of years old. At the instant of creation, He created the light rays that brought the light from distant stars so they could be visible on earth.

On the fourth day of creation, God created the sun, the moon, the planets, and the enormous number of galaxies of stars that are spread out in our gigantic universe. The sun, moon, and planets became a giant celestial clock to mark off days and years. We read in Genesis 1:14-19:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Thus, immediately at the time of the creation of this universe, all historical events became related to time. As we are learning in this study, the significant  

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Biblical events dealing with God’s plan fit into a very precise and perfect time frame.

During the six literal twenty-four-hour days of creation, God also instantly created all of the animals and biosphere. However, the crown of His creation was mankind who was created in the image of God. We read in Genesis 1:27:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Mankind was created to rule over this perfect universe and administer it entirely to the glory of the great and wonderful God who created it.

Because mankind was created in the image of God, he became absolutely unique and the most significant part of the creation. First of all, he was created to exist forever even as God exists forever. True, in many ways, his body was created in a fashion similar to the bodies of animals, and he was given physical life as animals and even insects have physical life. But in addition, he was given a spirit essence (the Bible also calls this spirit essence a soul) which enabled him to think and act responsibly before God. He was created to love God and to obey Him perfectly.

However, as we learned in Chapter 2 of this study, which emphasized that the Bible is a law book, our first parents rebelled against God. And we must remember that in principle, the whole human race resided in Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve’s rebellion was willful disobedience. They had been commanded not to eat of the forbidden fruit. However, they deliberately violated that command and did eat of the forbidden fruit. Thus, they, as well as the whole human race, came under the wrath of God.

This introduced a serious problem. God had created a perfect universe which was to be ruled over by perfect rulers — mankind. But when mankind became cursed by God, an impossible situation had developed. Now there existed a perfect earth ruled over by masters (mankind) who were in rebellion against God and who had become cursed by God.

To remedy this situation, God then cursed the creation itself. Thorns and thistles began to grow. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes began to occur. Many animals became carnivorous and some became poisonous. Illness and death were in evidence everywhere as both mankind and animals experienced physical death. This mighty change in the earth is spoken of in Romans 8:19-23:

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject
 

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to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The Scriptures indicate that this curse took place immediately after mankind’s rebellion. The Bible says in Genesis 3:17-19:

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

There will come a time in the future when this earth
will be destroyed by fire . . .

However, the citation of Romans 8:19-23 does offer a hope for this earth. There will come a time in the future when this earth will be destroyed by fire and then replaced with a perfect New Heaven and New Earth. We will look at this later in our study.

One other major event occurred when mankind fell into sin. The angel Lucifer (Genesis 3:1; Isaiah 14:12-17), who tempted Eve, “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20), had rebelled against God. But the angels, which are spirit beings, had been created by God to serve Him on behalf of mankind. We read in Hebrews 1:13-14:

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
 

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Amazingly, Lucifer, though created a perfect spirit, somehow rebelled against God. He wanted to be like God. The Bible says in Isaiah 14:13-14:

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Lucifer saw his opportunity to rule. God had created mankind to be the ruler of this universe, but if Lucifer could get mankind to obey him instead of God, then he, Lucifer, by right of conquest, would become the ruler over mankind who in turn ruled over the earth.

And that is precisely what occurred. Our first parents, at the instigation of Lucifer, who came to Eve in the form of a serpent, disobeyed God, and Lucifer (Satan) became ruler over the hearts of mankind. The Bible speaks of him as Satan, the devil, the dragon, the serpent, and the adversary (I Peter 5:8; Revelation 20:2).

The fact that Satan rules over unsaved mankind is seen, for example, in I John 3:8 where God declares: “He that committeth sin is of the devil,” and in I John 3:10, where we read:

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

This principle is also given to us in I John 3:12 where God says:

Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

God further declares in John 8:44:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

In this study of the history of the world, we will learn that as God unfolds His salvation plan, it will be necessary that those persons whom Christ came to save must be taken out of the kingdom of Satan and brought into the kingdom of  

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God. As part of this task, it was necessary that Satan be vanquished and brought under the judgment of eternal damnation. Later in our study, we will learn how this was accomplished.

As we proceed down the timeline of history immediately after the beginning year of 11,013 B.C., at least three facts become abundantly evident. They are as follows:

    1. Sin becomes prominently displayed.
    2. A line of true believers is in evidence as time unfolds.
    3. God continues to communicate with the human race.

    We will briefly examine each of these three developments.

    . . . sin became thoroughly imbedded within the human race.

    The first fact we should note is the evidence that sin became thoroughly imbedded within the human race. The first two children born to Adam and Eve were sons. Cain was the firstborn. Abel was the second son. Both appeared to be quite religious in that both offered sacrifice to God (Genesis 4:3-4). Somehow Cain became aware that God rejected his sacrifice but accepted that of his younger brother Abel (Genesis 4:5). We then learn that in envy, anger, and hatred, Cain murdered his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8). Clearly, sin had become thoroughly entrenched in the human race.

    Other evidences of man’s tendency to sin are seen in Lamech, a descendant of Cain, marrying two wives (Genesis 4:19) and also desiring personal vengeance against another person (Genesis 4:23-24). From other Biblical information we know that both of these actions were contrary to God’s law. Eventually, sin in the growing human race became so bad that God destroyed almost the entire human race. We will look at that dreadful event in a later chapter.

    The second fact is that simultaneous with the development of sin in the human race, a line of worshipers of God was in evidence, although that line was very small. We see this in two Biblical citations concerning righteous Abel. In Hebrews 11:4 we read:

    By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
     

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God gives us further information in I John 3:12:

Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

We note also the Bible’s testimony concerning Enoch who was born about 4,000 years after the beginning of time (he lived from 7106 B.C. to 6741 B.C.). God tells us in Genesis 5:23-24:

And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

The line of true worshipers of God surfaced again in the life of Noah, 6,000 years after Creation. We read in Genesis 6:9:

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

The individuals we have just named were not typical of the world’s population. For example, later we will discover that in the whole world of Noah’s day, he and his family were the only true believers.

There is a third very important fact which should be noted that had everything to do with the unfolding of God’s Gospel program for the world. You see, God spoke directly to Adam and Eve before they fell into sin. The Bible tells us in Genesis 2:16-17:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

However, the surprise is that God spoke directly to Adam and Eve even after they rebelled against God. We note that even though mankind had come under the wrath of God and had become spiritually dead so that God no longer spiritually energized them, God still had not abandoned the human race. Even after Cain murdered his brother Abel, God still spoke directly to Cain (Genesis 4:9-15).

This is a tremendously important fact. The essence, the driving force, the entire operation of God’s salvation program is God Himself. If God had abandoned mankind at the time man sinned, there would be no salvation program.  

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There would be no hope for the world. Each and every human being, with no exceptions, would end up paying the penalty of eternal damnation for his sins.

God is still speaking today to a rebellious world
that is walking in the shoes of Adam and Cain.

Thus, it becomes wonderful news that God still spoke to Adam and Cain after they had committed such terrible sin in their lives, and all sin is terrible. This assures us that God is still speaking today to a rebellious world that is walking in the shoes of Adam and Cain.

In this connection one might ask, “How did God speak to Adam or Cain?” Furthermore, one could ask, “If God speaks to us today, how does He speak?”

We do know that for many thousands of years there was no written word. Until the Bible was completed, God communicated through visions (Genesis 15:1), or dreams (Genesis 41:1-25), or in an audible voice (Exodus 19:9- 19; 20:19; Hebrews 12:25), or by having direct conversation with individuals (Exodus 32:7 - Chapter 33). There were times when God did this by taking on the appearance of a human being (Genesis 18:1-3; Joshua 5:13-15). However, there came a time when God determined to preserve in written form all He would choose to tell mankind about Himself and His salvation plan. For example, we read that God dictated His words to the prophet Jeremiah. Today, those words are in the Bible as the Book of Jeremiah.

God reveals in Jeremiah 36:1-3:

And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

This is the way the Bible was written. We read in II Timothy 3:16a:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God . . .
 

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Furthermore, we read in II Peter 1:21:

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

However, once the Bible was completed in approximately A.D. 95, no further word has come from God. God assures us of this by His declaration in Revelation 22:18-19:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

. . . it is the Bible and only the Bible, which is the Word of God,
by which God speaks to us today.

Therefore, it is the Bible and only the Bible, which is the Word of God, by which God speaks to us today. Whenever we read a verse from the Bible, it is in essence the same as if we had just heard the voice of God speaking that verse. Therefore, each and every one of us should fear and tremble when we read verses of Holy Scripture. It is His Almighty Majesty, the King and Judge of all the earth, and the Loving Redeemer of His people, who is speaking to us in a very personal way. We read in II Timothy 3:16-17:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It is true that for the first 9,500 years of the history of the world, no written Word of God existed. Nevertheless, mankind sufficiently heard from God so that he knew, for example, about sacrifices. We know this is true because Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices (Genesis 4:3-4). And later on, Noah was given very  

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specific instructions for the building of the ark, the huge boat that would provide safety for him and his family when God destroyed the whole world by water.

Moreover, there was a proclamation of an integral part of the Gospel even though there was no written Word. The Bible says that Enoch, who lived about 4,000 years after Creation and about 2,000 years before the Flood of Noah’s day, preached the Gospel. In Jude 14-15, God gives us an excerpt from the message Enoch preached:

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

Noah, too, was a preacher. We read in II Peter 2:5:

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

A significant fact to note as we view the unfolding of the Biblical timeline of history throughout the first 6,000 years is the phenomenon that already, in those early years, God gave intimations of future characteristics of His salvation program. We saw this when God provided animal skins to clothe Adam and Eve immediately after they sinned. This action pointed to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ about 11,000 years later as the Lamb of God who by His death would cover the sins of those He came to save. Remember Enoch and Noah warned that the sins of mankind would bring righteous judgment from God.

The experience of Enoch, in that he lived 365 years and then went to Heaven without dying, reveals another aspect of God’s salvation program. We read in Genesis 5:22-24:

And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

When God created time, He made each year to be 365.2422 days. Thus, a life of 365 years identifies with the passage of a year. When Jesus began to preach, He identified the preaching of the Gospel with the term “acceptable  

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year.” We read this in Luke 4:18-19:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

. . . when the end of the world has come,
there will be the rapture of the true believers.

Immediately following the time of bringing the Gospel to the world, when the end of the world has come, there will be the rapture of the true believers. We read about this in I Thessalonians 4:16-17:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Thus, in the life of Enoch, at that early time in history, God demonstrated and prophesied in this unique manner His plan for the final unfolding of the Gospel. Enoch, a preacher whom God used to teach different characteristics of the Gospel, was raptured after the acceptable year.

God also intimated different aspects of His salvation program by the instruction He gave concerning the sacrifices (Genesis Chapter 4; Exodus Chapter 29; etc.). Each sacrifice pointed to the coming of the Lord Jesus who gave His life as the final and ultimate sacrifice so that the justice of God could be satisfied and the sins of those whom God planned to save might be forgiven.

Already at the Beginning, We May See God’s Prediction of the Future

We have been carefully examining the creation of the world together with the fall of mankind. This has enabled us to further understand the very beginnings of this tremendous plan of God that would demonstrate the magnificent glory of God as the Creator and Savior (Ephesians 1:9-10). It is a plan that will result in a great multitude of humans reigning with Christ forever.  

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We have also learned that God has a carefully developed timetable for the unfolding of His salvation plan. Because we are living very near the time of the end of that plan (as we will see as we continue to study), we can take note of some interesting facts that may be anticipating its finale.

We read in Isaiah 48:5:

I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.

. . . from the very beginning of time, God discloses
to us His grand plan of salvation . . .

We see here that from the very beginning of time, God discloses to us His grand plan of salvation with the additional information that there would be a final judgment. This principle is also taught by the citation of Isaiah 46:9-10:

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.

Curiously, there is a very tiny intimation concerning the timing of the end of the world as we look at the date of Creation. We have seen that, according to the present calendar used in the world, Creation would have been 11,013 B.C. Later in our study, we will learn that in all probability, Christ was born in the year 7 B.C.

Did God allow those who designed our modern calendar to make a mistake of six years so that the creation date would be 11,013 B.C.? Remember, 11,013 B.C. is based on the assumption that in A.D. 1, Christ was one year old. It might be altogether coincidental that the person who designed our calendar believed that Christ was born six years later than He actually was born, making the date of creation about 11,007 B.C. On the other hand, to obtain the year 11,013 B.C., they may have been guided by God so that in this number, the timing of two great events in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan are being predicted. We will examine this idea.  

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Christ took on a human nature (that is, He was born) just a few years after 11,000 years had passed since Creation. Evidence indicates that He is coming a second time just a few years past 13,000 years after Creation. Thus, the two numbers, 11 and 13, are very much in evidence as we view the whole timetable of God’s salvation plan. Is it possible that in the number 11,013, God is prophesying, in a very veiled way, the timing of the coming of Jesus when He comes to complete God’s great plan of salvation? We will look at this further as we continue in our study.

Here is a second intriguing concept. Cain murdered his brother Abel. Biblical evidence indicates that Abel was saved, but Cain was not saved (Genesis 4:4b-5; Matthew 23:35; Hebrews 11:4; 12:24; I John 3:12; Jude 11). Afterwards, when Adam was 130 years old, his third son, Seth, was born. The name Seth means “appointed.” God tells us this in Genesis 4:25:

And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: for God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

Could it be that Eve saw in Seth a continuation of a Godly line of believers that had been cut off by Abel’s death?

The words “appointed” and “seed,” which are found in this verse, assure us that Seth represents an important milestone in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. We have seen earlier that God uses past historical events to anticipate and represent future spiritual events. Thus, we wonder if this is the situation with the birth of Seth. We note the following points:

1. Adam was 130 years of age when Seth was born.

2. Cain killed Abel, thus eliminating, for a time, any believers in the world who would be the physical seed of Adam.

3. Seth was appointed by God to be the “seed” to continue the line of believers.

Pondering these statements brings to our mind a very parallel situation, which we examined in the book The End of the Church Age and After, that began to occur precisely 13,000 years after the creation of Adam. We will develop these ideas later in this study, but as near as we can tell:

1. A.D. 1988 was exactly 13,000 years after Creation. A.D. 1988 was  

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the official beginning of the Great Tribulation which coincided with the end of the Church Age.

2. At the beginning of the Great Tribulation, the two witnesses spoken of in the Book of Revelation are killed (Revelation 11:7). Even as Cain murdered his brother Abel, so too, the local congregations spiritually murder their fellow church members who are faithful and obedient to God’s commands. They spiritually murder them by driving them from, or silencing them in, the local churches and congregations (John 16:2).

3. However, even as God appointed a “seed” following the death of Abel, so too, God has appointed a seed that would follow the end of the Church Age. That “seed” are those who are the final harvest — those who are becoming saved during the time of the latter rain (Revelation 7:9).

It surely seems possible that at the very beginning of the salvation program, Christ was pointing to the end of the salvation program.

In similar fashion we might see the end of the world in the nature of the penalty imposed on Cain because he murdered his brother. Cain came under the judgment of God, and his banishment from the face of the earth (Genesis 4:9-15), could be a picture of the end-time churches coming under the wrath of God.

We should now summarize the most important points that were in evidence during the first 6,000 years of history.

1. Sin was greatly in evidence.

2. Mankind continued to be religious.

3. God continued to communicate with mankind even though sin abounded.

4. Only by the information the Bible gives us do we conclude that true believers were few and far between as there is very little reference to them.

5. True believers who lived during this period warned the world of the judgment of God as the consequence of sin.

6. As God has written in the Bible concerning this period of time, He seems to have revealed some of the major future aspects of His unfolding plan.  

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We are discovering that the Bible gives us the timeline
of history that is identified altogether with the
unfolding of God’s salvation plan.

We are discovering that the Bible gives us the timeline of history that is identified altogether with the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. Because God’s salvation plan is entirely related to mankind, it is mankind whom we must carefully examine.

As we continue our study of the history of the world, we must take time to understand who man is. How is he different from God? How is he like God? How is he different from animals? How is he like animals?

We will learn much about the answers to these questions as we look carefully at mankind.

1. What constituted his essence and nature when he was first created.

2. What changed when he fell into sin.

3. What changed when individuals became saved.

4. What happened to Jesus when He took on a human nature.

Now, we should not lose sight of our main purpose as we study these important elements of history. That is, that one day, God will bring everything together in one giant, grand conclusion.

Our source book for this study is the Bible. Only because the Bible is God’s Word to us do we dare to offer the following understanding of mankind. Because each and every conclusion is derived from the Bible, and insofar as each conclusion can be determined to be harmonious with the whole Bible, may we believe that we have come to a correct Biblical understanding of man.

Our examination of mankind must begin at the very beginning because it was on the sixth day of this world’s history that Adam was created. We will learn in our study that at that time, in principle, the whole human race was


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