Time Has An End

by Harold Camping
Family Stations Inc.


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Six thousand years had passed since the year of creation. Mankind had slowly multiplied on the earth. Because man had been created with a perfect body, he began with no inherent birth defects. Therefore, the Bible discloses that during this period of history, life spans were exceedingly long. For example, Adam lived 930 years, Jared 962 years, and Methuselah 969 years (Genesis 5:5, 20, 27). However, the Biblical evidence suggests that the families of these long-lived individuals were no larger than at any other time in history. For example, Noah lived to be 950 years of age but bore only three children, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Almost 3,000 years after Noah, Terah the father of Abraham lived to be 205 years old. Yet, he also bore only three sons, Abram, Nahor, and Haran (Genesis 11:27). Thus, the likelihood is that at the end of the first 6,000 years of this earth’s existence, the population may have been on the order of one million persons. (What the population grew to be in the first 6,000 years is unimportant. This population speculation is suggested only to help us visualize the world situation at the time it had become about 6,000 years of age, the time at which the Noachian Flood occurred.)

The year before us is 4990 B.C. It is supremely important
because that year the earth suffered a cataclysmic
judgment that has never been repeated.

The year before us is 4990 B.C. It is supremely important because that year the earth suffered a cataclysmic judgment that has never been repeated. In Genesis 6:3-7, the Bible reports:

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it
 

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grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

The judgment of the earth spoken of in verse 7 is the total devastation of the earth. We must carefully examine all that God has recorded in the Bible concerning this catastrophe that came to planet Earth in 4990 B.C.

Immediately, we wonder about the phrase recorded in Genesis Chapter 6, verse 3, “his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” What 120 years can this be? We know God is not speaking about an expected life span for individual humans. This is so because for the next 3,000 years, every death age given for any individual far exceeds 120 years. Furthermore, the only expected life span given in the Bible for anyone of the human race is found in Psalm 90:10:

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Therefore, we can be certain that the 120 years does not identify in any way with the expected life spans of mankind at any time in history. But the 120 years does appear to relate to those living at the time this prophecy was given. That is, it seems to be a warning to the pre-Flood people that in 120 years, they would die under God’s judgment. There is a huge likelihood that this 120 years given in Genesis 6:3 is the period of time between the giving of the warning and the time of the Universal Flood. The Flood did occur in the year 4990 B.C. Thus, the prophecy of 120 years would have been given 120 years earlier, in the year 5110 B.C.

The giving of this warning meant that for the next 120 years, Noah was engaged in two important tasks. One was that of building a huge boat (ark) which was to be at least 450 feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high with three decks (Genesis 6:15-16). The second task was to warn the peoples of the world of that day of the impending judgment they were facing. We read in Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
 

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In I Peter 3:19-20 the Bible declares:

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

For 120 years, the peoples of that world witnessed this
preacher and his family building this
huge boat on dry ground.

Further, in II Peter 2:5 the Bible reports that God “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.” For 120 years, the peoples of that world witnessed this preacher and his family building this huge boat on dry ground. We can speculate that they believed he was crazy, that he was completely and hopelessly out of his mind. Yet by his preaching and by his continuing action of building this huge vessel, he was constantly warning the world of that day that God’s judgment was about to fall.

Then the 120 years came to an end. The building of the ark had been completed. Now every kind of animal and bird began to gather near the ark. And then for seven days, a male and a female of each of these animals and birds entered the ark, and seven pairs of a few kinds of animals, like sheep, goats, cows, doves, and pigeons, were brought in to the ark. Certainly, we can assume that the people watched in astonishment. Yet no one except Noah’s three sons, their wives, and Noah’s own wife believed Noah’s warning that judgment was about to fall. How could the world be destroyed by a flood of waters? Where would the water come from? But it did come. The Bible declares in Genesis 7:10-12:

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 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. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

At the end of the seven days, all of the animals and the family of Noah were secure in the ark, “and the Lord shut him in” (Genesis 7:16). And then  

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the rain began to fall. For forty days and forty nights, it rained. So much water inundated the earth, as the water poured out from great underground reservoirs as well as from the sky, that at the end of the forty days and forty nights, the highest mountains of that day were covered by water.1 We read in Genesis 7:21- 23:

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Following the forty days and forty nights of rain, the waters began to recede. The land areas were thrust upward and the ocean basins were deepened (Psalm 104:5-9). Many animals were trapped in huge mud floes that later hardened into sedimentary rock. The great pressures that were generated caused their bones to fossilize.

Today, the many fossils that are found give mute testimony to the reality of this gigantic Flood. They not only tell us that such a flood did occur, but they also give us some idea of the kinds of animals that existed on the earth during the 6,023 years from Creation until the Flood.

Indeed, God very methodically and very
deliberately had carried out His purposes.

Indeed, God very methodically and very deliberately had carried out His purposes. For 120 years He had been warning the world through Noah, who was a preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5), that judgment on the earth would come. Not only did God tell the world how it would come, but we can understand from


1 We can speculate that in all probability, God guided our solar system in the direction of one of the deep space rain clouds that normally exist well away from our immediate planetary system (see Adam When?, pp. 182-186, 241-243). It would appear that it took 40 days to pass through it. The evidence of this can be seen today as scientists find evidence of much water having been on our moon and on the planets of our solar system.  

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the citation of Genesis 6:3 (in which the 120-year warning is given), that in all likelihood, He told them the year in which it would come.

Another warning concerning God’s coming wrath at the end of time was actually given much earlier than even the time of Noah. We read about the preacher named Enoch who was born in the year 7106 B.C., and in the New Testament Book of Jude, God tells us what he preached. We read in Jude 14-15:

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.

We will learn as we continue to study the Bible regarding the history of the world that even as God gave adequate warning of the terrible Flood of Noah’s day, so too, God has given adequate warning of the Judgment Day that in all likelihood, is coming very soon. These facts of history are absolutely true and trustworthy. God has given us this information so that we can be put on notice that any warnings by God had better not be ignored. God absolutely will bring to pass what He declares.

The Biblical Timeline After the Flood

More than a year passes. Noah and his family have been in the ark 370 days. They entered the ark on the seventeenth day of the second month of Noah’s 600th year (Genesis 7:11). It appears that at that time in history, a month was thirty days. We know this because we read in Genesis 8:3-4:

And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

God is indicating that there were 150 days from the seventeenth day of the second month, the day the Flood began, to the seventeenth day of the seventh month. One hundred fifty days thus equals five months of thirty days. While the year in actuality had to be the same length as our year, that is, 365.2422 days, God does not tell us how they took care of this insofar as their calendars were concerned. Possibly, every six years they observed a thirteen-month year. In our  

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modern calendar, for example, every four years we add an extra day to keep as close as possible to the actual year of 365.2422 days.

In Genesis 8:14-16 we read:

And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

From this information we know that Noah was in the ark exactly 370 days. Later in our study, we will see the importance of the number 370.

But then the world began afresh. The only humans on the whole earth in the year 4989 B.C. were Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their sons’ respective wives. The human race, as it were, began all over again.

Because of the great climatic changes that resulted from this giant Flood (see Adam When?, pp. 186-197), many of the animals became extinct. The only notice that we have of the previous existence of those species is in the fossil record. The birds and animals that are presently in the world survived and continued to propagate to the present day.

The Pre-Flood Spiritual Condition

We should now examine the spiritual condition of the world at the time this terrible Flood destroyed the earth. The first indication of the sinful condition of the world is given in Genesis 6:2 where we read:

That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

The teaching of the Bible here in Genesis 6:2-4 has been misunderstood by many Bible teachers. Remember what God said in Romans 8:14:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The “sons of God” refers to the true believers. The “daughters of men” refers to the unsaved. The sin that God is emphasizing is that of a true believer becoming unequally joined (that is, married) to an unbeliever. Much later, God makes reference to this sinful practice, as the Bible declares in II Corinthians 6:14:  

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Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

The fact that there were many religious people in that day is suggested by the statement of Genesis 6:4 which indicates that the product of these mixed marriages were “mighty men . . . men of renown.” We read there:

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

The phrase “men of renown” literally is “men of the name,” that is, “men of the name of God.” It appears that these men were outstanding religious leaders who were identified with the name of God. They were also called “giants.” The Hebrew word translated “giants” is the word “nephilim.” The word “nephilim” is a plural word probably signifying “fallen ones.” It is derived from the Hebrew verb “naphal” which means “to fall.”

. . . at that time, there were many reputable religious teachers
and leaders, even as there are in our day.

Integrating the words “giants” (nephilim), mighty, and men of renown (men of the name), we can conclude that the Bible reveals that at that time, there were many reputable religious teachers and leaders, even as there are in our day. But these apparently spiritually important men who identified with the name of God had fallen. They were under the wrath of God. We know that this is so because they all perished in the judgment of the Flood.

Genesis 6:4 declares, “There were giants [nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that . . . .” The phrase “also after that” teaches us that the same spiritual condition that prevailed just before the Flood would continue after the Flood. As we continue to study the Biblical Calendar of History, we will learn that this sad condition of highly touted religious leaders who had spiritually fallen (becoming nephilim) did continue. Indeed, this sad condition is also everywhere present in our day, at this time of history!

We have, therefore, learned that God’s wrath that brought about the ruin of the whole earth by the waters of the Flood was not only upon the wicked who  

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had little knowledge of God. Additionally, it was in a more particular way focused upon those who claimed a true relationship with God. Judgment came because of the wickedness of those who thought they were God’s people, mighty men of the name. The focus was not first of all upon Cain’s line, which was the line of those who made no claim that they worshipped the God of the Bible, it was on those who claimed to be believers in Jehovah the true God.

Nevertheless, God had in view the wickedness of all mankind. Genesis 6:5-7 reports:

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

God repented and was grieved. Normally, the word “repentance” is identified with repentance from sin. The sinner repents by turning from sin. God cannot repent from sin because He has no sin and cannot sin. Actually, the context of Genesis Chapter 6 reveals the grief of God in that He must carry out His decree that rebellion against Him must be punished. The Hebrew word that is translated “repentance” is also translated “comfort” (see, for example, Psalm 23:4 and Isaiah 40:1-2). Therefore, it is a word of strong emotion that signifies God’s grief over man’s sin. God must carry out the demands of God’s Law that call for the punishment of the sinner. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11).

No Surprise to the Remnant

Another fact that we should note is that while the whole world of that day was devastated, there was a remnant of people who were altogether protected from this terrible judgment. We read in Genesis 6:8:

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

The word “grace” indicates the gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8). Noah and the other seven people on the ark, the only true believers at that time, were a tiny remnant of the population. Later in our study, we will take note of the fact that at the end of the world, when the time of the final  

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judgment has come, there also will be a remnant chosen by grace who will not come into judgment.

As we look carefully at this cataclysmic event that occurred about 7,000 years ago, we must recognize that God did not spring a surprise on the world of that day. Let us follow God’s warnings to the people of that time.

We learned that Noah was a preacher (II Peter 2:5), and that 120 years before the Flood, God told him that man’s days would be 120 years. Genesis 6:3 records:

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

We learned earlier that these 120 years must be the time that was given to Noah to build this huge craft, called an ark in the Bible, whereby he, together with his family and representatives of all the animals of the world, would survive the monstrous Flood that would completely devastate the world. This period of time, given to Noah and his family for the construction of this tremendous boat, would have given him, as a “preacher of righteousness,” ample opportunity to warn the world of the certainty and the timing of this terrible judgment of God. The drama would have become more intense as the world of that day witnessed the assembling together of the animals and the finishing touches being put on the ark in accord with the timetable when Noah preached.

And then God gave a timetable that revealed the very day that God’s judgment would fall. Genesis 7:1-4 tells us:

And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

The whole world of that day had opportunity to witness what was occurring during these final seven days. And then the Bible declares in Genesis 7:11:  

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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.

Verse 13 and verse 16 add:

In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

Surely, we must clearly recognize that this awful catastrophe should not have come as a surprise. One hundred twenty years earlier, the year of destruction was predicted. Furthermore, the building of the ark would have kept the warning of impending judgment before the eyes of the world. And finally, the very day of the Flood was announced. AND EVERYTHING TOOK PLACE PRECISELY AS IT HAD BEEN PROPHESIED.

This milestone, the year 4990 B.C., when God brought His judgment upon the world in the days of Noah, is of tremendous importance. One reason this is so is because the Bible uses it to point us to another worldwide judgment that must still take place. God speaks of a day when this whole world will be destroyed by fire. We read in II Peter 3:3-7, 10-13:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the

 

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elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

This awful destruction will occur when time has come to an end, when God’s salvation program has been completed. When we come to the end of our study of the Biblical Calendar of History (remembering that this calendar is governed by the unfolding of God’s salvation plan), we will learn about many parallels between the devastation of the world by the Flood of Noah’s day and the destruction of the universe at the end of time.

Suffice it to say now that all those who perished in the Universal Flood were dumbfounded when the Flood came (Matthew 24:37-39). They were surprised because none of them believed the Flood would really happen.

Today, we are near the end of time. At the coming of the Lord, those who have not believed the warnings of impending judgment also will be surprised because they have not believed the truth. That day will come upon them as a thief in the night, and they, too, will perish (I Thessalonians 5:1-5).

Before we leave the discussion of the Noachian Flood, we must take note of an event that is just being reported in various scientific magazines. It is an event we must look at very carefully because it definitely relates to this study.

Pre-Flood Humans

Parts of the broken bodies of seven adult humans were recently found buried under eighteen to twenty feet of water-laden sediment in a cave named Liang Bua, located 500 meters (about 1,640 feet) above sea level in Indonesia. In one case, the bones were almost sufficient for a complete skeleton, that of a woman who appeared to be about thirty years of age. The skeletal remains were not fossilized although the bones had a consistency that was described as wet blotting paper, the result of age and damp conditions. The absolutely remarkable fact is that these were skeletal remains of people who at adulthood were only about three feet tall.  

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The absolutely remarkable fact is that
these were skeletal remains of people who at adulthood
were only about three feet tall.

There was no evidence that these body parts were prepared for burial; that is, this cave did not in any way appear to be a burial site. The sediment consisted of water-deposited silt and clay combined with layers of volcanic ash. Mixed in with the sediment were many stone tools and bones of various animals. Some of the bones were charred, suggesting that cooking was done in the cave.

The dating of the various datable objects suggested that the time of their origin was between 13,000 and 95,000 years ago. The evidence fits the conclusion that some kind of massive disaster suddenly killed all of the inhabitants of the cave, where they were deeply interred until now. Immediately, we should ask a number of questions, such as the following:

  1. How could the Liang Bua cave suddenly have been filled with waterladen sediment when the cave is 500 meters (about 1,640 feet), above sea level?
  2. How did the layers of volcanic ash get mixed in with the layers of sediment?
  3. Who were these people who, when fully grown, were only three feet tall?
  4. What disaster destroyed all the people in this cave?

The Bible Answers

Very significantly, the Bible can answer our questions. We will discover that this disaster identifies very well with the Biblical account of the Noachian Flood that completely destroyed the world about 7,000 years ago. At the same time, it will help us to further understand some of the language of the Bible. In the account of the Flood of Noah’s day, recorded in the sixth, seventh, and eighth chapters of Genesis, the Biblical language we should particularly examine is that of Genesis 6:4 which speaks of giants.  

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Earlier in this study, we learned that just before the Flood of Noah’s day, “There were giants [Hebrew nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that . . .” (Genesis 6:4). The Bible is its own dictionary so we can learn the meaning of words used in the Bible by seeing how they are used elsewhere in the Bible. When we carefully studied this passage, we learned that spiritually, it refers to the spiritual leaders of that day who had come under the wrath of God, that is, they had become very sinful. We also learned that the phrase “and also after that” emphasizes that, after the Flood, as the human race would again multiply upon the earth, the potential for spiritual leaders to fall into sin would continue throughout time.

However, we must also look at Genesis 6:4 as possibly setting forth a historical physical fact. Therefore, we must carefully search the Bible to help us to know what we can about these words in their physical, historical teaching.

The only other place in the Bible where the Hebrew word “nephilim” can be found is in Numbers 13:33:

And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants [Hebrew nephilim]: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

In this verse, God appears to use the word “giant” (Hebrew nephilim) to describe individuals of great physical stature. Indeed, in the early days of the nation of Israel, literal, physical giants — men of great size — did live in the land of Israel. This is attested to by several Biblical verses. For example, we read in Deuteronomy 2:10-11 and 20-21:

The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.

That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims; a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead.

To give us an idea of the physical size of these giants, God gives us two citations. In Deuteronomy 3:11, we read:

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath
 

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of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.

A bedstead nine cubits in length and four cubits in width equals a bed thirteen and one-half feet long and six feet wide. Therefore, this king must have been more than ten feet tall.

Therefore, this king must have been more than ten feet tall.

In I Samuel 17:4, we read of Goliath, the giant that David killed:

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

Six cubits and a span is almost ten feet in height. Goliath, too, was a huge man.

Thus, when God is speaking of giants, in a physical sense, He is speaking of very big people who were about twice as tall as, and therefore huge compared with, the average person.

Incidentally, King Og and Goliath did not become giants because they lived in isolation on a small island or because they developed great size over a long period of time during which each generation became bigger than the previous generation. God is simply teaching that, as He controls the affairs of the world, for His own purposes, He can cause babies to be born who will become far bigger (yes, even giants) than their parents.

For example, in the days of Goliath, the giant killed by David, the Bible appears to teach that there was only one family that was looked upon as giants. We read in II Samuel 21:18-22:

And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant. And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.
 

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And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea the brother of David slew him. These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

A Giant is Nearly Twice as Tall as Average People

The average height of people after the Flood was probably a little more than five feet. A man like Goliath was almost twice as tall and was called a giant. With this in mind, when we consider that before the Noachian Flood, people about three feet tall were possibly very common, then the people who came after the Flood, and who were almost twice as tall, would be qualified to be called giants.

The question is, when we read Genesis 6:4, where God says, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that,” is He speaking in the historical physical sense of men like Goliath or King Og? Or is God speaking of the whole post-Flood human race whose average stature is more than five feet, and, therefore, qualify as giants when compared with humans before the Flood whose average stature may have been only three feet?

The King Og giants became extinct and the Goliath giants appeared to be confined to one family whose sons were killed. Their families do not appear to be in view in the statement of Genesis 6:4. It appears that many pre-Flood people averaged about three feet in height. Therefore, the giants spoken of in Genesis 6:4 must refer to a number of the pre-Flood people who were much taller than three feet. Some of the taller individuals must have lived after the Flood to become progenitors of the post-Flood people.

That brings us back to the archaeological discovery of the disaster that occurred in the Liang Bua cave in Indonesia. The finding of the bones of seven individuals which identify with humans who were three feet tall at maturity suggests very strongly that the pre-Noachian Flood population possibly consisted of many small people.

Thus, when the Bible stipulates, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that,” God must be implying that Noah and his sons were giants compared with most pre-Flood people. They were the only survivors of the Flood. They were the progenitors of the whole human race following the Flood. And the average height of the human race following the Flood was much taller than three feet. Therefore, they must have been considered giants compared with the average pre-Flood human. Only through the descendants of Noah could “giants” continue after the Flood.

This conclusion concerning the giants of Genesis 6:4 appears to receive strong support by the recent archaeological discovery in the Liang Bua cave in Indonesia. Moreover, the Bible provides answers to the questions we raised  

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earlier concerning this discovery. Let us continue to utilize the Bible as we seek the answers to our questions.

The Noachian Flood Provides The Answers

We have learned in this study that about 7,000 years ago (4990 B.C.), the entire world was destroyed by the Noachian Flood. The Bible reports in Genesis 7:11-12 and 19-20:

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. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

At that momentous time in history, about 7,000 years ago, in a cave in Indonesia, now called the Liang Bua cave, a number of very small people lived. In size, they possibly were typical of many of the people who were living anywhere in the world of that day.

Then disaster struck. In minutes, the cave filled with water and sediment. After forty days, the cave was hundreds of feet under water. It was a catastrophe a million times worse than any tsunami. The inhabitants in the cave together with every object in the cave were buried under layers of silt. The only people in the whole world who were still alive were those in the ark with Noah.

But! Have we not forgotten something? The dates of the objects in the cave indicates an event that occurred 13,000 to 95,000 years ago. The Bible says the Flood was about 7,000 years ago. How can these discrepancies be reconciled?

At this point, an examination of some scientific data may be helpful. First of all, the fact that in this cave there were age differences of 13,000 to 95,000 years indicates there was a great amount of contamination of the specimens. Since, in all likelihood, all of the living things in the cave died simultaneously, they should all show the same C14 age. The potential for contamination was very evident by the condition of the skeletal remains. It was reported that the bones had a consistency that was described as wet blotting paper, the result of age and damp conditions.  

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Moreover, the benchmark age was 12,000-13,000 years. This would result from testing objects that had the highest percentage of the C14 isotope. In this cave, there was no apparent possibility of objects becoming contaminated because of excess C14. However, it is apparent the cave was ravaged by waters resulting from volcanic activity. Since the C14 isotope is formed by cosmic ray activity, underground water, unless it is fed by surface springs, would have little or no C14. Therefore, if the cave was flooded by underground water as the fountains of the deep were broken up (Genesis 7:11) (water with little or no C14), the objects within the cave could readily show excessive age as they were contaminated by this underground water. Secondly, we should briefly consider the nature of C14 date testing.

Carbon — A Radioactive Timepiece

Within the last several decades, scientists have discovered this fascinating and apparently reliable tool for dating organisms that have died during the last several millennia. Natural carbon occurs in several isotopes, the most plentiful of which is C12. It is found especially as the carbon in carbon dioxide of the air we breathe and as the dissolved carbonates in ocean water, as well as carbon found in fossil fuels and sedimentary rock carbonates. While C12 is stable, the carbon isotope C14 disintegrates into C12 with a half life of 5,730 years. Wherever C12 is found in living organisms, C14 atoms can be found with it in about the same proportion as it occurs worldwide, dissolved in the ocean, in living organisms, in the biosphere, and in the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere.

At the moment of the death of any living organism (tree, bone, etc.), the C14 atoms begin to disintegrate at a constant rate so that 5,730 years later only one half of the C14 atoms remain. Assuming that the C14 inventory at the time of the death of the organism was the same as it is at the time the organism is being tested, and assuming the C12 worldwide inventory has not changed, it is possible to determine with some accuracy the age of the specimen being tested.

It must be remembered, however, that the C14 isotope is produced by the action of cosmic ray activity. Cosmic rays are formed from energy sources such as the sun, stars, and possibly super nova explosions. Thus, at the beginning of time (11,013 B.C.), when the light bearers were created, there was little or no C14.

If we assume that ever since Creation, C14 has been added to the worldwide inventory (that is, all of the C14 isotopes wherever they exist in the entire world) at a constant rate, then at the time of the Noachian Flood, which occurred about 6,000 years after Creation, there would have been less than half the amount of C14 in the worldwide inventory than exists today.  

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Let us now suppose a specimen died 6,000 years after Creation. During the 7,000 years following the death of this specimen, a little more than half of the C14 that was present in the specimen, when it died 7,000 years earlier, would have disintegrated. At the same time, the worldwide inventory of C14 would have more than doubled by the time this specimen was tested. Thus, if it were tested 7,000 years after it died, it would have less than 25% of the C14 that is present in the world at the time it was tested.

On the other hand, if the specimen that died 7,000 years ago is tested today, assuming the C14 worldwide inventory at the time of the death of the specimen was the same as it is today (which is not true), and assuming the worldwide C12 inventory remained constant, the specimen would appear to be about 6,000 years older than it actually is.

This assumption of a constant worldwide inventory of C14 is the assumption that is made that resulted in a minimum C14 age of the objects in the Liang Bua cave to be 13,000 years. Therefore, we must understand that the actual age has to be about 6,000 years less than the 13,000 years reported. This is so because the worldwide C14 inventory at the time of the cave disaster was on the order of less than half of what it is today.

Simply stated, because 7,000 years ago, the worldwide C14 inventory was much less than it is today, a specimen that died 7,000 years ago, today would show a C14 age of about 13,000 years.

This revised age of 13,000 years minus 6,000 years agrees perfectly with the date of the Noachian Flood which the Bible shows conclusively to be 4990 B.C. Thus, this disaster that occurred in the Liang Bua cave closely fits the Biblical account and also assists us in understanding the Biblical account.

  1. As we have learned, the time of this disaster fits the Biblical Calendar date of 4990 B.C.
  2. The size of the humans within the cave agrees with the Biblical statement that “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that” (Genesis 6:4a). The post-Flood population beginning with Noah and his family are giants compared with the pre-Flood population who on the average possibly would have been the size of the occupants of the Liang Bua cave.
  3. A cave 500 meters (about 1,640 feet) above sea level obviously would have been filled with water and sediment because the Flood
 

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    waters covered the highest mountain. The Bible reports that the Flood waters rose fifteen cubits above the highest mountains of that day (Genesis 7:20).
  1. 4. The volcanic ash layered in the sediments agrees with the Biblical statement that “. . . the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up. . .” (Genesis 7:11).
  2. 5. The finding of parts of broken bodies of seven humans scattered in the layers of sediment accords with a massive flood disaster.

It might be added that no scientist will accept this analysis unless he is ready to accept the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. On the other hand, without the Bible’s help, there is no possibility that any scientist will be able to come up with a rational and complete explanation for this very outstanding and unusual discovery of the disaster in the Liang Bua cave.

Leprechauns and Elves

Before we finish this analysis of the Liang Bua cave disaster, we should take note of one additional thought. Repeatedly, we hear fanciful stories of leprechauns and elves, and in Indonesian and Malay folklore, of Ebu Gogo and Orang Pendek. These mythical stories describe very small humans who apparently have appeared in many countries of the world. I believe these stories are developed because it would appear that at various times during the 7,000 years following the Flood, skeletal remains of pre-Flood individuals who died in the Noachian Flood were unearthed. Because of the tiny size of these individuals, fanciful imaginative stories were developed concerning them.

In other words, the stories of elves and Ebu Gogo have a basis in fact, namely, that remains of these very small people have now been unearthed in the Liang Bua cave. However, there is absolutely no reason to believe that any of these small people are alive today or have lived at any time following the Flood.

Does the finding of these skeletal remains, with various implements made of stone, suggest that all those who lived before the Flood were Stone Age people?

It is very interesting that in the years before the Noachian Flood, there appears to have been a situation that is parallel to that which exists today.

In the world today, most people live as a civilized society with all of its benefits. However, within the last fifty years, pockets of Stone Age people have been discovered in the jungles of countries such as Indonesia and Brazil. These  

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Stone Age people of our day appear to be as primitive and uncivilized as those inhabitants whose remains were found in the Liang Bua cave, and yet, they are no less intelligent than average people of civilized society.

The Bible instructs us that the peoples who lived before the Noachian Flood were highly civilized. More than 5,000 years before the Flood, the Bible reports that Cain, the first son of our first parents, Adam and Eve, built a city (Genesis 4:17). A descendant of Cain, named Tubal-cain, was “an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron” (Genesis 4:22). A brother of Tubal-cain, named Jubal, “was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ” (Genesis 4:21).

Noah himself was able to design and build a huge boat that was at least 450 feet long and seventy-five feet wide with three decks. It would have required much of the same expertise that was evident in the design and construction of the wood portion of a building such as Solomon’s temple. However, even as there are in our day, pockets of Stone Age people could have existed in Noah’s day. Many of them would have lived in caves as is the case of some primitive cultures of our day.

When the enormous Noachian Flood waters enveloped the earth 7,000 years ago, all the people who lived in cities, in farm houses, etc., were completely destroyed. No trace of them would have been found. But Stone Age people who lived in caves were also ravaged by the enormous Flood. Those who were in the caves would have been trapped in those caves, and their skeletal remains would have stayed in the caves — under many layers of sediment — just as the skeletal remains in the Liang Bua cave were covered with about eighteen feet of sediment.

Thus, if any more skeletal remains of people who perished in the Noachian Flood are found, we expect that they most likely will be found in caves. We may also expect that Stone Age implements would be found in the same caves. Indeed, the discovery of skeletal remains of seven pre-Flood people in the Liang Bua cave fits perfectly with the Biblical account.

For additional information, the reader is invited to research the following: “Archaeology and Age of a New Hominin from Flores in Eastern Indonesia.”

M. J. Morwood et al., in Nature, Vol. 431, pages 1087-1091; October 28, 2004.

“A New Small-Bodied Hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia.” P. Brown et al., in Nature, Vol. 431, pages 1055-1061; October 28, 2004.  

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“The Littlest Human.” Kate Wong in Scientific American, pages 56- 65; February, 2005.

Adam When? Second Printing, 2000. Available free of charge from Family Radio. “Earth’s Radiocarbon Timepiece,” pages 160-186.

After the Flood

But now we should continue our study of the Biblical Calendar of History. We must learn what happened to the world and its inhabitants immediately following the tremendous Flood of Noah’s day.

Thus far, we have followed the timeline of history from the creation year of 11,013 B.C. to the Flood of Noah’s day in 4990 B.C. We have learned that with the exception of Noah, his wife, and their three sons, together with their respective wives, the entire human race perished in the Flood.

Thus, in the beginning, even as God designed the human race and began with one family, that of Adam, so too, after the Flood, God began with one family, that of Noah. Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah, became the progenitors of all the peoples of the world.

From the Biblical account we can know that the descendants of Noah settled in the part of the world that later became known as Babylon. We read in Genesis 11:1-8:

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
 

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God created man to serve Him. However, because of sin,
mankind would rather serve himself.

God created man to serve Him. However, because of sin, mankind would rather serve himself. Thus, as sin became greatly in evidence soon after the Flood, it showed that mankind was not serving God. Fact is, as Chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis set forth the development of the nations that began with the three sons of Noah, we find no Biblical record of anyone who became a true believer. This was a period of nearly 3,000 years that passed from the time of Noah to the time of a man named Abram who was born in the year 2167 B.C. What’s more, even as we read Genesis 11:1-8 (quoted above), mankind believed they could find their own way to heaven. This will be further developed later in our study.

The Earth is Divided

In Genesis Chapters 10 and 11, God records two cataclysmic events that occurred probably about 2,000 years after the Flood. The first of these events is recorded in Genesis 10:25:

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.

An understanding of this simple citation is not developed in the Bible. However, the Scriptures do give accurate information concerning the dates of Peleg’s life. Earlier in our study, we learned that Peleg was a Calendar Patriarch during his lifetime. He was born in the year 3153 B.C. and died in the year 2914 B.C.

However, in the year 3114 B.C., when Peleg was thirty-nine years of age, a cataclysmic event must have occurred. To learn about this, we will look briefly at the secular evidence.

Scientists have long theorized that at a time in the world’s history, there existed just one great continent instead of the various smaller continents that exist today. It can be shown, for example, that if the edge of the South American continent is pushed against the continent of Africa, a very close fit would result. Secular scientists conclude that perhaps 150 million years ago, there existed only one continent, but over this eon of 150 million years, that original continent split and slowly moved over the ocean floor to produce the presently existing  

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continents. The Biblical record of course makes the concept of 150 million years completely invalid. This continental split must have occurred in the days of Peleg because the Bible declares that “in his days was the earth divided” (Genesis 10:25).

An interesting time correlation is found in secular records in connection with the Maya civilization that existed hundreds of years ago in Central America. Dr. Howard LaFay wrote in “National Geographic Magazine”:

. . . the Maya practiced an astronomy so precise that their ancient calendar was as accurate as the one we employ today; they plotted the courses of celestial bodies, and to the awe of the faithful, their priests predicted both solar and lunar eclipses. They calculated the path of Venus – an elusive planet that is by turn a morning and evening star – with an error of only fourteen seconds a year. The Maya originated a complex system of writing and pioneered the mathematical concept of zero.2

The Maya produced square or rectangular elements called glyph blocks, which made up separate units of an inscription. These inscriptions were frequently calendars and were found on stelae and monumental buildings such as temples. Archaeologists have correlated the Maya calendar with our calendar to the extent that precise dates recorded in the Maya writings can be expressed in terms of our calendar. The curious thing is that these calendars frequently included a foundation date.

Dr. George E. Stuart writes:

. . . the beginning of the Maya calendar [is] a date that most Mayanists agree corresponds to our own August 11, 3114 B.C. What, one can only wonder, was the high significance of that day, long before Maya history began? 3

Archaeologists who study the ancient civilization of Maya puzzle about the date 3114 B.C., but the Bible gives the answer. Significantly, as we noted above, the Bible indicates that Peleg’s period was from 3153 B.C. to 2914 B.C., so that Peleg would have been thirty-nine years of age in the year 3114 B.C., the beginning year of the Maya calendar. The Bible records that it was during Peleg’s period that the earth was divided. The division of the continents occurred, therefore, in all likelihood, during Peleg’s lifetime.


2 Dr. Howard LaFay, "The Maya, Children of Time," in National Geographic Magazine, December, 1976, p. 729.

3 Dr. George E. Stuart, "The Maya Riddle of the Glyphs," in National Geographic Magazine, December, 1976, p. 779.  

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Most people of that day would have gathered in one part of the huge continent that existed until the time of Peleg; however, some nomadic individuals such as the Maya would no doubt have lived in other parts of the original continent such as that part which became Central America.

This was a gigantic event. The division of the original continent was equivalent to the beginning of time for these nomads! The awful event of part of the continent splitting off and moving across the ocean floor and the resultant mountain building must have been absolutely astounding and catastrophic to the progenitors of the Maya people. It is not surprising that in their calendar they used this event as a fixture for their foundation date. Even more so, it is not surprising that that date precisely equates with the Biblical statement that in the days of Peleg the earth was divided.

The Earth’s Language is Confused

But there was another very significant event that also probably occurred about the same time. Earlier we quoted Genesis 11:1-8. In that citation, God teaches that there was also another dramatic division. Remember we read that God declared in verse 7, “let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

But there was an enormous problem in the world of that day.

Now God obviously was not finding fault with the speech of the people. The three sons of Noah, whom God saved from the Universal Flood’s destruction, all spoke the same language. But there was an enormous problem in the world of that day. The problem was that of sin. As the population of the world grew, even as we have noted, mankind found strength in unity, so much so that they even thought that they could develop their own salvation program. They found in the world of their day a location that would eventually become the location of the nation of Babylon. They believed this location could be central to all the peoples of the world. There they built a great tower which would be the centerpoint of worship as they designed their own religion.

This was the circumstance that God used to initiate the beginning of the various languages of the world. At the tower of Babel, God confused the one uniform language of that day so that it became many languages. Those who began to speak in the Chinese language moved in one direction, those who spoke Latin in another, etc.  

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This dramatic event probably would have produced the invention of writing. Before the confusion of the languages, the need to write was not nearly as great as when mankind suddenly discovered they could no longer understand each other. Significantly, the very earliest and most primitive writings, according to the secular record, date back to about 3200 B.C.-3000 B.C. Thus, there is an interesting correlation between the earth being divided in Peleg’s generation (3153 B.C.-2914 B.C.), the advent of disparate languages, and the earliest beginnings of writing. In all likelihood, these events occurred very close in time to each other.

Thus, a written record began to be produced beginning about 3000 B.C. In a number of instances, the secular record written during the period from 3000 B.C. to the time of Christ speaks of events also spoken of in the Bible. In each instance, however, whenever there appears to be a discrepancy between the two records, we can know that the Biblical record is the accurate record because it is the Word of God.

Only the Bible can be trusted concerning the truth of history,
including the history of these very early years.

During the approximately 3,000 years that came immediately after the Universal Flood, the Gospel was not altogether absent from the world. Even the secular archaeological evidence shows that there was an awareness of the God of the Bible as testified by ancient writings and petroglyphs depicting Creation or the Flood. However, each and every one of these ancient accounts severely corrupted the true history of these dramatic historical events. Only the Bible can be trusted concerning the truth of history, including the history of these very early years.

The archaeological evidences of ancient idol worship and sacrifices indicate that these people knew they were accountable to a Supreme Being. The evidences of sacrifices, even human sacrifices, give mute testimony to the fact that religion was not absent from them.

But even though all this activity was going on during the first 3,000 years after the Flood of 4990 B.C., there were not many genuine believers, those who trusted in the God of the Bible. We do read in the Book of Job of a few true believers who may have lived about 2,000 years before Christ, but aside from that one exception, the Bible speaks of only one household in which there were true believers, and moreover, even in that family, the father of the family, a man named Terah, served other gods (Joshua 24:2, 15).  

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Because mankind is created in the image of God, to some degree, the Laws of God are written on every person’s heart. Thus, intuitively, these ancient peoples knew they had to come to be at peace with God. But they wanted their own religion through which they believed they could become accepted by God. We will learn in this study that the thinking of these ancient peoples was essentially no different from that of the peoples of our present day.

However, in spite of the natural tendency for mankind to design their own religion, God’s salvation plan would be unfolded and would proceed even though mankind continues in great rebellion against God.

. . . wickedness increases for a period of time
and then God brings judgment.

We observe (and the Bible records these historical events so that we may learn from them), that wickedness increases for a period of time and then God brings judgment. The result is the pouring out of God’s wrath upon all of the human race except for a small remnant through whom God begins again to build a name for Himself.

Interestingly, we note that in each of these instances, the people upon whom God focuses our attention are the religious. As our study continues, the Bible will again bring this pattern to our attention. (See the following chart.)  

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The Degeneration The Focus The Judgments The New Beginning
Adam and Eve sin (Genesis 3:1-7) Focus is on wanting to be “gods” or “wise” (Genesis 3:6) Driven out of Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24) God begins again with Seth (Genesis 4:25-26)
increases Wickedness (Genesis 6:5) Focus is on the “sons of God” and “men renown” (Genesis 6:2-4) The Flood (Genesis 7:17-23) God begins again with Noah and his family; they of were the only ones saved from the Flood (Genesis 6:17-18; 7:23b; 8:20-9:3, 8-17)
Wickedness increases (Genesis 11:6) want to make and builds Focus is on those who a name for a nation themselves and build a tower to “reach to heaven” (Genesis 11:4) Confusion of languages (Genesis 11:5-9) God begins again with Abram and (Genesis 12:1-3)
Now we will look at the family of Terah who was the father of Abraham. It was through this family that God’s salvation plan would continue to unfold.

2092 B.C. God Begins Again with Abraham

Terah lived in Ur of the Chaldees so we could identify him with very ancient Babylon. The words “Chaldees” and “Babylon” are virtually synonymous in the Bible. While Terah himself worshiped both the true God and false gods, his three sons, Abram, Nahor, and Haran, appear to have been worshipers of the true God. It was with Abram (later God changed his name to Abraham) that God in a very definite way brought His plan of salvation into clearer focus. This focus was on a family and on a land. The family was that of  

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Abram. The land was the land of Canaan that was located hundreds of miles distant from Ur of the Chaldees.

In obedience to God’s command, at the age of seventy-five, in the year 2092 B.C., Abram, his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot, arrived in the land of Canaan as total strangers. There God gave Abram promises that involved and structured the unfolding of God’s salvation plan all the way to the end of the world.

Abram would be the head, the beginning, of a special nation that would be formed to represent, in an external way, the kingdom of God. Later, it was called the nation of Israel.

Abram was called out of an unsaved heathen world. He was called by God to come out of the most visible representation of the nations of the world that had begun to form, beginning about 1,000 years earlier. That nation was Babylon, which was the only nation that existed prior to the tower of Babel (Genesis Chapter 11) and the division of the continents (Genesis 10:25). Great nations like Egypt and China came into existence following the tower of Babel.

. . . the world had again become as wicked
as it was before the Flood.

Abram’s father, Terah, was an unbeliever. Furthermore, the Bible does not make us aware of any other individuals or peoples (except perhaps Abram’s relatives in the small country of Haran, see Genesis 24:1-51; 28:1-7; 29:1-14) as having any interest in Jehovah God. This suggests very strongly that after the 3,000 years that had passed since the Flood, the world had again become as wicked as it was before the Flood. However, the fact that Abram and probably a few of his close relatives were true believers indicates that the Gospel was still in evidence in the world.

At the same time Abram was called out of Ur of the Chaldees (the country of Babylon), God designated a piece of land located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to be a physical, external representation of the kingdom of God. It was the land of Canaan that later was called the land of Israel or Palestine.

At the time Abram came to the land of Canaan, it was occupied by a number of small city nations, none of which served Jehovah God, the God of the Bible. The wickedness found in them was probably typical of the wickedness that could be found in all the nations of the world at that time in history.

As God developed the timeline of His salvation plan, the day would come when He would bring judgment on these nations in the land of Canaan. As we will learn later in our study, God would begin with judgment on the four cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim (Deuteronomy 29:23); then hundreds of  

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years later, His judgment would fall on the rest of the cities of the land of Canaan. It was to this land of Canaan (also called the land of the Amorites) that God called Abram, and to which Abram, his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot came in the year 2092 B.C.

At the beginning of time, our first parents Adam and Eve (the only people existing in the world at that time), became central in God’s timeline of history. As we have seen, slightly over 6,000 years later, Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives, became central in God’s unfolding salvation plan. They were the only people existing on planet Earth because the rest of the human race had been completely destroyed by the Flood that began in 4990 B.C. Now, in the year 2092 B.C., three people became central in God’s unfolding salvation plan, but they are called out of a world that already was producing great ancient nations like Babylon, Egypt, and China.

God made great promises to Abram that anticipated Christ coming as the Savior about 2,000 years later. These promises also anticipated the fact that, as a result of Christ’s coming, the Gospel would be sent into all of the nations of the world. For example, we read in Genesis 12:1-5:

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

In obedience to God’s command, Abram, together with his father Terah, had left Ur of the Chaldees and stopped in Haran on their way to the land of Canaan. In Haran, Terah died (at the age of 205 years). At that time, Abram was seventy-five years old, and his wife Sarai was sixty-five years of age.

Abram left Haran after his father’s death and came into the land of Canaan in the year 2092 B.C. There God gave him additional promises which are recorded in Genesis 12:7, where we read:  

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And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

This verse shows that God communicated with mankind very directly inasmuch as the Bible did not exist. God could take on the appearance of a human being and thus talk face to face with the one with whom He wished to communicate. It was possible that at other times He spoke to an individual in a dream or a vision or these individuals simply heard the audible voice of God.

As we have proven previously, today God speaks to mankind only by means of the Bible. Since every word and phrase in the Bible comes from the mouth of God, we can be certain when we are reading the Bible, that God Himself is speaking to us. Moreover, since the Bible is the whole Law of God today, we should know far more about God’s truth than individuals like Abram who lived before the Bible was written or before it was completed. What a marvelous blessing we enjoy today in that we have the entire Word of God!

Returning now to Abram, as we have indicated, the focus of God’s developing salvation plan was on the physical land of Canaan to which Abram came in the year 2092 B.C. However, this physical land of Canaan was not to be the eternal inheritance which God had promised because the Bible clearly teaches that this world, of which the physical land of Canaan is a part, will be entirely destroyed by fire at the time Jesus comes again on the last day (II Peter 3:10). The physical land of Canaan was used by God as a picture or visible representation of the eternal kingdom of God into which all true believers enter at the time they become saved.

At the end of time, when this present universe is
completely destroyed by fire, God will bring into existence
“new heavens and a new earth.”

At the end of time, when this present universe is completely destroyed by fire, God will bring into existence “new heavens and a new earth.” There all of those who have become saved, who have entered the kingdom of God, will live forever with the Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:13). That is the land represented or typified by the physical land of Canaan.

Thus, we see that when Abram and his family came into the land of Canaan in the year 2092 B.C., it was an exceedingly important milestone in the timeline of the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. It was a dramatic picture of  

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God’s salvation plan. All who become saved, like Abram coming out of Babylon and coming into Canaan, are called out of this world, which is ruled over by Satan, and are transferred into the kingdom of God. The Bible spiritually calls this world Babylon and the kingdom of God is called the land of Canaan.

Later in our study, we will learn that all of the local churches at this present time are also “Babylon” (Revelation 18:1-5) because at this time, Satan is ruling in them.

And that brings us to the next important milestone in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. It is the year 2068 B.C.

2068 B.C. God Reiterates His Promise to Abraham

We have learned how important the year 2092 B.C. was in God’s timeline of history. Abram, together with Sarai his wife, and his nephew Lot, had faithfully obeyed God’s command to leave their home in Ur of the Chaldees and take up residency in the strange land of Canaan. Remember, God had given Abram and Sarai wonderful promises of a progeny who would be a blessing to every nation (Genesis 12:2-3). However, there was one huge problem. After living twenty-four years as a stranger in the foreign land of Canaan, Abram and Sarai were still childless. By this time, Sarai had become eighty-nine years of age and was well beyond the age of childbearing. Humanly speaking, there was no longer the possibility of Abram and Sarai becoming the progenitors of many people.

However, it was in that year 2068 B.C. that several very important events occurred.

1. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (“a father of many nations,” Genesis 17:5), and He changed Sarai’s name to Sarah (“princess,” Genesis 17:15).

2. God appeared to Abraham and reiterated all of His promises concerning a multitudinous progeny who would inherit the land (the kingdom of God) as an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:6-8; Hebrews 11:8-16).

3. God promised Abraham and Sarah that one year later, Sarah would give birth to a son who was to be called Isaac (Genesis 17:19, 21; 21:1-3).

4. God utterly destroyed four cities, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim because of their wickedness (Genesis 19:24-25; Deuteronomy 29:23). Only Abraham’s nephew Lot and Lot’s two daughters were brought to safety.  

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5. God gave Abraham a sign that God’s Law (His covenant) would be carried out. The covenant decreed that through Isaac, all of God’s promises would be fulfilled. The sign that God gave was that of circumcision of all males eight days old and older (Genesis 17:7-14). This sign became a picture of the nature of God’s salvation plan. Even as the foreskin of the reproductive organ was to be cut off, so, too, the sins of each one who would be eternally saved were to be cut off. The cutting off of the foreskin caused bleeding. So, too, in order for sins to be cut off, Christ as the Messiah shed His blood (that is, gave His life).

Thus, in the year 2068 B.C., a milestone was set in the timeline of history in that:

1. Abraham and Sarah’s son Isaac, who would be born the following year, was a representative or picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the spiritual beginning and father of all who will live eternally as God’s children.

2. All of those who are outside of God’s salvation plan, typified by the destroyed cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, are eternally under the wrath of God.

Exactly 2,100 years later, in A.D. 33, the Lord Jesus Christ bore the judgment and wrath of God on behalf of the peoples of every nation whom God, in the person of Christ, came to save. Christ paid the penalty for their sins in full so that they would become eternal children of God. At the same time, Christ’s death and resurrection guaranteed that those who were not to be sons of Christ (saved by Christ), like those in the four cities upon which God’s judgment fell, would in time be cast into Hell. Only the sentence of spending an eternity in Hell, under the judgment and wrath of God, would fully satisfy the demands of God’s Law for the payment required for the sins of the unsaved.

All of this was contemplated and anticipated by the events that took place in this notable year of 2068 B.C.

Now we shall go on to the next very important milestone in the unfolding of God’s Timeline of History, the year 2007 B.C.

2007 B.C. Jacob is Born

Sixty years have passed since Isaac was born in the year 2067 B.C. Twenty-three years earlier, Sarah had died. In the year 2007 B.C., Abraham had become 160 years old and would live fifteen years longer. Twenty years earlier than 2007 B.C., Isaac had married a relative of Abraham named Rebekah (Genesis 25:20, 26).  

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Incidentally, God’s Law at this time in history did not prohibit the marriage of close relatives. That Law was given over 500 years later in the year 1446 B.C. In these earlier years, the need to marry close relatives was in evidence because of the scarcity of true believers. For example, Sarah was the half sister of Abraham (Genesis 20:12).

The year 2007 B.C. was propitious because it was the year Isaac and Rebekah were given their only children. Rebekah gave birth to twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Although Esau was the firstborn, God gave the salvation promises to Jacob. (See The Fig Tree available free of charge from Family Radio.) That is, the promises given to Abraham would be fulfilled in the line of the descendants of Jacob.

Moreover, we must keep in mind that events like Abraham entering the land of Canaan, the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah, and the birth of Jacob to Isaac and Rebekah, although they involved just a handful of people, were, nevertheless, exceedingly important milestones in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. All of these events were laying the groundwork for, and pointing to, God’s magnificent salvation program that eventually would involve millions of people throughout the whole world.

Significantly, the name Jacob means “supplanter.” Normally, Esau as the firstborn would have received the special blessings that belonged to the firstborn. However, it was God’s plan that the second born, Jacob, was to receive these special blessings. Thus, in that sense, Jacob supplanted Esau. In that sense, also, Jacob became a picture or a representative of all those who become true believers. They, too, are sometimes called “Jacob” in the Bible (e.g., Jeremiah 10:16).

One of the reasons Jacob pictures true believers is that this earth, which presently is in the hands of the unsaved, will eventually become the eternal inheritance of the true believers. That is, the true believers supplant the unsaved as the final inheritors of the world. This will take place at the end of time when God will create New Heavens and a New Earth. This is the earth spoken of in Matthew 5:5 where God declares:

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

It is the new heavens and new earth spoken of in II Peter 3:13:

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Christ, too, at times, is typified by Jacob. When Jesus came as the  

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Messiah, He supplanted Satan as the ruler of those whom God planned to save. Colossians 1:13 declares that those who have been saved have been taken out from under Satan’s dominion and placed into Christ’s kingdom. We read there:

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

Christ was typified by Jacob at times also because Jacob was the father of twelve sons who in turn became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 49:28), which in turn became an external representation of the kingdom of God. Christ, typified by Jacob, became the eternal Father of all who are eternally citizens of the kingdom of God.

Fact is, when Jacob was 100 years of age (see Chapter 3 of this book), in the year 1907 B.C., he was given the name Israel (Genesis 32:28; 35:10). The name Israel means Prince of God. Eternally, it is Christ who is the Godly Prince (Isaiah 4:6). For that reason, the name Israel was assigned to the nation of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — the Jewish nation, the nation of Israel — because that nation was externally a representation of the kingdom of God. Likewise, during the Church Age, the name Israel was assigned to the local congregations because during the Church Age each local congregation was an external representation of the kingdom of God. Later in our study, this will be further developed.

The year 2007 B.C., when Jacob was born, was a very significant year for other reasons. For example, exactly 1,000 years later, in the year 1007 B.C., David, another great type of Christ, ascended the throne to reign over Israel. Also, exactly 2,000 years after 2007 B.C. was the year 7 B.C., and in all likelihood, Jesus Christ was born in the year 7 B.C. In addition, exactly 4,000 years after 2007 B.C. was A.D. 1994. Later in our study, we will learn more about the great importance of A.D. 1994. We certainly can know that the year 2007 B.C. was a very significant milestone in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan.

. . . there is no other accurate record in existence today that
approaches the exquisite accuracy of the Bible’s
recording of these historical events.

We might note that there is no other accurate record in existence today that approaches the exquisite accuracy of the Bible’s recording of these historical events. Each of these milestone years is calculated solely from Biblical evidence.  

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And we know that the Bible is God’s Word, and therefore, is completely accurate. Moreover, these historical milestones are bound together by very significant time relationships which we will explore in a later chapter.

But now we should examine the next important milestone the Bible sets forth in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan, which in turn governs all of history. That milestone is the year 1899 B.C.

1899 B.C. Joseph is Seventeen

As we have noted, Jacob, through whom God’s salvation timeline flowed, eventually became the father of twelve sons. He also fathered one daughter. Each of these twelve sons became important names in the historical development of God’s salvation program. They would become heads of the twelve tribes of Israel.

We should note that Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, also became a great nation. Esau, together with his uncle Ishmael (who was the son of Abraham by Hagar, the maid of Sarah), became the progenitors of the Arab nations. Now, Isaac, the son of Abraham by Sarah, was the half-brother of Ishmael, and Esau was the twin brother of Jacob. Ishmael and Esau became enemies of Isaac and Jacob. This enmity continues today. Both the Jews and the Arabs claim sonship from the line of Abraham, to whom the promises of the land of Canaan were given.

Thus, both the Jews and Arabs lay claim to lands in the Middle East, and they continue to battle over them to this day. But, as we learned earlier, those promises were only pictures in which the physical land of Canaan was a type or representation of the kingdom of God. The true inheritors of the land of Canaan are neither the Jews nor the Arabs. It is the true believers, those for whom Christ has become their Savior, who inherit the land. (See The Fig Tree, available free of charge from Family Radio.) These true children of God, who are from all the nations of the world, inherit the promise, the promise of a spiritual eternal land which the physical land of Canaan only represented (Galatians 3:29).

Returning now to the twelve sons of Jacob, we learn from the Bible that three of the sons, none of whom were the firstborn, became especially significant in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. Judah was the son through whom the salvation promises would flow (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:33). Levi would head the tribe which would identify with the priests who would function as the spiritual rulers over the twelve tribes that later were, as a nation, called Israel.

The third son of Jacob that we note here who was of special Biblical importance was Joseph. Joseph was the next-to-the-last son born to Jacob. He is the only son whose birth year can be known for certain from the Biblical record.  

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He was born in the year 1916 B.C. Even though it was not through him that God’s salvation plan flowed, he was used by God as a type or picture or representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. By closely following the Biblical account of his lifetime, we can learn much about God’s salvation plan.

With the exception of Genesis 38, all of the chapters beginning with Genesis Chapter 37 and continuing all the way through Chapters 48 and 50, record the experiences of Joseph. By means of the experiences of Joseph, God points to what are certainly the high points of the unfolding of the history of the world, namely, the first coming of Christ as Savior, and ultimately, the second coming of Christ as Judge of all the earth.

In the year 1899 B.C., Joseph was seventeen years of age. Father Jacob was 108 years of age. Forty-eight years earlier, at the age of sixty years, Jacob had received the blessed promise of God that the salvation promises to Abraham would flow through Jacob himself (Genesis 27:27-29; 28:3-4).

Earlier we noted that at the age of 100, Jacob’s name was changed from Jacob to Israel. We noted Israel means “prince of God.” Jacob also is presented to us in certain citations in the Bible as a picture or type of Christ who is the Prince of God. But remarkably, God puts the spotlight on Joseph, a son born to Jacob when he was ninety-one years of age (Genesis 37:2). Why did God do this? It is true that Jacob especially loved Joseph because he was a son of his old age (Genesis 37:3). Because of Jacob’s special love for Joseph, Joseph’s brothers hated him (Genesis 37:4). To make matters worse for Joseph, at the age of seventeen, he had two dreams that seemed to prophesy that the day would come when he would rule over his brothers and also over his father and mother (Genesis 37:5-11). This was the year 1899 B.C., a very important milestone in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. That this is a significant milestone is seen in the strange language of Genesis 37:1-2, where God says:

And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

Why would the generation of Jacob be focused on Joseph? Joseph was not the firstborn, neither was he in the bloodline through which Christ would come. One reason must be that Joseph was an outstandingly significant and important type of Christ. God deliberately calls our attention to Joseph being 17 years old as the beginning of all his experiences. It is his life from that time forward that  

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would embrace and anticipate the unfolding of God’s plan of salvation. We will note a few highlights of the experiences of Joseph that show that through his experiences, he was a picture of Christ coming as Savior to pay the penalty for the sins of the true believers. Aspects of Joseph’s life also point to Christ’s coming at the end of the world to prepare this world for events that must occur just before the end of time.

Joseph was an outstandingly significant and
important type of Christ.

First, we take note that the number 17, when used in the Bible to signify something spiritual, usually points to Heaven. It would appear that God gave us the information that Joseph is 17 years old in order to identify with Jesus Christ through whom all who become saved will go to Heaven.

In the year 1877 B.C., Joseph had become thirty-nine years of age. During the preceding twenty-two years of his life, he had experienced a great many trials and tribulations. An examination of each of these would show that his life was a historical parable. The true historical events of the life of Joseph were portraits of important spiritual events. Each of his experiences was pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, we will note the following:

1. He was rejected by his brothers (Genesis 37:4-5,8,18-28). Jesus was rejected by the nation of His birth, national Israel.

2. He was put into a pit (Genesis 37:24). Jesus suffered the wrath of God, Hell, which is typified by a pit.

3. He was sold as a slave (Genesis 37:28). Christ was sold like a slave for thirty pieces of silver.

4.He remained faithful to God when tempted by Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:10-12; 40:15). Christ remained faithful when tempted by Satan.

5. He came out of prison and became the highest ruler of the land, second only to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:14, 38-44). Christ, after paying for the sins of those He came to save, became King of kings and Lord of lords.  

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6. He saved his family from physical starvation (Genesis 45:7, 10-11; 47:12). Christ saved His spiritual family (those who become true believers) from spiritual death.

7. The seven-year famine became a portrait of the Great Tribulation that comes just before Christ returns at the end of time (Matthew 24:21, 29; Acts 7:11).

In the timeline of history, Joseph, at the age of thirty (in 1886 B.C.), became second only to Pharaoh as ruler of Egypt (Genesis 41:39-44). There were to be seven years of bountiful harvest. This would be followed by seven years of great famine. Pharaoh had appointed Joseph to gather in the harvest during the seven years of plenty. He then was to rule over the distribution of this harvest during the following seven years of famine (Genesis 41:33-49, 53-57).

In the year 1877 B.C., already two years of famine had taken place (Genesis 45:6). This famine also encompassed the land of Canaan where Jacob, Joseph’s father, was living with his family. Consequently, Jacob sent ten of his sons to buy grain, not knowing that the ruler of the distribution of the grain was his son and their brother Joseph. When that grain was used up, they came a second time, and on this second trip, Joseph revealed to them his identity. He was their younger brother whom, twenty-two years earlier they had themselves sold as a slave because of their hatred toward him. The Biblical account of these experiences, ending with a reconciliation, are wonderfully fascinating. We can read about them in Genesis Chapters 42, 43, 44, and 45.

The result of this reconciliation of Joseph with his brothers brings us to the extremely important year 1877 B.C. We read in Genesis 45:6-9, 13:

For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.
 

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Some of the significant words here are Joseph’s commands to “come down unto me, tarry not” (verse 9) and “ye shall haste and bring down my father” (verse 13). This was an incredible command that Joseph, as a great type of Christ, was giving to Jacob his father. Jacob’s predecessors, in obedience to God’s command, had come into the land of Canaan even though they did not know what God intended to be their destination (Hebrews 11:8-9).

In the year 2092 B.C., grandfather Abraham had come into the land of Canaan. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been given Canaan as an eternal possession (Genesis 17:8).

Moreover, we read about Jacob’s father Isaac in Genesis 26, verses 2- 3:

And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.

Joseph was commanding his father Jacob to leave
the promised land to come to Egypt to live!

For 215 years, the families of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had dwelt in Canaan. But now Joseph was commanding his father Jacob to leave the promised land to come to Egypt to live! That Joseph was expressing God’s desire for Jacob is seen in God’s words to Jacob in Genesis 46:2-3:

And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.

That this was an extremely traumatic and awful command that Jacob was to obey is revealed in the words of Acts 7:11-15, where we read:

Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. And at the second time Joseph was made known to
 

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his brethren; and Joseph’s kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers.

The words “great affliction” are the identical Greek words which are found in Matthew 24:21 where they are translated Great Tribulation. It was a great tribulation for Jacob to leave the promised land of Canaan that had been given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as an eternal inheritance. Had God’s promises failed?

God’s promises had not failed! His promises never fail! But the working out of God’s promises sometimes is very complex. Therefore, it is necessary that we carefully study the Bible as we seek to gain insight into the plans of God. A proper study of Jacob’s experience, as he is commanded to leave, and as he leaves the promised land of Canaan, is one grand example of how following God’s instruction to compare Scripture with Scripture (I Corinthians 2:9-14) works to uncover great spiritual truth found in the Bible.

We will discover that this terrible experience of Jacob of leaving the land of Canaan and going into Egypt to escape the famine is of great importance in helping us to understand the Great Tribulation that the world will experience immediately before Christ returns at the end of time. Therefore, later in our study, we will return to Jacob and examine in great detail many aspects of his experience.

However, at this time, we shall continue on our journey through time. We will discover from the Bible that the next important milestone in the unfolding of God’s salvation plan is the year 1447 B.C.


Chapter 4 Table of Contents Chapter 6