Have you ever wondered if the Bible can be trusted? Have you ever asked yourself how (or if…) the Bible’s message was transmitted accurately from generation to generation?
Reality teaches us the principle that “the further away you get from the source, the more distorted the message becomes”. Check out this article on Wikipedia describing the children’s game known as “telephone” that illustrates how true this is.
Is it not logical for someone to question whether the Bible has been affected in this way? Are some of its stories exaggerated, or are some details affected by the passing of time?
As technology evolves, and as communication systems are developed, the designers strive to ensure a clear transmission of the message being conveyed. For those who can remember the first telephones used, or remember the first VoiP systems available for public use, they were renowned for their “poor signal” or “dropped signal”. The lack of quality transmission left many frustrated and annoyed.
So the question remains, how did the Creator make sure that the message was kept whole and clear, as decades, and centuries, and millennia passed by? For a further study about how the Creator ensured a direct transmission of the message ckheck out this book: The Genesis Genealogies: God’s Administration in the History of Redemption.
The answer lies in the genealogies found in the books of Genesis and Exodus. What we will discover is fascinating and encouraging. I know that I can trust what the Scriptures say, and this is just one more piece of evidence that shows that God made sure that we received what needed to be received.
Genesis 5: Genealogy from Adam to Noah
One of the most well-known genealogies of the Old Testament can be found in Genesis 5. We read in Genesis 5:1 “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;” This agrees with what was stated in Genesis 1:7 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him” and in Genesis 2:7 we read a few more details about how Adam was created: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
From then on, we read that people begat (or fathered) other people in the same way it happens today. Adam and Eve were the first humans and were created by the Creator himself. After that, everyone else was born of a woman.
What is interesting to note in this genealogy is the numbers, the ages. It is one of the few genealogies given in Scripture where so much detail is given as to how old the men were when their sons were born, and how old they were when they died. This data allows us to create a very detailed chronology of time spanning ten generations from Adam to Noah.
Reading through the passage, in order, we have Adam, Seth, Cainan, Enos, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.
Would it surprise you to know that Adam was still alive when Lamech was born? In fact, Lamech was 56 years old when Adam died. What is the possibility of Lamech having met Adam? Adam was the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Lamech. Can you imagine the stories that Lamech would have heard as boy?
As we consider the line of direct transmission of the creation account, it is not unrealistic to consider that Lamech could have heard directly from Adam how the whole creation came about.
As an interesting side note, read this post called Meaning of the Names in Genesis 5 to find the hidden message found in the genealogy from Adam to Noah. I did not believe it at first, I wonder if you will?
Genesis 11: The Genealogy from Shem to Abraham
The next genealogy that we find in the Bible also gives us some details the age of the men involved as to when their sons were born and as to when they died. We once again see a list of ten generations.
Before we look at this list, we will look at the connection between the two genealogical lists. Shem is one of the sons of Noah introduced in Genesis 5. With the information provided in Genesis 11:10 we understand that Shem was born 98 years before the flood. Shem would have been 95 years old when his grandfather Lamech died. It is quite conceivable that this grandfather would have told his grandson the story of creation he had heard from Adam.
Taking a look again at Genesis 11, we have in order: Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abram (later called Abraham).
Would it come as a surprise to you to find out that Shem was still alive when Abram was born? How would you react if I told you that Shem actually outlived Abram? If you do the calculations, you will find out that Shem outlived Abram by 35 years. Shem actually lived until Jacob (the grandson of Abraham) was 50 years old.
There is a lot of movement in the life of Abraham from the time he left Ur of the Chaldees until he died. There is also a lot of movement in the life of Jacob from the time he left home until his death in Egypt. The book of Jasher states that Shem met Jacob. It is quite interesting to consider that Shem might have had the opportunity to share with Jacob, what he had heard from his grandfather Lamech.
Puzzle Pieces from here and there: Geneaology from Isaac to Moses
This section will glean details from several Scriptures that are scattered throughout Genesis and Exodus in order to build the genealogy from Abraham to Moses. After the death of Jacob, the genealogies do not provide very much information with relation to their age in life or in death. What can be determined from Genesis 21 is that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born, and from Genesis 25 that Isaac was 60 years old when Esau and Jacob were born. From there, things are a little more difficult to figure out as far as age is concerned.
But when we follow the genealogy from Jacob to Moses we find some interesting details. From Genesis 46 we learn that Jacob eventually went to live in Egypt at the time of the great famine. He traveled there with his son Levi and with Levi’s sons as well.
Since the age of Levi, Coat, and Amram is not given in Scripture, I used 52 years to represent their age at the time of the birth of their firstborn. This is simply the average age from Shem to Jacob at the time of the birth of their firstborn sons. This average value is only used to complete the chart and does not affect the chain of transmission.
Jacob knew the sons of Joseph and blesssed them in Genesis 48. Seeing that Levi is older than Joseph by a number of years, and his sons had already been born as per Genesis 46 when the family made the move to Egypt. Jacob would have know his grand children Gershon, Kohath, and Merari and have had the opportunity to share with them the stories that he would have heard from Shem.
If we follow the line of Kohath, we note that he had a son named Amram who is the father of Moses. The question arises as to whether Kohath would have known Moses or had the opportunity to speak with him as Moses was adopted by the daughter of the Pharaoh at quite a young age. It is quite likely that Kohath would have met Moses as a grown man before he died or before Moses fled from Egypt. As such, he would have been able to share with him what he had heard from Jacob.
Some interesting questions arise when studying the genealogy from Abraham to Moses. Is it physically possible for a small group of 70 people to explode to a population of more than 1 million in less than 400 years? And as for those 400 years, was it really 400 years in Egypt or is there something else to consider? I plan to post these studies at a future date.
Putting it all together
It is remarkable how that the Creator made sure that the person He would appoint to write the creation account would receive the information in the most direct way possible. Considering that Moses lived some 2400 years AFTER the events of creation, it is fascinating to note that he was possibly only four steps removed from the source!!!
Adam –> Lamech
Lamech –> Shem
Shem –> Jacob
Jacob –> Kohath
Kohath –> Moses
And if that wasn’t enough… I suppose that fact the Moses actually spoke to God face to face would have provided ample opportunity for God to clear up any inconsistencies or fill in any details about what really happened in creation.
Action Point: Bible Truth Revealed – A Direct Transmission
What do you think of the accuracy of Scripture? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Download the printable Bible genealogy chart called Genealogy from Adam to Noah
Download the printable Bible genealogy chart called Genealogy from Shem to Abraham
Download the printable Bible genealogy chart called Genealogy from Isaac to Moses
Download the printable Bible genealogy chart called Genealogy from Adam to Moses
Download the printable Bible reading sheet called The Story of Noah (link pending)
Purchase this book to delve deeper into the realities of the Salvation message preserved and transmitted through the first generations listed in Scripture.
By Rev. Abraham Park
|As anyone who’s researched his or her family tree knows, a basic part of understanding ones ancestors is knowing when they were born, how long they lived, and when they died. Here, in The Genesis Genealogies lies that crucial core information about the forebears of Christianity. The former moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, Rev. Abraham Park, has meticulously analyzed the information in the Book of Genesis. Taking the precise date references in Genesis and performing math calculations forward and backward in time, Park builds a complete chronological timeline from Adam to the Exodus.