Daily Archives: 2010-04-08 20:47:22 GMT+0000

The Bible’s 4000 years from Creation to the New Israel

A 4000 year year span which terminates at the re-dedication of the Temple in 164 bce has been worked into the chronology of Old Testament literature. 4000 years had significance beyond the biblical texts, too. I will give the ancient sources for that at the end. This data has significance for when the Bible’s books were still subject to editing, or even creation, before settling into the canonical versions we use today.

Event

Year (from creation)

Historical year

Span

Adam 1
Birth of Abraham 1946 1945
Call of Abraham 2021 75
Entrance into Egypt 2236 215
Exodus from Egypt 2666  (two thirds of total span)
430
Solomon’s Temple 3146 480
Jerusalem besieged / Exile to Babylon 3576 588 bce 430
Edict of Cyrus 3626 538 bce 50
Rededication of Temple 4000 164 bce 374

This covers a neat 10 generations from Adam to the Flood

  1. Adam
  2. Seth
  3. Enosh
  4. Kenan
  5. Mahalalel
  6. Jared
  7. Enoch
  8. Methuselah
  9. Lamech
  10. Noah

and another 10 generations from the Flood to the father of Abraham

  1. Shem
  2. Arpachshad
  3. Kenan
  4. Shelah
  5. Eber
  6. Peleg
  7. Reu
  8. Serug
  9. Nahor
  10. Terah

Abraham was called by God when he was 75 years old (Genesis 12:4)

Call of Abraham to the entry of Israel into Egypt was 215 years

From Abraham’s call to the birth of Isaac was 25 years, Isaac was 60 when Jacob was born, and Jacob 130 years old when he entered Egypt (25 + 60 + 130 = 215 years)

Entry into Egypt to the Exodus and birth of Israel was 430 years

(Exodus 12:40).

Exodus to the beginning of the building of Solomon’s temple was 480 years

(1 Kings 6:1).

Abraham’s birth to the foundation of the Temple was 1200 years

Or 12 generations of the round 100 years each. (There are several remnants throughout the Bible of the idea of a post-Flood generation being a round 100 years, such as Genesis 15:13-16 where 4 generations are given 400 years.)

Foundation of the Temple to the destruction of Jerusalem was 430 years

(Ezekiel 4:5-6)

Destruction of the Temple to the (legendary) edict of Cyrus to return of Israel was 50 years.

(Jeremiah speaks of a 70 year captivity, but the chronology was constructed at a time when there was no canonical bible and Jeremiah’s book did not figure in the calculation.)

Return of Israel to the rededication of the Temple was 374 years

The odd-number out to complete the “Great Year” of 4000 years.

And the point of all this is?

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