ABC:Genesis 11

From BibleStrength

Verse 5

The EvilBible claims a contradiction exists here, and makes the following comments (italicized).[1]

None of the second set of verses contradicts the first group. Genesis 11:5, 18:20-21, and 3:8 all fail to prove the premise that God does not see everything which is occurring. Some of the passages may refer to Christophanies where Jesus, the Son of God the Father, took on physical form or appearance on Earth. If so, it would have been Jesus going down in person to look more closely at the actions of mankind, while God the Father could see what was happening without having to do so.

But regardless, all of the passages show that God found out what was going on, and had the ability to do so, nowhere contradicting the other passages which say God looks at all the actions of mankind. Indeed, commonsense dictates that "looking" requires a conscious choice and action, if God chose to accomplish that by, at times, descending for a more 'up close and personal' type of scrutiny, that is by no means a contradiction.

Verse 12

RationalWiki lists the following as a Bible contradiction with the headline " Cainan, Son of Arphaxad."[2] Comments by the critic are italicized.

Interestingly, rather than proving the Bible is not inspired, this proves the books of Jubilees and 1 Enoch ARE inspired (and both are unusually well-preserved among the Dead Sea Scrolls when it comes to manuscript count). As pointed out by Stephen Pigeon and Cepher Publishing, Jubilees 8:1-5 records the existence of this second Cainan as being the son of Arphaxad and father of Shelah.[3] Jubilees is an ancient book, like 1 Enoch (which is quoted in the book of Jude and referenced in Jubilees), dating before the time of Christ; and both should be considered scriptural. Jubilees preserves the evidence of Cainan as Arphaxad's son, showing that no contradiction exists.

Verse 26

The ReasonProject lists the following as a Bible contradiction with the headline "How old was Abram when Ishmael was born?"[4]

This allegation has been made for centuries, as has the answer.[5] Genesis 11:26 just shows the oldest son was born when Terah was 70 years old, not necessarily Abraham. Abraham is just mentioned first in the passage due to his importance to the Jewish people, not because he was born first. The evidence indicates Terah was likely born first, followed by Nahor. The three were not triplets.

Abraham left Canaan at age 75 after his father died (Genesis 12:4) and Terah died at age 205, so Abraham was born when Terah was roughly 130 years old. Haran was the firstborn when Terah was 70 years old, so Haran would have been 135 years old by the time Terah died, had he lived that long. Haran actually died before their father Terah did, and before Abraham and Terah even left Ur. (Genesis 11:28) Haran's son Lot appears to have been around Abraham's age, possibly even several decades older, and they traveled to the Promised Land together. (Genesis 12:4-5)

Nahor was likely between Terah's age of 135 and Abraham's age of 75 when Terah died. He ended up marrying his brother Haran's daughter, Milcah (Genesis 11:29), and may have been age 90-100 when Abraham left (which in those days was roughly middle-aged - Genesis 11:19-23). This is supported by the fact that Nahor began having children before Abraham did, 12 male children and possibly an equal amount of female children, probably 20-30 children in all. (Genesis 22:20-24)

At any rate, there is no contradiction, just a misreading of Genesis 11:26 by the critic. The evidence strongly supports Abraham having been born the youngest of his three brothers.


  1. Thiefe, Chris. Biblical Contradictions.
  2. RationalWiki Editors (2019). "Biblical Contradictions." RationalWiki.
  3. Pigeon, S. (2019, July 12). "The Book of Jubilees and Luke 3 – Yovheliym is an Inspired Book!" Cepher Publishing Group.
  4. Marlow, Andy (2009). Contradictions in the Bible. Project Reason.
  5. Hewlett, John (1811). The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testament, and Apocrypha, Volume III. Chronological Index, 1996. Longman, Hurst, Reese, Orme, & Co.
    Bellamy, John (1818). The Holy Bible: Newly Translated from the Original Hebrew: with Notes Critical and Explanatory, Volumes 1-3. pg. 59. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown.
    Eyre, George E., & Spottiswoode, William (1882). Aids to the Student of the Holy Bible: The Handy Book for Bible Readers. pg. 125. The Religious Trace Society.
  6. 'How old was Abram when Ishmael was born?'