Bible Chronology

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The following are in-depth analyses of Bible genealogies showing how many years have passed since God first created mankind.

Genealogies[edit | hide | hide all]

Much of this is similar to Ussher's chronology.[1] It appears Ussher probably used the date Abraham entered Egypt as the starting point for the 430 years to the Exodus referenced in Exodus 12:40-41, which is probably why his early dates vary from my own by 200 years. After the Exodus his dates vary from my own by only 1-6 years. For a comparison between the dates I have reached and those reached by Ussher, see Ussher Comparison. A spreadsheet of the complicated calculations for dating the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah (which requires cross-checking them) will be available here. Three dating methods are used below:

  • GC: Gregorian Calendar, the common method used today in which all years are in relation to the death/resurrection of Jesus.
  • YAC: Years After Creation, a total count of years since creation.
  • YAF: Years After the Flood, or the total number of years since the Noahic Flood.

The Patriarchs[edit | hide]

S&d is shorthand for "sons & daughters" meaning that the Bible specifically says they had "sons and daughters" but does not give names.

Born Name Son Born Age Died YAC Other Children Reference
GC YAC YAF
4196 0 Adam 130 930 930 Abel, Cain, s&d Genesis 5:3-5
4066 130 Seth 105 912 1042 s&d Genesis 5:6-8
3961 235 Enos 90 905 1140 s&d Genesis 5:9-11
3870 325 Cainan 70 910 1235 s&d Genesis 5:12-14
3801 395 Mahalaleel 65 895 1290 s&d Genesis 5:15-17
3736 460 Jared 162 962 1422 s&d Genesis 5:18-20
3574 622 Enoch 65 365? 987 s&d Genesis 5:21-24
3509 687 Methuselah 187 969 1656 s&d Genesis 5:25-27
3322 874 Lamech 182 777 1651 s&d Genesis 5:28-31
2547 1656 FLOOD[notes 1] Genesis 7:6
3140 1056 Noah 502 950 1958 s&d Genesis 5:32, 9:29
2638 1558 Shem[notes 2] 100 600 2158 Elam, Asshur, Lud, Aram, s&d Genesis 11:10-11
2538 1658 2 Arphaxad 35 438 2096 s&d Genesis 11:10,12-13
2503 1693 37 Salah 30 433 2126 s&d Genesis 11:14-15
2473 1723 67 Eber 34 464 2187 Joktan, s&d Genesis 11:16-17
2439 1757 101 Peleg 30 239 2026 s&d Genesis 11:18-19
2409 1787 131 Reu 32 239 2026 s&d Genesis 11:20-21
2377 1819 163 Serug 30 230 2049 s&d Genesis 11:22-23
2347 1849 193 Nahor 29 148 1997 s&d Genesis 11:24-25
2318 1878 222 Terah 130 205 2083 Nahor, Haran Genesis 11:26-32
2188 2008 352 Abraham[notes 3] 100 175 2183 Ishmael, Zimram, et. al. Genesis 11:32, Genesis 12:4, Genesis 25:7, Romans 4:19
2113 2083 427 GOD'S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM, ABRAHAM ENTERS EGYPT[notes 4] Genesis 12:1-4,10
2088 2108 452 Isaac 40 180 2288 Esau Genesis 21:5, 25:20, 35:28
2048 2148 492 Jacob 147 2295 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Joseph, et. al. Genesis 47:28, Genesis 30, 35
1918 2278 622 JACOB ENTERS EGYPT[notes 5] Genesis 47:28
Levi 137 Gershon, Merari Exodus 6:16
Kohath 133 Izhar, Hebron, Uzziel Exodus 6:18
Amram 137 Aaron, Miriam Exodus 6:20
1568 2628 972 Moses Eliezer 120 Deuteronomy 34:7, Exodus 7:7, Exodus 18:4-6, Exodus 2:22, 1 Chronicles 23:15-17, 1 Chronicles 26:24-26
1489 2708 1052 LEFT EGYPT, LAW OF MOSES GIVEN[notes 6] Galatians 3:16-17, Genesis 12:1-4, Exodus 12:40-41, Exodus 19:1
Gershom Deuteronomy 34:7, Exodus 7:7, Exodus 18:4-6, Exodus 2:22, 1 Chronicles 23:15-17, 1 Chronicles 26:24-26
1448 2748 1092 THE EXODUS ENDS[notes 7] Deuteronomy 29:5, Deuteronomy 8:2-4, Exodus 16:35, Numbers 14:33-34, Numbers 32:13, Joshua 5:6


Kings of Judah[edit | hide]

The main difference between the Kings and Patriarchs tables is that the Kings table below does not show children and instead shows the start and end ages for when kings reigned, as well as total length of their reign. With almost no exceptions, a king reigned until they died. Those exceptions include Uzziah, who defied God by going into the temple despite not being a priest. Uzziah became instantly leprous and resigned the kingship, living isolated and alone with his disease, and his son Jotham took over rule of the kingdom. (2 Chronicles 26:21) The last three kings of Israel, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah, were carried away in slavery to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36, 2 Kings 24-25).

  • Reign Start: Age at which reign began.
  • Reign End: Age at which reign ended.
  • Reign Length: Length of reign.
Reign Start Name Son Born Age Born GC Died GC Reign Period Reference
GC YAC Start End Length
1052 3145 David 70 31 70 40 2 Samuel 5:4-5
1012 3185 Solomon 40 2 Chronicles 9:30
1009 3188 SOLOMON BUILDS THE TEMPLE IN 4TH YEAR OF HIS REIGN[notes 8] 1 Kings 6:1
972 3225 Rehoboam 58 41 58 17 2 Chronicles 12:13
955 3242 Abijah 3 2 Chronicles 13:1-2
953 3244 Asa 41 2 Chronicles 16:13
912 3285 Jehoshaphat 28 60 35 60 25 2 Chronicles 20:31
890 3307 Jehoram 18 40 32 40 8 2 Chronicles 21:5,20
883 3314 Ahaziah 22 23 22 23 1 2 Kings 8:26, 2 Chronicles 22:2
882 3315 Athaliah 6 2 Kings 8:26, 2 Chronicles 22:2
876 3321 Joash 22 47 7 47 40 2 Chronicles 24:1
836 B.C. 3361 Amaziah 38 54 25 54 29 2 Chronicles 25:1
807 3390 Uzziah 43 68 16 68 52 2 Chronicles 26:3
755 3442 Jotham 21 41 25 41 16 2 Chronicles 27:1
740 3457 Ahaz 11 36 20 36 16 2 Chronicles 28:1
726 3471 Hezekiah 42 54 3507 25 54 29 2 Chronicles 29:1
696 3501 Manasseh 45 67 12 67 55 2 Chronicles 33:1; 2 Kings 20:21; 2 Kings 21:1
641 3556 Amon 16 24 22 24 2 2 Chronicles 33:21; 2 Kings 21:19
639 3558 Josiah 16 39 3595 8 39 31 2 Chronicles 34:1
609 3588 Jehoahaz ? 3595 23 23 0 2 Chronicles 36:2
608 3589 Jehoiakim ? 25 36 11 2 Chronicles 36:5
598 3599 Jehoiachin ? 8 8 0 2 Chronicles 36:9
597 3600 Zedekiah ? 3617 21 32 11 2 Chronicles 36:11
587 3610 START OF THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY 2 Chronicles 36:20
517 3719 END OF THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY Jeremiah 25:12


Kings of Israel[edit | hide]

Israel and Judah split into separate kingdoms during the time of Rehoboam. (2 Chronicles 10:16-19)

Reign Start Name Son Born Age Born GC Died GC Reign Period Reference
GC YAC Start End Length
1052 3145 David 70 70 33 2 Samuel 5:4-5, 1 Kings 15:33
1012 3185 Solomon 40 2 Chronicles 9:30
1009 3188 SOLOMON BUILDS THE TEMPLE IN 4TH YEAR OF HIS REIGN[notes 9] 1 Kings 6:1
972 3225 Jeroboam[notes 10] 41 1 Kings 14:20,23, 1 Kings 15:1
951 3246 Nadab 2 1 Kings 15:25,28
950 3247 Baasha 24 1 Kings 15:28,33
927 3270 Elah 2 1 Kings 16:8
926 3271 Zimri 0 1 Kings 16:10,15
922 3275 Omri 6 1 Kings 16:23
915 3282 Ahab 22 1 Kings 16:29; 1 Kings 22:41;
895 3302 Ahaziah 2 1 Kings 22:51
894 3303 Jehoram 12 2 Kings 3:1; 2 Kings 1:17; 8:16,25
882 3315 Jehu 28 2 Kings 10:36; 12:1
854 3343 Jehoahaz 17 2 Kings 13:1
840 3357 Jehoash 16 2 Kings 13:10; 14:1
822 3375 Jeroboam 41 2 Kings 14:23
770 3427 Zachariah 1 2 Kings 15:8
769 3428 Shallum 0 2 Kings 15:13
769 3428 Menahem 10 2 Kings 15:17
758 3439 Pekahiah 2 2 Kings 15:23
756 3441 Pekah 20 2 Kings 15:27,32
728 3469 Hoshea 29 2 Kings 17:1,6; 2 Kings 18:2,9


What About the Pyramids?[edit | hide]

See also Egyptian Chronology

A common criticism of the Biblical Chronology is that it contrasts the recent academic consensus that the building of the Pyramids began around 2630 B.C. However, Egyptian written records do a poor job of tracking reign lengths of Pharaohs, order of Pharaohs, and dates for the reigns.

Population Growth[edit | hide]

See also Creationism -

Annual population growth rates today are above 1% in most of the world's countries. Ultimately 51 of the world's 233 countries have rates above 2.00% and 119, over half of them, have rates above 1.00%. 155 of 233 countries have rates in excess of 0.50%.[2] Surprisingly, many of these countries have very low life expectancies as well, and the higher a country's growth rate, the more disease, death, and war there tends to be in the country. (ranks shown out of 223 countries)[3]

Years to Reach 7 Billion Population[edit | hide]

At a 1% growth rate (which most countries in the world have) one goes from 8 people (the survivors of Noah's Ark - Genesis 7:13) to 7 billion in just 2,071 years. Human population growth rates seen today are a strong evidence that the Bible is correct that human civilization is young.

Year 2.00% Growth Rate 1.00% Growth Rate 0.50% Growth Rate 0.20% Growth Rate
Year 1 8 8 8 8
Year 500 156,522 1,147 96 22
Year 1,000 3,123,644,327 166,013 1,167 59
Year 2,000 1.244 x 10 ^ 18 3,479,494,693 171,020 434
Year 5000 7.859 x 10 ^ 43 3.204 x 10 ^ 22 538,558,280,604 174,112
Years To Reach 7 Billion Population 1,041 2,071 4,130 6,849

Other Factors[edit | hide]

See also Genesis 9

First of all, population growth can be considerably faster when there is more room for expansion. That's why early Americans had such huge families in colonial America with approximately 9 children per family,[4] and few had less than 6.[5] Population growth spiked even higher during America's westward expansion.[6] Furthermore, even today less-developed countries have very high birth rates:[7] Niger's is 7.03, Mali's 6.25, and Somalia's 6.17 as compared to 2.06 for the United States, 1.90 for the United Kingdom, and 1.59 for Canada.[8]

However, to go by what the Bible says, that human lifespans exceeded 400 years on average after the Flood, you would logically see even higher birth rates since fertility would last longer and people would be able to keep bearing children much longer without any time lapse for age development. So instead of a birth rate of 10 or 15 in today's equivalent, we might even be talking as much as 15. When you realize that not only was the birth rate much higher, but the death rate much lower (given average lifespan roughly 6 times that of today's) it quickly becomes evident how population growth could skyrocket in such a short amount of time.

But just for curiosity's sake, lets do the math. Shem was Noah's son. Say Shem's wife lived about the same age as he did, or 600 years. (Genesis 11) We'll assume she could bear children from her teens until about 60% of her life was over, similar to today. So suppose she bore children from age 18 to age 360, or about 342 years, bearing 12 or 15 children every 60 years or so. By the end of her life, she alone will have born around 48-60 children by herself, right? That's a conservative minimum. And they'll each have had children of their own, who'll have had children of their own. And they won't die of natural causes for many centuries.

Critics only see a contradiction here because they try applying modern standards to the Bible without considering the scenario the Bible itself claims of vast lifespans, and because they ignore evidence showing the birth rate can drastically differ based on circumstantial factors.

Biblical Years[edit | hide]

The Bible uses 360-day years instead of our current 365-day system. However, I am coming to believe this would make less of a difference than previously thought. As pointed out by Dean Coombs, the 360-day calendar inserts a 30-day month periodically which keeps the 360-day year consistent with our modern 365-day years.[9]

Notes[edit | hide]

  1. The Flood occurred in the 600th year of Noah's life, so since Noah was born 1,056 Years After Creation, the Flood occurred 1,656 Years After Creation. For an exact date for the Flood, see Genesis 7:11 where the Flood was said to begin on the 2nd month, 17th day. This was presumably according to the Jewish calendar whose first month is Nisan (Esther 3:7) making this the month Iyar which typically falls from April-June, so the Flood appears to have begun around May. The Ark came to a rest on the 7th month, 17th day (Genesis 8:4), the month Cheshvan, so roughly September. Mountaintops were seen on the 10th month, 1st day; the Hebrew month Tevet - probably in December. The waters had receded fully by the 1st month, 1st day, Nisan, approximately March. The Earth had dried enough that Noah and the animals left the Ark on the 2nd month, 27th day, probably May. (Genesis 8:13) The dove and possibly other birds as well left even earlier. (Genesis 8:12)
  2. Noah's genealogy is given differently. Noah was 502 at the age of Shem's birth since Noah was 600 when the Flood began (Genesis 7:11) and Shem's first-born, Arphaxad, was born 2 years after the Flood when Shem was 100 years old. (Genesis 11:10) Shem was the middle child as Japheth is said to be the oldest (Genesis 10:21) and Ham the younger. (Genesis 9:24) A common mistake lies in assuming that Noah's firstborn was at age 500 based on Genesis 5:32, but it does not say that was the age he began having children, merely that he was that age preceding the events of the Flood. It is possible that was when GOD told Noah to begin building the Ark (Genesis 6:14) in which case the Ark took 100 years to build.
  3. Abraham's genealogy is given similarly to Shem's, he is mentioned in conjunction with his other two siblings yet is actually the youngest of the three. (Genesis 11:26) Terah's firstborn was born when he was age 70 but a comparison of Genesis 11:32 and Genesis 12:4 reveals Abraham was not born until Terah was age 130. Haran appears to be the oldest and Nahor born sometime between Haran and Abraham, given the following evidence:
    • Haran died before his 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 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).
    • 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)
    It appears there was a pre-Flood practice adopted by early Mesopotamia of only giving the age of the eldest child, which causes confusion when an ancestor is a younger child (as in the case of Shem and Abraham).
  4. While Bible chronologists commonly begin the 430 year sojourn of Israel in Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41) at this point, it makes no sense to me for the sojourn to have begun during Abraham's lifetime. Abraham after all simply passed through Egypt on his way to Canaan. (Genesis 12:10-13:1) As a result, my dates differ from Ussher's prior to the Exodus by 200 years.
  5. Jacob spent the final 17 years of his life in Egypt and lived 147 years (Genesis 47:11) so he must have entered Egypt in the 130th year of his life. Given this date, I expect the Israelites entered Egypt sometime around the period of Amenemhat II or Senusret I. I believe Joseph was a Vizier, possibly during Egypt's 12th Dynasty. Per Exodus 12:40-41 the Israelites stayed in Egypt for 430 years exactly to the day. It would make no sense for this count to have begun earlier when Abraham first entered Egypt, as many chronologists have decided, as Abraham left Egypt on his way to Canaan. Rather, it would appear to begin when Jacob entered Egypt when his son Joseph held power and influence. It was during the lifetime of Joseph that Israel continuously stayed in Egypt, much of that time in slavery to the Egyptians. (Genesis 47:6-11) Therefore if the Israelites left Egypt in 1489 B.C. then they must have entered it 430 years earlier, in 1919 B.C.
  6. The Israelites had been in Egypt exactly 430 years to this point, much of it in slavery to the Egyptians (Exodus 12:40-41, Galatians 3:16-17). The departure from Exodus marks an interesting midpoint in Biblical chronology. 430 years were measured between Israel's arrival and departure from Egypt, and then another 480 years are measured after this point until the building of the temple by Solomon, for a total of 910 years.
  7. The Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years. (Numbers 14:33-34)
  8. According to 1 Kings 6:1, Solomon's temple was built 480 years after the Israelites left Egypt, so if Solomon's temple was built in 1016 B.C. then the Exodus must have ended in 1496 B.C. Since Solomon reigned for 40 years, and the temple was built in his 4th year, this was 36 years before the start of Rehoboam's reign.
  9. According to 1 Kings 6:1, Solomon's temple was built 480 years after the Israelites left Egypt, so if Solomon's temple was built in 1016 B.C. then the Exodus must have ended in 1496 B.C. Since Solomon reigned for 40 years, and the temple was built in his 4th year, this was 36 years before the start of Rehoboam's reign.
  10. A timeline for Jeroboam's rule and thus Israel's may be determined by comparing the chronology of Judah's kings. Interestingly, the rulership chronologies of Israelite kings are given only in relationship to Judah's kings, compare 1 Kings 15:1 and 1 Kings 15:25. Since Jeroboam was in the 18th year of his rule when Abijah started ruling (1022 B.C.), in the 20th year of his rule when Asa started ruling (1 Kings 15:1-8), and reigned for twenty-two years (1 Kings 14:20), then he must have started ruling in 1039 B.C.

References[edit | hide]

  1. Ussher, James. Timeline of the Bible. Creation Ministries International.
    Ussher, James (1658). "The Annals of the World." E. Tyler.
  2. The World Factbook (2002). "Country Comparison: Population Growth Rate." CIA.
  3. The World Factbook (2002). "Country Comparison: Life Expectancy At Birth." CIA.
  4. 1727: Colonial America. Western Washington University. Retrieved from http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/osl/colonial_america.htm.
  5. Mintz, Steven, and Susan Kellogg. Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life. NY: Free Press, 1988. Cited at Campbell University by Dr. Ken Vandergriff. Retrieved from http://web.campbell.edu/faculty/vandergriffk/FamColonial.html.
  6. University of Southern California (2008, February 29). What Caused Westward Expansion In The United States?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228150402.htm
  7. Kuan Yew, Lee (2012, October 16). Warning Bell for Developed Countries: Declining Birth Rates. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/currentevents/2012/10/16/warning-bell-for-developed-countries-declining-birth-rates/.
  8. Country Comparison: Total Fertility Rate. CIA - The World Factbook. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html.
  9. Coombs, Dean. "Bible Prophecy Year of 360 Days." 360Calendar.com.