From Adam to Joseph

In the beginningSince I posted on a genealogy yesterday, I decided to stick with that theme.

There are people who oppose the validity of the accounts of Genesis based on many reasons. One of those reasons is that there was no official written account until Moses set out to record the history of the Israelites. Thus, opponents say that he [Moses] could have written down whatever he wanted, just making it up as he went along. This is extremely unlikely.

The Jewish people shared history through an oral tradition. While this is not something that most Westerners are familiar with, those in the East have been practicing it for centuries. When your culture is vastly illiterate, oral tradition becomes the norm. When you are used to hearing the stories because you cannot read, the stories are memorized in far more detail than stories of those in cultures where literacy is higher. Think about it for a minute, if you couldn’t read and wanted to be able to relate valuable information to the next generation wouldn’t you naturally remember those stories details? Especially when you consider that this is how those stories were transmitted throughout the ages until they arrived to you!

As I was thinking about Genesis, I began to ponder who would have been alive to retell the story from the beginning. I began to dig for information in the text and calculated who would have been alive while others were still alive, based upon the years given in Genesis, matched up with the year given during their fathers life for them being born. Here are all the “father-sons” found in Genesis:

Adam→Seth→Enosh→Kenan→Mahalalel→Jared→Enoch→
Methuselah→Lamech→Noah→Shem→Arphaxad→Shelah→
Eber→Peleg→Reu→Serug→Nahor→Terah→Abram→Isaac→
Jacob→Joseph

It is interesting to note that this is a direct lineage from Adam to Joseph which is found in Genesis. The number of years this group spans is 2286 years! Now for the really fascinating part:

  • Adam lived until Lamech was 64 years old
  • Seth lived until Lamech was 175 years old
  • Enosh was 815 when Noah was born and lived until Noah was 91
  • Noah was still alive when Abraham was born and lived until Abraham was 70
  • Abraham was lived until Jacob was 22 who was the father of Joseph

So let’s see how many of these men could have gone back to the oldest most direct person to recount the stories from the beginning:

Adam→Enosh/Lamach→Noah→Abraham→Jacob→Joseph

Now I will admit that the Bible does not say that these men met and talked about these stories, what I am trying to say is that if someone began to get the story wrong there were plenty of men there who had heard the story from their fathers who would have been able to set them straight. There was overlap in the years of these men’s lives that would engender confidence, for us, in the historical accounts in Genesis.

I think this is neat, but I am, at times, easily entertained.

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