Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 8, 2008

10. Age of the Earth—Interlocking Genealogies

(2 Minute Read)


What does yalad (begat) mean in the Genesis 5 & 11 genealogies? Based on grammar, I argued in my previous blog post in this Age of the Earth series that yalad (begat) means immediate descendant.

There are also strong contextual indications that yalad (begat) means immediate descendant.

Each member of the genealogical list is recorded as having begotten (yalad) the next succeeding member. In each case the author adds chronological information by recording the age of each patriarch at the birth of his named son, the years he lived after the birth, and (in Genesis 5) his age at death. This provides a tightly linked chronological genealogy in which the use of exact ages (not round numbers) and correct sums precludes the existence of gaps in the list.

This is the pattern in Genesis 5:
“And A lived x years, and begat (yalad-became the father of) B. Then A lived y years after he begat B, and he begat other sons and daughters.
So all the days of A were x+y years, and he died.
And B lived z years, and begat (yalad-became the father of) C. . . .”
(The pattern is the same in Genesis 11, except that the third sentence giving the sum is not included.)

The chronogenealogies specify that each patriarch “lived y years after he begat” his named son. This enforces the understanding that the named son is an immediate son of the patriarch. The patriarch’s age at the birth of his son and the years he lived after the birth are added to give his total age at death. These tightly interlocking components compel the sense that the patriarch’s named offspring is his immediate son and not a distant descendant.

In the Genesis chronogenealogies,
“begat” indicates “immediate descendant.”

The tightly interlocked structure of genealogical and chronological information (descent and age data) is compelling evidence that the lines of descent are continuous with no gaps. The issue of gaps in the genealogies will be considered further in the next post in this Age of the Earth series.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the tenth in a series of blog posts on the Age of the Earth. I began with the Biblical testimony that the earth is 6,000 years old, because the evidence from nature should be interpreted and understood in the light of clear Biblical truth. The prequels have considered why it’s an important issue and what Jesus thought. Current posts are analyzing the Genesis genealogies. Future articles will survey the historic teaching of the church. Subsequently I’ll discuss scientific evidence on the age of the earth. I’ll explain fallacies of radiometric dating methods which yield long ages and give examples of scientific methods which yield short ages.

Read the prequels:
1. How Old Is the Earth?
2. Why Is the Age of the Earth Important?
3. Earth: Young or Old?
4. Age of the Earth—Jesus’ View
5. Age of the Earth—Jesus Interpreted OT Literally
6. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus Say?
7. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus’ Contemporaries Think?
8. Age of the Earth—Genealogies
9. Age of the Earth—What Does Begat Mean?

Read the sequel:
11. Age of the Earth—Any Gaps in Genealogies?

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Tuesday July 8, 2008 A.D.

And Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. Then Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died. (Genesis 5:9-11)

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