Are there gaps in the Genesis 5 & 11 genealogies?
Even if there were a genealogical gap, this does not prove there is a chronological gap. For even if Enosh were several generations removed from Seth, the natural understanding of the text “Seth lived one 105 years, and begat Enosh” is that Seth was 105 years old when Enosh was born, since Enosh is the direct object of the verb yalad (begat).
Arguments for genealogical gaps are not sufficient to prove chronological gaps. Genealogy (parentage) and chronology (time) are separate issues.
What does the repeated phrase “he begat other sons and daughters” mean? Clearly it means the patriarch begat sons and daughters who were his own children. There is no other plausible meaning. Therefore, the patriarch’s begetting of his named son in the same context using the same word yalad (begat) should also be understood the same way to mean his own son, not an ancestor of the named descendant.
Thus grammatically and contextually, the use of yalad (begat) in Genesis 5 & 11 requires that the genealogies be understood as recording direct father-son relationships.
Moreover, there is not one shred of evidence, either in the immediate context or in the rest of Scripture, to indicate that the author intended to convey the idea that he had skipped generations (especially since he used yalad in the hiphil voice). The natural meaning of these genealogies is that they list direct father-son pairs. This is the way they should be understood unless there is evidence to the contrary about the author’s intent. There is no such contrary evidence. The natural meaning was the author’s intent.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 12th 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 considered the issue’s importance and what Jesus thought. Current posts are analyzing the Genesis genealogies. Future articles will survey the historic teaching of the church and discuss scientific evidence on the age of the earth, explaining fallacies of radiometric dating methods and giving 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?
10. Age of the Earth—Interlocking Genealogies
11. Age of the Earth—Any Gaps in Genealogies?
Read the sequel:
13. Age of the Earth—Any Missing Generations?
Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!
©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)
Thursday July 17, 2008 A.D.
And Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared. Then Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died. (Genesis 5:15-17)