3. Deriving the Key Dates

The chronology naturally starts with the year 0.

0 Creation (4004BC)

Adding up the ages and years mentioned in Genesis gives a total of 1656 years.  Each of the figures given is precisely stated being the age of the patriarch when the son mentioned was born.  There is no reason to suppose that the list is incomplete, it gives every appearance of being a complete and consecutive list.

The details of this period are given in section 4.

It should be noted that some ancient translations of Genesis give different ages.  It is assumed here that the surviving Hebrew text is reliable though some have called this into question and suggested that other texts, such as the Greek Septuagint translation might reflect the original manuscripts more accurately.  The Hebrew text appears to this author to be more reliable in this respect and do not create any inconsistencies in the Bible.

1656 Flood (2348BC)

A straightforward list from Noah to Terah is given in Genesis 11.10-24 indicating that Terah was born 222 years after the flood (1878).

The text implies, but does not state, that Abraham left Haran very soon after Terah died.  It is assumed here that Abraham did indeed leave very shortly afterwards although this assumption could be incorrect he must have left no more than a few years afterwards.

Abraham was 75 when he left Haran (Gen 12.4) whilst Terah was 205 years old when he died (Gen 11.32).  This would mean that  Terah was 130 when Abraham was born.

Abraham was evidently not the firstborn because Terah’s three sons began to be born when he was 70 years old (Gen 11.26 – although Abraham is listed first in this passage it does not necessarily mean that he was the eldest, and evidently he was not.)

Adding up the spans above means that Abraham left Haran 222+130+75 (427) years after the flood.

The details of this period are given in section 5.

2083 Abraham leaves Haran (1921BC)

The sojourn of the children of Israel in Egypt was 430 years (Ex 12.40) and this was likewise the period from the giving of the promise to Abraham to the giving of the law (Gal 3.17).

The period of ‘sojourn’ is thus dated from shortly after Abraham leaves Haran and first goes to Egypt.  Abraham was not actually living in Egypt, nor indeed were Isaac and Jacob, but from this point on they did not have land of their own.

The details of this period are given in section 6.

2513 Exodus (1491BC)

There were 480 years from the date of the Exodus to the commencement of the building of the Temple (1 Kings 6:1).  The details of this period are given in section 7.

2992 Temple Begun (1012BC)

Solomon began the temple in his 4th year (1 Kings 6.1) and reigned 40 years (1 Kings 11.42) so he died in 3029 (975BC).

The rebellion of Israel lasted 390 years (Ezek 4.4-5) which is the period from the division after the death of Solomon and the sin of Jeroboam up to the destruction of the temple.  The details of this period are given in section 8.

3420 Fall of Jerusalem (586BC)

© David Phillips 1995-2021