Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oral Account of Creation from Adam to Abraham

In this study, I would like to show how the true account of creation was accurately passed down by word of mouth from Adam to Abraham.

Let's begin by looking at the relationships between Adam and his family line. In doing this, you will be able to draw many conclusions, as well as see how the true and accurate account of the creation was preserved by Adam up until the time of Noah. 

Adam lived to be 930 years old (Gen 5:5). The flood occurred 1,656 years after Adam was created, so Adam died 726 years before the flood.

Noah was born 1,056 years after Adam was created. Since Noah was 600 years old when the flood began (Gen 7:6), that means he was born 126 years after Adam died.

Since Noah was born when his father Lamech was 182 years old, Lamech would have known Adam or at least been alive during Adam’s lifetime.  In fact, Lamech would have been 56 years old when Adam died.

Since Lamech was born when his father Methuselah was 187 years old, then 56 years later, at the time when Adam died, Methuselah was 243 years old. 

126 years after the death of Adam, when Noah was born, Methuselah was 369 years old.  Since the flood came 600 years after Noah’s birth, that would make Methuselah 969 years old when the flood came.

Adam's Generations
In the table below, I have shown the generations from Adam to Noah (Gen 5:1-32), along with the year of birth and year of death for each person, according to the number of years from the creation of Adam (Hebrew years).

Name Age at First Son's Birth Year of Birth Age at Death Year at Death Age at Adam's Death
Adam 130 0 930 930 930
Seth 105 130 912 1042 800
Enosh 90 235 905 1140 695
Kenan 70 325 910 1235 605
Mahalalel 65 395 895 1290 535
Jared 162 460 962 1422 470
Enoch 65 622 365 987 308
Methuselah 187 687 969 1656 243
Lamech 182 874 777 1651 56
Noah    500 1056    950    2006

Adam to Noah Chart
The chart below displays the data from the table above. Each yellow bar represents the life of the person named to the left, beginning with Adam at the bottom. Notice how all the bars above Adam's bar run concurrent with his life, except for Noah, showing that all these men except for him were contemporaries of Adam. You can see that the bar for Adam's life ends before the line that marks the year 1,000, and the bar for Noah's life begins after that same line. This shows that there was a gap between Adam's death and Noah's birth.

Conclusions about Methuselah
Methuselah was alive for 243 years of Adam’s life.  He and Adam were contemporaries. During that time, he would have heard the story of creation perhaps directly told by Adam. Methuselah’s father was Enoch, who walked with God for 365 years and was no more (Gen 5:24). We know that Methuselah died at the age of 969, so he died the same year the flood happened. He was the oldest man that ever lived and he died right before the flood came. He was alive for the entire period that Noah was building the ark.

Conclusions about Lamech
Lamech was 187 years old at the time of his son Noah’s birth and he died 590 years later at the age of 777, just 5 years before the flood.  Lamech would have been alive for most of the period when Noah was building the ark. Since Lamech was 56 years old when Adam died, he too would have heard the true account of creation perhaps directly told by Adam. Noah would have heard the creation story in stereo from his father Lamech and grandfather Methuselah, who both heard it directly from Adam. Methuselah and Lamech provided an unbroken, dual connection between Adam and Noah. Thus all things were established by the testimony of two witnesses. This preserved the true and accurate account of the creation, so that Noah was able to carry that with him and pass it on to his sons into the new world after the flood.

Incidentally, it is also hard to imagine how Lamech and Methuselah would not have been encouraging Noah as he was building the ark, since they were alive at that time.

Walking with God
I would like to highlight those who walked faithfully with God. One of them was Enoch. Scripture says, "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." (Ge 5:24). It does not say he died, which is how it describes the end of life for all the others in Adam's line. He did not die. God took him! In the book of Hebrews, it says, "By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God." (Heb 11:5). What a glorious witness he obtained! He was pleasing to God.

"Noah's Preaching Scorned" by Harry Anderson
The other person that Scripture says walked with God was Noah. It says, "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God." (Gen 6:9; 7:5).  It also says, "Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." (Gen 6:8). Noah did all that God commanded him (Gen 6:22). When God said to build the ark, Noah obeyed and built it according to the pattern God gave him. When God said to gather the animals, Noah gathered them. When God said to enter the ark (Gen 7:1), Noah obeyed and entered the ark (Gen 7:13). When God said to go out of the ark (Gen 8:16), Noah went out of the ark (Gen 8:18). The book of Hebrews says, "By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." (Heb 11:7). I hope this encourages you to walk by faith with God, too, and to do what God says in Scripture.

Noah's Generations
In the table below, I have shown the generations from Noah to Abraham (Gen 11:10-32), along with the year of birth and year of death for each person, according to the number of years from the creation of Adam (Hebrew years).

Name Age at First Son's Birth Year of Birth Age at Death Year at Death Age at Noah's Death
Noah 500 1056 950 2006 950
Shem 100 1556 600 2156 450
Arphaxad 35 1656 438 2094 350
Shelah 33 1691 433 2127 315
Eber 34 1724 464 2188 282
Peleg 33 1758 242 2000
Reu 32 1791 239 2030 215
Serug 32 1823 232 2055 183
Nahor 29 1855 148 2003
Terah 70 1884 205 2089 122
Abraham 100 1954 175 2129 52

Noah to Abraham Chart
The chart below displays the data from the table above. Each yellow bar represents the life of the person named to the left, beginning with Noah at the bottom. Notice how all the bars above Noah's bar run concurrent with his life, showing that all these men were contemporaries of Noah.

Inspiration and Transmission of Scripture
While it is true that all Scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16), and that the writers received what they wrote through supernatural, divine inspiration, the accuracy of biblical history was preserved by eyewitness testimony. The Gospels are another example of this in that the apostles, who accompanied Jesus all the time He went in and out among them, until He was taken up from them into heaven, were reliable eyewitnesses of His resurrection (Ac 1:21-22). Matthew and John, who wrote the gospels that bear their names, and Peter, who is believed to be the source of Mark's gospel, saw the majestic glory of Christ firsthand, and heard the voice that came from heaven when they were with Him on the sacred mountain (Joh 1:14; 2 Peter 1:16-18).
Luke, who was not one of the Twelve apostles, began his gospel by saying, "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught." (Luk 1:1-4).

Even though Luke was inspired by God to write the gospel, he also investigated everything carefully from the beginning, compiled eyewitness testimonies, and wrote out the exact truth in consecutive order. Likewise, when he wrote the book of Acts, he did the same thing, except that he himself was also one of the eyewitnesses to the things he wrote, regarding the apostle Paul's ministry, since he was one of his traveling companions. Therefore, we know that God's supernatural work of inspiration is also accompanied by the supernatural way he oversees the accuracy of the transmission process through eyewitness accounts.

Putting it All Together
Through this study, we have seen that the ancient men of old who lived before the flood were contemporaries of Adam, except for Noah, who was born after Adam died. It helps us to see that Adam would have had a relationship with his descendants up to the ninth generation.

Noah began a new generation separated from the life of Adam that would bring hope and the knowledge of God into a new world. He also carried with him the true account of the creation from Adam, as well as his own eyewitness account of God destroying all of creation, because of the wickedness of mankind, and graciously saving Noah and his family -- eight in all -- just as God said He would do. All that God said He would do was fulfilled, just as all Scripture must be fulfilled.

Likewise, after the flood, Noah lived to see his descendants in the line of Shem up to the eleventh generation -- all the way up to Abraham. He was a contemporary with all of those, and they all lived to see his death, except for Peleg and Nahor.  Abraham's father Terah was 122 years old at the time of Noah's death and Abraham was 52. So they may have heard the account of the creation and the flood directly from Noah, along with all the other key events that happened before and after the flood. 

Ancient history was carried forward for 2,000 years primarily by two main persons with firsthand, eyewitness accounts, namely Adam and Noah. That's excellent record-keeping on God's part! And all of the descendants of these two men, who lived contemporaneously with them, provided an excellent backup of that information, along with their own valuable contributions of what they personally witnessed.

Moreover, like Noah, Shem his son lived before, during, and after the flood. Just like his father, Shem helped to bridge the generations of Adam across the flood and he lived to the ripe old age of 600 years old! He was 450 years old when Noah died. And he outlived all of his descendants up to and including Abraham, except for Eber (Shem died in 2156 and Eber died 32 years later). So just as Noah, Shem was able to transmit to all of these descendants of his the accurate accounts of the creation and the flood, as well as all of the other events before and after the flood up until his death. He died 27 years after Abraham died! His blessed family line became the one through which Abraham and all the Hebrews descended, and the line through which David and his Son, Jesus Christ came (Lk 3:21-38).

This shows the amazing care that God took to preserve the accurate accounts of those important events from early human history, so that they could be passed down to us later by Moses in what has come to be known as the first book of Moses or Genesis. Don't ever doubt God's supernatural ability to preserve His Word.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Noah's Preaching Scorned" by Harry Anderson.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the Home page, such as All Scripture must be fulfilled, The Bible Never Fails, and The Evil Nephilim Giants. You may also access other articles on the Home page for this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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