by Rev Eric R Towse

I have often found it to be helpful to have a time reference when reading the Old Testament. The next time you study Genesis, have this chronology available. It covers time from the creation of Adam to the death of Joseph. There are also many interesting facts that may be deduced from a study of the data that has been meticulously recorded in Scripture for our benefit. The reference year for this chronology is the creation of Adam, or zero. All of the events described in Genesis that have been associated with the years of birth, lifetime, or death, have been added to this zero-base. As you read Genesis, note that the year has been calculated by simple addition. For example, “When Seth was 105 years he gave birth to Enosh” (130 + 105 = 235).

000 Creation of Adam
130 Birth of Seth
235 Birth of Enosh
325 Birth of Kenan
395 Birth of Mahalalel
460 Birth of Jared
622 Birth of Enoch
687 Birth of Methuselah
874 Birth of Lamech
930 Death of Adam
987 Translation of Enoch
1042 Death of Seth
1056 Birth of Noah
1140 Death of Enosh
1235 Death of Kenan
1290 Death of Mahalael
1422 Death of Jared
1536 120 year Flood Warning
1558 Birth of Shem
1651 Death of Lamech
1656 Death of Methuselah & Beginning of Flood
1657 Flood Ends
1658 Birth of Arphaxad
1693 Birth of Shelah
1723 Birth of Eber
1757 Birth of Peleg
1787 Birth of Reu
1819 Birth of Serug
1849 Birth of Nahor
1878 Birth of Terah
1948 Birth of Abram
1996 Death of Peleg
1997 Deatrh of Nahor
2006 Death of Noah
2007 Death of Reu
2048 Birth of Isaac
2049 Death of Serug
2083 Death of Terah
2096 Death of Arphaxad
2108 Birth of Jacob
2123 Death of Abraham
2126 Death of Shelah
2153 Death of Eber
2158 Death of Shem
2185 Jacob goes to Laban
2199 Birth of Joseph
2216 Joseph Sold as a Slave
2228 Death of Isaac
2238 Jacob Goes to Egypt
2255 Death of Jacob
2309 Death of Joseph

Some of the interesting facts that may be observed from this list is that when Adam died (at age 930), Noah’s father, Lamech was 56. This means that Noah’s father could have heard the Creation account directly from Adam! Also, none of the righteous lineage of Shem died in the Flood. The eldest, Methuselah died in the same year as the flood, but all of his ancestors had died previously.
When we look at the birth of Abram we migh be surprised to see that it is in the year 1948, the same year that the modern country of Israel was formed by U.N. resolution. The most important fact of this chronology, however, is its completeness. God wanted us to know that there were exactly 2309 years from the creation of Adam to the death of Joseph in Egypt. This is the only book in the Bible that is so exacting in its account of events until the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah are chronicled. These mathematical relationships to the years of birth, lifetime, and death in Genesis all “fit” giving further credibility to God’s Word.