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The genealogies of Genesis (in chapters 4, 5 and 11 of the Book of Genesis) record the descendants of Adam and Eve to Abraham, including the age at which each patriarch fathered his named son and the number of years he lived thereafter. The genealogy contains two branches: for Cain, given in Chapter 4, and for Seth in Chapter 5. Genesis chapter 10, the Table of Nations records the populating of the Earth by Noah's descendants, and is not strictly a genealogy but an ethnography).

Enumerated genealogyEdit

Three versions of the Genesis genealogy exist: the Hebrew Masoretic Text, the Greek Septuagint, and the Hebrew Samaritan Pentateuch. Translations from the Masoretic Text are preferred by Western Christians, including Roman Catholics and Protestants and by followers of Orthodox Judaism, whereas the Greek version is preferred by Eastern Christians, including Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Ethiopic, Jacobite, and Armenian. The Samaritan version of the Pentateuch is used mainly by the Samaritans. The Vulgate, published by Jerome in 405, is a Latin translation based on a Hebrew Tanakh compiled near the end of the first century, whereas the Septuagint was reportedly written by seventy translators in Egypt near the middle of the third century BC based on an earlier version of the Tanakh. Both of these translations have, like the Masoretic Text, been the basis for translations into numerous vernacular languages.

The following table lists the patriarchs that appear in the Vulgate and the Septuagint, but their names are spelled as they appear in the King James Version of the Bible. Their year of birth differs according to the Vulgate or the Septuagint. (AM = Anno Mundi = in the year of the world). Also given is each patriarch's age at the birth of his named son and the age of the patriarch's death. Cainan, born after the Flood, is mentioned in the Septuagint but not the Vulgate. Methuselah survived the Flood according to the Vatican text of the Septuagint (but not the Vulgate), even though he was not on Noah's Ark; other manuscripts of the Septuagint, such as the Codex Alexandrinus, have Methuselah dying before the Flood.[1] (The wives are added to this table from a 2nd century BC Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees):

  Vulgate Septuagint  
Patriarch Birth Son Death Birth Son Death Wife/Wives/etc
Adam AM 1 130 930 AM 1 230 930 Eve
Seth 130 105 912 230 205 912 Azura¹
Enos or Enosh 235 90 905 435 190 905 Noam¹
Cainan or Kenan 325 70 910 625 170 910 Mualaleth¹
Mahalaleel 395 65 895 795 165 895 Dinah¹
Jared 460 162 962 960 162 962 Baraka¹
Enoch 622 65 365² 1122 165 365² Edna¹
Methuselah 687 187 969 1287 167 969 Edna¹
Lamech 874 182 777 1454 188 753 Betenos¹
Noah 1056 500 950 1642 500 950 Emzara¹
Shem 1556 100 600 2142 100 600 Sedeqetelebab¹
Flood 1656 2242  
Arphaxad 1656 35 438 2242 135 535 Rasueja¹
Cainan 2377 130 460 Melka¹
Salah 1691 30 433 2507 130 460 Muak¹
Eber 1721 34 464 2637 134 404 Azurad¹
Peleg 1755 30 239 2771 130 339 Lomna¹
Reu 1785 32 239 2901 132 339 Ora¹
Serug 1817 30 230 3033 130 330 Melka¹
Nahor 1847 29 148 3163 179 304 Ijaska¹
Terah 1876 70 205 3342 70 275+ Edna¹
Abraham 1946 100 175 3412 Sarai; (Hagar); Keturah

¹: The names of these wives are recorded in the Book of Jubilees, not Genesis. The names of the other wives are recorded in both.
²: According to most interpretations, including the New Testament Epistle to the Hebrews, Enoch did not die,[2] but was taken away by God (at an age of 365). Genesis states that Enoch "walked with God; and he was not; for God took him."[3]

Genealogies of Cain and SethEdit

Three of Adam and Eve's children are named. The main genealogy is via Seth, who was born after Cain, the firstborn son, slew his brother Abel. A genealogy for Cain is also given (in genesis 4˄), with some names similar to those for Seth's descendants. No years are provided, so the following table simply lines the descendants up by generation.

<center>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adam
 
Eve
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cain
 
 
 
Abel
 
 
 
Seth
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Enoch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Enos (Enosh)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Irad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cainan (Kenan)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mehujael
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mahalaleel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Methushael
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jared
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adah
 
Lamech
 
 
 
Zillah
 
 
 
Enoch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jabal
 
Jubal
 
Tubal-Cain
 
Naamah
 
Methuselah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lamech
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Noah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shem
 
Ham
 
Japheth

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(for a continuation of this family tree through the line of Shem, see Abraham's Family Tree)

Genesis numbersEdit

Nearly all modern translations of Genesis are derived from the Masoretic (Hebrew) Text. But there are also two other versions of Genesis: the Samaritan (in an early Hebrew script) and the Septuagint (a Greek translation of an early Hebrew text). Although, scholars are aware that these three versions of Genesis 5 have different numbers, people who have seen only the commonly available translations are often unaware that other versions exist. The numbers in the Masoretic, Samaritan, and Lucianic Septuagint versions of Genesis are shown in this table:[4]


    Masoretic & Vulgate   Samaritan   Septuagint    
Patriarch Meaning Birth Son remain Death Birth Son remain Death Birth Son remain Death Wife/Wives/etc
Adam man 0 130 800 930 0 130 800 930 0 230 700 930 Eve
Seth Appointed 130 105 807 912 130 105 807 912 230 205 707 912 Azura¹
Enosh Mortal 235 90 815 905 235 90 815 905 435 190 715 905 Noam¹
Kenan Sorrow 325 70 840 910 325 70 840 910 625 170 740 910 Mualaleth¹
Mahalalel The Blessed God 395 65 830 895 395 65 830 895 795 165 730 895 Dinah¹
Jared Shall come down 460 162 800 962 460 62 785 847 960 162 800 962 Baraka¹
Enoch Teaching 622 65 300 365² 522 65 300 365² 1122 165 200 365² Edna¹
Methuselah His death shall bring 687 187 782 969 587 67 653 720 1287 167 802 969 Edna¹
Lamech The Despairing 874 182 595 777 654 53 600 653 1454 188 565 753 Betenos¹
Noah Rest, or comfort 1056 500  — 950 707 500  —  — 1642 500  — 950 Emzara¹
Shem   1556 100 500 600 1207 100 500 600 2142 100 335 435 Sedeqetelebab¹
Arphaxad   1656 35 403 438 1307 135 330 465 2242 135 330 465 Rasueja¹
Cainan    —  —  —  — 1442 130 330 460 2377 130 330 460 Melka¹
Salah   1691 30 403 433 1572 130 330 460 2507 130 330 460 Muak¹
Eber   1721 34 430 464 1702 134 370 504 2637 134 370 504 Azurad¹
Peleg   1755 30 209 239 1836 130 209 339 2771 130 209 339 Lomna¹
Reu   1785 32 207 239 1966 132 207 339 2901 132 207 339 Ora¹
Serug   1817 30 200 230 2098 130 200 330 3033 130 200 330 Melka¹
Nahor   1847 29 119 148 2228 79 129 208 3163 79 129 208 Ijaska¹
Terah   1876 70  — 205 2307 70 205 275 3342 70 205+ 275+ Edna¹
Abram   1946 100  — 175 2377  —  —  — 3412 100  — 175 Sarai; (Hagar); Keturah



¹: The names of these wives are recorded in the Book of Jubilees, not Genesis. The names of the other wives are recorded in both.
²: According to most interpretations, including the New Testament Epistle to the Hebrews, Enoch did not die,[5] but was taken away by God (at an age of 365). Genesis states that Enoch "walked with God; and he was not; for God took him."[6]

Differences in the Genesis 5 numbersEdit

A comparison of the Genesis 5 numbers (Adam through Noah) in the above table shows that the ages when the sons were born plus the remainders equal the totals given in each version, but each version uses different numbers to arrive at these totals. The three versions agree on some of the total ages at death, but many of the other numbers differ by exactly 100. The Septuagint numbers for the ages of the fathers at the birth of their sons, are in many instances 100 greater than the corresponding numbers in the other two versions.

The Samaritan chronology has Jared and Methuselah dying in Noah's 600th year, the year of the Flood. The Masoretic chronology also has Methuselah dying in Noah’s 600th year, but the Masoretic version uses a different chronology than the Samaritan version. The Lucianic text of the Septuagint has Methuselah surviving the Flood and therefore the 100 year differences were not an attempt by the Septuagint editors to have Jared, Methuselah, or Lamech die during or prior to the Flood.[7] Some scholars[8] argue that the differences between the Masoretic and Septuagint chronologies in Genesis 5 can be explained as alterations designed to rationalize a primary Masoretic system of chronology to a later Septuagint system. According to another scholar,[9] to assume that the Masoretic Text is primary "is a mere convention for the scholarly world" and "it should not be postulated in advance that MT reflects the original text of the biblical books better than the other texts."

Some commentators argue that the Genesis 5 numbers were intended to be read at face value, as solar years and not months, because attempts to rationalize the numbers by translating "years" as "months" results in some of the Genesis 5 people fathering children when they were five years old (if the Masoretic chronology is assumed to be primary).[10]

The scholarly translation of the Hebrew Pentateuch into Greek at Alexandria, Egypt in about 280 BC worked off a Hebrew text that was edited in the 5th and 4th centuries BC.[11] This would be centuries older than the proto–Masoretic Text selected as the official text by the Masoretes.[12]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Hall, Jonathan, Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity Cambridge U.Press, 1997.
  • Malkin, Irad, editor, Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity in series Center for Hellenic Studies Colloquia, 5. Harvard University Press, 2001. Reviewed by Margaret C. Miller in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2002
  • Driver, S. R., The Book of Genesis, Westminster Commentaries, 3rd edition, London, UK, Methuen, 1904.
  • Kautzsch, E. F.: quoted by James Orr, "The Early Narratives of Genesis," in The Fundamentals, Vol. 1, Los Angeles, CA, Biola Press, 1917.
  • Dillmann, A., Genesis: Critically and Exegetically Expounded, Vol. 1, Edinburgh, UK, T. and T. Clark, 1897, 314.
  • Custance, Arthur C., The Roots of the Nations.[2]
  • Schmandt-Besserat, Denise, How Writing Came About, University of Texas Press, 1996, ISBN 0-292-77704-3.
  • Etz, Donald V., "The Numbers of Genesis V 3-31: a Suggested Conversion and Its Implications", Vetus Testamentum, Vol. 43, No. 2, 1994, pages 171–187.
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NotesEdit

  1. Genzlinger, Darrell, 2003. 'Critique on Africanus' Chronology'.[1]
  2. Hebrews 11:5, King James Version.
  3. Genesis 5:24, King James Version.
  4. John Skinner, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis, T&T Clark, Endinburgh (original edition 1910, this edition 1930), p. 134.
  5. Hebrews 11:5, King James Version.
  6. Genesis 5:24, King James Version.
  7. Ralph W. Klein, "Archaic Chronologies and the Textual History of the Old Testament", Harvard Theol Review, 67 (1974), pp. 255-263.
  8. Gerhard Larsson, "The Chronology of the Pentateuch: A Comparison of the MT and LXX", Journal of Biblical Literature, 102 (1983), pp. 401-409.
  9. Emanual Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), pp. 11, 352.
  10. Joseph Blenkinsopp, The Pentateuch, Doubleday (1992), p. 74, ISBN 0-385-41207-X.
  11. Charles M. Laymon (editor), The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary on the Bible, Abingdon Press, Nashville (1971), p. 1227.
  12. Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (1992), pp. 11, 352.

External linksEdit


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