From Noah to the Children of Abraham

Ten generations again span this period according to the Hebrew Bible. In the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint or LXX) there is an extra generation inserted, and Luke copies this in his genealogy of Christ. Exact ages are given so it appears the record is complete in what is given. Many individuals are missing, but it appears that one person from each generation is listed.

For clarity it is better to use several tables, thus Table 2, 3, and 4 show the descendants of each of the three sons of Noah. Though he was not the oldest son, I have listed Shem first as his is the line that leads to Abraham. I have stopped this listing at Terah and started again in table 5.

If my assumption is correct and each generation from Noah to Abraham is listed, then a check on death dates shown in the table indicates that the named person from each generation was still alive when Abraham was born. Even more startling, only Noah and Abraham's three immediate ancestors have died during Abraham's life time! However it must be recognised that generations may have been skipped, and we do not have a complete chain of names.

Apart from the line of Abraham, shown here with his birth name of Abram, it appears as if the intention was to record the fathers of all the various tribes known to the people of Israel at the time the book was written.

Note that the name Egypt is written as Mizraim in the KJV, but Egypt (as in the NRSV) is a correct translation to English for Mizraim.

Tables of Nations

In many of the genealogies of this era and even later, some of the names are obviously not the names of individuals but those of house, clans or even nations. Wherever this is obvious I have put a star (*) after the name to indicate that the name is not intended to be that of an individual.

Another lesson from genealogies

Again a study of the genealogies shows something not mentioned elsewhere; the rapid decrease in life span following the flood. No reason is given, the fact is not commented on, but there is an indication of change of diet following the flood. However it is probably reading too much into one factor to assume that this is the only factor contributing to this decline in life length.

The Children of Abraham

In the Bible immediately after the lists of the descendants of the two sons of Abraham there are two other listings. The first is the children of Seir the Horite. He is presumably listed because of his close relationship with Esau, though it may be because they are near neighbours of the Israelites. This is shown in table 8. This table starts at generation 1 (one) as I do no6t know where they fit in the table of nationes given under the sons of Noah. Thus I am unable to link this listing into the main ancestry starting with Adam.

Then there is a listing of the kings of Edom. These do not follow a genealogical order, as the king who takes over as the previous one dies is not the son of the previous king. These had close relationships with Israel, so again this is probably the reason why they are listed. I have included these in my data, but not in the tables.

In the period of the children of Abraham the stories of the happenings are given in much more detail. This may be why there is not so much extra information in the genealogical tables.

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