Thursday, January 7, 2010

Age of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

I posted this longevity chart in November 2008 originally. As I was preparing for the Bible study group I attended at that time, I started to sidetrack and paid attention to Jacob's age because I noticed some websites say that Jacob was in his seventies when he met Rachel. Really???
I didn't notice it before. Let's see...

If Adam was born in the year 0 and if we continue counting according to the information from the Bible...

1948 Abraham was born
2048 Abraham 100 years old, Isaac was born
2108 Abraham 160, Isaac 60, Jacob and Esau were born
2123 Abraham was 175 when he died, that makes Isaac 75, Jacob and Esau 15

Genesis 26:34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

It is after this that Jacob disguised as Esau and went into Isaac's tent. Then Rebekah came up with another idea.

Genesis 27:46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living."

So we can say that Jacob was at least 40 years old when he left home.

48 Esau was married, 40 years old

After this is a little tricky. We have to go to the time when Jacob finally saw Joseph in Egypt and count backwards to figure out their ages. Then as we can see later, we learn that Jacob was 91 when Joseph was born.
If we simply counted the 7 + 7 years and deduct it from 91, that makes Jacob 77 years old when he met Rachel. Someone said that he was 77. But I am not sure about this because if Jacob was 77 when he met Rachel, all the other children (even though it was from 4 women) must have been born within 7 years.

We can say that Jacob was 91 when Joseph was born by calculating backwards from Genesis 41:46 and 45:11. (see scriptures below)

2199 Jacob 91, Joseph was born

2228 Isaac was 180 years when he died, Jacob 120,  
Joseph 29

When we see Genesis 41:46, it says that
He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt
2229 Joseph began serving in Egypt, 30 years old

Then 7 years of plenty came.
After 2 years into famine (Genesis 45:11 says "for there are still five years of famine ahead of us"), Jacob traveled to Egypt. So Joseph must have been 39 years old when he finally saw Jacob, who was 130 year old.

2238 Jacob 130 when he went to Egypt (speaking to Pharaoh in Genesis 47:9),
 Joseph 39
2243 Famine ended


our imagination

I used to think the Bible was talking about only one tree in the middle of the garden of Eden. I always thought that after Eve reached to the fruit from the forbidden tree and got kicked out of Eden, God protected that tree. Then later I found out that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil wasn't the tree God guarded later. It was the tree of life that was guarded. That means they used to eat from it freely. But the imagination in the brain was already painting my own picture, and I was not understanding the passage correctly. I should have paid attention to the facts. After I read carefully and got the facts, I could see it!
I am learning the same lesson here. Jacob's true age was somewhat shocking to me, but knowing the facts is important. Now I don't imagine a youthful man battling against an angel. He was in his nineties when that happened. ( I am sure the age 90 was not that old in those days, but still, 91 years old.)

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