Adam to the Great Flood – Continuity of Narrative
Evening and morning, a sixth day: Adam (“man”) is created, soon followed by Eve (woman). One hundred and thirty years later, Adam has his first son, Seth, who, at 105, begat Enos who is 90 when his son, Cainan, is born and he 70 when he has a son, Mahalaleel. Sixty-five-year old Mahalaleel begat Jared, who, at 162, begat Enoch. Remember Enoch, taken by God at age 365! At age 187 years—about 50 years before the death of Adam—Enoch’s son, Methuselah, has Lamech, the father, at age 182, of Noah.
Lamech’s ancestors, including Adam, are alive up until Lamech’s fifth decade. Father of Noah, Lamech is in daily contact with Adam for forty to fifty years.
Not long after Adam’s death, Enoch is translated and Seth, too, dies just before the birth of Noah himself. Meanwhile, Lamech and Methuselah likely die one within a few years of the other. Co-existing as they do for 600 years, Lamech has scope to pass on much to Noah. And Noah’s three sons—Shem, Ham, Japheth—each have 100 years alongside grandfather Lamech, but also great-grandfather Methuselah.
Table 1: Dates of biblical events from Creation (Answers in Genesis)
|Event / Person||Verse||Time from Creation (years)|
|God created everything.||Genesis 1–2||0|
|Adam became the father of Seth at 130.||Genesis 5:3||0 + 130 = 130|
|Seth, father of Enosh at 105.||Genesis 5:6||130 + 105 = 235|
|Enosh, father of Kenan at 90.||Genesis 5:9||235 + 90 = 325|
|Cainan, father of Mahalalel at 70.||Genesis 5:12||325 + 70 = 395|
|Mahalalel, father of Jared at 65.||Genesis 5:15||395 + 65 = 460|
|Jared, father of Enoch at 162.||Genesis 5:18||460 + 162 = 622|
|Enoch, father of Methuselah at 65.||Genesis 5:21||622 + 65 = 687|
|Methuselah, father of Lamech at 187.||Genesis 5:25||687 + 187 = 874|
|Lamech, father of Noah at 182.||Genesis 5:28||874 + 182 = 1056|
|The Flood started when Noah was 600.||Genesis 7:6||1056 + 600 = 1656|
“As you can see from Table 1, the year in which the Flood came was 1656 AM 1 (Anno Mundi: “year of the world”). From the rest of the Old Testament and other well-documented historical events we understand that creation, as calculated by Ussher, was about 4004 BC. So with a little more math we can calculate the second date.”
|Calculated BC date for creation:||4004|
|Calculated AM date for the Flood:||– 1656|
|Calculated BC date for the Flood:||2348|
|Current Year (minus one 2):||+ 2011|
|Number of years since beginning of Flood:||4359|
“Using the Bible, well-documented historical events, and some math, we find that the Flood began approximately 4,359 years ago in the year 1656 AM or 2348 BC. Some may look for an exact date (i.e. month and day), but we are not given that sort of precision in Scripture”.
While reading “Genesis“, or any scripture, remain secure in the knowledge that, prior to the Great Flood, a narrative continuity had been well established. It appears likely that at least up until then, this narrative is maintained with a high degree of fidelity allowing Noah and his three sons to take aboard the Ark not just two of every animal of its kind but also a rich and accurate first-hand account of the antediluvian world, from the time of the “first Adam”. Forewarned of the coming catastrophe, it seems reasonable to suspect that Noah in particular ensured a thorough understanding of pre-flood history is taken into a post-flood world. As the Great Flood came (in Noah’s 600th year) and slowly went (in Noah’s 601st year), within two years—that is, 729 years from Adam’s death and 1659 years from his creation—the 135-year old Shem had his first-born, Arphaxad.
These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
—King James Bible, Genesis Chapters 5 and 11
The legend of Noah has drawn comparison with “Shu” of ancient Egyptian mythology, “Uranus” in Greek myth, “Caelus” (possibly “Janus“) of Roman lore. While Noah’s wife goes unamed in the Bible, tradition compares her to Egyptian “Tefnut“, equated with “Gaia” of Greek myth, the equivalent of Roman “Terra“.
Genealogy of Noah and his 3 sons
- Northwest College of the Bible Online
- Genesis chapter 5, KJV
The end of the Edenic period, Adam and Eve are thrust into a bleak antediluvian world, by Thomas Cole (1828) [Wikimedia Commons]