Adam to the Great Flood
Continuity of Narrative
Evening and morning, a sixth day: Adam first, and then Eve, is created.
One hundred and thirty years later Adam has Seth who, at 105, begat Enos who is 90 when Cainan is born and he 70 when he has a son, Mahalaleel. The 65-year old Mahalaleel begat Jared who, at 162, begat Enoch. Remember Enoch: taken by God at age 365! (See author’s calculations at bottom page, or see Northwest College of the Bible Online).
At 187 years old—about 50 years before the death of Adam—Enoch’s son Methuselah has Lamech, the father (at age 182) of Noah. Most of Lamech’s forefathers, including Adam, are alive up until Lamech’s fifth decade. The father of Noah, Lamech, is in daily contact with Adam for forty to fifty years (Northwest College of the Bible Online).
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 then, as they do for 600 years, Lamech has scope to pass on much to Noah. And Noah’s three sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—each have 100 years alongside their grandfather, Lamech, but also their great-grandfather, Methuselah.
|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.
As we read Genesis (all scripture in fact) we are secure in the knowledge that prior to the Great Flood continuity of narrative had been well established. It appears likely that, up until then at least, this narrative was maintained with a high degree of fidelity so that Noah, and his three sons, take aboard the Ark not just 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, one suspects that Noah in particular ensured a good understanding of pre-flood history to take into a post-flood world. As the Great Flood came (Noah’s 600th year) and slowly went (Noah’s 601st year), within two years—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 Genealogy of Noah and his 3 sons
The end of the Edenic period, Adam and Eve are thrust into a bleak antediluvian world, Thomas Cole, 1828 [Wikimedia Commons]