I recently heard a pastor claim that the time period from Adam to Abraham was 1948 years, which coincidentally is also the time from the Messiah to the re-birth of the nation of Israel in the year 1948.
Can one of you scripture super-stars validate or de-bunk the Adam to Abraham claim?
Put simply, it is impossible to know how much time there was between Adam and Abraham because we lack a complete genealogy between the two. The two NT genealogies that we have were written in the format that was common at the time, which allowed for the skipping over of unremarkable figures when tracing lineage. There’s no way of knowing if either genealogy is complete, so you cannot use either of them derive a the number of years from start to finish. If they had been written in the modern fashion of including each generation, then they would be contradictory, and cause for concern, since they list a different number of generations.
The same is true of the OT genealogies. In Biblical times, the use of the word father did not necessarily denote a direct paternal relationship between the two figures, and was used to describe any descendant along the paternal line. We can see some evidence for this sort of usage for the father/son pairing in the NT when Jesus is described as the Son of David. Of course, we know this to not be a direct paternal relationship, but rather that Jesus is a descendant in the line of David.
This Pastor is just trying to draw parallels between the OT and NT to support his own views an opinions, and is likely trying to support whatever sort of doomsday/rapture ideology he adheres to. He is twisting scripture to suit his whims.
In addition to which, scholarship seems to point to the fact that Jesus was actually born somewhere in the range of what we would call 6 to 2 “BC,” meaning that the “1948” math wouldn’t work out anyway. Based just on archaeology, intelligent human life would seem to have existed on earth long before 1948 years prior to the historical Abraham. Look up the Turkish site of Göbekli Tepe – parts of which have been dated to 9,000 BC.
The calculation is based on the ages of the patriarchs and the birth of theirs sons given in Genesis chapters 5 and 11 using the Masoretic text.
Sounds simple enough except for a few things. First there are differences in the ages at when each patriarch had their son depending if one uses the Masoretic, Septuagint, or Samaritan versions of Genesis. This can give nearly 1500 years difference between Adam and Abraham.
Even if you only use the Masoretic text, there are also differences in how people calculate Noah’s age when Shem was born (some say 500 others 502). This is because Genesis 5:32 says that after Noah turned 500 he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth. Some then say that Shem was born when Noah was 500. The problem being that Genesis 10:21 says that Japheth was Shem’s older brother. We know they were not twins so that would indicate that it was Japheth that was born when Noah was 500 and Shem and Ham were born later. If the flood took place when Noah was 600 and Genesis 11:10 says that Arphaxad, Shem’s son, was born 2 years after the flood when Shem was 100, then he would have been born 2 years after Japheth when Noah was 502.
The point is that the calculation of time between Adam and Abraham is highly dependent on the translation and if you read straight from the genealogies or include additional information from other parts of scripture.
Even if all the calculations lined up and are perfectly correct, it is a stretch to be trying to fit a potential coincidence to have some theological significance. I don’t know that your pastor was trying to do so or just pointing out an odd coincidence. In either case it isn’t anything I’d put much thought into.
I would expect it would have still followed a lunisolar calendar of some sort. Most ancient civilizations used a calendar that was roughly 360 days. They would then add “extra” days or months every few years to realign the lunar calendar with the solar cycle. It might not have been as accurate, but it would likely have been within a few days or weeks of the current 365. 24 days or what have you.
The only possible reason there might be high variation would be if a “year” ment something other than the sun and earth returning to the same “spot” in relationship to each other.
re: What was the length of a year in Adam, Noah, Shem’s time? The modern calendar based on the understanding of “modern” astronomy didn’t occur til the middle ages. So how long was a year in Noah’s time?
Actually the length of a year in Adam, Noah, and shem’s time was the same as it is today:365.24+. How a year was calculated back then and how it was measured is up to debate. Was Noah exactly 950 years old or 949 and some months, or 950 and some months? What month was he born? Remember, there was no January, February, etc. No 30 days has Sept., April, June, and November, etc.
I think too much time is spent on trying to figure out exact ages of people back then and miss the message of scripture.
So far as I’m aware there is absolutely nothing to support his claims. Now, that’s not to say it would surprise me; it wouldn’t be beyond God to arrange things like that. However, in the absence of evidence, using such conjecture to support a theological claim is misguided at best, and harmful at worst.
The short answer is it is another “I have proof the end times are upon us”… until it passes and has to be recalculated. “And by the way I have a book and interviews you should read”. Ignore him and other dooms day predictors. I guess they missed the part about no one knowing the time of his return.
Yes, Jewish tradition hold that Moses ascended the mountain on Elul 1 and stayed there for 40 days until Yom Kippur on Tishrei 10. This was held as atonement for the incident of the Golden Calf and why Elul is considered a month to ask for the forgiveness of wrongs to others.
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a specific day of the year that Jonah started preaching.
With regard to Christ being baptized on Elul 1? Again I don’t know that we actually know. I have also read that he was born on Elul 1 and he was baptized a month after his 30th birthday on Tishrei 1. Something to do with “proof positive” calculations of the prophecies of Daniel. It is quite possible that he went to the desert for the 40 days between Elul 1 and Yom Kippur, but I don’t know that we “know” it definitively.
I know he also tries tying Av 9 (destruction of the 1st and Second Temples) in with the start of WW1. He then links an eclipse on Aug 21 1914 to the one earlier this week. The problem of course is he uses one calendar to link some events and another to link others. This last eclipse was on Elul 1, but the one 103 years ago was on Av 29, 2 days before Elul 1 that year.
If I follow his argument, then on September 23 (Tishrei 4 - 1 week before Yom Kippur) we will see Rev 12 come to pass.
Here is a diagram from the Catholic Astronomer showing the constellation of Virgo with the moon beneath her feet, 12 stars as a crown (actually 9 stars from Leo, plus Mercury, Venus, and Mars) and the sun at Virgo’s shoulder.