Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Old Testament Genealogies

Today my reading went back to Genesis, to the calling of Abram. I got kind of side tracked… if Job comes between Noah and Abram… so I got to looking at genealogies and life spans. Years ago I went through this with Jacob and Hannah when we did Old Testament History but I had forgotten it all. Anyway, wrap your head around these numbers… (and remember I may be totally wrong somewhere, if I am I hope someone will point it out to me)

Adam and Seth were both still alive when Lamech, Noah’s father, was born. Noah and his family were actually on the boat for a bit over a year. Noah and his son Shem were still alive at the Tower of Babel. In fact, Noah lived 60 years after Abram was born, and Shem lived 210 years after Abram was born… does that mean he outlived Abram? That’s what it looks like to me. I will have to ask my pastor about all this.

When I read the Bible, particularly the well-known stories about the people, I don’t really think about their lives before or after they enter the story. I mean, we only have short pictures of their total lives. Adam lived 930 years, over 800 years beyond the birth of Seth, yet we don’t really hear anything else about him. Then there are these lists of names, of fathers and sons with maybe a sentence about them. But what stories did Adam and Eve tell to their great great great great great grandchildren? And how it must have hurt them to see the generations turn away from God and all that they surely taught them. Adam was still alive one generation before the flood. And where were Noah and Shem at the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages? Did Abram meet Noah and Shem? Did he have first hand information of the flood? This is fascinating to think about, though perhaps it means nothing spiritually… or does it? I’ll have to ponder this a while longer. And when I get to heaven I will ask these men their stories.
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