The Biblical Patriarch Timeline Explained

Here, we have 2 timelines of the biblical patriarchs, beginning at the time of Adam to the death of Joseph, son of Jacob, as presented in the Genesis.

The first table simply show the genealogy of the Genesis, from a single line, from Adam to Joseph. While second table presents the history of Genesis, which for example show the date of when the Flood occurred or when God revealed his covenant to Abraham.

Genesis Genealogy

The Genesis Genealogy showed generations of patriarchs from Adam to Jacob and Joseph.

Due to figures – the number of years – being different in the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint Bible, I have displayed both. So the chart is divided into 2 – Masoretic and Septuagint.

Most English translations, including the King James Version, are based on Masoretic Texts, written in Hebrew, which began in the 7th century CE. The oldest extant manusacript of the Masoretic Text is the Aleppo Codex, 9th century CE.

The Septuagint Bible was written in Koine Greek, in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Hellenistic period (3rd century BCE to 2nd century BCE), when Alexandrian Jews thought to make scriptures available.

Age In this column, it displayed the age of the end of his life. For example, Adam died at the age of 930.
Age of siring next patriarch This column when a patriarch have a son that will carry the line, his age. This is what I call the “generation” number. For example, Adam was 120 years old when he became father of Seth. This number is very helpful in my calculation of the timeline.
Year (Birth – Death) This chronological years or the date, starting the time of Adam’s creation.

There are 2 numbers here, date of Birth and date of Death. Using the 2nd column (Age of siring next patriarch), I can work out the date in years of each generation.

Example for birth: calculating age of Adam at Seth’s birth, is 130. To calculate the date for Enosh’s birth, I simply add Seth’s age (which is 105) to Adam’s (130), so it will give me a date of year 235. So calculating the date of birth, is simply culumination of generation (2nd column).

Example for death: to get the date of when the person die, is simply using the Birth number, and adding the person age. Using Seth, we know he was born on the year 130, so we simply add 912 to the birth date, hence we get the date of death 1042.

 

Patriarchs Masoretic Septuagint Sources (Genesis)
Age † Age of siring
next patriarch
Year
(Birth-Death)
Age † Age of siring
next patriarch
Year
(Birth-Death)
Adam 930 130 0 – 930 930 230 0 – 930 5:3-5
Seth 912 105 130 – 1042 912 205 230 – 1142 5:3-8
Enosh 905 90 235 – 1140 905 190 435 – 1340 5:6-11
Kenan 910 70 325 – 1235 910 170 625 – 1535 5:9-14
Mahalalel 895 65 395 – 1290 895 165 795 – 1690 5:12-17
Jared 962 162 460 – 1422 962 162 960 – 1922 5:15-20
Enoch 365 65 622 – 987 365 165 1122 – 1487 5:18-24
Methuselah 969 187 687 – 1656 969 167 1287 – 2256 5:21-27
Lamech 777 182 874 – 1651 753 188 1454 – 1642 5:25-31
Noah ‡ 950 502 1056 – 2006 950 502 1642 – 2592 5-28-32; 7:6, 11; 9:24, 28-29
Shem 600 100 1558 – 2158 600 100 2144 – 2744 5:32; 11:10-11
Arpachshad 438 35 1658 – 2096 565 135 2244 – 2809 11:10-13
Kainan 460 130 2379 – 2839 11:12-13 (only in Septuagint)
Shelah 433 30 1693 – 2126 460 130 2509 – 2969 11:12-14
Eber 464 34 1723 – 2187 504 134 2639 – 3143 11:14-17
Peleg 239 30 1757 – 1996 339 130 2773 – 3112 11:16-19
Reu 239 32 1787 – 2026 339 132 2903 – 3242 11:18-21
Serug 230 30 1819 – 2049 230 130 3035 – 3265 11:20-23
Nahor 148 29 1849 – 1997 208 79 3165 – 3373 11:22-25
Terah 205 70 1878 – 2083 205 70 3244 – 3449 11:24-32
Abraham (Abram) 175 100 1948 – 2123 175 100 3314 – 3489 11:26-27, 29-31; 12-4; 16:16; 17:1, 17, 24; 21:3-4; 25:7-8
Issac 180 60 2048 – 2228 180 60 3414 – 3594 17:18, 25; 21:3-4; 25:20, 26; 35:28
Jacob 147 91 2108 – 2255 147 91 3474 – 3621 25:21-26; 35:28-29; 47:28
Joseph 110 36 2199 – 2309 110 36 3565 – 3675 30:22-24; 41:45-46, 50; 50:26

 

The generation in years (or the Age of siring next patriarch) is vital for using to calculate the date, in the 2nd table (The Genesis Chronicle). Without it would be impossible to find when the Flood occur.

 

The Genesis Chronicle

Below is a more simple timeline of the Genesis. Notice that the year 0 is the creation of Adam and Eve. This can be compared with the current timeline (and work backward with the Jewish Era or JE). Also that most dates are approximate calculation.

From the previous table of years and date, I was able to work out when the Flood occurred.

Noah was born in the year 1056. This figure come from culuminating total all the generation of years since Adam. The Flood happened when Noah was 600, so the date would be 1656. This date actually coincide with the death of Methuselah (Noah’s grandfather) died at the age of 969

Note that the date and years in this table are all based on the numbers obtained from the Masoretic Text.

Year
(Jewish Era)
Current
Timeline
Estimate
Events History
0 3760 BC Creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2).
Possible date of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24).
130 3630 BC Birth of Seth (Genesis 5:3-4).
622 3138 BC Birth of Enoch (Genesis 5:18-19).
687 3073 BC Birth of Methuselah (Genesis 5:21-22). Historical flood between Shuruppak and Kish, c. 2900 BC.
930 2830 BC Death of Adam [930] (Genesis 5:5). Etana of Kish, fl. 2800 BC.
987 2773 BC Ascension of Enoch [365] to the heaven (Genesis 5:23-24).
1042 2718 BC Death of Seth [912] (Genesis 5:8).
1056 2704 BC Birth of Noah (Genesis 5:28-29). Gilgamesh, Uruk, fl. c. 2700-2650 BC.
Djoser, 3rd Dynasty, Egypt.
Khufu, 4th Dynasty, Egypt.
Great Pyramids of Giza built.
1556 2204 BC Vision of Noah [500] (Genesis 6:11-22).
Noah began construction of the Ark.
Sargon the Great, c. 2334–2279 BC, Agade; established Akkadian dynasty.
Unas, d. 2325 BC, 5th Dynasty, Egypt.
1558 2202 BC Birth of Shem (Genesis 5:32).
1651 2109 BC Death of Lamech (777) (Genesis 5:31). 3rd Dynasty of Ur, c. 2112–c. 2004 BC.
1656 2104 BC Death of Methuselah [969] (Genesis 5:27).
Noah [600] and his family boarded the Ark.
The Great Flood (Genesis 7 & 8).
Ur-Nammu, 2113-2095 BC.
Shulgi, 2095-2047 BC.
Sesostris I, 1908–1875, 12th Dynasty, Egypt.
1830 1930 BC Possible date of God confounding those building the Tower of Babel, according to the Book of Jubilees.
1948 1812 BC Birth of Abraham, possibly in Ur (Genesis 11:26-27). Sesostris II, 1844–1837 BC, 12th Dynasty.
Amenemhet III, 1818–1770 BC, 12th Dynasty.
1958 1802 BC Birth of Sarah. Hammurabi, c. 1792–1750 BC, Babylon.
2006 1754 BC Death of Noah [950] (Genesis 9:28-29). Sebeknefru, c. 1760–1756 BC, 12th Dynasty.
2023 1737 BC Abraham [75] left Haran with Sarah and Lot, after his vision of God. (Genesis 12:1-8)
Abraham migrated to Bethel in Canaan (Genesis 12:8).
2024-2033? 1736-1727 BC? Abraham fled to Egypt during the famine in Canaan (Genesis 12:10-20).
Abraham defeated the army of Chedorlaomer and 3 other kings. (Genesis 14:1-17)
Melcizedek blessed Abraham. (Genesis 14:18-24)
2033 1727 BC Abraham [85] received the covenant from God (Genesis 15:8). 13th dynasty in Egypt (c. 1773-1650 BC).
2034 1726 BC Abraham [86] sired a son Ishmael by his concubine Hagar. (Genesis 16:16)
2047 1713 BC Circumcision of Abraham (99) and Ishmael (13). (Genesis 17:24-25)
Possible year of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorroh (Genesis 19:1-29).
2048 1712 BC Birth of Issac. Abraham is 100 and Sarah is 90. (Genesis 21:1-7)
2083 1677 BC Death of Terah [205] at Haran (Genesis 11:32).
2085 1675 BC Sarah [127] died at Hebron; she is buried at Machpelah Cave, near Mamre. (Genesis 23:1-2)
2088 1672 BC Issac [40] married Rebecca, daughter of Bethuel. (Genesis 25:20)
2108 1652 BC Birth of Jacob and Esau; Issac was 60 (Genesis 25:26). Ammisaduqa, c. 1646–c. 1626 BC, Babylon.
2123 1637 BC Death of Abraham [175]; he was buried at Machpelah Cave, beside Sarah (Genesis 25:7-11). Hyksos seized control of Egypt, c. 1630 BC and established the 15th Dynasty (1630-1521 BC).
2158 1602 BC Death of Shem [600] (Genesis 11:11).
2171 1589 BC Death of Ishmael [137].
2180-2200 1580-1560 BC Jacob [72] lived in Mesopotamia, working for his uncle, Laban, son of Bethuel (for 20 years: Genesis 31:38).
2187 1573 BC Jacob [79] married Leah and Rachel, daughters of Laban (Genesis 29:14-30).
2190 1570 BC Birth of Levi; Jacob was 82. (Genesis 29:34)
2191 1569 BC Birth of Judah; Jacob was 83. (Genesis 29:35)
2199 1561 BC Birth of Joseph; Jacob was 91. (Genesis 30:22-24)
2200 1560 BC Jacob [92] and his family return to Canaan.
Jacob receives the name Israel at Peniel (Genesis 32:22-32).
Reconcilation of Jacob and Esau.
2216 1544 BC Jacob’s sons sold Joseph [17] into slavery (Genesis 37:12-36).
Became slave of Potiphar, an Egyptian captain of the palace guards.
Ahmose, c. 1539–1514 BC, Egypt; founder of the 18th Dynasty (1539-1292 BC).
2228 1532 BC Death of Rachel (Genesis 35:16-20).
Death of Issac [180], in Mamre (Genesis 35:27-29).
2229 1531 BC Joseph [30] became governor of Egypt (Genesis 41:45-46).
Joseph married Asenath, daughter of the priest Potiphera of Heliopolis (Genesis 41:50).
Beginning of the Seven Years of Plenty.
2236 1524 BC Beginning of the Seven Years of Famine (Genesis 41:53-57).
2238 1522 BC Jacob [130] and his family moved to Goshen in Egypt. (Genesis 47:9) Ahmose’s capture of Avaris, 1521 BC.
2244 1516 BC Seven Years of Famine ended. Ahmose capture Hyksos’ stronghold, Sharuhen, in Palestine, c. 1518 BC.
Amenhotep I, c. 1514–1493 BC, Egypt.
2255 1505 BC Death of Jacob [147] at Goshen (Genesis 49:33); he is buried at Machpelah Cave.
2309 1451 BC Death of Joseph [110] (Genesis 50:22-26). Hatshepsut, 1479-1458 BC.
Thutmose III, 1479–1426 BC.
2327 1433 BC Death of Levi [137] (Exodus 6:16).

 

Problem of Dating the period between Genesis and Exodus

When it comes to dating the interval between the Genesis and the Exodus, we have this problem. It would seem simple enough, considering that there are short generations between Levi and Moses.

In various translations of the Bible, Exodus 12:40-41 says that the Israelites have lived in Egypt for 430 years:

The length of time that Israelites lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years; at the end of four hundred and thirtieth year, to the very day, all the ranks of the LORD departed from the land of Egypt.
Exodus 12:40-41 (JPS)
Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
Exodus 12:40-41 (KJV)

If the above passages are correct, then the Israelites were in Egypt, from the time of Jacob settled in Egypt, to Moses leaving Egypt with his fellow-Israelites, would be 430 years. This would seem incredibly excessive, given that there were only 1 and 2 generations between Levi and Moses.

We know that Jacob arrived in Egypt in 2238 JE. That would mean Moses’ arrival in Mount Sinai with the Israelites was in the year 2668 JE.

Unfortunately, the Genesis provide no date or year as to when Jacob had each of his 12 sons, nor how old Jacob was, with each birth. It would be difficult to work out but not impossible.

Here are the ages and dates that we do know about Jacob, Joseph and Levi:

  • Jacob (and Esau) was born when Isaac was 60 years old (2108 JE) – Genesis 25:26.
  • Jacob served Laban for 20 years – Genesis 31:38; seven years before he married Leah and Rachel.
  • Joseph was 30 when he served the king – Genesis 41:45-46.
  • Jacob arrived in Egypt at age 130 (2238) – Genesis 47:9.
  • Jacob died in Egypt, at age 147 (2255) – Genesis 47:28.
  • Joseph died at age 110 – Genesis 50:26.
  • Levi died at age 137 – Exodus 6:16.

To work out what age Joseph was, we need to work out when Jacob arrived, and when the famine began. Fortunately it mentioned that 2 years after the 7-year of famine began, Jacob came to Egypt at age 130, which it was in the year 2238 JE. Since 7 years of plenty plus 2 of 7 years of famine, we worked out that Joseph age at 2238, 39 year of age. So freedom of slavery and 1st year of service (and marriage) at age 30, would mean this happened in the year 2229 JE (because 2238 minus 9 years make 2229).

From these figures and age, we have worked out when Joseph was born, and that’s 2199 JE.

A year later (2200 JE), Jacob returned back to his father’s home at age 92. With these figures, we can map out, when Jacob’s age and date, such as when the service to Laban began (2180 JE, at age 72) and dates of Jacob’s marriage (2187 JE, 79) and most of his children’s birth.

It is trickier, to work out the date of birth of each of Jacob’s sons (and daughter) who were born in Haran. But since we now know the date of marriage and end of Jacob’s service to Laban, we can do some guess-work.

Let’s say that Jacob had a child each succeeding year, until Joseph was born. So Reuben, the eldest son of Leah was born a year later after the marriage, that mean Jacob was 80, when he had Reuben in 2188. Simeon in 2189, Levi in 2190 and Judah in 2191.

Since we know which year Levi was born, we can now easily work out that he was 48 when he arrived in Egypt in 2238 JE; and died in the year 2327 JE, at age 137.

Unfortunately, we don’t have information of when Levi’s son and grandson were born, nor that of his daughter.

What is known is that Levi had 3 sons – Gershon, Kohath and Merari (Genesis 46:11), and they were all born at some time before they arrived in Egypt. And Kohath was the father of Amram, who was father of Moses.

Levi’s daughter, Jochebed is a complete mystery. All we know about her, is that she married her nephew, Amram, and became mother to Aaron, Miriam and Moses. We don’t know if she was born before or after Levi went to Egypt with his father and brothers.

And if we are to believe that the Israelites had lived in Egypt for 430 years, then there’s 261 years between the time of Levi’s death and Moses leading people out of Egypt to receive the Ten Commandments. This gap is huge.

(Calculation: 430 years – 80 – 89 = 261 years, because Levi lived in Egypt for 89 years.)

Even if Jochebed was born on the year of her father’s death in 2327, that mean Jochebed would be 261-year old, when Moses is born, which is clearly impossible. Hence, the 430 years in Exodus 12:40 is wrong.

Even the generations between Noah and the birth of Abraham (Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, and Terah), 9 generations that amounts to only 370 years. So how could 2 generations (Kohath and Amram) or one generation (Jochebed) make 261 years.

An alternative date can be given, if we accept Paul’s statement in Galatians 3:17.

What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.
Galatians 3:17 (NIV)

That the 430 years began when Abraham received the covenant from God, Genesis 15. It was the same year that Ishmael was born, when Abraham was 86, in the year 2034 JE. Paul’s letter is saying that the Law (Ten Commandments) came 430 years after Abraham’s covenant.

This mean the date for the Exodus and receiving the Ten Commandments would be in 2464 JE, instead of 2668 JE.

At the very least, using the new dates, Jochebed would be 137-year old when she gave birth to Moses. The age of 137 is better than 261 years, but it is still excessive, and improbable.

A third alternative, is using the same verse in Exodus – 12:40, but using a different translation of the bible – the Septuagint Bible. The Septuagint Bible was translated into Greek in Egypt, in the 3rd-2nd century BCE.

And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, was four hundred and thirty years.
Exodus 12:40 (Septuagint Bible)

The Septuagint clearly indicate that the Israelites lived in both Canaan and Egypt for 430 years before their departure from Egypt with Moses, while the other translations of the same verse, only indicated that the Israelites were only in Egypt for 430 years.

And since in every translations say either “Israelites”, “Israelite People” or “Children of Israel”, then Paul’s statement about the period of 430 years between the covenant of Abraham and Moses receiving new law, don’t ring true, because technically, Abraham and Isaac were not “Israelites”.

And Exodus include both Canaan and Egypt in the 430 years, then it would have started when Jacob brought his family to Canaan, after his 20-year services to his father-in-law, Laban. This would put the date to the year 2200 JE. They stayed in Canaan for 38 years before they migrated to Egypt, in the year 2238 JE. So 430 years would mean that Moses left Egypt and brought the Israelites to Mount Sinai for the new law in 2630 JE.

The number of years between the death of Levi and the birth of Moses would be 223 years; and this number would still be too excessive.

If we were to accept the time that 430 years start with Abraham’s Covenant, then here are the following dates:

Jewish Era Current Dating Biblical Events Historical Events
2033 1727 BC God gave the Covenant to Abraham [85]. 13th dynasty in Egypt (c. 1773-1650 BC).
2463 1297 BC Moses [80] leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Seti I (1296-1279 BC).
2503 1257 BC Death of Moses [120].
Beginning of the Canaan invasion, led by Joshua.
Ranesses II (1279-1212 BC).
Battle of Kadesh, between Egyptians and Hittites (1274 BC).