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Bible Age Chart and Genesis 47

Apr 24, 2012 by     13 Comments    Posted under: Uncategorized

I have been going through the yearly torah portion schedule this year and I stopped early on at Genesis 47. Now every week I tune into some really wonderful teachers to listen to them discuss that weeks torah portion and read through the scriptures. But the week containing Genesis, chapter 47 kind of confused me.

Download PDF Age Chart (10mb)

What confused me, were not the scriptures but how the individuals teaching that weeks lesson seemed to miss the meaning of something that was really amazing in the 47th chapter. It’s the part where Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was. The answer he gave was widely interpreted with various reasonings. A couple of people discussing this on a radio show more or less thought that Jacob’s answer was most likely him saying to Pharaoh that he had a harder life than his fathers before him.

The overall consensus with the people studying the torah portion throughout the week, was that they really didn’t know the meaning of Jacob’s mysterious answer and they were just putting forth a “Best Guess” as to what it may have meant.

Let’s look at the verse and then I’ll show you some graphics that I think will put Jacob’s answer to Pharaoh in perfect context with perfect meaning.

Genesis 47:8-9
8And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?
9And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

So what does this answer mean? What was Jacob really saying to Pharaoh?
Let’s take a look at this graphic for a moment.

  • We know that Jacob lived to age 147.
  • Isaac, his father lived to be 180 years of age.
  • Abraham, his grandfather lived to 175 years of age.
  • Terah, his great grandfather lived to be 205 years of age.
  • Nahor, his great great grandfather lived to be 148 years of age.
  • Serug, his great great great grandfather lived to be 230 years of age.
  • Reu, his great great great great grandfather lived to be 239 years of age.
  • Peleg, his great great great great great grandfather also lived to be 239 years of age.

Now this is where it really gets interesting.

  • Eber, Jacob’s great great great great great great grandfather lived to be 464 years of age.

The Bible clearly shows us when grafted out that Jacob and his great great great great great great grandfather were contemporaries for a number of years. While the Bible doesn’t tell us of any actions between Eber and Jacob, it’s a good bet Jacob knew of Eber and was fully aware of his lineage and who was in it.

In fact, if you graph it out, based on the dates the Bible gives us, Jacob was only in his fifties or so when Noah’s son Shem finally passed away at the age of 600 years. Abraham would have passed away before Shem did. Isn’t that amazing!?
Imagine a family reunion during the times of Jacob!!


Now does Jacob’s answer to Pharaoh make more sense? Lets read it again?

9And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

You see, Pharaoh can tell that there is a really old man standing before him. And while its pretty rude in our culture to ask the age of someone, back then and even in our recent times up until at least lately, age meant wisdom. Pharaoh could see that Jacob standing before him with his age, amazingly meant he had great wisdom and so the question was simply asked, how old are you?

Jacob’s answer was meant to impress Pharaoh even further.

Let me give you an example of what Jacob was trying to say to Pharaoh.
“I’m a 130 years old, but this is nothing. My years have been long indeed but don’t even compare to the ages and years of my ancestors and how long they lived.”

Once you take into account the fact that Shem, the son of Noah may have held Jacob on his knee as a baby, the answer Jacob gives to Pharaoh makes a whole lot more sense.

The age chart in this blog post is available as a FREE PDF download and perfect for printing at your local print shop or Fedex Kinkos in 11×17 format.

PDF Age Chart (10mb)

13 Comments + Add Comment

  • I wrote an article on this subject just yesterday and the best chart I could find (most are not even close to factual) I had to cut off the end because they had Shem dying before Abraham. What a travesty!

    I was so happy when I found your “Age Chart – Adam to Joseph” today. It is perfect! Here is the blog I wrote on this subject; which is the first of several on the life of Abram. http://weareisrael.org/2012/05/08/abram-noah-and-shem/, I hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks for your hard work in putting this chart together.

    Michael

    • LOL! I think I saw that same chart Michael! If its the same one, they have Terah being the Father of Abraham at like age 120 or something when scripture clearly says in Genesis 11:26 that he was 70. This one small mistake messes up the whole chart.

      I’m glad you like this one. Feel free to share with others. Thanks Michael!

  • This is amazing!!! Thank you so much for putting this together. Puts a whole new perspective on a slew of subjects!!!

  • Thanks April! Be sure to share with others!

  • Interesting! I have made similar research about the ages and years into my notebook 🙂 What surprised me was that Noah lived when Abraham was born. Just think about that, WOW! 🙂

    New2Torah, please can you send me the original file (I would like to edit it in Photoshop if possible) of the chart and make Finnish version of it and publish it in my blog someday if it ok for you? Your Easter chart is awesome too!

    • I meant that Noah was still alive when Abram (later Abraham) was born. Wow!

  • On the age chart, what is the difference between the blue and green years? Thanks.

    • The green years are the years they lived before the next “inline” offspring.

  • Thanks for the great chart. I was looking for something exactly like this. I couldn’t agree more with your points too. The only thing I’ve wondered about was whether or not all men lived to see these years. If the Egyptians were surprised at his age the only way to explain this would be that they were unaccustomed to encountering men of such age, and that they had no record of their own ancestors attaining old, old age. What’s your thoughts about that?

  • […] a timeline of the generations from the Old Testament (and there is a similar image on the website new2torah.com). Both date back to around 4,000 BC – coinciding with the early days of Sumerian civilization. […]

  • I sure didn’t hear that in my Sunday school and church.
    It appears that they lived long on the earth and obtained favor from Yahweh, because they obeyed His Torah.
    Unlawlessness brings a short life span?
    Great work Zack and thank you.

  • This is such a great resource! Thank you. I’m going to print this out, laminate it, and but it in our bibles. Visual aids like these are so helpful in training my children. I’m hoping you make more timelines. Hint! Hint!

  • I did a chart 20 years ago researching the word, so much fun…then poof disappeared, and didn’t have it in me to do it agaun…this is wonderful!

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