The Genealogies of Genesis
Glenn R. Morton May 9, 2020
For the moment, lets assume that Ussher’s values are correct for the sake of argument. No matter where we put Adam, be it 12,000 years ago or 200,000 years ago, or as I do, 5.3 myr ago, there are lots and lots of gaps. The genealogies have (assuming I did my math correctly, and given the bad night last night that is not a certitude), I calculate the average generation time from Adam to Abram is 97.8 years. There are 20 people And Abram lived around 2000 BC (rounding for easy math). So Swamidass has Adam at 10,000 BC (12000 years ago), requiring a 400 years per generation value to get to Abram’s time.
This would mean we miss 3 out of 4 of the people in the genealogy.
If we believe Adam was 200,000 years ago, well, the gaps are monstrously large, and as with my view, the names could not have been handed down by oral tradition over a period of 200 kyr. They have to be there via divine inspiration. Again, if I did my math correctly we would have 1 in 101 of the names that should be there.
If we don’t believe the numbers at the birth for these patriarchs and presume that the times were more in line with modern humans, well, then we have 1 name for every 8000 or so people in the list. Once we have this much gap time in the genealogies, what is the difference or big deal about adding more people to the gap. The only function I see in the genealogies is that I think they are true but very incomplete. And this incompleteness must extend to any view that is not the view of Ussher. And we know Ussher’s chronology is wrong. As I said, both words used for begat or father of, are also used in an ancestor-descendant relationship as well.
I view the genealogies this way. When my great great grandfather gave birth to my philandering great grandfather, he at the same time he became the ancestor of all who would flow from my great grandfather, including my beloved grandfather, his sisters, his half brother(a mob boss/killer/pimp), a third half brother from a different woman(and his 14 grandkids) and one line hidden by adoption records–at least 4 different families and then my father, me, my 3 sons and my 8 grandchildren. That is what these words mean according to the way they are used.
Yalad is used in this passage:
And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite
If begat here ‘yalad’ means ‘Im your real daddy’, then imagine the wife’s surprise when hundreds of people from 9 tribes pop out of her womb! No one gives birth to tribes unless they are viewing it as I said above–ancestor/descendant relationship. But every ‘ite’ I bolded is a tribe of people, not a son.
Matthew 1 tells us all we need to know about how Jewish people thought about the word ben.
the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham
There are big gaps in that genealogy there–true but very incomplete.
If Matthew 1:1 was in hebrew it would have been:
toledoth Jeshua Meshia, ben David, ben Abraham"