Genesis 10 gives us the descendants of Noah. My question is how many
years do his descdendents go? I heard it is 2500 years long. During the
whole list of descendents it is constantly saying “this guy son of that
guy son of that guy etc….” does son of literarly mean his son or is it
the descendants of that guy? I’m a bit confused. If the flood occured
2500 years before Jesus then this would have destroyed the ancient
egyptians that lived at that time. This question has been bothering me
for a long time and never had the chance of asking you that when you were
here in Cape Town. I would greatly appreciate if you could take a bit of
your time to answer my question.


The answer is that for Jewish genealogies, “the father of” meant the male
ancestor of. It could mean literally father of in the sense we use it,
or it could mean grandfather or even great grandfather of. This was
normal Jewish usage. We know this for a fact. For example, the
genealogies in Matthew and Luke are not complete. They skip numbers of
generations. Matthew and Luke create accurate genealogies, but not
complete ones. The number of generations is created for symmetry and
elegance. There are three groups of twelve descendents in Matthew. This
was a matter of style for the Jews. What I am saying is that these are
actual, correct genealogies, but they are nowhere near complete. There
are gaps, and possibly for the early figures there are very large gaps.

Bottom line, we do not know when the flood happened. For biblical dates,
we can get back to the time of David with very good precision. For the
time of the Judges, we can apply only approximate dates. This is the case
for the time of Abraham (2000 BC plus or minus a couple of hundred years)
and Moses (1400 BC plus or minus 100 years or so). For Noah and Adam, we
simply do not know the dates. Period.

It is my opinion that the flood did indeed happen. I am not certain of
the date, but it was probably well before 3000 BC, perhaps many thousands
more BC.

That is my quick little answer. I could say more and explain my points
more carefully if you like. Let me know if it does not suffice. Doug
Jacoby has some good material on this in his book Genesis, Science and

John Oakes

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