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Building the Internal Chronology of the Bible

My Journey: The First Question

In reading the story of Yaøáqöv and Rächël in Genesis, I saw a story of love at first sight, at least on Yaøáqöv's part. And I wondered, “How old was Yaøáqöv when he fell in love with Rächël?” Although Scripture records ØËsäw was 40 years old when he married, that doesn’t mean Yaøáqöv was 40 years old when he met Rächël. I don’t remember why I thought charting the events for which Genesis gives life years would be the way to start, but I’m sure it was Rûãch @Élöhîm who nudged me in that direction. So, that’s what I did, starting with @Avrähäm, as listed in Chart 1.

Table 1. Life of @Avräm/@Avrähäm
00Abr@Avräm born to TerachGen 11.26
10AbrSäray born to Terach (calculation) Gen 17.17
75Abr@Avräm leaves Chärän for KenaøanGen 12.4
XXAbr10 years in the land, Säray gives Häghär to @AvrämGen 16.3
86AbrHäghär bears Yishmäø@l to @AvrämGen 16.16
99AbrCircumcision CovenantGen 17.25
Yishmäø@l @ 13yoGen 17.25
100AbrSäräh bears Yitschäq to @AvrähämGen 21.5
Säräh @ 90yoGen 17.17
137AbrSäräh dies @ 127yoGen 23.1
140AbrYitschäq @ 40yo marries RivqähGen 25.20
160AbrRivqäh bears ØËsäw & Yaøáqöv to Yitschäq @ 60yoGen 25.25-26
175Abr@Avrähäm dies @ 175yoGen 25.7

Scripture does not give an age for @Avräm when they had been 10 years in the land, but it does state he was 86 years old when Yishmäøë@l was born. So, in Chart 2, I charted the two anchor points - @Avräm leaving Chärän at age 75 and Yishmäøë@l's birth when @Avräm was 86. According to Genesis 16.3, Säray gave Häghär to @Avräm as a wife when they had been 10 years in the land. It seems highly likely Häghär got pregnant right away, and it's also likely Yishmäøë@l was born the next year. Therefore, I assigned 86 @Avräm to the 11th year in Kenaøan. Counting backwards to the first year in Kenaøan, the year they arrived, @Avräm must have been 76 when they actually got to Kenaøan. Apparently, they had a leisurely trip, because it's likely they left in the spring of @Avräm's 75th year. With the years running from fall to fall, they must have gotten there after the turn of the year (Tishri), when @Avräm would have turned 76.

Chart 2. 10 years in Kenaøan
86@Av11 KenHäghär bears Yishmäøë@l to @AvrämG16.16
85@Av10 Ken10 years in the land, Säray gives Häghär to @AvrämG16.3
76@Av01 Ken1 @Avräm arrives in Kenaøan
75@Av00 Ken@Avräm leaves Chärän for KenaøanG12.4

Scripture has only three life dates for Yitschäq:     his age at marrying,     his age when his sons were born, and     his age when he died. Since his life overlaps with both @Avrähäm and Yaøáqöv, I listed those dates on his father’s and son’s charts. Scripture also gives only three life dates for Yaøáqöv, but since the older generations died during his lifetime, I could calculate how old Yaøáqöv was when @Avrähäm, Yishmäøë@l, and Yitschäq died, as shown in Chart 3. Knowing how old Yaøáqöv was when @Avrähäm died gave me a 'common date' that proved very useful later on.

Chart 3. Life of Yaøáqöv
160@Av00YaøRivqäh bears ØËsäw and Yaøáqöv to Yitschäq at 60yoGen 25.25-26
175@Av15Yaø@Avrähäm dies at 175yoGen 25.7
40YaøØËsäw marries Yehûdhíth bath->Be@rî and Bäsemath bath->@Ëlôn haChittîGen26.34
63YaøYishmäøë@l dies at 137yoGen 25.17
120YaøYitschäq dies at 180yoGen 35.28
130YaøYaøáqöv meets PaørôhGen 47.9
147YaøYaøáqöv dies at 147yo, having lived 17 yrs in MitsräymähGen 47.28

Although Yehûdhäh stands next in the Line of the Promise, Scripture gives no life dates for the events in his life. The next person with life-dated events is Yôsëph in Chart 4.

Chart 4. Life of Yôsëph
00YôsYaøáqöv renegotiates his wages with Lävän in the year that Yôsëph is bornGen 30.25
17YôsHis brothers sell Yôsëph to Yishmeøë@lî \ Midhyänîm traders who sell him to Phôtîphar in Mitsräyim (Egypt)Gen 37.25-28; 37.36
28Yôssëph interprets the cupbearer & baker's dreams 2 full yrs before the cupbearer remembers him to ParøôhGen 41.1
30YôsAt 30yo, Yôsëph stands before ParøôhGen 41.46
31Yôs7 Years of Plenty startcalculation
38Yôs7 Years of Famine start; widespread famine, even beyond Mitsräyim to Kenaøan and all the landscalculation
39Yôssëph invites his brothers to move to Mitsräyim for the remaining 5 years of famineGen 45.9-14; calc
110Yôssëph dies at 110yoGen 50.22

While these charts were all very interesting, I was not finding the answer to my question of how old Yaøáqöv was when he fell in love with Rächël. However, since Scripture gives life years for both Yaøáqöv and Yôsëph, if I could establish how old Yaøáqöv was when Yôsëph was born, I might be able to find the answer to my question. I needed an event for which Scripture gave life dates for both Yaøáqöv and Yôsëph. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one that gave life dates for both men. So, what next? Perhaps if I had a life date for one of them at a significant event, I could calculate the life date for the other one. The event I selected was when Yôsëph introduced Yaøáqöv to Parøôh, and Yaøáqöv stated he was 130 years old. Yôsëph was 30 years old when he interpreted Parøôh's dream. It is likely the years of plenty started the year after that, when he was 31; it was, after all, a prophecy. Therefore, the years of famine began when Yôsëph was 38, seven years later. In Yôsëph's life chart, I calculated Yôsëph was 39 years old when he invited his brothers to move to Mitsräyim for the remaining five years of the famine. It seems likely it took a while for Yaøáqöv to move his entire household plus flocks and herds from Kenaøan to Mitsräyim. After all, he was not fleeing an angry father-in-law this time and he was 130 years old. So, I put Yaøáqöv's appearance before Parøôh in Yôsëph's 40th year. Therefore, Yaøáqöv would have been 90 years old when Yôsëph was born. But this still doesn’t answer the question of how old Yaøáqöv was when he first met Rächël. So, back to Scripture. In his confrontation with Lävän in Genesis 31, Yaøáqöv stated he worked 20 years for his father-in-law: 14 years for his wives and   6 years for his flocks (Gen 31:41). In addition, Yaøáqöv renegotiated his wages after Yôsëph was born, or in the year he was 90. (Gen 30.25) Therefore, all the events from Yaøáqöv's arrival in Padenäh @Áräm     to his departure for Kenaøan have to fit within those 20 years. Chart 5 shows the 20 years split up into 14 year and 6 year segments. I put Yôsëph's birth and Yaøáqöv's 90th year in Year 1 of the 6 year segment, which is Year 15 of the 20 years. At last, the answer to my question: Yaøáqöv was a 76 year old middle-aged bachelor when he fell in love with Rächël at first sight. An Observation: It's interesting that when Yaøáqöv arrived in Padenäh @Áräm, he was the same age as @Avrähäm had been when @Avräm reached the land of Kenaøan.

Chart 5. The Twenty Years
Life YrsYrsEventRef
76 Yaø.Yaøáqöv arrives in Paddenäh @Áräm and falls in love with Rächël at first sightG29
01He agrees to serve 7 years for Lävän's daughter RächëlG29.18-20
77 Yaø02
78 Yaø03
79 Yaø04
80 Yaø05
81 Yaø06
82 Yaø07Yaøáqöv marries Lë@äh & Rächël (Shevat\Adar)G29.21-29
He agrees to serve another 7 years for Rächël
83 Yaø08
84 Yaø09
85 Yaø10
86 Yaø11
87 Yaø12
88 Yaø13
89 Yaø14
90 Yaø15sëph born of Rächël (1 or 17 Tammuz)G30.22-24
Yaøáqöv renegotiates his wages with LävänG30.25
91 Yaø16
92 Yaø17
93 Yaø18
94 Yaø19
95 Yaø20Yaøáqöv leaves for KenaøanG31:38

ADDENDUM And what about Rächël? How old was she when she met her cousin? Scripture gives no life dates for her, but according to Jewish tradition,(1) both Lë@äh and Rächël were 14 years old when Yaøáqöv came to visit. In that time and culture, a 14 year old girl was of marriagable age. So, it's possible. Also, I don't think it was unusual in that time and place that Yaøáqöv was 62 years older than the girl he wanted to marry. Jewish tradition (2) has the sisters as twins but I don't think so because of their names. Lë@äh means "weary" and Rächël means "lamb." I do think they were born within a few hours of each other, but I think Lë@äh's mother was near the end of her child-bearing years and just plain "weary," while Rächël's mother was at the beginning of her child-bearing years and delighted with her "lamb." That's speculation of course, but I think names can be very telling. Yaøáqöv fell in love with Rächël at first sight, but how did Rächël react? How do you think a young, marriagable girl reacted? Some things do not change no matter the time or the culture. She had just seen this "dreamboat hunk"(3), who turns out to be her cousin, perform a feat of strength just for her. (Yaøáqöv moved that stone cover on the well all by himself.) I expect Rächël's heart was all aflutter as she ran home to tell her father his nephew had just arrived. Now doing a little age calculation based on Rächël being 14 years old when Yaøáqöv was 76 years old, Rächël would have been 28 years old when Yôsëph was born. Yôsëph was born in the same year as Zebulûn and Dînäh. Dînäh must have been of marriagable age when she was seduced by Shëchëm. So, I'll go with 14 years old again. That means Rächël was 42 years old at the time of that incident. Considering the amount of traveling Yaøáqöv did following his hurriedly leaving Shëchëm, I suspect Binyämîn was not born until the next year when Rächël was 43 years old. Even in our day and age, that's late for childbearing. While this is speculation, if Rächël was in her early 40s when Binyämîn was born, it's no wonder she died in childbirth. So, that's the story of how I took my first step in my journey of pursuing the truth of YHWH @Élöhîm's Story     and began building an Internal Chronology of the Bible.

FOOTNOTES 1 Jewish, "Rachel" Return 2 Jewish, "Rachel" Return 3 Yaøáqöv was the son and grandson of two very beautiful women. Of course, he was a "dreamboat hunk." Return

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Site Creator: Dori Scholar       This page last modified: October 17, 2017       Send correspondence to: dori@badgerholt[dot]com Legal Stuff:   Copyright 2017 by Dori Scholar.   Permission to distribute this material via e-mail, or individual copies for personal use, is granted on the condition that it will be used for non-commercial purposes, will not be sold, and no changes made to the format or content.    When quoting, please keep the context and provide the source   URL:       Scriptures are cited from New American Standard Bible (NASB), English Standard Version (ESV) Young's Literal Translation (YLT), Geneva Bible, 1599 ed., Jay Green's KJ3: Literal Translation, Gary Zella's Analytical Literal Translation of the New Testament, or my own translation (dmd).