1. Abridgement and omission of unimportant names is the pattern in the genealogies of the Bible. There are numerous examples of this observation. One prime example is the omissions in the genealogies of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1:8 Ahaziah (2 Kings 8:25), Joash (2 Kings 7:1), and Amaziah (2 Kings 23:34; 1 Chronicles 3:16) are dropped between Joram and Ozias (or Uzziah). In Matthew 1:1 the entire genealogy of Jesus is summed up in two steps, "Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham."
The genealogies seem to be more concerned with only the names of important people and NOT relaying a strict chronological timeline.
The genealogy in Exodus 6:16-25 makes Moses the great-grandson of Levi though 430 years intervened (Exodus 12:40). It is, therefore, evident that many names have been omitted from Moses' genealogy.
If one were to take the genealogies 'literal' then Moses would be a 430 year old great grandson.
3. "Father," "Son," and "begot" were used in a broad sense. Several Biblical passages contain ancestral titles used in a broad sense. We know from earlier discussion that several names have been omitted in Matthew 1:8 after Joram. Therefore, Joram was actually the great-great grandfather of Uzziah. It is obvious that the "father" used in verse 8 between Joram and Uzziah means "ancestor" instead of its conventional meaning. In 1 Chronicles 1:36 the Hebrew text includes seven names after "the sons of Eliphaz," making it appear that all the seven named are sons. Actually one of the names, Timna, was that of a concubine, not a son. Only the New International Version translates clearly that Timna was Eliphaz's concubine, as recorded also in Genesis 36:11-12, and the other six are sons.
Matthew 1:1 reads, "Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham." "Son" here obviously means descendant. Therefore, the biblical writers and translators seem to use the words "father" and "son" freely to mean "ancestor" or "descendant", and sometimes the persons are not closely related.
The regular formula in the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 10 is "A lived _ years and begat B, and A lived after he begat B _ years and begat sons and daughters. And B lived _ years and begat C...." (KJV). The Hebrew word "begat" is sometimes used for succeeding generations. Zilpah is said to have "born to" Jacob her great-grandchildren (Genesis 46:18 NIV) and Bilhah her grandchildren (Genesis 46:25). Canaan is recorded to have begotten whole nations (Genesis 10: 15-18).
Furthermore, if the dates are true, Adam was contemporary with every generation until the Flood, except Noah. Methuselah died in the year of the Flood. Shem survived Abraham for 35 years; Salah 3 years; and Eber, 64 years. For 58 years Noah was the contemporary of Abraham, and Shem actually survived Abraham for 35 years. Such conclusions are contrary to the spirit of the record that presupposed a much longer gap between Noah and Abraham.
Here we have the source of what usually causes confusion in reading the bible, the language difference. In Gen 5 and 11 they both use the word begat to link one generation to the next. In Ex 6:20 and Num 26:59, this same word links Amram and his wife Jochebed to Moses even though there are many generations in between them. These verses quite clearly show that the word beget can be validly used in the way that is shown above, the word for beget is the hebrew word "yalad." The translations for yalad are as follows:
1) to bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail
1) to bear, bring forth
a) of child birth
b) of distress (simile)
c) of wicked (behaviour)
2) to beget
b) (Niphal) to be born
1) to cause or help to bring forth
2) to assist or tend as a midwife
3) midwife (participle)
d) (Pual) to be born
1) to beget (a child)
2) to bear (fig. - of wicked bringing forth iniquity)
f) (Hophal) day of birth, birthday (infinitive)
g) (Hithpael) to declare one's birth (pedigree)
It is also very important to note that flutes assertion found here:
So you don't need to interpret the earth's age YEC-style. You just need to count the years in the chronologies backwards, then BINGO!
is an ignorant one, since the genealogies only go up to Adam, but according to the old earth view, the earth was created billions of years before Adam was created, thus using the genealogies to interpret the earths age is a YEC interpretation.
I would also like to note that I am not in anyway shape or form trying to assert that one view is more correct than the other view, but that both views are adequately supported by biblical evidence and instead of arguing which one is right and which one is wrong, Christians need to understand that doing so is pointless. In retrospect I see that this post is extremely relevant here.
1 Timothy 1:3-7
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm
Pauls words seem extremely relevant in this situation, as old earth/young earth interpretations of these genealogies are causing disputers rather than Godly edification.
Update: Flute makes an irrelevant point.
You were the one who brought up YEC. I was saying you don't need that to calculate the date of the flood.
I want to make this clear; I was not talking about the age of the Earth. I was talking about the date of the mythical flood.
I was certainly incorrect saying that flute was talking about the age of the earth, however he still has no point since the genealogies cannot be used for chronological purposes so it can't even be used to date the flood!