The Antediluvian period is considered to be from Adam’s creation to the Flood, spanning 1,656 years, as gleaned from Genesis 5:1-29; 7:6.

From Adam’s creation to the birth of Seth 130 years
Then to the birth of Enosh 105 years
To the birth of Kenan 90 years
To the birth of Mahalalel 70 years
To the birth of Jared 65 years
To the birth of Enoch 162 years
To the birth of Methuselah 65 years
To the birth of Lamech 187 years
To the birth of Noah 182 years
To the Flood 600 years
Total 1,656 years

The figures shown for the pre-Flood period are those found in the Masoretic text, on which modern translations of the Hebrew Scriptures are based. These figures differ from those found in the Greek Septuagint, but the evidence for accuracy clearly favors the Masoretic text.

Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (Genesis, p. 272, ftn) says: “The internal evidence is shown to be decidedly in favor of the Hebrew from its proportional consistency. The numbers in the LXX evidently follow a plan to which they have been conformed. This does not appear in the Hebrew, and it is greatly in favor of its being an authentic genealogical record. . . . On physiological grounds, too, the Hebrew is to be preferred; since the length of the life does not at all require so late a manhood as those numbers [in the Septuagint] would seem to intimate. . . . the added 100 years, in each case, by the Septuagint, shows a design to bring them to some nearer proportional standard, grounded on some supposed physiological notion. . . . To all this must be added the fact that the Hebrew has the best claim to be regarded as the original text, from the well-known scrupulous, and even superstitious, care with which it has been textually preserved.”—Translated and edited by P. Schaff, 1976.

While modern historians would extend the period of human habitation on the earth much farther back than 4026 B.C.E., the facts are decidedly against the position they maintain. The thousands of years of “prehistory” they argue for are dependent on speculation, as can be seen from this statement by prominent scientist P. E. Klopsteg, who stated: “Come, now, if you will, on a speculative excursion into prehistory. Assume the era in which the species sapiens emerged from the genus Homo . . . hasten across the millenniums for which present information depends for the most part on conjecture and interpretation to the era of the first inscribed records, from which some facts may be gleaned.” (Italics ours.)—Science, December 30, 1960, p. 1914.

The period of the post-Flood era begins with the year 2369 B.C.E. Whereas some would assign certain pictographic writings to the period 3300 to 2800 B.C.E. (New Discoveries in Babylonia About Genesis, by P. J. Wiseman, 1949, p. 36), these are not actually dated documents and their supposed age is based only on archaeological conjecture.

While appeal is sometimes made to datings based on the radiocarbon (C-14) technique, this method of dating has definite limitations. Science magazine of December 11, 1959, p. 1630, reported: “What bids to become a classical example of ‘C14 irresponsibility’ is the 6000-year spread of 11 determinations for Jarmo . . . , a prehistoric village in northeastern Iraq, which, on the basis of all archeological evidence, was not occupied for more than 500 consecutive years.” There is thus no solid or provable evidence to favor an earlier date than 2369 B.C.E. for the start of the post-Flood human society.


it-1 pp. 447-467 Chronology