111 - OMISSION EXAMPLE 3: Analysis of this omission - Chronological information and the notions of fatherhood and sonship in the Bible
This is the first of many genealogical lists in the Bible. It is special, because it has chronological information embedded in it. It does not just list the father and his first-born son for each generation, but includes the year, when the first son was born, then the additional years of the father's life and finally the total number of years that each father lived. This list allows you to calculate a chronology from creation to the flood. On the basis of this list you can find out that the global flood at the time of Noah took place 1656 years after the creation of the world (by adding up the ages of the fathers, when they had their first born son and at the time of Noah taking the year in his life, when the global flood started). With the help of other chronological information in the Bible you can find out: creation happened in 4119 BC, Abraham died 1936 BC, the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt occurred in 1606 BC, king David died 971 BC and the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC. This means that the Bible includes sufficient information to put together a coherent history of God's dealings with our world from creation to the time of Christ and his apostles. Without such genealogical lists and chronological information this would not be possible.
At the same time this genealogy from Adam to Noah serves another purpose. Right after the creation of Adam and his wife, God spoke to them saying: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Adam and his wife as well as their descendants obeyed this commandment of God and did just that: they were fruitful, multiplied and filled the earth. So, this genealogical list also serves the purpose of showing that the very first commandment of God to Adam and his wife was fulfilled in their lives and in the lives of their descendants. We take this for granted, but there is a deep secret hidden in this. By commanding Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, God told them that they had the ability to produce offspring on their own. Seth, the son of Adam, was not a creation of God, but the son of a creation of God, namely Adam and his wife. The first man created by God, Adam, was created such that he, with the help of his wife, could become father out of his own power. The very notion of fatherhood and sonship is based on this first commandment of God to Adam and his wife. The sons of Adam are truly and in the full sense of the word sons of him, their father. In the Gospel we read that Christ revealed to us God as our heavenly Father. By doing this, he was taking up this very first commandment of God to Adam and his wife. Just like Seth was the son of Adam, his earthly father, Jesus was the Son of God, his heavenly Father. The only difference is that Christ is the Son of His Father directly, without the help of a woman, while Seth was born to Adam by his wife. Just like God gave Adam the power and authority to father his son Seth, so God out of his own has the power and authority to father his only begotten Son Jesus Christ. This is how key elements of our faith in the Triune God Father, Son and Holy Ghost are rooted in the Torah about Adam in Genesis 2 to 5.