Sunday, July 14, 2013

The 'Shanah' (Years) of the Patriarchs in Genesis

This is a follow up from yesterday's article.

Cainan lived seventy years, and then he conceived Mahalalel.

Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and then he conceived Jared
Enoch lived for sixty-five years, and then he conceived Methuselah.

These are the smallest number of recorded shanah for conceiving their sons (I am assuming their first sons), so following my interpretation I have to figure that these number of shanah would be beyond the threshold of puberty. I do not know what their times were for reaching the ability to procreate. Maybe their bodies matured quicker. In any case if my interpretation of a shanah holds up, lets just say that a shanah is a cycle of 84 days. 65 shanah would be 65 cycles of 84 days. This equals 5430 days. Divide this by 365 days and you have about 14.9 solar/sidereal years. Way back then, they married at any earlier age. Marriage and procreation was important to them to fulfill the Divine Blessing. They wanted to bear fruit and increase. They actually wanted sons and daughters.  This was precious to them.  And there were practical reasons why they married young.

The other married patriarchs conceived their sons in line with Noah at little later time in their lives than the above patriarchs:

Seth lived for one hundred and five years, and then he conceived Enos. (by my speculative calculations about 24 solar/sidereal years)
Enos lived ninety years, and then he conceived Cainan. (about 20 years)
Jared lived for one hundred and sixty-two years, and then he conceived Enoch. (37 years) 
Methuselah lived for one hundred and eighty-seven years, and then he conceived Lamech. (43 years)
Lamech lived for one hundred and eighty-two years, and he conceived a son. And he called his name Noah (41 years)

I also noticed that my conception of the 'shanah' does not hold up for the eleventh chapter of Genesis. Some of these post-Flood patriarchs are described to be around 30 shanah when they conceived their sons:

Shelah lived for thirty years, and then he conceived Eber.
Eber lived for thirty-four years, and he conceived Peleg.
Peleg lived for thirty years, and then he conceived Reu.
Reu lived for thirty-two years, and then he conceived Serug.
Serug lived for thirty years, and then he conceived Nahor.
Nahor lived for twenty-nine years, and then he conceived Terah.

So following my line of understanding I would think that these patriarchs who lived after the Flood modified their shanah to be greater than the shanah of the pre-Flood patriarchs. Maybe they decided to increase the days of their shanah to something like 180 days.  So thirty 'shanah' at 180 days per shanah would be about 14 solar/sidereal years.  

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