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The Lifespans of the Patriarchs: Schematic Orderings in the Chrono-genealogy

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A remarkable numerical schema is revealed when the lifespan notices for the generations from Adam to Moses in the Masoretic version of the Pentateuch are added together—12,600 years. It is suggested that this schema has eschatological connotations that relates to the 1,260 days mentioned in Daniel and Revelation. The possibility that the lifespan notices developed from an earlier, progenitor chronology that originally tallied 12,000 years is also discussed, and the relationship between this schema, the surrounding patriarchal narratives and other Near East chronological traditions is examined in terms of the textual development of the Old Testament lifespan tradition.


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Affiliations: 1: Edith Cowan University, Perth


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