It will be helpful to include a portion of the table of “Age at son’s birth” to include only the Hebrew and the two Septuagint tallies of years before analysing them.
|Patriarch’s name||Massoretic Hebrew||Septuagint Sixtine||Septuagint Alexandrin||Observations on this table|
|ADAM||130||230||230||The Hebrew text shows a great variety in the age at which the eldest son is born. The Septuagint authors decided to “normalise” the table by adding 100 years to 6 of the entries before the Flood and seven after, (Nahor’s being increased by 150 years) making an increase of 1350 years. Then they added Cainan 2 with another 130 years making the increase 1480. With what justification did they make this alteration? Some have said that they wanted to make the history of Israel longer because of the exaggerated chronology in Egypt. But their revision only added 1300 years, and this was grossly insufficient to impress the Egyptians. But more of this later.Another suggestion was that they wanted to foster the millennial concept. The Sixtine computation brought the date of the Exodus to 3919, and adding the 40 years in the wilderness made the entry into the Promised Land at 3959, near enough to 4000 to suit their purposes. But when the Alexandrine alteration was made to prevent Methuselah from apparently surviving the Flood, it brought this figure down to 3839, which didn’t suit the millennial scheme. However, more of this later.
So what was the reason behind this revision of nearly 1500 years? In this chapter we shall approach the problem from a different angle.
|FLOOD TO ABRAM’S BIRTH||292||1172||1072|
|ADAM TO ABRAM||1948||3414||3334|
|ADAM TO EXODUS||2453||3919||3839|
The first point to mention is that a writer by the name of Demetrius, who flourished in the days of Ptolemy Philopater (B.C. 222-204) is quoted by Polyhistor as having reckoned 1,070 years from the Flood to the birth of Abram. Now the LXX makes the period from the Flood to Abram’s birth 942 without, or 1,072 with Cainan 2. This shows that the copy of the LXX he used, contained Cainan 2, the 2 year difference being accounted for by missing the 2 years after the Flood for Arphaxad. Hence the error must have been perpetrated at a very early date, showing that shortly after the writing of the LXX.
The second point (mentioned, together with the first point, by Martin Anstey in his “Chronology of the Old Testament” page 86) is that R.G.Faussett, in his book “Symmetry of Time” showed how the millenniary argument might have accounted for the excessive addition of Nahor’s age from 29 to 179 in the Sixtine LXX. This is best presented in tabular form, on the next page.
|Adam to the Flood||2,262|
|Shem after the Flood||2|
|Arphaxad, increased by 100 years||135|
|Cainan 2 interpolated||130|
|Salah. Increased by 100 years||130|
|Eber, increased by 100 years||134|
|Peleg, increased by 100 years||130|
|Reu. Increased by 100 years||132|
|Serug, increased by 100 years||130|
|Nahor, increased by 50 + 100 years||179|
|Terah, using the figure of 130 instead of 70||130|
|To the call of Abraham||75|
|To the Exodus||430|
If one adds the Flood year as an extra year to this tally, then the Exodus is made to occur at exactly 4,000 years after Adam. This is one example of how a millenary scheme operates, and may indeed account for the strange addition of not 100, but 150 years toNahor.