Atheists depend on the notion that earth is billions of years old in order to accommodate evolutionary theory. The current estimate gauges the age of the earth at 4,540,000,000 years. A generation or two past, the estimate was in the hundreds of millions of years, but it has increased since then, and is likely to continue doing so.

Scripture, by contrast, presents Creation as an event spanning just six days (Genesis 1:1-31). Because every plant and animal reproduces “according to its kind” (1:11-12, 21, 24-25), there is no need for an exaggerated timeline to accommodate the evolutionary model. The divine record presents earth, and the material universe as a whole, as surprisingly young—just a few thousand years in age.

Do the math.

“The genealogy of Adam” (Genesis 5:1) and “the genealogy of Shem” (11:10), as well as other ancestral records in Genesis, present a straightforward timeline from Creation until Israel entered Egypt.

130 years from Creation until the birth of Seth (5:3)
+105 years until the birth of Enosh (5:6)
+90 years until the birth of Cainan (5:9)
+70 years until the birth of Mahalalel (5:12)
+65 years until the birth of Jared(5:15)
+162 years until the birth of Enoch (5:18)
+65 years until the birth of Methuselah (5:21)
+187 years until the birth of Lamech (5:25)
+182 years until the birth of Noah (5:28)
+500 years until the birth of Shem (5:32)
+100 years until the birth of Arphaxad (11:10)
+35 years until the birth of Shelah (11:12)
+30 years until the birth of Eber (11:14)
+34 years until the birth of Peleg (11:16)
+30 years until the birth of Reu (11:18)
+32 years until the birth of Serug (11:20)
+30 years until the birth of Nahor (11:22)
+29 years until the birth of Terah (11:24)
+70 years until the birth of Abram (11:26)
+100 years until the birth of Isaac (21:5)
+60 years until the birth of Jacob (25:26)
+130 years until Jacob entered Egypt with his people (47:9)
2,236 years from Creation until Israel went into Egypt

“Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years” to the day (Exodus 12:40-41). 2,236+430=2,666 years from Creation until the Exodus.

“And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel… that he began to build the house of Jehovah” (1st Kings 6:1). 2,666+480=3,146 years from Creation until the Temple.

Solomon was the third king to rule over all the tribes of Israel. Succeeding him, nineteen descendants reigned as king, and one usurper reigned as queen, over Judah. The times of their rule are duly recorded.

36 years remained of Solomon’s reign following the start of Temple construction (1st Kings 11:42; cf. 6:1)
+17 years Rehoboam reigned (14:21)
+3 years Abijam reigned (15:1-2)
+41 years Asa reigned (15:9-10)
+25 years Jehoshaphat reigned (22:42)
+8 years Jehoram reigned (2nd Kings 8:17)
+1 Ahaziah reigned (8:25)
+6 years Athaliah usurped the throne (11:3-4)
+40 years Jehoash (12:1)
+29 years Amaziah reigned (14:2)
+52 years Azariah reigned (15:1-2)
+16 years Jotham reigned (15:32-33)
+16 years Ahaz reigned (16:1-2)
+29 years Hezekiah reigned (18:1-2)
+55 years Manasseh reigned (21:1)
+2 years Amon reigned (21:19)
+31 years Josiah reigned (22:1)
+¼ year Jehoahaz reigned (23:31)
+11 years Eliakim, renamed Jehoakim by Pharaoh, reigned (23:36)
+¼ year Jehoiachin reigned (24:8)
+11 years Mattaniah, renamed Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar, reigned (24:17-18)
429½ years from Temple construction until the Monarchy failed

The kingdom of Judah ended when the Jews were taken captive in Babylon. 3,146+429½=3,575½ years from Creation until the Captivity.

“For thus says Jehovah: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10). The exile lasted seventy years. 3,575½+70=3,645½ years from Creation until the Repatriation.

The Jews returned to Judah “in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia” (2nd Chronicles 36:22-23). Although some of Cyrus’s successors are mentioned in Scripture, including Darius (Daniel 5:31), Ahaseurus (Esther 1:1), and Artaxerxes (Ezra 6:14), the exact durations of their reigns and the precise order of succession is unclear. Nevertheless, sufficient information exists to confirm the timeline. Historians universally recognize the reign of Cyrus as having commenced about 559BC, and appealing to secular history is not without inspired precedent (Esther 10:2). 3,645½+559=4,204½ years from Creation until the end of the former era.

Since that time, it is commonly understood, 2,016 years have transpired. 4,204½+2,016=6,220½ years from Creation until the Present. The truth of God’s Word diverges widely from accepted “Science” (1st Corinthians 1:20-21; 3:18-19; 1st Timothy 6:20-21).

By Bryan Matthew Dockens

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