“God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31). “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:1-3).
This is an upgrade on a 2015 article I wrote regarding the chronology of mankind, reckoned mostly by the Bible and also secular sources that are known to be historically accurate. The dates are in accordance with the B.C/A.D. system of numbering years…as per the solar/Gregorian calendar of approximately 365.2425 days. Many major historical events throughout the ages have been added as well as Biblical ones (with scripture verses), such as the raptures of Enoch and Elijah. This chronology accounts for 5,981 years of humanity thus far (AD 2021), according to my calculations and sources, with the first day of creation occurring in the year 3960 BC.
Many Bible scholars are of the belief that there will be 6,000 years of recorded history for mankind before Jesus returns and establishes His millennial kingdom on planet Earth. They believe that just as the original creation week took 6 days of work and 1 day of rest (for a total of 7 days), so mankind will work on the earth for 6,000 years and will then rest for 1,000 years during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. After 7,000 years, God will create a new heaven and earth for the faithful angels and redeemed man.
The Bible says that a thousand years is as one day with the Lord. “Don’t forget this fact, dear friends: with the Lord, a single day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a single day” (2 Peter 3:80). “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past. And like a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4).
The takeaway of these verses is that man’s concept of time is very different than the eternal God’s. Since God has always existed, and always will, time is meaningless to Him. Time was created for man, especially after the fall when Adam and Eve sinned. These two verses (in many translations) have the key word/s of “like” and “as” included in the sentence. So, the question becomes – is this time frame merely a semblance/approximation, or is it an exact measurement of time for God? In other words, is 1,000 years for mankind equal to one 24-hour day for God, and if so, will Jesus establish his millennial reign after exactly 6,000 years of mankind? As precise and thorough as God is, it wouldn’t surprise me that He has it all planned down to the exact year, month, day, hour, minute, and second for exactly 6 (the number for man) millennia to elapse from the creation of Adam to the second coming of Jesus.
There have been many chronologies throughout history that have attempted to date creation and mankind. Probably the most famous one is Ussher’s Chronology by James Ussher, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, published in AD 1650. Ussher deduced that the first day of creation was October 23, 4004 BC. If this is the correct date, then we would now be approximately 25 years past the 6,000-year benchmark. Sir Isaac Newton believed creation occurred in 4000 BC. Johannes Kepler, the great 17th-century German astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer, thought the date could be 3992 BC. Both of these learned men’s dates would also overshoot the 6,000-year benchmark.
A couple of religious and scientific men who are still “in the ballpark” (dates that have not yet gone beyond 6,000 years of mankind) are Joseph Justus Scaliger, a 16th century French Calvinist religious leader and scholar, and Saint Bede (the Venerable Bede), an English Benedictine monk of the 7th and 8th century. Scaliger estimated creation began in 3949 BC, and Bede deduced it began in 3952 BC. Bede’s date for creation comes the closest to my date of 3960 BC.
Here is my upgraded chronology (Nettles’ Chronology of Mankind) as of June 19, 2021:
According to my calculations, we are now (AD 2021) 19 years shy of reaching the 6,000-year mark for man’s existence on planet Earth. We know from the Bible that there will be at least 7 more years that have to occur for Daniel’s 70th Week (otherwise known as the Tribulation) to be accomplished. That will put us at 5,988 years or 12 years short of the 6,000-year benchmark. There could also be a considerable amount of time (possibly years) after the Rapture and before the Antichrist acquires enough power to confirm the covenant with Israel, thus starting Daniel’s 70th Week.
In our article entitled The End of the Age: A Plausible Timeline, Pete Garcia and this author gave a realistic (although speculative) timeline for the end times of the Tribulation as occurring in the years 2026-2033, with Jesus Christ returning to the earth for his second advent exactly 2,000 years (or 2 days in God’s time) since his crucifixion in AD 33. The Old Testament prophet Hosea had this to say about the subject, in my opinion:
“After two days (2,000 years) he will revive us: in the third day (3,000 years) he will raise us up (in the New Jerusalem), and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (Hosea 6:2-3).
In my chronology, AD 2033 would be 7 years shy of six millennia. These speculative dates and theories regarding Jesus’ return are uncertain and debatable. One thing is certain, however; Jesus is coming again…and soon!
The following is a history and partial genealogy of mankind, as per the Bible and other secular records, with 19 epochs of time calculated and cumulated. These epochs of time consist of major events and births in the history of mankind with major emphasis on the Jewish people (beginning with Abraham). The chronology of mankind begins with the creation of Adam and ends with Jesus (the last Adam) at His Second Coming. And so it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being.” The last Adam, Jesus, became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).
Epoch 1: Creation to flood: 3960-3959 BC to 2304-2303 BC = 1,656 years
There is very little dispute of the totality of the 1,656 years duration from Adam to the Flood, as per the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis first records the lineage of Adam to Noah and his sons. Noah was the ninth generation from Adam. His three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth, were the tenth generation from Adam. Noah was 600 years old when the great flood started. The flood and the floodwaters lasted for approximately one year.
The date 3960-3959 BC is not a random date. Later dates, such as 1446 BC and 586 BC that have been established and proven from both secular and biblical sources, allow us to work backward and arrive at this date. This will become self-evident later in this study.
The following epoch covers the time span of the genealogy of antediluvian man, starting with Adam and ending with Noah and his sons. Before the flood, during the antediluvian period, men sometimes fathered children at a much older age. Of course, they had much longer life spans (10 X our current ones) during this time period. Noah didn’t start having sons until he was “older.” He had his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, by the time he was 500 years of age.
Before Noah, the oldest antediluvian patriarch was Methuselah, who fathered Lamech (Noah’s father) at 187 years old. Lamech fathered Noah at 182 years of age. Jared fathered Enoch at 162 years of age… Enos was 90, Seth was 105, and Adam was 130. Of course, Adam and his sons fathered many other children (begat sons and daughters) after these recorded ages; but our focus is on the biblical lineage of Adam’s son Seth.
The years involved within epochs 1-10 are determined by verses in the Bible and are determined by the following:
Event or birth – Year from Creation – Year of Event – Biblical verse/s.
Creation of Adam – Year 0 from creation – 3960 BC – Genesis 5:1-2
Birth of Seth – Year 130 from creation – 3830 BC – Genesis 5:3
Birth of Enos – Year 235 from creation – 3725 BC – Genesis 5:6
Birth of Cainan – Year 325 from creation – 3635 BC – Genesis 5:9
Birth of Mahalaleel – Year 395 from creation – 3565 BC – Genesis 5:12
Birth of Jared – Year 460 from creation – 3500 BC – Genesis 5:15
Birth of Enoch – Year 622 from creation – 3338 BC – Genesis 5:18
Birth of Methuselah – Year 687 from creation – 3273 BC – Genesis 5:21
Birth of Lamech – Year 874 from creation – 3086 BC – Genesis 5: 25
Enoch “taken up” (raptured) by God – Year 978 from creation – 2973 BC – Genesis 5:21-24 – (Note: Adam died at the age of 930 and didn’t live long enough to witness the rapture of Enoch, but the other antediluvian patriarchs did – from Seth to Lamech). For more information, go to: https://www.raptureready.com/2019/07/01three-raptures/
Note: 22 years after Enoch was raptured and 56 years before Noah was born, mankind had reached the 1,000-year (1st day of the Lord) mark of their existence.
Birth of Noah – Year 1056 from creation – 2904 BC – Genesis 5:28-29
Beginning of the flood – Year 1656 from creation – 2304 BC – Genesis 7:11
Epoch 2: The duration of the flood (until the earth was dry) to Abram’s (Abraham) birth = 352 years
1 year after the flood started in 2304 BC, the occupants exited the ark in 2303 BC. 1,656 years (epoch 1) + 1 year (stay in ark) = 1,657 years. Abram was born in 1951 BC. 2303 BC to 1951 BC = 352 years.
This epoch is recorded in the book of Genesis, chapters 11 and 12, and records the lineage from Noah’s son, Shem, to Abraham. Two years after the flood, Arphaxad was born to Shem. Seven generations later, Terah was born into this lineage. Terah, Abraham’s father, was actually 130 years old when Abraham was born. “And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran” (Genesis 11:32).
“Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran” (Genesis 12:4). Subtracting 75 from 205 equals 130 years for the age of Terah at the birth of his son Abram (name was later changed to Abraham by God Himself). This is sort of unusual in the genealogy of the patriarchs after the flood. After the flood, the usual age of reproduction for this lineage was around 30 plus; but Terah was the exception to the rule. He had his son, Abram, at the ripe old age of 130. In these olden times, the old men could still father children at an old age, as long as the wife was not beyond child birthing age. Terah lived to be 205 years old. He was the last of the patriarchs to live over 200 years.
Noah and family (and animals) exit the ark – Year 1657 from creation – 2303 BC – Genesis 8:13-16
Birth of Arphaxed – Year 1659 from creation – 2301 BC – Genesis 11:10
Birth of Salah – Year 1694 from creation – 2266 BC – Genesis 11:12
Birth of Eber – Year 1724 from creation – 2236 BC – Genesis 11:14
Birth of Peleg – Year 1758 from creation – 2202 BC – Genesis 11:16
Birth of Reu – Year 1788 from creation – 2172 BC – Genesis 11:18
Birth of Serug – Year 1820 from creation – 2140 BC – Genesis 11:20
Birth of Nahor – Year 1850 from creation – 2110 BC – Genesis 11:22
Birth of Terah – Year 1879 from creation – 2081 BC – Genesis 11:24
Birth of Abram (Abraham) – Year 2009 from creation – 1951 BC – Genesis 11:26, Genesis 11:32, Genesis 12:4
1,656 years (epoch1) + 353 years (epoch 2) = 2009 years.
Epoch 3: Abram’s birth to God’s covenant with Abraham: 1952-1951 BC to 1877-1876 BC = 75 years
This is the covenant between the Lord and Abram and his seed: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, unto a land that I will show you: and I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3). “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto your seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him” (Genesis 12:7).
Abram was born 352 years after the flood because Terah was 205 and died in Haran (Gen.11:32). Then Abram, “when his father was dead” (Acts 7:4), moved to Canaan at the age of 75 (Gen.12:4). Thus, Abram was born when Terah was 130, so Genesis 11:26 should be paraphrased, Terah lived seventy years and begot the first of his three sons (not Abram).
Abram was still 75 years old in Genesis 13:14-16 when the covenant (regarding God giving the promised land to Abram and his descendants forever) was given. 430 years later, in 1446 BC, “the law” of rituals was given to Moses according to Galatians 3:16-17.
Birth of Abram – Year 2009 from creation (Note: 9 years past the 2,000-year mark of civilization or 2nd day of the Lord) – 1951 BC – Genesis 12:4
Abram departs for Canaan (settles in Beersheba near Bethel). The Lord makes a covenant with Abram – Year 2084 from creation – 1876 BC – Genesis 12:7
2,009 years (epoch 1-2) + 75 years (epoch 3) = 2,084 years
Epoch 4: Abram’s covenant to Exodus: 1877-1876 BC to 1447-1446 BC = 430 years
God’s covenant with Abram – Year 2084 from creation – 1876 BC – Genesis 13:16-17
Birth of Ishmael (Abram was 86 years old) – Year 2095 from creation – 1865 BC – Genesis 16:3-4; Genesis 16:16
God confirms the covenant with Abram – Year 2108 from creation – 1852 BC – Genesis 15:9-21; Genesis 17 – God promised once again the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession to Abram and his seed (to come). Abram’s part of the covenant was to circumcise all male children of his household eight days after their birth. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah. God’s part of this confirming of the covenant was the birth of Isaac the very next year. For more information, see: Confirming the Covenant: Part 1 :: By Randy Nettles – Rapture Ready
Birth of Isaac – (Abram was 100 years old. Isaac was the child of promise/covenant) – Year 2109 from creation –1851 BC – Genesis 21:5
Death of Sarah (age 127) – Year 2146 from creation – 1814 BC – Genesis 25:26
Birth of Jacob and Esau – Year 2169 from creation – 1791 BC – Genesis 25:26
Death of Abraham (175 years old) – Year 2154 from creation – 1776 BC – Genesis 25:7
Jacob relocates to Haran in 1715 BC, marries Leah and Rachel in 1708 BC, and returns to Canaan in 1695 BC.
Birth of Joseph – Year 2260 from creation – 1700 BC – Genesis 30:22-24 – Joseph is sold as slave in 1684 BC and sentenced to prison in 1673 BC.
Death of Isaac (180 years old) – Year 2291 from creation – 1671 BC – Genesis 35:27-29
Joseph stands before Pharaoh and interprets his dream – Year 2291 from creation – 1671 BC – Genesis 41:46 – Note: God sends 7 years of bumper crops and then 7 years of famine to Egypt and surrounding area from 1671-1657 BC. Joseph sends 10 sons to buy food in Egypt in 1663 BC.
Jacob and his family (70 people) move to Egypt and settle in Goshen – Year 2299 from creation – 1661 BC – Genesis 47:28
This is the point where many chronologists differ in regard to the length of time that the children of Israel spent in the land of Egypt. Many believe the duration was for 430 years; others believe it was for 400 years; while some, such as myself, believe it was for only 215 years. This is due to the wording difference of the many translations of 3 Bible verses.
- Genesis 15:13-14: “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”
- Exodus 12:40-41: “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.”
- Acts7:6-7: “And God spoke likewise on this, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.”
The 430 years must begin in Abraham’s lifetime, not Israel’s or Jacob’s because the 400 years, which ends also at the Exodus, specifically starts at Isaac’s affliction by Ishmael (Gen.15:13; 21:8-12; Acts 7:6), which therefore began 30 years after Abraham entered the land.
Exodus 12:40-41 says, “Now the sojourning (traveling strangers) of the children of Israel, who (also) dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years (215 years in Canaan and 215 years in Egypt). And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” The Exodus, which took place on the 14th day of Nisan (on the Feast of Passover) in 1446 BC, occurred on the exact anniversary of the giving of the Abrahamic covenant, 430 years earlier in 1876 BC.
Josephus says the same thing: “They left Egypt on the fifteenth day of the lunar month (Num. 33:3), four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan” (Antiquities of the Jews, 2:15:2).
Both the Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint add “and in Canaan” in verse 40. Some translations say Israel dwelt in Egypt 430 years, which contradicts Galatians 3:17. The Septuagint, quoted by Paul in Galatians, says, “the sojourning of the sons of Israel who dwelt in the land of Egypt and Canaan was 430 years” because they dwelt in Canaan before they dwelt in Egypt.
If you are of the opinion that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt for 400 or 430 years, then the theory regarding 6,000 years for mankind (before Jesus’ second coming) is no longer valid as it exceeds the mark by several centuries. The 215-year duration in Egypt fits perfectly within the time frame of the following epoch (5) according to 1 Kings 6:1.
Death of Jacob (147 years old) – Year 2316 from creation – 1644 BC – Genesis 49:33
Death of Joseph (110 years old) – Year 2370 from creation – 1590 BC – Genesis 50:22,26
Birth of Moses – Year 2434 from creation – 1526 BC – Exodus 7:7 – Moses flees to Midian in 1486 BC and is called by God to return to Egypt in 1446 BC.
Exodus from Egypt (led by Moses and Aaron) – Year 2514 from creation – 1446 BC – Exodus 12,13
2,084 years (epochs 1-3) + 430 years (epoch 4) = 2,514 years
Epoch 5: Exodus to Israel’s temple foundation: 1447-1446 BC to 967-966 BC = 480 years
Moses, the man of God, led the children of Israel out of Egypt in about 1446 BC. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died (at 120 years of age) after viewing the Promised Land from a distance. Deuteronomy 34:1-8. “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12). This ending of Deuteronomy was most likely written by Joshua.
Joshua replaced Moses as the leader of the newly formed nation of Israel and entered the Promised Land in 1406 BC. After 40 years in the wilderness, the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River and ate the Passover Supper on the 14th day of Nisan. On the 17th day of Nisan (Feast of Firstfruits), with no more manna to eat, the people began to eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year – the first fruits of the Promised Land. Joshua died at 110 years of age.
After Joshua’s death, God raised up judges to lead and deliver his people from slavery. The total time of the judges was about 326 years, from 1376 BC to 1050 BC. Israel’s first king was Saul, who ruled for 40 years, from 1050 until 1010 BC.
David was the next king, and he also ruled for 40 years until about 970 BC. He died at 70 years of age. David was a descendant from the lineage of Jacob’s son, Judas. David’s son, Solomon, became king of Israel after his father’s death. He began the temple-building project that his father had desired in the fourth year of his reign in 966 BC.
“And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month; that he began to build the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:1).
The Exodus from Egypt occurred in 1446 BC, 480 years later (966 BC); the construction of the first temple of the Jewish nation began according to 1 Kings 6:1.
Exodus from Egypt – Year 2514 from creation – 1446 BC – Exodus 12,13 – God confirms the covenant with the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai in 1446 BC, and Moses wrote Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus sometime between 1446 BC and 1406 BC.
The Tabernacle of meeting’s construction is completed – Year 2516 from creation – 1444 BC – Exodus 25-27 – God’s presence dwelt in the Most Holy Place over the Ark of the covenant in the Tabernacle. “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34-35).
Also, in the same year, 1444 BC, the 12 Hebrew spies surveyed the land of Canaan. Only Caleb and Joshua gave a good report and were the only two of the older generation to enter the Promised Land. – Numbers 13:30, 14:6, 14:30
Moses completes the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy – Year 2553 from creation – 1407 BC – Numbers 27-36
Crossing of Jordan River and entering of the Promised land of Canaan – Year 2554 from creation – 1406 BC – Joshua 4:9
Dividing of the Land of Canaan – Year 2559 from creation – 1401 BC – Joshua 13
Joshua dies, and Judges begin leading Israel – Year 2584 from creation – 1376 BC – Judges 2:7-9; Judges 2:16
Saul (first king of Israel ) begins reign – Year 2910 from creation – 1050 BC – 1 Samuel 10, Acts 13:21
Death of Saul and David begins reign – Year 2950 from creation – 1010 BC – 2 Samuel 5:4
King David’s death – Year 2990 from creation – 970 BC – 2 Samuel 5:5
Solomon begins reign – Year 2990 from creation – 970 BC – 1 Kings 6:1
Solomon begins construction of the temple in 4th year of his reign – Year 2994 from creation (note: only 6 years shy of 3,000 years of creation according to my reckoning – 3rd day of the Lord) – 966 BC – 1 Kings 11:42
2,514 years (epochs 1-4) + 480 years (epoch 5) = 2,994 years
Epoch 6: From temple foundation (in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign) to the death of Solomon: 967-966 BC to 931-930 BC = 36 years
Solomon begins construction to build the temple – Year 2994 from creation – 966 BC – 1 Kings 11:42.
The Temple of God in Jerusalem is finished and dedicated after 7 years of construction on the 15th day of Tishri, on the Feast of Tabernacles in the year 959 BC. – 2 Chronicles 2-3 – “Then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14).
Death of Solomon and Rehoboam begins reign – Year 3030 from creation – 930 BC – 1 Kings 14:21.
Solomon ruled for 40 total years and then died. Saul, David, and Solomon all reigned for 40 years (Acts 13:21; 1 Chr. 29:27; 2 Chr. 9:30).
2994 years (epochs 1-5) + 36 years (epoch 6) = 3030 years.
Part II will cover epochs 7-12, which covers 1,242 years of history.