Bible History

This timeline is based on conservative dates for various events in the Bible.

Bible structure

Period covered by Genesis

4004 bc - 1635 bc

Genesis covers roughly 1/3 of human history.

From Adam to Flood (Genesis 1-7)

4004 bc - 2348 bc

Preparation for the Patriarchs (Flood through Terah) Genesis 8-11

2348 bc - 1921 bc

Patriarchal Era (Abraham through Joseph) Genesis 12-50

1921 bc - 1635 bc

Bible people and events

Creation

4004 BC

This date was calculated by historian Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656) using the Bible and other ancient sources, some of which are unavailable today. Ussher took copious notes, citing his sources in detail, and showing all his calculations.

Adam

4004 bc - 3074 bc

Enoch

3382 bc - 3017 bc

Methuselah

3317 bc - 2348 bc

Methuselah was the last listed descendant of Adam before the Flood who could have known Adam personally. He was born when Adam was 687, and lived until the time of the Flood. This is important, because it allowed Noah the possibility (if he knew Methuselah personally) to have heard firsthand accounts of Adam and his relationship with God. Given the depraved state of the world at that time, this could have provided the influence that led him to live a blameless life for God himself.

Enoch taken alive into heaven

3017 bc

Noah (Genesis 6-9)

2948 bc - 1998 bc

Noah was able to carry the knowledge of the pre-Flood past into the post-Flood world. It is hardly surprising that cultures around the world have preserved ancient stories of a great, worldwide flood in their literature.

Shem

2448 bc - 1848 bc

Flood

2348 bc

Only a worldwide flood of Noahic proportions can explain the large number of well-preserved fossils found throughout the world today. Fish fossils found on mountaintops just do not make sense from an evolutionary perspective, especially since under normal (non-flood) conditions, dead bodies rot instead of fossilizing.

Terah

2126 bc - 1921 bc

Terah started having children at the age of 70 (Genesis 11:26) and lived to a total age of 205. Abram left Haran for Canaan at the age of 75, when his father died (Genesis 12:4). Therefore, Abram was born when Terah was 130. Abram was listed first among the children because of his importance, not his actual birth order. Notice that Terah lived during the same time as Noah and Shem, so if he had the opportunity to communicate with them, he could have heard about the Flood from eyewitnesses.

Abram/Abraham

1996 bc - 1821 bc

Since Abram lived in the same period as Shem, if he had opportunity to speak with him, he could still have heard the Flood story from an eyewitness of the event.

Sarah (Abraham's wife)

1986 bc - 1859 bc

Sarah is the only woman whose age at death is recorded in the Bible.

1921 bc Abram enters Canaan

1921 bc

Ishmael

1910 bc - 1773 bc

1897 bc Abrahamic Covenant

1897 bc

Isaac

1896 bc - 1716 bc

1856 bc Isaac marries Rebekah

1856 bc

Jacob

1836 bc - 1689 bc

1759 bc Jacob flees to Haran

1759 bc

1752 bc Jacob marries

1752 bc

Joseph

1745 bc - 1635 bc

1745 bc Jacob remains in Haran to earn flocks

1745 bc

1739 bc Jacob returns to Canaan

1739 bc

1728 bc Joseph taken to Egypt as slave

1728 bc

1717 bc Joseph interprets dreams in jail

1717 bc

1715 bc Joseph rules under Pharaoh

1715 bc

1708 bc famine begins

1708 bc

1706 bc Jacob's family reunites in Egypt

1706 bc

1706 bc Jacob stands before Pharaoh

1706 bc