Tracing history for Antediluvian timelines and pre-Exodus calendar systems. We can only go back in time up to the time of Abraham and may be a bit further back till tower of Babel for genealogies. Beyond that, it is impossible to verify with known historical records since the scribes copied and edited much of ancient records.
In this post, we will explore on the genealogies mentioned from the sons of Noah up to Moses and how different calendar systems followed by the patriarchs caused the illusion of long lifespan declining.
In the book of Genesis from Bible, we see that the Antediluvian patriarchs lived extremely long, nearly a thousand years. However, based on evidence from the oldest book in the Bible, we will soon uncover that they are months, rather than years which means, the Antediluvian lived normally like us, and died like us. It’s all a misunderstanding of ancient texts.
The events in the book of Ruth happened around 1385 BC, nearly two decades after the death of Joshua when Boaz was about 40 to 50 years old and five decades after Israel fought against Moab before entering the promised land.
The book of Samuel which is divided into two books in Christian bibles for convenience but they are actually one book. When the Masoretic texts were compared with Septuagint, it paints a strange picture of some effort made by some scribes who wants to portray the book of Samuel as historically old by removing all historical references for events after king David in Masoretic. Based on the information we have from Septuagint, we can confidentially say that the book of Samuel was written after Rehoboam (or Roboam) began to reign 992 BC.
The book of Leviticus is entirely a priestly source, filled with rules to live in the land of Israel and rituals. It was written sometime after 1467 BC but later revisions and clarifications regarding the feasts days can be clearly noticed.
The book of Numbers is a long and complex history of children of Israel which includes two census, but its final form is considered to be a Priestly redaction of a Yahwist source. As the book itself says, the it’s original sources may have been written as old as 1428 BC of Moses spoke in the plains of Moab by the Jordan. However revisions to the book of Numbers can be clearly around 1095 BC due to terms like ‘prophets’ not used by children of Israel prior to Samuel.
Just like the book of Exodus which preserves the truth about the scribe’s familiarity about Egyptian calendar, the book of Deuteronomy preserves the lack of references to feasts with respect to God’s calendar, proving that they were still in wilderness when the book was first written about 1428 BC. However, some content were claimed to be added by Joshua some 25 years later and revisions by scribes can be clearly noticed as late as 896 BC.
The book of Exodus preserves the truth about the scribe’s familiarity about Egyptian calendar by mentioning the feast of Ingathering in year end using Egyptian based on the seasonal cycles of river Nile while the other books in the law mentions it as feast of Tabernacles in seventh month using the calendar given by God based on the seasons in ancient Israel. This means, the earliest content written in the book of Exodus must be as old as 1468 BC.
The book of Joshua was either an older document or compiled from an older document written prior to 1075 BC which got continually revised and additional information added based on events with last noticeable revision after 850 BC. Hence, we can confidently place the book of Joshua prior to the book of Judges in 1075 BC and last revision after 850 BC.