A little over a month ago I heard someone say that Noah may have known Adam. This is something I hadn’t really thought about before if I’m honest. However, after giving it some more thought, I came to the conclusion that this would be an interesting piece to write about.
Similar to my piece on the name of the Apostle Paul (which you can read here), sometimes subjects you haven’t put too much thought into can be the most fascinating things to look into. So that’s what we’re going to look into here in this article.
Before diving into the content of this article, I’d like to give some background as to why I’m writing this. Since last year I have been combing through the Bible looking for dates. This is to allow me to come up with a chronology from what the Bible indicates. Currently, I am about half way through the book of Joshua. This project has been on hold for a while, however, I do have data up until the book of Joshua, including the book of Genesis.
This data includes the number of years that are inclusive of the life of Adam and the life of Noah. So with that being said, let’s dive into the article and examine this question.
Could Noah Have Known Adam?
To start answering this question, we need to look at the life of Adam. We first need to answer how many years he lived for, and then we need to move on to the life of Noah. We also need to investigate how much (if any) of a gap was there between the death of Adam and the birth of Noah. So let’s investigate that, shall we?
The Life of Adam
Adam was the first man to be created (Genesis 2:7), He was created by God on the sixth day of creation. He and his wife Eve later rebelled in the Garden of Eden, eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and were subsequently kicked out of the garden. Shortly after this, Adam Eve bear their first two children, Cain and Abel. Cain killed Abel, and Cain was then cursed to wander the earth because of his actions (Genesis 4:10-12). After Cain’s banishment, we don’t hear too much of Adam in the Bible, other than about the birth of his next son, Seth (Genesis 4:25-26). In Genesis chapter 5 we learn about the Genealogy from Adam to Noah, where we are told a few more details about the timeline of these events.
These details are:
- Adam was 130 when he fathered Seth.
- Adam lived another 800 years after Seth was born, fathering other sons and daughters.
- Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
This is confirmed in Genesis 5:3-5.
So that’s the life of Adam in a nutshell. Now to figure out whether he could possibly have known Noah personally, we need to do a little more maths. But first, let’s look at the life of Noah very briefly.
The Life of Noah
Noah is most well-known for the flood narrative. An epic tale of the world being flooded by God to do away with the world’s wickedness, and to remove the threat of a heinous invasion. Noah was the son of Lamech. Lamech fathered Noah at the age of 182 (Genesis 5:28-29). Noah was the grandson of Methuselah, and in terms of Adam, Noah was the 8th Great Grandchild of Adam. Meaning there were nine generations between Adam and Noah.
God asked Noah to build an ark and to take him, his wife, his sons, and his son’s wives onto the ark. They remained on the ark when the flood came for forty days and forty nights. Eventually, they left the ark and were tasked with repopulating the earth.
Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died (Genesis 9:29). His death occurring 350 years after the flood, which started when Noah was 600 years old. 100 years after Noah fathered his three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth at the age of 500 (Genesis 5:32).
So now we have some basic details on the lives of both Adam and Noah, let’s try to figure out if the two of them could’ve in fact known each other.
Did Noah Know Adam?
To calculate whether Adam knew Noah, we have to calculate the number of years between the birth of Seth and the birth of Noah. Then we will have to see if that number is greater than the number of years between Seth’s birth and Adam’s death. Essentially we’re asking was there more than eight hundred years after the birth of Seth and the birth of Noah.
Below is a basic chronology table of the birth’s in the genealogy found in Genesis 5, and the number of years between them:
|Event:||Years Between:||Number of Years in Total:||Biblical Confirmation:|
|Creation of Adam and Eve||0||0||Genesis 1:27|
|Birth of Seth||130||=C2+B3||Genesis 5:3|
|Birth of Enosh||105||235||Genesis 5:6|
|Birth of Kenan||90||325||Genesis 5:9|
|Birth of Mahalalel||70||395||Genesis 5:12|
|Birth of Jared||65||460||Genesis 5:15|
|Birth of Enoch||162||622||Genesis 5:18|
|Birth of Methuselah||65||687||Genesis 5:21|
|Birth of Lamech||187||874||Genesis 5:25|
|Birth of Noah||182||1056||Genesis 5:28-29|
As you can see from this table, the number of years between the birth of Seth and the birth of Noah is 1,056 years. This is 256 years greater than the time between the birth of Seth and the death of Adam. Therefore it is my conclusion that Adam and Noah would not have known each other personally. My these figures we can see that Adam would’ve already been dead for two centuries before Noah was born.
I have no doubt that Noah would’ve known of Adam, however, I cannot say that Noah would’ve ever met Adam on this earth. Although it is interesting to think about this possibility and to speculate on the times of conversations that the two of them would have had, the Bible does not support this idea that Adam and Noah could have met.
Although this may not be the response some may have hoped for, we do actually have another aspect of Noah’s timeline of life that is extremely fascinating. That being that Noah would’ve died 10 years after Abraham was born. So depending on where Noah was living at the time of Abraham’s birth, it is actually possible that Noah could’ve known Abraham up until the age of 60, as Abraham was born 290 years after the flood subsided.
But that’s for another article.