17 The Millenial Span
There is a repeated pattern of 500 years and 100 years in the timeline. This becomes even more obvious when comparing the Masoretic text that our own Bibles use with the older text of the Greek Septuagint (Please see Appendix A for a discussion of the differences between the numbers in the two versions.).
The Septuagint order is:
500 + 100 + 500 + 500 + 100 = 1700 years
These 1700 years cover the span between Noah and the birth of Isaac.
You will notice that there is a millenial span in the middle. This is the span from two years after the flood to the birth of Abram.
If I take these intervals three at a time, the number 1100 is repeated three times:
500 + 100 + 500
100 + 500 + 500
500 + 500 + 100
This seems to be more than a mere coincidence, although I can see how the last two quantities may be interchangeable:
500 + 100 + 500 + 100 + 500 = 1700
The millenial span is reduced in the Masoretic text by 650 years. I think that what this implies is that a generation is understood to be closer to the 30 years range there. The greater numbers in the Septuagint are more symbolic than actual years. The history of Israel becomes more practical when you average 30 years for each person in the timeline.
So now I can add the 2160 years leading up to the Great Flood.
2160 + 1100 = 3260 years (from Adam to Isaac)
The 2160 years were derived from the 72 years for each of the seven days of creation added to the 1656 years following them.
72 x 7 = 504
1056 + 600 = 1656
504 + 1656 = 2160
These would be the count for the symbolic years used to help us understand ancient calendars The actual years count can probably only be obtained with the later generations as found in the seven generations of the Masoretic version. In doing so, it would contradict certain doctrinal issues such as Abraham being 100 years of age when Isaac was born. The numbers being symbolic gives more license to disagree with the text in order to verify the historical realities of the later Exodus and the Conquest. It’s a tradeoff, or else these events described are going to seem to have occurred much later than their actual dating by historians, where it has been conclusively stated that the events of the Old Testament all took place between the Armana age in Egypt and the beginning of the Hellenist age. It is wise to stick within these parameters or lose the validity of the latest findings.