Genealogies in Genesis

There are a lot of genealogies in Genesis, since they provide the framework around which this book was finally structured.  There are over ten sets of genealogies in Genesis.  The Priestly (P) source from the fourth century before Christ compiled these genealogies as connecting links to the various stories in Genesis.  This Priestly (P) strand connected the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The first-born males were usually listed in these genealogies that move the narrative forward from creation to the beginning of the Israelite people.  Finally, Jacob’s descendants were listed at the end of Genesis, in chapter 46.  These lists of people were like the lists of Sumerian kings, with implausibly long-lived figures, but with a gradually shortening of the lifespans that eventually moved into normal historical lengths.  Joran Friberg (1934-), an expert in Babylonian mathematics, and Harvard Professor of Assyriology Piotr Steinkeller (1947-) have written a lot about the history, culture, and languages of early Mesopotamia (3000-1500 BCE), with a particular focus on the socioeconomic history of Babylonia.  Have you ever done any genealogy studies?


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