History of the World

A Traditionalist Perspective

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Jewish years are numbered according to the rabbinic understanding of when the Creation of the world took place. Though many rabbis attempted this calculation, it was that of Rabbi Yossi ben Halafta-- which declared Monday, October 7, 3761 B.C.E., to be the day Creation began--that gained currency. The following chart shows his account of the time from Creation to the destruction of the Second Temple:

 

Year of the Mundane Era Event Biblical Basis
 1  Creation, including that of Adam and Eve  Genesis 1:1
 130  Birth of Seth  
 
 
 
 Genesis 5:1-32, with dates of birth given relative to the age of the father.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 235  Birth of Enosh
 325  Birth of Keinan
 395  Death of Mehalaleil
 460  Birth of Jared
 622  Birth of Enokh
 687  Birth of Bethuselah
 874  Birth of Lamekh
 930  Death of Adam
 1042  Death of Seth
 1056  Birth of Noah
 1140  Death of Enosh  
 
 
 
 
 
 1235  Death of Keinan
 1290  Death of Mehalaleil
 1422  Death of Jared
 1556  Birth of Shem
 1654  Death of Lamekh
 1656  Death of Methuselah, The Flood  Genesis 11:10-29, with some dates extrapolated from years of life listed previously. There seems to be a bit of inexactitude in the time immediately after the Flood.
 1658  Birth of Arpakhshad  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 1693  Birth of Salah
 1723  Birth of Ever
 1757  Birth of Peleg
 1787  Birth of Reu
 1819 Birth of Serug
 1848  Birth of Nahor
 1878  Birth of Terah
 1948  Birth of Abraham (Avram)
 2048  Birth of Isaac  Genesis 21:5
 2108  Birth of Jacob and Esau  Genesis 25:26
 2238  Death of Joseph  Genesis 25:26
 2448  Israelites leave Egypt  Exodis 12:40-41
 2928  Solomon Dedicates the First Temple in Jerusalem  I Kings 6:1
 3338  Destruction of the First Temple  The First Temple lasted 410 years, according to the Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 9a.
 3408  Return from the Babylonian Exile Jeremiah prophesied a 70 year exile.
 3828  Destruction of the Second Temple  A post-Biblical chronology of kingdoms is given in the Talmud, Avodah Zarah 9a and 10a (probably basing itself on Rabbi Yossi's Seder Olam Rabbah). Daniel prophesied 490 years from the First Temple's destruction to Second Temple's destruction. This results in a date for the second destruction of 67 C.E. (Daniel 9:24 ff).

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Rabbi Rachel Miller Solomin is an educator living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was ordained from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) in 2001.