Confusion Over Abraham’s Age In The Bible

Here is a super discrepancy found in the Old Testament, which Christians think to be the actual unaltered word of God. Using their criteria, we will show how Yahweh being the one author of the Old Testament was not aware of his own sayings. Note that Christians generally admit that the Gospels were written by multiple authors. It will be foolish of them to say the same for the Torah — as it was dictated to Moses by Yahweh himself — which means there was only one author for the Torah.

Let's get straight to the problem:

According to Genesis, Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 1

Again we read in Genesis that Abraham was hundred and seventy five when he passed away.

Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 2

Here’s where the problem kicks in. According to Genesis Isaac was 40 years old when he got married and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. (Genesis 25:20)

Did you catch the problem? Abraham was 100 years old when he had Isaac (Gen. 21:5), Abraham passed away when he was 175 years old (Gen. 25:7), which means Isaac should be 75 years old, but when we get to Genesis 25:20 we are told Isaac is 40 years old? How could this be? Note Genesis 25:9 says both his sons Ishmael and Isaac buried him. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite. 3

How could the author who is Yahweh make such a mistake and why didn’t Moses who was writing not correct it or even challenge Yahweh? If Moses can make Yahweh repent why could he not tell him how could Isaac be 40 years old? Please explain how Isaac had 35 years of his life omitted.

This super discrepancy cannot be solved at all. If Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born and when he passed away he was 175, then that should make Isaac 75 years old, not 40 years old. Do you really believe this is the actual word of God? This also shows Abraham did not bless the two sons of Isaac. Esau and Jacob were born when Isaac was 60 years old.

After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. 4

There is no trace of Abraham anywhere during the births of his two sons, Esau and Jacob. You’ll expect the grandfather to be present there or even come bless them. Even though Abraham according to Genesis 25 would be alive and have seen his grandchildren before he passed away at the age of 175. Not to mention this would give Isaac with an additional 15 years since he was 60 years old. Now Christians may say Isaac was married at the age of 40, it was only mentioned after Genesis 25:9.  If this really was the case then where was Abraham, and why was there no mention of Esau and Jacob? We read in Genesis 26:

For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. 5

And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged servants of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. 6

Notice how Genesis 26:15 and 18 both speak of the past tense for Abraham. Had Abraham been alive then would he had not visited his son and grandsons and bless them? A couple of chapters later we read Yahweh is blessing them behalf of Abraham.

May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham. 7

There you have it, a major inconsistency in the chronology of the story. Again without repeating myself, I want to summarise this:

  • Abraham was 100 years old when he had Isaac.
  • Abraham was 175 years old when he passed away.
  • Isaac was married at the age of 40 years old after Abraham passed away.
  • Isaac was 60 years old and had two sons, Esau and Jacob, again that was after Abraham passed away.

If Isaac was 60 years old when he had his two sons, then this would of make Abraham 160 years old. But it’s clear from the previous and preceding texts Abraham had already passed away, which means the dates are wrong. Even if one argues Abraham was alive why then does the Bible never mention of Abraham coming to visit his grandsons to bless them?

This is probably one of the major discrepancies found in the so-called God breathed Torah, which korede thinks is unaltered. Just for the record the author of Hebrews seem to suggest that Jacob did see Abraham:

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. 8

However this is a very bad rendering of the actual translation the NIV reads:

By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 9

I believe that the point of the verse is not to point out that Abraham lived together with Isaac and Jacob (but rather to remind the reader that all three generations lived as nomads in the land of promise during the course of their lives.

The word translated here as “tabernacle” is skene – which really means a “tent” or “temporary dwelling”. It is the word, for example, in the Septuagint version of Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents (Genesis 4:20)

Let’s ask our Christian friends to help solve this problem, after all they brag they get help from the Holy Ghost to understand the Hebrew Bible.

  1. Genesis 21:5
  2. Genesis 25:7
  3. Genesis 25:9
  4. Genesis 25:26
  5. Genesis 26:15
  6. Genesis 26:18
  7. Genesis 28:4
  8. Hebrews 11:9 KJV
  9. Hebrews 11:9 NIV

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