Genealogical information about our families is something that probably greatly interests most of us. Based on a careful analysis and correlation of the genealogical information provided in Genesis 5 and 11, we learn some vital information through our determining which men were contemporaries among our first forefathers from Adam to Abraham and for how long.
Contemporaries from Adam to Noah
Adam and Methuselah were contemporaries for 243 years (687-930 AA).1 Adam and Lamech were contemporaries for 56 years (874-930 AA). Both Methuselah and Lamech, therefore, had extensive opportunities to get eyewitness information from Adam about what took place after he was created!
Methuselah and Lamech were contemporaries for 777 years (874-1651 AA). If only one of these men ever actually took the opportunity to visit with Adam and hear as much as they could from him, he would have had a vast amount of time to share it with the other.
Noah and Methuselah were contemporaries for 600 years (1056-1656 AA). Noah and Lamech were contemporaries for 595 years (1056-1651 AA). Noah thus had more than half a millennium to meet with either Methuselah or Lamech or both and get information from them that they had gotten directly from Adam.
Methuselah became the oldest man alive when Jared died in 1422 AA at the age of 962. For the next 234 years (1422-1656 AA), Methuselah was the oldest man alive. When Methuselah died in 1656 AA, which was also the year the Flood took place, Noah became the oldest man alive (600 years of age).
Contemporaries from Noah to Abraham
After the Flood, Noah was the oldest man alive for the last 350 years of his life (1656-2006 AA), and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth were the next oldest men living during their remaining lifetimes.
From 1878-1996 AA, Noah, Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, and Terah were all contemporaries. Abraham was born in 1948 AA, so all of these men from Noah to Abraham were contemporaries for 48 years!
After Peleg died in 1996 AA, Nahor died in 1997 AA. From 1997 until the death of Noah in 2006 AA, Noah, Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Reu, Serug, Terah, and Abraham were contemporaries. Shem, Shelah, and Eber were still alive when Abraham died in 2123 AA.
Direct Transmission of Eyewitness Information from Adam to Abraham
Based on the preceding analysis, we learn that Noah readily could have gotten information that was received directly from Adam via either Methuselah or Lamech or both. In turn, Noah would have had opportunities to transmit that information personally to at least one of his sons from each of the ten generations after him for the last 48 years of Noah’s life!
Direct transmission of eyewitness information from Adam to Abraham through Noah and either Methuselah or Lamech or both thus was entirely possible! Given the immense importance of such information, and the great value that we as human beings place on meeting our forefathers at least once while they are living and having them tell us about their lives, we can be almost certain that direct transmission of vital eyewitness information took place from Adam to Methuselah and Lamech to Noah to Abraham!
1 AA means “after Adam” and denotes the number of years after the creation of Adam.