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''This section should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →''
 
''This section should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →''
 
Purposes of this historical overview section include: (1) providing a sense of how much the lives of the patriarchs overlapped, something that is often not apparent from the way in which narrative text is divided up; and (2) providing chronological anchor points that are both verifiable and internally consistent for use when working on subpages. The historical data on this page for events prior to Abraham is merely a summary that relies upon the detailed discussion and documentation at [[Genesis 5 | Chapter 5-6a]] and [[Genesis 11 | Chapter 10-11a]]. Another detailed account from Adam to Abraham that incorporates modern revelation is located at [[Moses]]. A broader treatment of the history of ancient Israel, including Genesis, is found at [[Old Testament: Historical Overview]].
 
  
 
<div id="dating-difficulties"></div>
 
<div id="dating-difficulties"></div>
The period from the Fall to the death of Joseph in Egypt roughly corresponds to 4000 BC to 1700 BC. There is no consensus, however, about the exact dating of events during that period.<ref>The difficulty in dating events in Genesis can be understood by thinking of events before Christ in four groups: '''(1)''' Counting backwards from Christ, there is broad scholarly consensus that Solomon reigned from 970-931 BC. From this it is not too difficult to count back and determine that Saul began to reign in 1049 BC. Steinmann, ''From Abraham to Paul'', 37-44, 106 & n.165, 111-15, noting that these dates for Solomon's reign are widely accepted as one of the principal known anchor points from which the rest of the Old Testament chronology can be calculated; Finegan, ''Handbook of Biblical Chronology'', 249-50; Thiele, ''Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings'', 67-78. See [[Old Testament: Historical Overview]] for further details on dating the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon. Scholarly disagreement about dates more recent than 1049 BC usually involve a difference of less than five years. '''(2)''' Next is the date of the Exodus. There is broad scholarly consensus that the Exodus occurred in either 1250 BC or 1446 BC. But there is not a consensus about which of these two dates is correct. There is broad agreement that following the Exodus, Moses led Israel for 40 years and Joshua for about another 27 years, for a total of about 67 years. But the length of the period between Joshua and Saul, the period covered by the book of Judges, is not settled. So here one must choose between two dates that are 196 years apart. (See the lengthy footnotes at [[Old Testament: Historical Overview]] for the arguments in favor of each of these two dates). '''(3)''' Next is the length of time that Israel was in Egypt prior to the Exodus. There is broad scholarly consensus that the Israelite sojourn in Egypt lasted either 215 years or 430 years. But again there is not a consensus about which of these two lengths of time is correct. Here one must choose between two dates that are 215 years apart. (Again see the lengthy footnotes at [[Old Testament: Historical Overview]] for a discussion of the arguments in favor of each of these two positions). '''(4)''' Finally, there is broad consensus that according to Genesis the length of time from the Fall of Adam and Eve until Jacob moved all of his household to Egypt was 2,238 years. This number is easily derived from the genealogical and chronological data discussed in greater detail below. (Since the age difference between each father and son is given only in whole years, it is reasonable to expect that twenty rounding errors averaging half a year each could accumulate to a total error of about ten years, or a little less than one half of one percent). But there is still a choice to made here as well since the Joseph Smith Translation manuscripts make changes during the first twelve generations from Adam to Arphaxad that add another 128 years to this total. (See [[Moses]] for a discussion of those changes). '''Thus''' the calculation of the date for the Fall is (either 1250 BC or 1446 BC for the date of the Exodus) + (either 215 years or 430 years for the sojourn in Egypt) + (either 2238 years per Genesis or 2366 years per the JST) to yield eight different possible dates ranging from 3703 BC at the shortest to 4242 BC at the longest.</ref> To sidestep this difficulty, dates on the wiki pages addressing Genesis generally: (1) count time forward from the fall of Adam and Eve rather than trying to count backward in years BC through the period of the judges and the sojourn in Egypt; and (2) do so according to the information provided in Genesis rather than the JST.
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=== Difficulty of calculating dates in Genesis ===
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The period from the Fall to the death of Joseph in Egypt roughly corresponds to 4000 BC to 1700 BC. There is no consensus, however, about the exact dating of events during that period. This difficulty can be understood by thinking of events before Christ in four groups.
 +
 
 +
Counting backwards from Christ, there is broad scholarly consensus that Solomon reigned from 970-931 BC. From this it is not too difficult to count back and determine that Saul began to reign in 1049 BC.<ref>Steinmann, ''From Abraham to Paul'', 37-44, 106 & n.165, 111-15, noting that these dates for Solomon's reign are widely accepted as one of the principal known anchor points from which the rest of the Old Testament chronology can be calculated; Finegan, ''Handbook of Biblical Chronology'', 249-50; Thiele, ''Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings'', 67-78. See [[Old Testament: Historical Overview]] for further details on dating the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon.</ref> Scholarly disagreement about dates more recent than 1049 BC usually involve a difference of less than five years.
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Next is the date of the Exodus. There is broad scholarly consensus that the Exodus occurred in either 1250 BC or 1446 BC. But there is not a consensus about which of these two dates is correct. There is broad agreement that following the Exodus, Moses led Israel for 40 years and Joshua for about another 27 years, for a total of about 67 years. But the length of the period between Joshua and Saul, the period covered by the book of Judges, is not settled. So here one must choose between two dates that are 196 years apart. (See the lengthy footnotes at [[Old Testament: Historical Overview]] for the arguments in favor of each of these two dates).
 +
 
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Third is the length of time that Israel was in Egypt prior to the Exodus. There is broad scholarly consensus that the Israelite sojourn in Egypt lasted either 215 years or 430 years. But again there is not a consensus about which of these two lengths of time is correct. Here one must choose between two dates that are 215 years apart. (Again see the lengthy footnotes at [[Old Testament: Historical Overview]] for a discussion of the arguments in favor of each of these two positions).
 +
 
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Fourth, there is broad consensus that according to Genesis the length of time from the Fall of Adam and Eve until Jacob moved all of his household to Egypt was 2,238 years. This number is easily derived from the genealogical and chronological data discussed in greater detail below. (Since the age difference between each father and son is given only in whole years, it is reasonable to expect that twenty rounding errors averaging half a year each could accumulate to a total error of about ten years, or a little less than one half of one percent). But there is still a choice to made here as well since the Joseph Smith Translation manuscripts make changes during the first twelve generations from Adam to Arphaxad that add another 128 years to this total. (See [[Moses]] for a discussion of those changes).
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Thus the calculation of the date for the Fall is (either 1250 BC or 1446 BC for the date of the Exodus) + (either 215 years or 430 years for the sojourn in Egypt) + (either 2238 years per Genesis or 2366 years per the JST) to yield eight different possible dates ranging from 3703 BC at the shortest to 4242 BC at the longest.
 +
 
 +
To sidestep these uncertainties, dates on the wiki pages addressing Genesis generally: (1) count time forward from the fall of Adam and Eve rather than trying to count backward in years BC through the period of the judges and the sojourn in Egypt; and (2) do so according to the information provided in Genesis and do not include the additional 128 years given in the JST.
  
 
<div id="history-narrative"></div>
 
<div id="history-narrative"></div>
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=== Historical overview ===
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Purposes of this historical overview section include: (1) providing a sense of how much the lives of the patriarchs overlapped, something that is often not apparent from the way in which narrative text is divided up; and (2) providing chronological anchor points that are both verifiable and internally consistent for use when working on subpages. The historical data on this page for events prior to Abraham is merely a summary that relies upon the detailed discussion and documentation at [[Genesis 5 | Chapter 5-6a]] and [[Genesis 11 | Chapter 10-11a]]. Another detailed account from Adam to Abraham that incorporates modern revelation is located at [[Moses]]. A broader treatment of the history of ancient Israel, including Genesis, is found at [[Old Testament: Historical Overview]].
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Genesis recounts the history of the world beginning with the Creation and continuing up through the establishment of the House of Israel, or through 24 generations from about 4000 BC to about 1700 BC.
 
Genesis recounts the history of the world beginning with the Creation and continuing up through the establishment of the House of Israel, or through 24 generations from about 4000 BC to about 1700 BC.
  

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