Life spans of some Patriarchs

Let’s look at some numbers the Bible hands us including the life spans of the Patriarchs. Beginning with Isaac’s birth and ending with the death of Joseph.

When Abraham was 100 years old, his wife Sarah gave birth to their son: Isaaac. Thinking about Sarahs age of 90, if their might be any meaning of the ages of women when mentioned?

Isaac and Rebecka got the twins Jacob (James) and Esau when Isaac was 40 years old.

When Jacob was 40, he moved to his relation Laban in the land of Aram. Isaac was by that time old and blind. He was 80 years of age. Despite his already being old, he continues to be 180 years: Gen. 47:28 Jacob lived to be 147. So:

Isaac 40 years older than Jacob, so when Isaac 180, Jacob would be 140. So Jacob outlived Isaac by only seven years. When Jacob took his family to Egypt, he was 130, so Isaac still lived by then and would have been 170 years. Then: Jacob should have taken his father with him to Egypt. Or no? Bible not says so! But who would have taken care of old Isaac in starvstrucken Canaan? And what about Rebecka? Bible don’t inform us!

After seven years, Jacob (then 47) married Lea and Rachel.

Then he got 12 sons – and one daughter. Possibly more daughters, but only one mentioned.

He remained in Aram for twenty years. Gen. 31:41 41 I have been with you for twenty years. Fourteen years for your two daughters, six years for your sheep and goats.

Jacob’s Children:

Having worked for Laban 7 years, he marries Lea,

and gets Rachel too when Lea’s wedding week is over.

Then he works 7 more years for having had Rachel

as his second wife.

He gets his children during the second 7-year period plus the 6-year period.

That means he must have gotten a son every year. Weddings taken place at his 47 year.

Mother Lea:……….Age of Jacob:

Married Lea and Rachel at 47, then at least nine months.

  1. Ruben…………48 —–7 yrs plus 1 yr
  2. Simon ………..49……………….2 yr
  3. Levi…………….50……………….3 yr
  4. Judah………….51……………….4 yr

Mother Bilha (Rachel’s maid)

…..5. Dan……………..52……………..5 yr

…..6. Naphtali………53…………….6 yr

Mother Silpa (Lea’s maid)

…..7. Gad……………..54 .Second 7-year period completed.

……8. Asher…………..55 First year of six.

Mother Lea:

…….9. Isaskar……………56….Second yr of six.

……10. Sebulon………….57  ….Third yr of six

Daughter Dina…………..58 ……Fourth year of six

Mother Rachel

…….11. Joseph…………..59 …….Fifth yr of six.

……12…Benjamin………60………Sixth yr of six.

20 years completed. But Benjamin born when Jacob had already left Laban and moved to Canaan – Efrata i.e. Betlehem, where Rachel died giving birth to his youngest.

Another question occurs: Could the four mothers, Lea, Rachel, Silpa and Bilha, not have given birth the same years? Then Jacob would not have been 59 when Joseph was born, nor 60, when Benjamin?

Now about Joseph. He was Seventeen when sold to Egypt. So, while Jacob was 59 by Joseph’s birth, he now will be 59+17==76 years of age.

Next number the Bible gives is Joseph’s being 30 years old when he interpreted Pharao’s dreams. He would then have lived 13 years in Egypt. Jacob, in Canaan, would be 59+30==89 years.

Pharao gives to Joseph the daughter of the priest in On. On, later labelled Heliopolis, City of the Sun. But what god did they worship in the time of the Patriarchs?

And why are the Pharaos never mentioned by name?

During the seven good years, Ashenat gave birth to Manasse and Ephraim. Which should have taken two to three years, counting the time of her pregnancies. It is said they were born before the seven bad years. Gen. 41:50

Now comes the telling of the seven starvation years. After those 14 years, Joseph would have been 44 years of age, Jacob 59+44==103 years of age.

During the seven bad years, Jacob’s sons travel to Egypt several time to buy grain for breadbaking. At last, Jacob brings his whole family to Egypt and meets Pharao. In Gen. 47:9, when asked his age by Pharao, Jacob complains: My time of wandering has endured for 130 years. Few and difficult have my living years been. They have not been so many as the time of wandering of my fathers. 

Question: Jacob claims to be 130 years. But I have counted to 103 years. There’s a gap of 130 minus 103==27 years! Why?

Then, Genesis ends by stating Jacob died at 147, having lived 17 years in Egypt. Joseph died at the age of 110.

And about Isaac. He lived to be 180 years. Gen. ………… says Jacob and Esau buried him. The sons then being 40 years younger, that is 140 years, both, as they were twins. So this occurred when Jacob, had already been in Egypt for ten years, arriving there at age 130.

Or if Jacob 103 at arriving, then Isaac would have been 143 years by then and 180-143==had 37 more years to live.

Anyway, Bible states Jacob to have said they buried Isaac at the cave of Marme, Hebron, where he had also buried Lea. Gen.49:29-32. So Lea was dead before Isaac. The slave girls Silpa and Bilha not mentioned.

Repeating  question: Jacob claims to be 130 years. But I have counted to 103 years. There’s a gap of 130 minus 103==27 years! Why?

But, if it is true Jacob arrived in Egypt at 130 years of age. Then Joseph would have been 71 years, because he was born when Jacob was 59. And  130-59==71. This is truly a puzzle. Because Joseph stood before Pharao when he was 30 years old. Giving a time frame of 71-30==41 years between that time and the arrival of Jacob and his relations.

In search of truth has this to say about


Joseph lived for 110 years 1741-1631 B.C. (Genesis 50:26) Joseph age 30 (Genesis 41:40-46) became governor of Egypt in 1711 B.C. There was 7 years of great harvest and the second year of famine Joseph age 39 in 1702 B.C. met his father Jacob age 130 (Genesis 47:9) in Egypt. Global famine 1704-1697 B.C. (Genesis 41:57)”

For the years presented here, 1711 BC, 1741-1631 BC, 1702 BC and 1704-1697 BC, these are not anything I stand behind. Not before I see any proof. There are lots of theories out there as for when, exactly, all things concerning the sojourn took place. It should take a separate article or several to try to present and compare all those.

  1. Due to Gen. 30:22-24, Jacob begat Josephat the age of 59. (See above!) So when Jacob was 130, Joseph would be, not 39, but 71 years of age.
  2. But if Joseph was really 39, Jacob would have been 59 years older, that is  98 years.
  3. If Joseph 39 and Jacob 130, then Jacob would have begotten Joseph when he was, not 59, but 130-39==91 years of age.

It becomes clear the numbers of years presented don’t add up. Question is why the Lord let the Bible scribes write them thus. Sure, He must have had a purpose.

There then comes the idea of different numbers meaning different things. I will have to abandon this area for now, as I am not an expert.

The next thing I intend to do is to try to figure out the numbers concerning the ………..that ended up in the Exodus.  The children of Levi.

We can begin by setting the age of Jacob to 130 years. He had his third son, Levi, at the age of 50. So when arriving in Egypt, if his father was 130, Levi would have been 80 years old.

Bible mentions the ages of Levi’s most important descendants: Kehat, Amram, Moses and Aron. Levi is said to be 137 years old when he died. Kehat 133 years. Amram 137 year. Aron 83 years and Mose 80 years.

But, alas, we are not told at which ages Levi begat Kehat, Kehat Amram, nor Amram Aron and Mose!

What we can know, is that if Levi was 80 when he came to Egypt, then at his death at 137, he would have been there for 57 years. All we know is that he brought his three sons, Gershom, KEHAT, Merari, nothing of their ages.

The sum of the ages of Levi, Kehat and Amram=137+133+137==407 years. Something that relates to the 400 years, or 430 years of captivity?

Aron 83 years old, Mose 80 years old when they stood before Pharao short before the Exodus. Exodus took place at the exact day of arriving to Egypt 430 years before. This means for Aron 430 – 83==Aron born when 347 years had passed of the Sojourn. Mose 430 – 80==Mose born when 350 years had passed of the captivity.

So, then we can account for the first 57 years of the 430 year sojourn and for the last 83 years of the same.

430 years minus (83+57=) 140 years==290 years in the middle of the captivity that we can not account for in detail. 

Gen. 47:18-26 ”These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt:

(Note: I quote for Levi, Judah and Joseph! And Asher.) 

11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

12 The sons of Judah: Shelah, Perez and Zerah 

The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul.

17 The sons of AsherImnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah.Their sister was Serah.

The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malkiel.


Joseph 20 In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.

I have chosen to account for these sons of Jacob/Israel because they brought the next generation with them to Egypt. So we know the sons of Levi (Kehat, Gershon, Merari), Judah: (Shelah, Perez and Zerah), Joseph: Manasse and Ephraim) were born before the 430 year sojourn started. Some had even begotten a third generation sons, for instance had Judah’s son Peres two sons already: Hesron and Hamul. Asher’s son Beriah had also two sons, Heber and Malkiel, brought to Egypt when the 430 years began.






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