I am trying to make a list of all persons in the Bible with all dates, but I struggled with one thing. What is Abraham's birthday? There are two versions I found out:

Version A (According to Genesis 11)

When Terah was 70, he raised his child Abraham. When Abraham went away from Haran, he was 75. So Terah was 145 years old when Abraham went away. That would mean that Terah was still alive when Abraham went away.

Version B (According to Acts 7)

This version says that the names are ordered by importance and not birthdate. So Terah was 130 when he raised Abraham and so he was 205 (he died) when Abraham went away. That would match the text from Stephen.

Which of these versions is the correct one or is there no known version to be correct?

Sorry for my bad English. And also: I didn't study theology, so I don't understand Hebrew and Greek.


The answer to this question involves a quintessential Hebrew practice of listing the important son first and not necessarily the oldest. We see this many times such as in the story of Noah when Shem Ham and Japheth are listed - Shem, despite being younger is lasted first.

The same is true in Gen 11:26 - Abram was NOT the oldest son - he was the youngest. We find out in Gen 12:4 that Abraham was 75 years old when he left Haran and thus, Terah was 130 years old when Abram was born.

Therefore, Gen 11:26 should be understood as Terah being 70 years old when the first of his sons was born. The Pulpit commentary says the same thing:

Verse 26. - And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram. First named on account of his spiritual pre-eminence. If Abram was Terah's eldest son, then, as Abram was seventy-five years of age when Terah died (Genesis 12:4), Terah's whole life could only have been 145 years. But Terah lived to the age of 205 years (Genesis 11:32); therefore Abram was born in Terah's 130th year.

  • Thanks for your answer! Mar 29 at 6:59
  • Is it the same for Jacob's sons or are they listed in order? Because I think that they are listed "one after another" in the correct order. Mar 29 at 7:04
  • @blaumeise20 - Jacob's sons appear in various orders, depending on who lists them. The list in Rev 7 is quite different from that in Genesis
    – Dottard
    Mar 29 at 10:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.