dynasties, and like all the rest of the Egyptian timeline, there
is every reason to believe that these dynasties are stretched
out and contain extra time. 58 This means that 200 years on
the biblical timeline could represent quite a bit more time
at this distant period in Egypt’s history.
So how far back would Abraham go? A plausible time
would be somewhere around 3000 BC, the beginning of the
first dynasty. There is in fact a hint in ancient secular history
to support this date.
According to Genesis 12: 10–13, there was a powerful
pharaoh in place in Egypt, that Abraham had to deal with,
and whom Abraham feared. The first king of the first
dynasty is generally believed to be King Aha. 59 In this
king’s time, the colonies of Egyptians who had been living
in south Palestine abandoned their residences and returned
to Egypt for unknown reasons, but then returned to Canaan
later on during the first dynasty. 60–62 I suggest that the same
severe famine in Canaan that drove Abraham to Egypt may
have caused these Egyptians to return home at this time.
This is the reasoning behind putting Sodom’s destruction
around 3000 BC.
1. This figure is based on 215 years as the length of time that the children of
Israel lived in Egypt. The apostle Paul supports a stay of 215 years in Egypt
when he says in Galatians 3: 17 that God’s covenant with Abraham (in Canaan)
was 430 years before the giving of the law. For more information on this, see
Jones, F.N., The Chronology of the Old Testament, 16th edn, Master Books,
Green Forest, AR, pp. 53–55, 2007. Jones (who follows the Masoretic), shows
that internal calculations of Scripture indicate 215 years in Egypt. The LXX
translations of Exodus 12: 40 clearly indicate 215 years in Egypt, saying
that 430 years was the time of residence in the land of Egypt and the land of
2. Weintraub, D.A., How Old is the Universe?, Princeton University Press,
Princeton, NJ, p. 2, 2011.
3. Osgood, A. J.M., The times of Abraham, J. Creation 2( 1): 77–87, 1986; creation.
4. Habermehl, A., Revising the Egyptian chronology: Joseph as Imhotep,
and Amenemhat IV as pharaoh of the Exodus; in: Horstemeyer, M. (Ed.),
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Creationism,
Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013. This paper is posted online
(with permission) at creationsixdays.net/2013;ICC;Habermehl;Joseph.pdf.
5. Garfinkle, S.J., Ancient Near Eastern city-states; in: Band, P.F. and Scheidel,
W. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and
Mediterranean, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 94–118, 2013; p. 95.
6. Strange, J., The Palestinian city-states of the Bronze Age; in: Hansen, M.H.
(Ed.), A Comparative Study of Thirty City-State Cultures: An investigation
conducted by the Copenhagen Polis Centre, vol. 21, Kongelige Danske
Videnskabernes Selskab (Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters),
Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 67–76, 2000.
7. Josephus, F., The Antiquities of the Jews; in: The Works of Josephus,1987 edn,
trans. W. Whiston, Hendrikson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1:9:171, 1736a.
8. Josephus, F., The Wars of the Jews; in: The Works of Josephus, 1987 edn, trans.
W. Whiston, .Hendrikson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 4:8:452–454, 1736b.
9. Garfinkle, ref. 5, p. 113.
10. ‘Chalcolithic’ (meaning ‘copper-stone’) is the secular name given to the period
of history that precedes the Bronze Age. In the standard evolutionary vie w of
world history it is believed that humans first smelted copper, and then later
learned how to add tin to make bronze. In the Near East, the Chalcolithic
era is generally defined as lasting from as early as 5000 BC to as late as 3300
BC, although sources vary on these dates (for example, see Bienkowski, P.
and Millard, A. (Eds.), Dictionary of the Ancient Near East, University of
Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA, p. 70, 2000).
11. Enzel, Y., Bookman, R. ( Tor, K.), Sharon, D., Gvirtzman, H., Dayan, U., ;iv,
B., and Stein, M., Late Holocene climates of the Near East deduced from the
Dead Sea level variations and modern regional winter rainfall, Quaternary
Research 60:263–273, 2003.
12. All four kings were most likely from northern Mesopotamia, as it is logical
that they would have ruled over domains that were fairly near to each other
in order to form this military coalition. Shinar was a territory between the
Tigris and Euphrates rivers in northern Mesopotamia, as Habermehl discusses
in a detailed paper on the location of the Tower of Babel (see Habermehl, A.,
Where in the world is the Tower of Babel? Answers Research J. 4: 25–53, 2011,
answersingenesis.org/tower-of-babel/where-in-the-world-is-the-tower-of-babel/). Elam was most likely the city state of Elammu, known to historians
to have been on the west side of the Euphrates below Carchemish. (Grayson,
A.K., Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake,
IN, p. 254, 2000. Reprinted from original edition of J.J. Augustin, Locust
Valley, New York, and Glückstadt, Germany, p. 254, 1975.) This kingdom
is commonly confused with the country later called Elam in the south of
Iran. Elam was the oldest son of Shem (Genesis 10: 22) and this northern
Mesopotamia location is most likely where he settled after the Babel
dispersion (Habermehl, unpublished). The other two kingdoms, Ellasar and
the unnamed group of nations, would have been located somewhere in the
vicinity of Shinar and Elam in the north.
13. The Amorites were sons of Amori, 4th son of Canaan (Genesis 10: 15–16).
Their original territory was in the area of En Gedi, according to Scripture
(Genesis 14:7: Hazezontamar is En Gedi).
14. Easton, M.G., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 3rd edn, Thomas Nelson,
Edinburgh, Scotland, 1897.
15. Stevens, A. (Ed.), The cities of the plain—have their ruins been found? Excerpt
from Bentley’s Miscellany, The National Magazine 5:442–445, 1854.
16. Frumkin, A. and Elitzur, Y., The rise and fall of the Dead Sea, Biblical
Archaeology Review 27( 6): 42–50, 2001.
17. Strong J., The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Abingdon Press, New
York, and Nashville, TN, #3220, 1894.
18. Dyni, J.R., Geology and resources of some world oil-shale deposits, U.S.
Geological ;urvey ;cientific Investigations ;e;ort ;;;;;;;;;, 2006. See
figure 10 on p. 19, deposit ; 5 at Nabi Musa at the north-west corner of the
Dead Sea. This would be in the vicinity of the Vale of Siddim if Sodom was
at the north end of the Dead Sea.
19. ;euner, F.E., The Neolithic—Bronze Age gap on the Tell of Jericho, Palestine
Exploration Quarterly 86( 2): 64–68, 1954.
20. See, for example, Rael, R., Earth Architecture, Princeton Architectural Press,
New York, p. 113, 2009.
21. Hirst, K.K., Jericho(Palestine): thearchaeologyoftheancientcityof Jericho, About.
com Archaeology, 2014, archaeology.about.com/od/jterms/qt/jericho.htm,
accessed 19 April 2017.
22. Laughlin, J.C.H., Fifty Major Cities of the Bible, Routledge, New York, 2006.
23. Nigro, L., Results of the Italian-Palestinian Expedition to Tell es-Sultan: at
the dawn of urbanization in Palestine; in: Nigro, L. and Taha, H. (Eds.), Tell
es-Sultan/Jericho in the Context of the Jordan Valley: Site management,
conservation and sustainable development, Proceedings of the International
Workshop held in Ariha, 7–11 February 2005 by the Palestinian Department
of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, pp. 1–40 (see p. 5, fn 8), 2006. There is
some variation as to when the beginning of the Early Bronze Age is considered
to have started.
24. Austin, S., Greatest Earthquakes of the Bible, Acts & Facts 39( 10): 12–15, 2010.
25. Neev, D. and Emery, K.O., The Destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and
Jericho: Geological, climatological, and archaeological background, Oxford
University Press, New York, p. 140, 1995.
26. Sarna, N.M., Understanding Genesis, vol. 1 of the Melton Research Center
Series, The Heritage of Biblical Israel, Jewish Theological Seminary of
America, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, p.142, 1966.
27. Smith, G.A., The Historical Geography of the Holy Land, 30th edn, Ariel
Publishing House, Jerusalem, Israel, 1966. Originally published by Hodder
& Stoughton Ltd., London, UK, p. 327, 1894.
28. Gnanaraj, D., Fire from heaven? Archaeological light on the destruction of
Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19: 23–28), New Life Review 1: 1–12, 2012.
29. Al-Zoubi, A.S., Heinrichs, T., Qabbani, I., and ten-Brink, U.S., The northern
end of the Dead Sea basin: Geometry from reflection seismic evidence,
Tectonophysics 434: 55–59, 2007.