Divine Calendars Testify of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

by John P. Pratt

Reprinted from Meridian Magazine (11 Sep 2003)
©2003 by John P. Pratt. All rights Reserved.

Index, Home

Contents
1. Eber and his son Peleg
2. Abraham
2.1 60-year Uncertainty
2.2 Are 60 Years Important?
2.3 Modern Revelation
2.4 Sacred Calendars
2.5 Four stars
2.6 Not Astrology
3. Ishmael
4. Isaac
4.1 Sodom and Gomorrah
4.2 Three Important Days
4.3 "Set Time"
4.4 Isaac born on Consecration
5. Rebekah
6. Jacob
7. Conclusion
Notes
Divine calendars indicate precise birth dates for Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob, as well as for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, resolving the long-standing question of whether or not Noah and Abraham were contemporaries.

In the previous two articles in this series,[1] we have seen that divine calendars witness to the precise dates of historical events from Adam through Noah. In this article we will see that precise dates for the births of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are also indicated, which resolve the confusion about when Abraham lived. The close relationship of family birth dates will be discussed, including between Isaac and his wife Rebekah and also his brother Ishmael. These remarkably rare interlocking birth dates provide a strong witness to their correctness.

1. Eber and his son Peleg

Before seeking Abraham's birth date, let us note an important pair of dates in the genealogy lists of Genesis which help define the very period in question. The principal tool we have discovered to determine an astronomically anchored chronology is the occurrence of rare alignments between the Hebrew and Venus calendars.[2] We saw in last month's article that 430 years is an interval in which those two calendars can align at the same season of the year. Perusing the lists of "begats" in Genesis, we see that the number 430 pops up again as the interval between the birth of Peleg and the death of his father Eber (Gen. 11:17). That number alone is an indication that those two dates may well both be holy days on both the Venus and Hebrew calendars.

Checking those calendars produces very likely candidates because there are excellent alignments in those very years. The indicated birth date for Peleg is Mon 22 Sep 2241 BC which was 10 Tishri (Atonement, Hebrew), and 1 Birth (Venus). The day 1 Birth is the ideal day for birth on the Venus calendar and it only occurs on one of the 10 major Hebrew holy days about once in 58 years. Looking 430 years later at the day 1 Birth on the Venus Calendar we note that there is only about a one in seven chance that it will also coincide with a Hebrew holy day. So it is statistically significant that the day indicated for Eber's death, Mon 4 Oct 1811 BC, falls precisely on 1 Tishri (Trumpets, Hebrew). Moreover, that day is also the day 1 Skull on the Sacred Round, the day representing death. Thus, this pair of dates fits the pattern we have seen so far in Hebrew-Venus alignments, which is that they are supported by other witnesses to remove any doubt. Those additional testimonies can be either the appropriateness of the particular holy day (such as 1 Birth for Peleg's birth), or from another sacred calendar (such as 1 Skull for Eber's death). This evidence seems compelling enough to propose that these two dates are indeed correct.

The Tower of Babel during Peleg's lifetime.
So who was Eber? Heber is another spelling of Eber, and is the origin of the word "Hebrew" (Gen. 14:13, 39:14). In the lineage from Noah to Abraham, the two most important men are Shem, Noah's son who was the Great High Priest (D&C 138:41), and Shem's great-grandson Eber. According to the Book of Jasher, which appears to be an authentic source,[3] Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all well acquainted with both Shem and Eber. In fact, it says Jacob was taught by Shem and Eber for 32 years, from when Jacob was age 18 until Shem's death (Jasher 28:17-25). Is that possible? Shem was Noah's son. Did he live long enough for that to have occurred? One reason it is important to understand chronology correctly is to see how the lives overlapped and just who were contemporaries. Eber lived 464 years, which was so long that he was born only 67 years after the Great Flood and yet he outlived his great-great-great-great grandson Abraham. Eber's life spans the entire period of this article.

While Eber is an illustrious figure, we know almost nothing about his son Peleg. We are told the meaning of his name ("division") refers to the time when the earth was divided (Gen. 10:25). The account of the tower of Babel is found in Genesis shortly after the birth of Peleg (Gen. 11:1-9). On the other hand, the Book of Jasher places the confounding of the languages at Babel toward the end of Peleg's life (Jasher 9:20-10:1), so it seems safe to conclude that the tower of Babel occurred sometime during the life of Peleg. Now let us turn to the birth date of someone we all know much better, Father Abraham.

2. Abraham

Abraham emerges from the pages of Genesis as the first patriarch whom we are allowed to know well. Enoch, Shem and Eber, great as they were, are allotted only a few verses, whereas the story of Abraham requires 14 chapters to tell (Gen. 12-25). Abraham was promised that he would be the father of many nations (Gen. 17:4) and that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:3). So Abraham is a key figure indeed, but just when did he live?

2.1 60-year Uncertainty

There has been a long-standing dilemma concerning the birth date of Abraham. There are two choices which have seemed almost equally viable. Up until Abraham, the Book of Genesis records the ages of the fathers at the births of their sons, so that one can add up the ages to get a clear indication of the year of the birth of each. At Abraham, that unbroken chain seems ambiguous for the following reasons.

First, the verse which we expect to be definitive seems unclear: "And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran" (Gen. 11:26). Was Terah age 70 when he begat Abram (whose named was later changed to Abraham)? Were the three brothers triplets? For all of the preceding patriarchs, the year of the principal son's birth was listed, followed by the statement that the father also begat other sons and daughters. This appears to be the same pattern, except that the other two sons are named. The clear intent seems to be that Terah was age 70 at Abraham's birth, and that he had two other sons named Nahor and Haran.

An alternate interpretation arises because immediately after the statement that Abraham's father died in Haran at age 205, it says that Abraham departed from Haran at age 75 (Gen. 11:32-12:4). If one assumes that Abraham left immediately after Haran died, then Terah was 130 ( = 205 - 75 ) at Abraham's birth. So was Terah age 70 or 130 at Abraham's birth? And does it really matter?

2.2 Are 60 Years Important?

Does it matter that we know Abraham's birth date to better than 60-year accuracy? To me, it is important to know which of the two alternatives is correct in order to know how the lives of the patriarchs overlap. The Book of Jasher explicitly states that Terah was age 70 at Abraham's birth (Jasher 7:51) and that Noah didn't die until Abraham was 58 years old (Jasher 13:9), which agrees with the first interpretation of the Genesis account. Why was Abraham so righteous when his father worshipped idols? Jasher explains that Abraham was raised and taught by Noah for 39 years, from age 11 to 49 (Jasher 8:36, 9:6, 11:13). Is that true? Could it have been true?

Counting years from the Flood in 2343 BC, Noah died in about 1993 BC. Similarly, the two choices for Abraham are either that he was born about 2051 BC or about 1991 BC. Thus, if Abraham was born when Terah was 130, then Noah could not have known Abraham because Abraham would have been born two years after he died.

A similar question arises concerning the Tower of Babel. According to Genesis, Peleg died about a decade before Noah. Jasher says the Tower of Babel occurred nearly at the end of Peleg's life (Jasher 10:1). If so, then the confusion of tongues occurred when Abraham was about 48. If we knew with certainty when Abraham lived, we might be able to resolve that question, which would help us to know Abraham better. For example, might Abraham have been acquainted with Jared and his group who left Babel to be led to a promised land in the Americas? If so, that might help us understand the context in which the Lord later told Abraham that he would (also) be led to a promised land and father many nations.

The chronology found in Bibles published during the last three centuries generally follows that of Bishop Ussher, who decided that Terah was age 130 at Abraham's birth. L.D.S. Bibles used to list those dates, but then they were dropped when the new L.D.S. edition was published. Even so, our current L.D.S. Bible Dictionary still lists Abraham's birth as occurring after Noah's death. But that is just a hold-over from Ussher, which is not supported by modern revelation as we shall now see.

2.3 Modern Revelation

Modern revelation makes it clear that Bishop Ussher made the wrong choice. The Book of Abraham fills in many details of the account. While Abraham was still living in Ur of the Chaldees (in modern Iraq), he was saved by an angel from being sacrificed to a pagan god. At that time he was told that the Lord would lead him away from his father's house into a strange land (Abr. 1:16). Sometime later there was a famine in Ur and it was then that the Lord commanded Abraham to begin his journey. Abraham states, "Therefore I left the land of Ur, of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan" (Abr. 2:4). That statement indicates that from Abraham's point of view, the journey was from Ur to Canaan (modern Israel & Palestine). He mentions that his father "followed after" him, but that when they arrived in Haran (modern Syria), the "famine abated; and my father tarried in Haran and dwelt there" . . . "and my father turned again unto his idolatry, therefore he continued in Haran" (Abr. 2:4-5). Thus, it sounds like Terah's devotion to Abraham's God was motivated mostly by hunger, and that he stopped en route. Abraham and the others apparently stayed with him for some time in Haran, but finally Abraham prayed for guidance. The Lord appeared to him and commanded him and his nephew Lot to continue on, adding that Abraham would become a great nation (Abr. 2:6,9). The record states that he left Haran at age 62 (Abr. 2:14).[4]

The main point for this article is that Abraham makes it clear that he left his father and many others in Haran, and he definitely did not wait until Terah's death to depart. That removes all of the support for the interpretation that Terah was age 130 at Abraham's birth.

Now let us see how sacred calendars verify that Abraham's birth did indeed occur about 2051 BC (when Terah was 70).

2.4 Sacred Calendars

Checking the sacred calendars for alignments in all of the possible years for Abraham's birth yields one very promising candidate: Wed 5 Oct 2052 BC. That day was the Day of Atonement on the Hebrew calendar, a day for making covenants with God, for which Abraham is so well-known. Moreover, the day was also 1 Temple, the one day of 260 on the Sacred Round best representing birth. Even though such an alignment only occurs about once in 260 years, this coincidence alone is not compelling that we have found the right date. There are no other strong witnesses from the sacred calendars, such as the Venus calendar. We have noted that there are probably other calendars for other planets which are as yet undiscovered. Not having such calendars yet, let us actually look at those planetary positions to see if other witnesses appear.

Double conjunction at Abraham's birth?

2.5 Four stars at Abraham's Birth

The Book of Jasher claims that something unusual in the skies occurred at the time of Abraham's birth. It states that on that night "one very large star came from the east and ran in the heavens, and he swallowed up the four stars from the four sides of the heavens" (Jasher 8:2). We cannot expect an astronomical observation from 4,000 years ago to have survived intact, and that makes little sense to me as it stands. But if we allow for a broad interpretation, it might have originally meant "a comet was seen in the east among four planets, which subsequently traversed the sky." We are told that there were many signs at the birth of Christ, including the Star of Bethlehem. Given that the Lord said he created the stars and planets for "signs" (Gen. 1:14), it seems possible that there might have been an astronomical sign at the birth of Abraham.

Plotting the position of the planets in the sky on the proposed date of Abraham's birth yields something very much like Jasher describes. Four of the five planets visible to the unaided eye were in a double conjunction which was visible just before dawn. "Conjunction" means that the planets appeared near each other in the sky. It is very unusual to have two conjunctions occur at the same time in the same area of the sky. If there had been a comet there also at that time (which is virtually impossible to verify now), it would have been a remarkable sign indeed. Thus, this double conjunction, coupled with what might be its description in Jasher, adds another witness of this date. The illustration, created with professional astronomy software, shows that the four planets are still visible in the predawn sky near Babylon even after most stars have disappeared.[5]

2.6 Not Astrology

The suggestion that a planetary conjunction might be a "sign" of a prophet's birth might sound like astrology, but there is a vast difference. Astrology, unlike astronomy, claims that the stars and planets influence our lives. It must be emphasized that my only claim is that the planets moving around the 12 constellations of the zodiac are like the hands of a clock moving through the 12 numbers on the clock's face. It is only a clock. Scientists know of no measurable "influence" of stars or planets on people. Our lives are not governed by the stars any more than our lives are governed by our wristwatches. We might be observed to do certain things when the clock hands are in certain positions, such as eating dinner at 6 p.m., but that doesn't mean the clock is controlling us in any way. God created a wonderful clock which he apparently uses for timing the birth of his prophets, and other religious events, but not to control our destinies. Thus, a conjunction is nothing more than two hands of the clock pointing in the same direction, like usual clock hands do at noon and midnight.

Now let us turn to finding the birth dates of Abraham's children. Only if they can be found with sufficient testimonies of their accuracy can we really we sure we have Abraham's date correct.

The lands of Abraham's inheritance. The Arab nations mostly descend from Ishmael.

3. Ishmael

Let us continue with the story of Abraham. After he left Haran he dwelt in Canaan after having also visited Egypt. More than twenty years after he had left Haran, he was still without child and wondering how the Lord's promise would be fulfilled that he would father many nations, because he was then in his eighties. The Lord appeared to him again, assured him his descendants would be numberless as the stars, and covenanted to give him all the land from the River of Egypt (not the Nile, but the eastern border of Egypt) to the Euphrates (Gen. 15:4-18). That is a lot of real estate, centered on the Arabian Peninsula.

Sarah remained barren. Finally, she gave her handmaid Hagar to Abraham, which led to the birth of his first son, Ishmael, when Abraham was 86 years old (Gen. 16:16). Abraham loved Ishmael and was delighted that finally the covenant could be fulfilled to have numberless descendants.

Searching for a likely date for Ishmael's birth leads to an excellent candidate which was a holy day on four sacred calendars. The day Thu 6 Sep 1966 BC was 1 Tishri (Trumpets, Hebrew), 1 Serpent (Sacred Round), 1 Birth (Venus) and 1 Resurrection (Mercury). Only about once in 58 years does 1 Birth (Venus) coincide with one of the 10 principal Hebrew holy days, and this date has the added bonus of being 1 Resurrection on Mercury. While it is very encouraging that there is such a perfect birth date for Ishmael almost exactly 86 years after the proposed birth date for Abraham, still we must be cautious before declaring victory. What about Isaac? If there is not an equally good date for Isaac, then that would be problem because the Lord tends to treat children equally (D&C 38:26).

Three angels visit Abraham and Sarah.

4. Isaac

Abraham, at age 99 and having only one child Ishmael, who was then 13 years old, must have been content that he had secured the covenant he had sought with the Lord (Abr. 1:2). He probably wasn't expecting much else to happen. Then the Lord surprised him in his old age with an extremely eventful week.

First, the Lord made a new covenant with Abraham. The Lord changed his name from Abram to Abraham, meaning "father of a multitude" because he would be the father of many nations. The Lord also changed his wife Sarai's name to be Sarah, meaning "Princess" and declared that she would have a son, and that through him many nations and kings would come. The token of this covenant would be circumcision (Gen. 17:1-16). Abraham feared that something might be taken from his beloved son Ishmael, but the Lord assured him that Ishmael would still become a great nation as promised. That has certainly been fulfilled, because to this day the Arab nations are located on and around the Arabian Peninsula, comprising many of the descendants of Ishmael. Then the Lord added what to me as a researcher in calendars is a unique and very strange statement. The Lord then prophesied that Isaac would be born "at this set time in the next year" (Gen. 17:21). We'll come back to that, but first, let's see what else happened that week.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
(by John Martin, © BBC)

4.1 Sodom and Gomorrah

Abraham fulfilled the commandment to circumcise all of his household on the same day it was given (Gen. 17:23). The next important event was the visit of three angels to Abraham on the plains of Mamre, which, according to the Book of Jasher, occurred two days later (Jasher 18:3). They announced the birth of Isaac to Sarah, which came as a complete surprise to her, so Abraham had not yet told her (Gen. 18:9-15).

As the angels departed, the Lord told Abraham that they were on their way to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. When the angels arrived at Sodom, Abraham's nephew Lot prepared for them a "feast" of "unleavened bread" (Gen. 19:3). Why did the Lord include that detail of what was served for supper? To me it is meant to indicate that it was the night of Passover, which would later be designated in the law of Moses as the time to begin the feast of unleavened bread. Passover is the traditional time to flee into the wilderness, as Lot's family did. The cities of the plain were destroyed the next day, on Passover (15 Nisan), when burning sulfur rained down from heaven on them (Gen. 19:24).

Burning balls of pure sulfur melted into the rock, found at Gomorrah site.
Traditionally the cities were located near the Dead Sea, and recently strong evidence has been found supporting those locations. Perhaps the most compelling evidence is that sulfur balls have been found intact both in the remaining ash and also where they melted into the rock and were extinguished.[6] The Lord is providing strong evidence that his word is true.

4.2 Three Important Days in one Week

The fact that these three events all occurred so near to each other gives us big calendrical clues which we can use to determine the exact dates of all three events. Those events were 1) the Covenant of Circumcision, 2) the visit of the angels, and 3) the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. So far, we postulate that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed on Passover (15 Nisan) in Abraham's 99th year. That would have been Thu 2 Apr 1953 BC. Then we have from Jasher that the angels visit occurred two days after the covenant, and that was only a few days at most before the destruction.

There are two days on the Hebrew calendar which are best for making covenants with God. The foremost such day is the Day of Atonement, 10 Tishri in the fall, which is the most sacred day of the year. The second choice is the counterpart of that day in the spring, 10 Nisan, which I have named "Consecration" because it had no other formal name. It was the day on which the Passover lamb was chosen (Ex. 12:3) for the Passover feast five days later. It was also the day on which the Israelites who crossed the river Jordan were circumcised, being the day they entered the promised land (Josh. 4:6, 5:2). Thus, it appears to have been the ideal day for the law of circumcision to have been given because the Israelites would have been following that same pattern. If so, then the new covenant with Abraham was made on Sat 28 Mar 1953 BC (10 Nisan), which seems appropriate because it was the sabbath and also a holy day on the Enoch Fixed calendar (summer solstice).

Are these two dates correct? We get a strong confirmation by considering the day on which the angels came, Mon 30 Mar 1953 BC. That day was 1 Creation (or Conception, Venus) and 1 Birth (Mercury), an ideally symbolic date to announce the birth of Isaac to Sarah. For that alignment to occur on the very day of the angels' visit as recorded in Jasher is compelling evidence that these three dates are correct and that Jasher was compiled from some very ancient authentic sources. Now let us see how knowing these dates leads directly to knowing Isaac's birth date.

4.3 Born at this "Set Time"

Let's return to the prophesy that Isaac would be born "at this set time in the next year," which was revealed on the day of the Circumcision covenant (Gen. 17:21), being 10 Nisan according to the above reasoning. What is the meaning of the word translated as "set time" in the King James Version?

The Hebrew word mow'ed is translated many ways other than "set time." Perhaps the best translation is "appointed time" because the root word means "appointment." In fact, the same word in the same context (referring to Isaac's birth) is indeed translated "time appointed" (Gen. 18:14). It also is the very word translated as "seasons" in the verse which is so often quoted in my work when the Lord told Moses that the lights in the firmament were "for signs, and for seasons" (Gen. 1:14). At the time of the Exodus, the Lord uses the same word when he stated that he had appointed a "set time" for the Passover, and Israel was commanded to keep that feast in its proper "season" (Ex. 13:10) or "time appointed" (Ex. 23:15 ) every year. In all of these cases the meaning seems to be what my articles refer to as a "holy day."[7]

"Lot and His Daughters" (Albrecht Dürer, 1496)
Thus, it appears that the Lord was saying both that the day of their covenant was a holy day, and that Isaac would be born on that very day exactly one year later. I am not aware of any other case in history where the Lord predicted in the scriptures the exact day on which someone would be born. And the record is clear that his word was fulfilled (Gen. 21:2). It is important to remember that Abraham predates Moses by some five centuries, and that we are not aware of just how much Abraham knew about the "holy days" which would be clearly defined on the calendar the Lord revealed to Moses. The Lord may have used events such as the dates of the covenants he made, or the births of his children, to define some of the holy days for Abraham. In this case, the "set time" holy day clearly appears to be Consecration, 10 Nisan.

4.4 Isaac born on Consecration

The power of having followed all of these calendrical clues is that now we have a precise day indicated for the birth of Isaac. It is not simply an approximate year as in the all of the other cases so far. The Lord said that Isaac would be born one year from the day which we have deduced to have been 10 Nisan in Abraham's 99th year.

So what is the indicated day for Isaac's birth? The day 10 Nisan in the following year was Tue 16 Mar 1952 BC. This is the first precise day which has been predicted by my theory of sacred calendar alignments, and a lot rides on whether or not there are other witnesses that this date is correct. Is this day as impressive a birth date as was Ishmael's? His was sacred on four calendars. This time we don't have the luxury of searching through an entire year for an alignment. If this day is not right, then we may need to re-examine either the theory or this entire set of dates. If the Lord is indeed using these calendars to schedule birth dates, then a consistent pattern should emerge (D&C 52:14).

Checking out that date on the sacred calendars produces such an amazing result as to lock in all of the dates proposed so far as being correct. The day 10 Nisan was also 1 Serpent (Sacred Round), the same as Ishmael's birthday. Moreover, it was also 1 Resurrection (Venus) and 1 Birth (Mercury), which is exactly the reverse of Ishmael's on those calendars. Thus, it is also sacred on the same four calendars as was Ishmael's, with Venus and Mercury being mirror images of each other. To show how unusual that is, in the 200 years from 1800 BC to 2000 BC there are only two days which meet those three criteria and those are the proposed birthdates of Ishmael and Isaac. And those two dates both also happen to be holy days on the Hebrew calendar and within 14 years of each other! No wonder the Lord made a point of foretelling the exact day of Isaac's birth because now we are allowed to discover just what a finely crafted precision heavenly clock he created.

Another confirmation of the appropriateness of Isaac being born on the day that the Passover lamb is chosen is that Isaac would indeed be in the position of a Passover lamb, to be sacrificed by his own father, Abraham. Thus, this date for Isaac's birth is so ideal that it confirms both Abraham's and Ishmael's proposed birth dates. Now let us turn to the birth date of Rebekah.

5. Rebekah

The Bible tells us that Abraham's wife Sarah was ninety when her son Isaac was born (Gen. 17:17), but I have not yet been successful in discovering her birth date. Fortunately, the Book of Jasher indicates the birth year for Isaac's wife Rebekah (Jasher 24:40), and that clue leads to a date which is ideally matched to her husband and children. It was only possible to find it because it was also prominent on the Venus calendar, as is her husband Isaac's. The proposed birth date for Rebekah is Tue 8 Nov 1923 BC pm* (pm* meaning from 6 pm to midnight). That six-hour interval was 1 Kislev (Hebrew, a minor holy day), 1 Jaguar (Sacred Round), 1 Birth (Venus) and 1 Resurrection (Mercury). The reason it only lasted six hours is that the Hebrew day begins at 6 p.m. and the Venus day ends at midnight. Thus, the Venus and Mercury calendars are reversed from Isaac's, the same as Ishmael's, so she fits perfectly into the family pattern. This is another extremely unusual alignment, which testifies that this date is correct. Now let us consider the birth dates of Rebekah and Isaac's children.

6. Jacob (Israel)

Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to their twins Esau and Jacob (Gen. 25:26). Searching the indicated year of 1892 BC leads to another date that is so impressive that it is unique in history: the six-hour period of Wed 20 Mar 1892 BC pm*. That time is ideal for the birth of Jacob and Esau for the following reasons.

That six-hour interval was Passover, 15 Nisan (Hebrew), 1 Temple (Sacred Round) and 1 Birth (Venus). Here we see a link to their mother, who was born on 1 Birth (Venus), and also to their grandfather Abraham, who was born on 1 Temple. Those are both indications that we have the right date because similar links were found between parents and children in the earlier papers of this series.

But whereas Abraham, Isaac and Rebekah each were born on an "ideal" date representing birth on only one of the sacred calendars, this proposed date represents birth on both the Sacred Round and the Venus calendar. Just how often do both of those coincide with a major Hebrew Holy Day?

The day 1 Birth (Venus) aligns with any given day on the Hebrew calendar only once in about 584 years. To require it also to be 1 Temple drops the expectancy by a factor of 20 to be once in 11,680 years! The ideal day to be born on the Hebrew calendar is 15 Tishri, the Feast of Tabernacles. We saw in the first article in this series about Adam, that there is not even one date during the 7,000 years from 4000 BC to AD 3000 which has that coincidence occur, even for six hours. The second best birth date on the Hebrew calendar is Passover, which represents "passing over" through a life transition, such as birth or death.[8] The Savior was born at Passover and died at Passover, and the nation of Israel was "born" at Passover at the Exodus. Because both the Savior and the nation of Israel were born at Passover, that day would be most meaningful to be the birthday of Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel. Such was apparently the case, with the indicated time being so precise as to be in the evening, just as when the Savior was born, and the Passover meal occurs.

Given that Passover is the best day for Jacob to have been born on the Hebrew calendar, just how often does it occur on 1 Birth (Venus) and 1 Temple (Sacred Round)? As with the above calculation for Tabernacles, we only expect one occurrence in 11,680 years. Exhaustively checking every date in history against my current models of the calendars, shows that the proposed 6-hour period proposed for Jacob's birth is the only time in history when Passover coincides with 1 Birth (Venus) and 1 Temple (Sacred Round).

It was a rare date indeed! If the Lord was concerned with giving Jacob and Esau equally significant birth dates, as he apparently was with Ishmael and Isaac, then there may have been no other way than to have them be twins! There is no other day like it in history, much less within a few years. Thus, this alignment testifies not only that this one date is correct, but also that all of the interlocking dates for Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Rebekah are also correct.

The dates proposed in this article are summarized in the following table. There is also a table of all of the dates I have published so far on all seven sacred calendars available on my web site.[9]

EventGregorian (BC)Heb.Sacred
Round
Ven.Merc.
Peleg b.Mon 22 Sep 224110 Tis1 Flower1 Bir
Abraham b.Wed 5 Oct 205210 Tis1 Temple
Ishmael b.Thu 6 Sep 19661 Tis1 Serpent1 Bir1 Res
CircumcisionSat 28 Mar 195310 Nis
Angels visitMon 30 Mar 19531 Jaguar1 Cre1 Bir
Sodom/GomorrahThu 2 Apr 195315 Nis
Isaac b.Tue 16 Mar 195210 Nis1 Serpent1 Res1 Bir
Rebekah b.Tue 8 Nov 1923 pm*1 Kis1 Jaguar1 Bir1 Res
Jacob/Esau b.Wed 20 Mar 1892 pm*15 Nis1 Temple1 Bir
Eber d.Mon 4 Oct 18111 Tis1 Skull1 Bir
Table 1. Proposed dates, with holy days indicated. Non-holy days are indicated by dashes.

Timeline showing Abraham and Noah as contemporaries, and also Jacob and Eber.

7. Conclusion

The interlocking dates which have been discovered for the births of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as for Ishmael and Rebekah are so rare and symbolic, occurring in the very years indicated by the Bible, that there is no doubt that they are indeed the correct dates. Those dates also constitute a strong testimony that the Book of Genesis is authentic history. If any of those ages for the patriarchs had been fabricated or mistaken, there is no chance that such rare alignments could have been found. Jacob's birth date is a once-in-history alignment, which occurs the right number of years after the amazing "twin" dates of Ishmael and Isaac, which in turn are the right number of years after Abraham's double conjunction. These alignments on multiple sacred calendars, complete with links from parents to children and each other, leave no doubt of the accuracy of these dates.

Moreover, this work is also a testimony of the authenticity of at least some of the chronological data in the Book of Jasher. It confirms that Abraham and Noah's lives overlapped by 58 years, as did Jacob and Eber's for 81 years, both of which Jasher states. Moreover, not only did the age given for Rebekah yield a birth date which fits perfectly with Isaac, that record also stated the exact day on which the three angels appeared to Abraham, which was seen to be an ideal day symbolically to announce to Sarah the birth of her promised son.

The Lord has provided ample witnesses of the divine authenticity of the Book of Genesis, and of the existence of the Creator who crafted the solar system to be an incredibly accurate time piece which he uses to perform his great work.

Notes

  1. Pratt, John P., "Venus and the Beginning of Mortality," Meridian Magazine (9 Jul 2003) and "Astronomical Witnesses of the Great Flood," Meridian Magazine (13 Aug 2003).
  2. The version of the Hebrew calendar used is the Perpetual Hebrew Calendar, which differs slightly from the traditionally Hebrew calendar by correcting some inaccuracies. The Venus calendar was introduced in Venus Resurrects This Easter Sunday," Meridian Magazine (27 Feb 2001).
  3. Pratt, John P. "How Did the Book of Jasher Know?," Meridian Magazine (7 Jan 2002).
  4. Genesis states that Abraham was age 75 when he left Haran (Gen. 12:4), rather than 62. The Book of Jasher may shed light on this discrepancy. It claims that Abraham was age 52 when he fled Ur (Jasher 12:45), that he spent three years in Haran (Jasher 13:3) and entered Canaan at age 55. It adds that after 15 years in Canaan, when he was age 70, the Lord appeared to him as described in Gen. 15 (Jasher 13:17-18). Then it says he went back to tell his father and convert his relatives, and stayed in Haran 5 more years. He induced another 72 men to journey with him, and then left Haran at age 75 as stated in the Bible (Jasher 13:26). Whether or not Jasher has all the years correct remains to be discovered, but perhaps its main contribution is that Abraham left Haran more than once. With the new light from the Book of Abraham, it appears most likely that he left the first time at age 62 and the second time at age 75. In my research I have not yet attempted to resolve this issue.
  5. The illustration was created using the Freeman edition of Starry Night, with Baghdad as the location (very near ancient Babylon), 5:35 a.m. (Time Zone = +3), for the date 22 Oct 2052 BC (Julian calendar), which corresponds to 5 Oct 2052 BC (Gregorian). I replaced the "E" marker with the word "East" and added the names of the planets.
  6. The illustration is from the excellent summary found in Lennart Möller's The Exodus Case (Copenhagen: Scandinavia Publishing House, 2002).
  7. To emphasize how diversely this root is translated, it is "congregation" in the "tabernacle of the congregation" mentioned all through the book of Exodus. My suggested meaning would be the "tabernacle of the holy days," referring to when the people were commanded to congregate there. Another entirely different meaning of "set time" seems to be the revolutionary or rotational period of a planet or star, such as the "set time" of the earth, moon, and stars (Abr. 3:6, 10).
  8. Pratt, John P. "Passover: Was it Symbolic of His Coming?" The Ensign 24, 1 (Jan, 1994), pp 38-45, section 3.
  9. A complete list of all the significant events which have occurred on holy days which I have published are found on my website at http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/dates.html.