An accurate understanding of biblical genealogies is difficult, yet it is important for the understanding of Scripture.
Having a proper understanding of biblical genealogies is a prerequisite to attempting to address the Genesis genealogies.
More information and examples can be found in our article . The particulars are important, so let's look at what Genesis 1 says: Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth"; and it was so.
We understand this from the word "sprout," which refers to God allowing the earth to produce plants through germination (sprouting).The Hebrew word dasha tells us that God used processes identical to what we see on the earth today. Some Christians claim that God could have sped up the process so that it all this sprouting and growing happened within a period of 24-hours.(Genesis -12) The interesting part of the account is that God did not create the plants in the manner we might assume He did.Instead of creating a world filled with full-grown plants, God actually created seeds and planted those.Archbishop Ussher took the genealogies of Genesis, assuming they were complete, and calculated all the years to arrive at a date for the creation of the earth on Sunday, October 23, 4004 B. Of course, even assuming the method was valid, such an exact date is not possible from the genealogies of the Bible (Ussher assumed all the years the patriarchs lived were exactly 365.25 days long and that they all died the day before their next birthday).
There are a number of other assumptions implicit in the calculation.
Although many Christians claim this makes the days exactly 24-hours in length, the Hebrew word translated "day" in English actually has three literal translations; the daylight portion of a 24-hour day, a 24-hour day, and a long, unspecified period of time (as in "day of the dinosaurs").
The Hebrew word translated "evening" also means "sunset," "night" or "ending of the day." The Hebrew word translated "morning" also means "sunrise," "coming of light," "beginning of the day," or "dawning," with possible metaphoric usage.
Plants spouted, grew to maturity, and produced seeds. However, the text clearly states that the (soulish) animals, including the wild animals (carnivores), cattle (herbivores) and "creeping things" (rodents? Then God created Adam, the first man (Genesis , 2:7).
He placed the man into a special garden that He had planted (Genesis 2:8).
The first, and foremost, assumption is that the genealogies of Genesis are complete, from father to son throughout the entire course of human existence.