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Adamites and Preadamites: or, A Popular Discussion Concerning the Remote Representatives of the Human Species and their Relation to the Biblical Adam

Syracuse, N.Y.: John T. Roberts, 1878


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50 ADAMITES AND PREADAMITES.

How much, then, beyond 131 years must the time from Noah to Peleg be elongated?

These are simply samples of the exigencies which arise on biblical, ethnological, scientific and linguistic grounds, when we make the attempt to satisfy ourselves with the popular chronology. I think, therefore, I shall do my readers a service by directing their attention to a recent work which undertakes to show that the original text of Genesis, when rightly understood, gives us a much more extended chronology. The work is written by Rev. T. P. Crawford, of Fung Chow, China, and published in Richmond, Virginia, by Josiah Ryland & Co., and is entitled " The Patriarchal Dynasties from Adam to Abraham shown to cover 10,5oo years, and the highest human life only 187." The fundamental position assumed by the author is a reformed reading of the genealogical tables contained in the fifth and eleventh chapters of Genesis; of which the first traces the posterity of Adam to Noah, and the second traces the posterity of Noah to Abraham. For the purpose' of giving an intelligible explanation of Mr. Crawford's reformed reading, I here reproduce the biblical paragraph touching the family of Adam:

"And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat a son; in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth. And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years; and he begat sons and daughters : And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years ; and he died."

A similar paragraph is recorded respecting each of the antediluvian patriarchs. Now the author maintains that the word Adam is employed, above, in a personal, and afterward in a family, sense ; that the first clause denotes the whole life of Adam, and not his age at the birth of Seth; that yolad, translated " begat," signifies rather " appointed," and refers to Adam's designation of Seth (in place of Abel) to be his successor; that "likeness" and "image " refer not to personal appearance, but to character and office—the name Seth itself signifying " The appointed; " that "Adam "in the next clause refers to the tribe or family of Adam ; that the Adamic family continued to be ruled over by successors not in the line of Seth, for a period of 930 years; that thereafter the



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