GENESIS 11:12-24
Genealogy Altered to Replace
Yeshua as Malki-Tzedek

Genesis 11:12-24 in the King James Version, which is based on the Hebrew Masoretic Text, lists the ages of Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, and Serug at the time when they became fathers as being 35, 30, 34, 30, 32, and 30, respectively. In contrast, the Greek Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and Flavius Josephus list each one of their ages as being 100 years more than those of the Masoretic Text, meaning 135, 130, 134, 130, 132, and 130, respectively. The Masoretic Text also lists Nahor’s age at the time when he became a father as being 29, whereas the Septuagint and the Samaritan Pentateuch. list it as being 79, which is a 50-year difference (Gen. 11:12-24).

The fact that there are seven age-related errors in the Masoretic Text in Shem’s genealogy, six of them being off by 100 years each and one of them being off by 50 years, strongly suggests that they were not accidental scribal errors, but purposeful alterations by Jewish scribes.

In the Old Testament, Abraham gave a tithe of his spoil to the Malki-Tzedek (Gen. 14:18-20). In the New Testament, Yeshua is portrayed as our “High Priest according to the order of Malki-Tzedek” (Heb. 5:10). So, it is possible that the Jews attempted to disprove the belief that Yeshua was the Malki-Tzedek by shortening the collective life-spans of seven of Shem’s descendants by 650 years. These alterations served to make Shem (Gen. 5:32) appear to be a contemporary of Abraham, which enabled the Jews to claim that he was the Malki-Tzedek, the person to whom Abraham gave a tithe of his spoil, not Yeshua.

In addition, it is possible that the Jews purposely altered their text in Paul’s day because He warned Titus and Timothy not to get involved in disputes about “genealogies” (1 Tim. 1:4; Titus 3:9) and “Jewish fables” (Titus 1:14). Thus, the ages of Shem’s descendants at the time when they became fathers are recorded accurately in the Septuagint. This is how they are rendered in this version. 

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