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Introduction

The patriarchs play a huge part in the Bible. After the flood where God rid the earth of all of its corruption, it was not long before men wanted to be like God. They built a great tower so that they could reach Him under their own strength. God confused the languages and the people dispersed. God then started again by separating a people to Himself by using Abraham and his generations. He gave Abraham the following promise (Genesis 12:2-3):

I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; all people on earth will be blessed through you.

God went further and said to Abram (Abraham)[1] (Genesis 12:7):

To your offspring I will give this land. As an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:8)

God repeated these promises to Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 26:3) and to Isaac’s son Jacob (Genesis 28:13).

These three patriarchs were so important that when God spoke to Moses, He introduced Himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob (Exodus3:15).

The prophet Elijah addressed God as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel[2] (Jacob) (1 Kings 18:36).

Jesus responded to a question from the Sadducees with (Matthew 22:31-32):

But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?’ He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.

When Peter was addressing onlookers, he said (Acts 3:13):

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus.

The mathematics

We can conclude then, that throughout the Bible, God has been described as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and always in that order. It is interesting then, that a geometric series can generate the exact lifetimes of these patriots in the correct order as shown in the accompaning table. Maybe God has established this to show us the number of years the patriots lived is no accident and that He and only He, controlled their number of days on this earth. Accidents, genetics, misfortune and a host of other incidents that can shorten a person’s life had not part to play; it was all of God.

In descending order, the next number in the series is 1 x 8 x 8 = 64. And the next number in ascending order is 9 x 4 x 4 = 144, followed by 11 x 3 x 3 = 99; 13 x 2 x 2 = 52 and finally, 15 x 1 x 1 = 15.

There seems no biblical significance to these numbers in relation to the lifetimes of people and the series appears to only apply to the patriarchs.

Conclusion

To any mathematically inclined person, the derivation of these lifetime numbers is fascinating. There appears to be no doubt that such an occurrence was divinely created; it could not have come about by chance. What lesson is there in this for us? I think that this is a clear statement that God has complete control over our lives; when we were born and when we will die and this is completely in keeping with scripture as these verses show:

Job 14:5

Man’s days are numbered; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.

Psalm 139:16

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Job 12:10

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Hebrews 9:27

Just as it appointed man once to die and then comes the judgement.

1 Kings 3:14

And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.

Job 7:1

Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

Psalm 3:15

My times are in your hands; deliver me from enemies.

Job 14:4

A man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and set limits he cannot exceed.

I do not know if God’s determination of our days is only for all believers or if it applies to all people. But certainly, for believers, we do not need to worry about catastrophes befalling us because our day of departure is unchangeable.

[1] God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, see Genesis 17:5.

 

[2] God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, see Genesis 32:28.

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