Monday, February 29, 2016

A snippet from the School of Elijah!

Here’s something interesting to contemplate!  Makes me think we are closer to Messiah’s return than we know!

A snippet from the Babylonian Talmud  (Sanhedrin 97a-b)  reveals that, in the school of Elijah it was taught that "The world will exist for 6000 years.  For two thousand years there was chaos/desolation; there were two thousand years where Torah flourished; and there will be two thousand years of the Messianic age/Messiah. But on account of our sins, which are numerous, many of these years of messiah have already passed."

(The Tanna debe Eliyyahu/The Lore of the School of Elijah is a midrashic work thought to have been composed between the third and tenth centuries.)


  1. Shali, what is the accepted age of the earth according to Scripture? Some out there aim between 6,000 and 8,000 years old.

    1. Kevin,

      According to the Bible, Adam was created on the sixth day of the creation. We can estimate the approximate age of the earth by examining the chronological details of the human race as outlined in scripture. This assumes that the Genesis account is accurate, and that the six days of creation were literal 24-hour periods, and that there were no ambiguous gaps in the chronology of Genesis.

      The genealogies listed in Genesis chapters 5 & 11 provide the number of years from Adam and his descendants all the way to Abraham. By determining where Abraham fits into history chronologically, and adding up the ages provided in Genesis 5 & 11, we can conclude that the earth is about 6000 years old, give or take a few hundred years.

      I suspect those estimates which are greater (8,000 years or greater) have taken some liberties in their estimates.

      Then, of course there is the difference between 6,000 years and the billions of years as described by science - but that is a different story.

    2. Hello. What about a day for a year? Thank you.

    3. Great question, Ann, and my husband sent me the following response for you:

      Okay, I see now. As usual, it requires a complex answer.

      What I said is that if one assumes the 7-days of creation were literal 24-hour periods, then since we are given the day of Adam's creation, we have a measure to gauge the age of humanity based on the ages of Adam's decedents in Genesis. This tallies about 6000 years, plus or minus a few hundred years. But what I meant by "if one assumes the 7-days of creation were literal 24-hour periods", is that it is not necessarily a requirement for the 7-days of creation to be 24-hour periods. This is because there was no "24-hr day" till the sun and earth were placed, and "time" itself did not need to "start" until man was created, so it is conceivable that the first few days of creations were long time spans. But making this reconciliation of time is only necessary if you need to accept the age of the universe according to science. In other words, if you accept the scientific age of the universe as about 14 billion years, then to reconcile that span, the first 4 "days" of the creation could have spanned what we know today as "epochs" billions of years long each.

      But Ann asks about how this might relate to the scriptures which say that to God, "one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day" (Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8). Answer? Well, who knows?

      The context of Psalm 9:4 is metaphor, for verse 3 and 5 demonstrate that the comparison is really about the insignificance of humans, not so much as an "absolute" that for God "one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day". Also for 2 Peter 3:8 the phrase is metaphor. Read 2 Peter 3 from verse 3 to verse 13.

      On the other hand there is a curious connection to the Biblical age of the earth and "one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day"! Decidedly there has been about 6000 years since Adam - according to the clues in scripture. And if the 7 days of creation are to be compared to 7000 years, then it could indicate that we are in the "7th day" and that if the 7-days of creation were truly meant to convey that significance, then we are in the last of the "days" when we can expect God to finish His work. And that "work" would be to bring back the Messiah as He promised and to bring about the "new heaven and earth". As that snippet from the School of Elijah said "many of these years of messiah have already passed"! The significance is not lost on me.

  2. Couple of points on this issue.
    1. Creation is only talked about in day or days.
    2. Man in assigned both day and year.

    To me anyway, it seems there are two time frames being talked about in Genesis.

    In Genesis 2:4 It says: These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.

    So now we know that there is generations in a day. How many generations, here is a possible explanation.

    Many years ago particle astrophysicist W.A. Fowler of California Institute of Technology, Kellogg Lab, gave a lecture on, " The Age Of The Observable Universe." In the lecture he states that 1. Hubble time is 17 billion years from red-shift measurements,( residue from the BIG BANG, something we all don't believe in, or at least I don't,) and 2. the observable universe is found to be 11 billion years old. Since we dealing with light years try this, reverse the math and times it by how many days are in the Jewish Calender and you end up with 6.1 days for 17 billion and 3.4 days for observable universe. I would say that's pretty good coincidence.

    1. Thanks for this interesting comment.

      First, I don't see the connection with Gen 2:4 and your conclusion that there are "generations in a day". The word "generations" in Gen 2:4 (Hebrew: tol'dot) is not talking about a "generation of time", rather, it is the "generation of the heavens and earth" where "generation" here means "development" or "history". That is to say, "tol'dot" here sums up the origins of the heavens and earth just described in Gen 1:1 to Gen 2:3. Also, in the later part of the verse, the English "in the day that" does not appropriately convey the meaning in the Hebrew which is "be'yom". In Hebrew, in this phrase "be'yom" does not mean "in the day", rather, it means "when".

      After that, honestly, I don't follow you. I'm pretty good with math and physics but I can't decipher what you are saying. What does a light year have to do with this? A light year is a distance. Reverse the math of what? And "how many days are in the Jewish Calendar" has mulitple answers. Did you mean how many days have passed since the Jewish calendar began? Anyway, this blog is not an ideal way to carry on a discussion, so if you'd like to provide clarity in what you mean, please email me, Liam, at

  3. I apologize for the lack of clarity. Was in a big rush.
    What I'm saying: if you take the distance that micro wave residue is found, (17 bil) and divide that by 10 to the 12th power and times it by 360 days in a Hebrew calendar, you have a interesting coincidence. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    I should have not worded the sentence, "now we know there are generations in a day", I do not know that! What I should have said, it seems TO ME. again I apologize.

    1. Thank you, sir, for the clarification. I hate to break it to you but you've made a rather significant error in your assumptions and computations. Bear with me:

      1st, what W. A. Fowler said was that the age of the universe is 2/3 of the "Hubble time" - that is, the inverse of the Hubble constant. Dr. Fowler reported that the "Hubble time" was 17 Billion years, meaning the age of the universe would be 11 billion years (about 2/3 of 17 billion years - not 17 Billion years.)

      What you did next was start with the number "17 billion (years)" and assumed it was not "years", rather, you made it "kilometers". (You can't convert "17 billion years" to "17 billion kilometers"!)

      Anyway then you took the speed of light in kilometers/year, (about 10 to the 12th power), and divided it into "17 billion km" to get:

      17 billion km / 10^12 km/year = 0.017 years.

      Then you took 0.017 years and multiplied it by 360 days/year:

      0.017 years x 360 days/year = 6.12 days.

      So I now see where you came up with your values.

      But what you've inadvertently said is that light can travel from the outer edges of the universe to the earth in 6.12 days, which of course, is nonsense. (6.12 days travel time for light is only about twice as far as the distance to Pluto - very clearly still in our solar system). Since you started with an error (17 billion km instead of 17 billion years), the solution, "6.12 days", is meaningless.

      You also stated the Hebrew calendar year is 360 days. This is also wrong, though not enough to seriously affect computations. What is needed here instead is the solar year, not the Hebrew year. (Even the Hebrew year, which varies from 354 days to 384 days, AVERAGES pretty close to the solar (tropical) year. The average Hebrew year length is 365.2468 days, in contrast to the average tropical solar year which is measured at roughly 365.2422 days.)

      So to accomplish what you are trying to do, that is, determine the "age" or "generation" of the 7 days of creation, we need to take the estimated age of the universe (which today is 13.7 billion years instead of Dr. Fowler's 11 billion years) and do some arithmetic on it:

      Creation is identified in scripture to have been 7 days. But we should count only up till "time" began - that is when the earth and sun were placed and man was created. (Before that, "time" would have had no significance.) The earth and sun were placed in the 4th day, and man created on the 6th day. So let's assume "time" began when man was created, i.e., sometime in the 6th day.

      So 13.7 billion years / 6 days = 2.28 billion years/day. (That is, 2.28 billion years could have passed for each day of creation, for each of the first 6 days of creation). After that, that is, after man was created, "time" could be considered to have become what it is today - 24 hours/day and is simply adding to the "age" of the universe one day at a time. (Adding the paltry 6000 years that man has been around to 13.7 billion years does not change anything.) So we can only conclude that one way to reconcile scripture with science is to assume that each of the first 6 days of creation (up to the the creation of man) was about 2.3 billion years long per creation "day". I could live with that.

  4. BTW, I hope you post all honest exchange of ideas, as long as there done in good faith. I have followed this blog for many years and fined it a wonderful study source, now to bone up on my math...

    I hope you know how much of a blessing both you and your wife are to many of us. Thank you so much for everything you do.

    1. THANK YOU! We truly appreciate that! :)

    2. Your comments are good to hear, IdahoanNorth. Yes, we post honest exchanges of ideas! We have nothing but the best interest interest in our readers, and that is to help them find and identify "truth". (Sometimes "truth" has some flexibility because, frankly, no one knows the "real" truth - as in your observation. No one knows if the "day" in Genesis 1 is the same as today's "24-hour" day, or if there is some flexibility in the span covered by the "day" mentioned in the creation narrative.)