Part 7: From Adam to Moses

by Pastor J. C. O'Hair

For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.

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“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” Romans 5:14.

“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to Whom the promise was made.” Galatians 3:19.

When Adam sinned, God declared the Seed of the woman would come as man’s Redeemer. About 2100 years later, God said to Abraham, “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 26:4. The Seed of the woman was to be Abraham Seed.

Concerning the Lord Jesus Christ we read:

Hebrews 2:16

“For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels: but He took on Him the Seed of Abraham.”

Galatians 4:4

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”

We learn in Galatians 3:16 to 19 that 430 years after God made His promise to Abraham, Moses received the law from God on Mount Sinai. From Adam to Moses was about 2500 years. God made promise to Abram about 427 years after the flood. The law was added to the promise about 1495 years before Christ was made of a woman, made under the law.

Every member of the human race came from Adam and from Noah.


By studying Genesis 5:3 to 32, we learn that Noah was born in 956 A. H., or about 3044 B. C. “Noah was 600 years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.” Genesis 7:6. Therefore the flood was upon the earth 1656 A. H. (year of man), or about 2344 B. C.. That was the year that Methuselah died. Genesis 5:27.

Noah’s three sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Genesis 5:32. Noah lived 350 years after the flood. Genesis 9:29. Shem was 100 years old two years after the flood. Genesis 11:10. Shem died 500 years later: 1656 plus 2 plus 500 equals 2158 A. H., or about 1842 B. C.


Concerning The Earth and The Government of Man

Genesis 9:5 to 17

5 “And surely your blood of your lives will I require: at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

8 And God spake unto Noah, his sons with him, saying,

9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood and to destroy the earth.

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and It shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”

Here we learn that God instituted, what we call, capital punishment for the crime of murder. This was about 845 years before man was put under the law, that is, before the Old Testament was entered into between Jehovah and Israel.

Here we note that God placed responsibility for the government of humanity upon man.

Here we have the beginning of the rainbow. It is thought by man that there was no rain on the earth until the flood. It was not until after the flood that man was permitted to have flesh for food.


Note what has been called the royal seed from Noah to Jacob (Israel): Noah—Shem— Arphaxad—Salah—Eber—Peleg—Reu—Serug—Nahor—Terah—Abram (Abraham)—Isaac— Jacob (Israel). Genesis 11:10 to 32 and Genesis 21:5. Genesis 25:20 to 28. Abraham was 75 years of age when God gave him His promise. Genesis 12:1 to 4. By comparing these Scriptures with Genesis 11, we learn that Abraham left his own land about 2083 A. H., or about 1917 B. C. Abraham died at the age of 175. Genesis 25:7. He died about 1817 B. C. Eber died about 1813 B. C. Shem died about 1842 B. C. Abraham was about 150 years old when Shem died. Note that there were nine or ten generations between Shem and Abraham.

The Semetic people came from Shem. Persecutions of the Jews are sometimes called “anti-Semitic” movements. The Jews came from Shem and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. In Genesis 14:13 Abraham is called “the Hebrew.” There has been speculation and controversy as to the meaning of the word “Hebrew” here. Some have interpreted the word as meaning “Eberite” or a descendant of Eber. Note:

Genesis 9:18 to 29

18 “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.

21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.”

Here we learn of Noah’s sin. God’s blessing upon Shem and his seed. And God’s curse upon Canaan and the descendants of Ham.

Many think the negro race bear the curse pronounced upon Ham’s descendants. Mary, the mother of the Saviour, descended from Shem. The descendants of Shem gave us our Saviour and the Bible.

The name “Peleg” means “division.” Note:

I Chronicles 1:19

“And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother’s name was Joktan.”

We learn of a great judgment and division in:

Genesis 11:1 to 9

“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech

2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and all the earth; and from thence did the Lord scatter the tower, which the children of men builded.

6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city.

9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. “

The word “Babel” or “Babylon” carries the thought of confusion. Here we see the beginning of nations, the beginning of tongues, and therefore, the beginning of wars among the nations. Among the descendants of Ham were Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and Haman, who became great persecutors of Israel, the descendants of Shem. The Hebrew word translated “nations” is also translated “Gentiles” and “heathen.”

Perhaps the destruction and confusion at Babel took place in the days of Peleg. We learn in Romans, chapter one, how far into sin, paganism and darkness the Gentiles drifted.


We read how Abel, Seth, Enoch, and Noah were saved before the flood. We would judge that Shem was saved. Abel, by faith and sacrifice obtained witness that he was righteous. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8) and then note what Noah did:

 Genesis 8:20

“And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord: and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

Remember the words of the Lord in:

Leviticus 17:11

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

And again in:

Hebrews 9:22

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood: and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

But we learn in:

Hebrews 10:4

“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”

Hebrews 9:12

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He (Christ) entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

So all, who were saved before the once-for-all sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, were saved by looking forward to that sacrifice. Believing sinners are saved today by looking back to Calvary

Hebrews 10:10 to 14

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

Hebrews 10:17

“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”


Abram’s father was Terah. Although Terah descended from Shem and from Eber, he was an idolater (Joshua 24:2) and certainly neither an Israelite nor a Jew. Although the Israelites and Jews descended from Shem, so also did many Gentiles. Israelites and Jews all descended from Abraham. But they came from Isaac, the son of Sarah. Abraham had another son, Ishmael. The descendants of Ishmael were neither Israelites nor Jews. Then note the children of Abraham and Keturah. Abraham married Keturah after Sarah had died. “And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.” Genesis 25:2.


We will study this more in detail in our next lesson. But in Galatians 3:16 to 19 we learn that from the call of Abram to the year that Moses received the law, 430 years passed by. Abram was 75 years old when he was called. Moses was 80 years old when he received the law.

Let us remember that death reigned from Adam to Moses before God’s law of ten commandments, His ordinances and religion were given to Israel.


Note what God has to say about Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot in:

Jude 7

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

II Peter 2:6

“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.”

Now let us read something of this Divine judgment in:

GENESIS 13:7 and 8

7 “And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the land.

8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.”

GENESIS 13:10 to 13

10 “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.

11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.”

GENESIS 19:23 to 30

23 “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstones and fire from the Lord out of heaven;

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord:

28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.”


Now let us carefully note concerning Abram and Melchisedec in Genesis 14:18 to 20:

Genesis 14:18 to 20

“And Melchisedec king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

“The Lord hath sworn and will not repent: Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.” Psalms 110:4. “As He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 5:6. “Called of God a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.” “Whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 6:20.

Abraham (Abram) met Melchisedec before there were any Israelites or Jews, even before Jacob was born, even several years before uncircumcised Abram became circumcised Abraham. We should be interested to learn all we can about Melchisedec because Christ is a Priest after the order of Melchisedec.


1. About how many years from Adam to Moses (at Sinai)?

2. How long from Adam’s fall to the flood?

3. Who were Noah’s three sons. From which son did the Jews and the Saviour come?

4. How old was Shem when he died? How old was Abraham when Shem died?

5. What did God declare should be the punishment of the man who shed blood?

6. Why did God say, “Cursed be Canaan”? Who was Canaan?

7. Refer to Genesis 11 and state how Eber was related to Abraham.

8. What happened at the time God scattered the people abroad on the face of all the earth?

9. How were men saved from Adam to Moses?

10. Name the three wives of Abraham, and give the name of one son from each wife.

11. Was Abraham a Jew? An Israelite? A Hebrew?

12. Who was Melchisedec? What took place between Melchisedec and Abraham?

13. Who was Lot? What position did he hold in Sodom? What became of his wife?

14. About how many years from the flood to the call of Abram?

15. Whose Seed was Christ?

16. What did God say about sins and shed blood?

17. What happened to Christ after He had offered one sacrifice for sin?

18. Of what was the destruction of Sodom a sample?

19. What is said of the period from Adam to Moses? How long was that period?

20. To what was the law added?

For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.