A Biblical and Talmudic Proof: 5776

On Rosh Hashana we celebrated the creation of the world. According to the Jewish calendar, this was 5776 years ago. Using biblical and talmudic sources, we can prove that the number 5776 is accurate.

Currently, we have now completed the Torah portion of Bereishit and next week we read the portion of Noach. If we add up the number of years between Adam and Abraham, we find that Abraham was born 1948 years after creation. We get to this number by adding the age of each respective father, when he begat his son. Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born and Seth was 105 when Enosh was born. Continuing to add the twenty generations from Adam will give us 1948 when Abraham was born.

The Bible tells us that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born which takes us to the year 2048. The Torah says that at the end of 400 years, the Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt. The Rabbis explain that the 400 years began with the birth of Isaac. This means that the Exodus took place in 2448. This date of 2448 is mentioned on numerous occasions in the Talmud.

The book of Kings I, Chapter six verse one tells us that it came to pass that 480 years after the Exodus from Egypt, the Temple of Solomon was completed. So if we add 480 to 2448, we get to the year 2928 after creation. The Talmud tells us that Solomon’s Temple lasted 410 years taking us to the year 3338.

The prophecy of Jeremiah was well known that seventy years after the destruction of the First Temple, the Second Temple would be rebuilt. If we add seventy to 3338, we get 3408. The Second Temple lasted 420 years — that takes us to 3828 after creation.

In secular years, the Temple was destroyed in the year 68 of the Common Era. This means that the year 68 corresponded to 3828 years since creation. If we take our current year 2015 ( but we need to make it 2016 because we already celebrated the Jewish New Year), it would mean the Second Temple was destroyed 1948 years ago. If we add 1948 to 3828, we get 5776. Thus, we have a fairly simple verification of the age of the world by using several documented dates based on the Bible and Talmud. It is truly amazing that we can so easily account for 5776 years.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for more than twenty years. He has been teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach, Old Katamon, Jerusalem, for the nearly seventeen years. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles.