Saturday, December 19, 2009

Funny Math

I have two parents.

Everyone has two parents.

My parents all have two parents.

I had four grandparents. When I was born, I think all eight grandparents were still alive. One would live to almost 100 years of age. Four of the 16 great-grandparents were alive. And two of the great-grandmothers were very much a part of my childhood into early junior high.

I had a great aunt who drew up the family trees and gave everyone copies. And I was copying down some of the names and dates for my granddaughter. And going back eight generations, I can give her the names of two of the great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, one born in 1812, his wife in 1818...two of 128 people: Elisha and Catherine. (five greats) I could give her the names and dates of two sets of four greats. We have their pictures. Names and dates.

What I am trying to point out is that of 128 people that all lived at the same time in history, that I could trace my direct line back to, I only know two of the names.

If ones goes back ten generations, if you knew them, you could line up over one thousand of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents.

You, 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 greats, 16 great-great grandparents, 32 great-great-great-grandparents, 64 (great x 4), 128 (great x 5), 256, 512, 1024.

Here is where the funny math comes in. If you go back ten generations, with an average of 20 years or so a generation, 400 years, where there over one thousand people scattered all over the world related to me directly?? or, as we see in Jesus' geneology, when you count back to King David--both His mother and father are descended from King David. Mary through David's younger son, Nathan, and Joseph through David's oldest son, Solomon.

Otherwise, counting back, with no duplications, the number grows to a massive number, instead of pointing back to two, Adam and Eve.

(Wonder why Shem's third son is in the line of Christ, and all the rest are firstborns...)

(10 generations from Adam to Noah, 10 generations from Shem to Abraham, 14 from Isaac to King David, and 14 from David to deportation, and 14 from deportation to Jesus in the Matthew account. In the Luke account, Adam is called the son of God. Counting Jesus, there are 42 names from Jesus to King David in the Luke account. 42 generations. In the first 10 generations, they lived almost one thousand years. And even in the 10 from Shem to Abraham, they lived double and triple what we do.)

Here is where I creeped my husband out, and he thought I was in danger of starting another religion: of the over one-thousand people related to me going back ten generations, what if one of them were Jewish? Would I be Jewish? What if we are all Jewish? In the dispersion of the Jews, what if we are all related, and what if Jesus will assign each of us under one of the twelve tribes?

I'd like to think that one of my ancestors was Jewish. Not that it matters in this church age. But, in the future, all roads will lead to Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem. And while the earth will be divided into nations for one thousand years, Israel will be regathered. Blessed.

Most of us know our parents, grandparents, and a few greats, but won't it be fun to get to meet our ancestors stretching back all the way to Adam and Eve? Thanks to Jesus' geneologies, we know how many generations there are.

Names. All I have now are names:

Joseph, Eliza, Elias, Mary Isabel, Elmer, Nora Lucinda, Robert, Edith, Andrew, Pearl, Ross, Marshall, Atha, J. Wilbur, Dorthy, Elisha and Catherine.

And a variety of last names: Smith, James, Robertson, Shepherd, Howe, Christlieb, Pike, Swartz, Collier, Poston

And that many more on my husband's side we have given to our granddaughter. And that does not even include the cousins!

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