The Most Important People in the Bible: Part I
There are hundreds of people in the Bible specifically named, and thousands that are unnamed or ‘anonymous.’ For the purpose of this article, sixteen (16) names have been selected. There are numerous others, such as Joseph son of Jacob, Joshua, or Mary who bore Jesus that could have been added had the list been expanded.
The Lord Jesus, though called the “Firstborn of all creation; and highest of the kings of the earth” (Col. 1:15; Psa. 89:27) and “Son of Man (Matt. 20:28);” He, “by whom all things were created, that are in heaven and …earth (Col. 1:16),” is not included in the following because He is: Emmanuel, the Lord, Master, Christ and Son of the Living God. And as Josephus, the first century historian, said, “There was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call Him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works… He drew over to him many of the Jews and … Gentiles. He was the Christ… and the tribe of Christians, so named from Him, is not extinct to this day (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities 18.3.3).” [Christ: translates – ‘the anointed one;’ ‘Messiah the Prince’ – Daniel 9:25].
The Sixteen Most Important People according to TheTruthSource:
“And the Lord God formed man (human: Adam) of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man (Adam) became a living soul (Gen. 2:7).”
“…Enoch walked with (after) God… (Gen. 5:22).”
The prophet Ezekiel said, “the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘…if a country sins against Me by trespassing, committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it to cut off its food and… kill its people… though Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness (Ezek. 14:12-14).”
“’You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur… and named him Abraham (Neh. 9:7);’ and made a “covenant with (him saying): you will be the father of many nations (Gen. 17:4)’.”
An angel came to Jacob and Jacob wrestled with him and said, ‘You can’t go until you bless me;’ and the man (angel/messenger) said, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Jacob,’ he answered. “…Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. Your name will be Israel… (Man who wrestles with God; Gen. 32:22-).”
“Then the Lord said to me (Jeremiah), ‘Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, my heart would not go out to this people…’ (Jer. 15:1).”
The Most Important People in the Bible: Part II features: David, Elijah, Isaiah, Daniel, Peter, James, Paul and John.
The 16 in Chronological Order: Part I
Meaning – the human or man
Garden of Eden
|Ages: Created at age 30*; died at 930 (Gen. 5:5)||Time: Day 1
(2017 AD = 5,777)
|Time: Day 1 or 3,761 BCE according to Jewish America and sources. He was created by God 4004 BC according to Ussher’s Chronology. * According to Armenian Tradition Adam was 30 years old when created as a ‘man.’ Some reason that because David was 30 when became king (2 Sam. 5:4) and Joseph 30 when Pharaoh’s viceroy (Gen. 41:46); Ezekiel was called at 30 (Ezek. 1:1); and priests entered service at age 30 (Num. 4:3). And John the Baptist and Jesus were 30 at the start of their ministries (Luke 3:23).
Nevertheless, according to the Sefer ha-Aggadah (Book of Legends), he was created on the Sabbath and was (according to Rabbi R. Jeremiah ben Eleazar) 20 years old.
The name Adam is derived from the Hebrew word ‘red;’ as in taken out of the rich red ground (Genesis 2:7; Book of Jasher 1:2). The Book of Jasher is spoken of twice in the Old Testament. Once by Joshua saying, ‘…is it not written in the book of Jasher (10:13);’ and the other by Samuel saying, ‘…it is written in the book of Jasher (2 Sam. 1:18).’ The Book of Jasher states: “God formed man from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul endowed with speech. And the Lord said, ‘it is not good for man to be alone; I will make unto him a helpmeet.’ And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and… He took away one of his ribs and built flesh upon it, and formed it and brought it to Adam… a woman… and Adam called her name Eve, for she was the mother of all living (Jasher, Chapter 1).”
Thus, in that Adam was the Father of all mankind and First Generation he is of supreme importance. Moreover, he is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, the Old and New Testaments of Christian Bibles, the Quran, Book of Jasher and many other works. It should be noted that Adam was enticed (by Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) and sinned (Gen. 3:6). As Paul said, ‘sin entered the world through one man (Rom. 5:12-).’ However, in his letter to Timothy Paul said, “Adam was not deceived; it was the woman who was deceived (by the serpent – Satan; Gen. 3; Rev.12:9; 1Tim. 2:14).” It should also be noted that there is a Book of Adam but it is not mentioned by the Talmud; yet, the names and events and stories were nevertheless handed down by oral tradition until the books, scrolls or parchments were written.
E’noch son of Jared
|Age: 365 translated||Time: Year 622
3138BC – (*still alive)
|The prophet Enoch (‘dedicated, teacher’) was born the seventh (7th) generation from Adam.|
In the New Testament Bible, Jude says, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied… ‘The Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones (angels) to judge everyone… (for) the ungodly acts they committed… (vs. 14-15).” And in Chapter IX of the Book of Enoch he mentions the names of Archangels: “And then Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel looked down from heaven and saw much blood being shed upon the earth, and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth. They said one to another: ‘The earth made without inhabitant cries the voice of their crying up to the gates of heaven. And now to you, the holy ones of heaven, the souls of men make their suit, saying, “Bring our cause before the Most High’.” In chapter XX he adds “Sarakiel, one of the holy angels, who presides over the spirits of the children of men that transgress;” and “Raguel… who inflicts punishment on the world and the luminaries (principalities once of light; now of darkness).” Enoch speaks on many subjects in his book, including ‘the Son of Man;’ our Lord.
However, Enoch makes the list because of two primarily reasons. First, because Enoch ‘walked with God,’ in commune and conversion; he ‘obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in His ways (Deut. 8:6; 5:33, 10:12; Col. 1:10; 2 John 1:6);’ he separated himself from the wickedness of the world (willful sinning – Heb. 10:26) and as like Job and others, he was notably righteous. Second, Enoch was translated (alive and preserved); and as taught by Tertullian, Irenaeus and Hippolytus, Enoch and Elijah, are the most likely to be the ‘two witnesses’ prophesied about by John in Revelation chapter 11, verse 3.
Note: Methuselah (the longest living human recorded – 969 years – Gen. 5:27) was Enoch’s son. The Book of Jasher says, ‘Methuselah anointed his father Enoch, before he ascended into heaven… Methuselah acted uprightly (righteously, holy, did what was right – Gen. 4:7) in the sight of God, as his father Enoch had taught him… but in the latter days of Methuselah, the sons of men turned from the Lord, they corrupted the earth, they robbed and plundered each other and rebelled against God… and would not listen to the voice (preaching) of Methuselah… and (in the days that) Noah rose up and made the Ark… Methuselah died, 969 years old [(Jasher chapters 4 & 5), the year of the flood – 1656 years after Adam by the KJV and Hebrew bible; 2,104 BC].
Note: Book of Enoch, chapter XIV; like Isaiah ‘saw the Lord… high and exalted (Isa. 6:1-), Enoch “beheld a vision… flames of fire … lightnings… a lofty throne… as crystal and the wheels thereof as the shining sun and …cherubim… And the Great Glory (God Almighty) sat thereon… ten thousand times the thousand stood before Him (as John said in Revelation 5:11)… I fell to the ground on my face, trembling and the Lord called me…” http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/index.htm
Son of Lamech
|Age at Death:
|Time: 10th Generation
2,704 BC – 1755 BC
|Born 1056 years from Adam. The Great Flood (Deluge) was 1656 years after creation of Adam.|
Noah makes the list for numerous reasons. He was a ‘preacher of righteousness (2Pet.2:5).’ He was ‘a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had 3 sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth (Gen. 6:9-);’ from which came all mankind that exist today. Noah is spoken highly of by Jews, Christians and Muslims; in the Hebrew TaNaKh (Bible; Tanakh is an acronym for: Torah ‘teachings,’ Nevi’im ‘prophets’ and Ketuvim ‘writings’), Book of Jasher, Old and New Testament Bible, and in the Quran (Koran). The Flood story has been told by many different ancient cultures. Noah obeyed God and ‘did everything just as God commanded him.’
Note: At this time “the days of man (were reduced) to 120 years (Gen. 6:3).” Later, would be reduced to 70 to 80 on average (Psa. 90:10). Imagine that was written over 3,000 years ago and is the true world life expectancy of humans today.
|Job: ‘one ever returning to God’||Location:
Land of Uz
|Age at Death: N/A||Time: c.2000 BC?|
|Alterative meaning: ‘he that weeps.’ Job was a descendant of Aram, son of Shem, and likely knew Abraham who was alive during his lifetime.|
Concerning Job, it is written, “We count as bless those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about… (James 5:11).” Moreover, “Job was perfect and righteous (upright; Job 1:1), feared God (see: Deut. 10:12/Eccl.12:13) and shunned evil (see Job 28:28).” The Lord spoke to Job (Job 38-) and told him thinks not taught in other books of history and the prophets; about the constellations, morning stars (angels) and the behemoth (dinosaur).
Job not only makes the list because of Ezekiel’s vote (Ezek. 14:14), but also because of the teachings and his wisdom and humility recorded in the Book of Job (likely given to Joshua and his scribes; as in Exo. 17:14 and Josh. 24:26).
After Satan came and destroy those things precious to Job; he lost his children and a great portion of his cattle and other assets, Job “worshiped God… and he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return (without nothing) there (to the earth). The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord… and Job did not sin (Job1:20).” And when his wife acted as most humans when boils and pain and more misery came on her husband and she said, ‘Why do you still hold on to your integrity? Curse God and die!;’ Job (stilling in morning and weeping) said, “You speak as one of the foolish women; shall we accept only good from God, and not accept adversity (Job 2:10 – that verse alone has witnessed much to me and is a lesson to all in this temporary world).
And two other favorites from Job: “though He slay me (even if the Lord were allow me to be killed), yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15).” “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding (Job 28:28).”
Job does ‘curse the day that he was born’ but only then because of his lost and never God and latter like David after the loss his newborn son, regains strength through the word and spirit of the Lord. Job also gave witness saying, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on earth. And even after my skin has decayed, yet in my flesh I will see God (Job 19:25-25).”
‘Father of Nations’
|Location: from Ur to
Israel (all Palestine)
|Age at Death:
|Time: 20th Generation
1812 BC – 1638 BC
|His name was changed from Abram (father of height) after obeying God and leaving Ur of Babylon and going to the ‘Promise Land’ given to his grandson Jacob’s (Israel) descendants. Abraham was born 1948 years after Adam; and is the Grandfather of Jacob (who is called ‘Israel’) and of the Twelve Patriarchs (12 sons of Israel; and title of very early church writing).
The Twelve Patriarchs: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/patriarchs-charles.html
Abraham has the unique distinction of being chosen by God to be the father of nations; especially that of Jacob/Israel – the chosen people (Jews). Abram was born among the heathen Chaldeans (southeast Babylonia). He received several revelations from God. He obeyed God and “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Gen. 15:6; Gal. 3:6).”
The Lord said to Abram in Canaan, “Lift your eyes… north, south, east and west… I give to you and your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth… To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt (Nile) to the great river, the River Euphrates… (Gen. 13:12-; 15:18).” And the Lord sent Melchizedek king of Salem… priest of God Most High to bless him saying, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High… (Gen. 14:18-).”
Abram, in his old age (86) and at the urging of his ‘barren’ wife Sarah, had Ishmael with her maid – Hagar (Hajar). Muslims claim that Abraham’s (Ibrahim) Ishmael was a prophet that dwelled in Mecca and was an ancestor to their prophet Muhammad.
Genesis records that Hagar was sent to Beersheba, in the desert in southern Israel and then God told her that he would ‘make Ishmael a great nation;’ and then went to Paran and Egypt (Gen. 21:14-21; but not Palestine). According to the Book of Jasher, Ishmael took a wife from Egypt, named Meribah and she bore six children. And according to Genesis (28:9) Esau, the son of Isaac, went to Ishmael and married Mahalath of Canaan.
Now the Lord changed his name to Abraham and said, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be righteous. And I will make My covenant between Me and you and will multiply you exceedingly (Gen. 17:1-).” And it was after this that the Lord opened Sarai womb and Abraham and Sarai both at age 100, had Isaac.
And when Isaac (Yitzchak) was forty he took Rebekah as his wife, and he pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren and the Lord heard and they had twins: Jacob and Esau.
Now, it was Isaac, who with Abraham according to the Sefer ha-Aggadah and other Hebrew sources was about 25 years old and willing to be offered to the Lord during the test of Abraham’s heart. But God provided the ram and because Abraham withheld nothing from the Lord and was obedient, the Lord said, “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed My voice (Gen. 22:18).” The Lord was speaking of Jesus Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (son of Jacob, who is Israel; who is the son of Isaac; son of Abraham).
Extra Story: I recall speaking to a modern Orthodox Rabbi (as opposed to traditional Orthodox). I walked into his office and he had the Sefer ha-Aggadah (Book of Legends) on his desk. And when interviewing him about Jewish tradition and Chronology, he said that he believed in Abraham, but taught that all those before him where legends. No wonder, his mind was filled with Midrash more than with the Holy Scriptures. So I asked, ‘you believe in Abraham, but not his father Terah (Terach) or in Noah?’ Understand, he could as a modern Rabbi say that the earth is young or old, or that we are not sure of all the names and events; but if he denied Abraham, he would lose his congregation and his job.
Canaan, Haran, Egypt
|Age at Death: 147
(by Ussher 1689 BC)
|Time: Jewish Source:
1652 BC – 1505 BC
|Jacob is Israel and the father of the twelve tribes of Israel and Jesus came through his linage.|
At one point Jesus was talking to the Sadducees (Jews that denied the resurrection from the dead), and Christ said, “…have you not read… I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?” Jacob’s name was changed to Israel after wrestling with a messenger from God (Gen. 32:22-; 35:10).
Jacob was about 15 when Abraham died. He worked for his uncle Laban in Haran, where after being tricked into marrying Leah; he married Rachel. They and their two handmaids bore him twelve (12) sons, the 12 Tribes of Israel; often called the Twelve Patriarchs. They are: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun by Leah. Gad and Asher by Leah’s maidservant Zilpah; Dan and Naphtali by Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah; and then Josephus and Benjamin by Rachel (who died giving birth).
Jacob spent his first 77 years in Canaan and the next 20 in Haran; and then returned to Canaan for 33 years (which is confirmed in the Book of Jasher 28:23), until a famine drove his clan to Egypt his last 17 years – where the Lord had gone before them and Josephus had become the Viceroy of the country. Note: from Levi came Moses and the priests; and from Judah came the kings of Israel and the Lion of Judah – Jesus Christ.
Egypt, Moab, Sinai
|Age at Death:
1392 BC – 1272 BC
|Moses, after the Passover (Exo. 12), led the Jews out of Egypt through the Red Sea and into the Wilderness where because of the sins of the children of Israel (the Jews) they dwelled 40 years. The Exodus occurred about 2448 years after creation or 1312 BC around the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Note: ‘480 years after the children of Israel came out of Egypt… (was) the 4th year of Solomon’s reign over Israel… (1 Kings 6:1).’ That was c.967 BC + 480 = 1447 according to some sources; but 1392 BC according to the Toldot Am Olam of the Jews, who has Solomon’s 4th year 832 BC – the year the First Temple began construction.|
Jesus said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for He wrote about Me (John 5:46).” Moses gave us The Pentateuch – the first five books of the Old Testament. Moses was not only highly noted by the prophet Jeremiah (15:1), but was called by the Lord, ‘a friend’ of God (Exo. 33:11). It was to Moses that the Lord gave His longest name in the Bible (Exo. 34:6-7), to Moses that the Lord gave instructions for the Temple and priests, gave His laws and Commandments on Mount Sinai, and gave the Passover (Exo. 12:11).
Moses’ life was divided into three primarily 40-year segments: His time in Egypt, from birth to flight from Pharaoh’s palace to the desert region of Midian. His stay in Midian were God revealed Himself with a ‘burning bush,’ to the Exodus from Egypt into the Wilderness; and his journey in the wilderness with the children of Israel.
Moses led Joshua and Israel to the Promised Land, but was unable to cross the Jordan River and enter. However, it was from Moses we learned the two great commandments, love God and love your neighbor. It was from Moses that we were taught the heart of the Torah (essence of the Law), “Hear oh Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord… for your own good (Deut. 10:12-13)?”
|Samuel ‘God heard’ or ‘God is exalted’||Location:
|Age at Death:
c.931 BC – 877 BC
|Other sources have Samuel’s birth about c.1108 BC and death about c.990 BC|
David and Jeremiah included Samuel with Moses as an elite prayer warrior (Psa. 99:6; Jer. 15:1). John records, “…we know that God does not listen to (the unrepentant requests of) sinners; but if a man be a worshipper of God, and does His will, God hears him (John 9:31).” Samuel heard God when He audible called him (1 Sam. 3:4-) and God certainly heard Samuel.
The FAITHFUL WORSHIPER of GOD (link to biblical examples of worshipers)
Samuel’s mother Hannah pleaded with God to open her womb and give her a child; and if so, she would give him to be used by God. He was a Nazarite like Samson (1 Sam. 1:11). Samuel was brought up at the feet of Eli, the High Priest; as Paul was at the feet of Gamaliel.
Note: Saul had the witch Endor (name used on ‘Bewitched’ TV show) conjure and raise the spirit of Samuel from the grave (1 Sam 28:7-); the next day Saul died. The Quran (Muslims) consider Samuel a prophet of Allah (God).
Samuel was not only a prophet (seer), but of the tribe of Levi and qualified to serve in the Temple. Samuel was the last of the Judges of Israel before Saul became Israel’s first king. Samuel anointed both King Saul and King David. Samuel was consider the first of the prophets after Moses (Acts 3:24).
The Most Important People in the Bible: Part II
Also see our:
The Most Important Parable in the Bible