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Biblical genealogies are numerous and yet they are probably the most often ignored and least studied portions of the Bible.Most people find genealogies to be uninteresting and difficult to apply to current circumstances.
The clearest example of this is the division of Israel into tribes based on which of the 12 patriarchs they were descended from.
In order to date backwards from Abraham to Adam and Eve, Ussher made use of the genealogies given in Genesis 5 and 11.
A critical assumption that he made in his interpretation was that these two genealogies were complete (that is, that they contained no gaps or missing names).
Our modern conception of genealogies is very different from how genealogies were used and understood in biblical times.
Some background information on genealogies is helpful in order to properly understand and interpret them.
For example, the Levites were assigned different duties according to which Levitical division they belonged to.