Are there any triplets in the Bible? Answered by Bible Q · 14 October 2011 · 3 Comments No. None that are identified as being triplets. Tagged with → children • families
There is ambiguity about the birth order and ages of Terah’s three sons in Genesis 11. The biblical chronology dates everything according to Abram’s life, because he was the prominent one in God’s eyes, and the descriptions speak from Terah’s perspective, because he was the head of the family. However, the wording of the verse leaves open the possibility, however unlikely, that Abram, Nahor, and Haran were triplets born when Terah had reached 70 years old. More likely, Haran was the oldest and all three were born at different times ending when Terah had reached 70, but since the Bible doesn’t say it directly, there’s always a possibility these brothers were from a multiple birth.
Acts 7:4 says Abraham went to the land of Canaan when his father died. When we consider that Terah lived 205 years (Genesis 11:32), and that Abraham left Haran at the age of 75 years, that would suggest that he wasn’t born until Terah was 130. He was probably listed first in the list of children born when Terah was 70 because he was more important to the story than the other two. See http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=758 for a more detailed discussion of this.
Jon, I agree that this is generally the most accepted view and seems to be the most sound. I made allusion to it in my initial comment. However, it is not undisputed, and it is by no means conclusive. For example, if Terah was 70 when Haran was born and 130 when Abraham was born, (1) it accords badly with the rest of the genealogy from Shem to Terah, who have their firstborn in their early thirties; (2) there would be nothing exceptional in Abraham fathering Isaac at 100 years of age (it was only “by faith” that he considered his body “not dead” by then – Rom 4:19). There are other ways that Bible scholars account for the apparent discrepancy between Genesis 11-12 and Acts 7, some of which are also argued on the basis of Hebrew idiom. The point is, there is a possibility, however unconfirmed in all directions, that Abraham and his 2 brothers were actually triplets. However, I’m worried this discussion could quickly fall under the prohibition of 1 Timothy 1:4 and Titus 3:9, so I’m going to let it rest here.