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May 29, 2010

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Q: Did Methuselah really live 969 years?

A: Many people find it difficult to believe that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. Nevertheless, the Bible teaches quite plainly that the early patriarchs often lived to be nearly 1,000 years old and even had children when they were several hundred years old! Similar claims of long life spans are found in the secular literature of several ancient cultures (including the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Indians, and Chinese). But even a life span of nearly 1,000 years is sadly abbreviated when we consider that God initially created us to live forever.

According to the Bible, God created the first humans—Adam and Eve—without sin and with the ability to live forever. God gave the first human couple everything they needed for their eternal health and happiness in the Garden of Eden; but He warned them not to eat fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil or they would die, as indeed would all their descendants after them (Genesis 2:16–17). When Satan’s deception prompted Eve to disobey this command and then Adam willfully disobeyed, their minds and bodies profoundly changed (Genesis 3). Not only did they become subject to death, but their firstborn child (Cain) became the world’s first murderer. Truly, the wages of sin is death, physically and spiritually.

It is sobering to think that the Bible would have been only a few pages long—from creation to the fall into sin—were it not for the undeserved love of God who both promised and sent the Messiah to save us from sin and death (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 25:8; Psalm 49:14–15; 1 John 5:13).

For 1,500 years after creation, men lived such long lives that most were either contemporaries of the first man, Adam, or personally knew someone who was! The ten patriarchs (excluding Enoch) who preceded the Great Flood lived an average of 912 years. Lamech died the youngest at the age of 777, and Methuselah lived to be the oldest at 969.


Continue reading to discover more about why we age, and how the patriarchs could have lived so long.

News to Note Quick Look

Hello, Homo: Add to the list of ancient humans Homo gautengensis, a chimp-like creature that may have had a dark past. Read more.


Intelligent design to prove evolution?: Last week’s major announcement about the creation of a “synthetic” organism spurred evolution talk then—and continues to do so this week. Read more.


Also:

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