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Methuselah's Lifespan

Updated: Feb 3, 2021


Did you know before Noah and the flood, man lived for hundreds of years? Adam died at the age of 930. Methuselah, the oldest man in biblical history, lived to 969 (Genesis 5). There is a misunderstanding in Genesis when God says, “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.’” (Genesis 6:3 NIV). Many interpret this to mean God shortened man’s life to 120 years (which would be older than we live today). Most biblical scholars believe this verse is not referring to the age of man, but to the coming flood. God was stating He would wipe out humanity in 120 years. Man had become so corrupt God was foretelling of the coming destruction.

Before the flood, man lived hundreds of years. After the flood, the age of man gradually decreased until we reach the era of Moses. At this point, we learn the average age God gave man in Psalm 90 when Moses says, “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10 NIV). This age range still holds true today. The average lifespan in the United States: Male: 76; Female: 81. There is speculation as to why mankind's age gradually decreased, but the most widely accepted theory is genetics.


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