Longevity of Biblical Ancients|
Q. Why did Old Testament people live hundreds of years?
From 969 years down to 70
Longevity was extraordinary prior to the flood. Then it tapered off until men began to live 70 to 80 years. Psalm 90:10 states,
"As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years…" (NASB).
However, before the deluge Adam was said to live 930 years, and Methuselah lived until age 969, among other ancient records of long lives. We can find the records from Adam to Noah in Genesis 5.
There are several theories concerning mankind's longevity before the flood. One is that the ages listed in Genesis 5 are symbolic. Another is that there were fewer pollutants in the air, water, and food.
But, I think it is far more than that. Creation scientists believe that there was a water canopy surrounding the outer atmosphere of our planet. This water canopy probably broke up and was destroyed in the flood, according to this theory. The canopy would have provided a greenhouse effect over the entire earth. Oxygen levels would have been much higher than today.
As a result, tropical environs would have been worldwide. In fact, this could reasonably account for:
- The tropical plants found frozen deep beneath the surface in the Antarctica.
- It would have accounted for huge wingspans in birds, butterflies, and other winged creatures.
- It would account for rich, huge clusters of grapes and other fruits. (See Numbers 13:23).
- It would have accounted for healthy, long lives which were subjected to far less radiation from the sun than men are today.
But, is there biblical evidence for a water canopy?
There may be. Genesis 1:6-8 states,
…"Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven…"
The word used for "firmament" comes from a verb which means "to spread out," and the noun means "an expanse." It is likely that a water canopy formed this firmament in the Heaven.
Furthermore, the firmament in Heaven spoken about in Genesis 1:8 likely included the area above this canopy because verse 17 says that God set the sun and moon "in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth."
After the flood and the loss of this water canopy in the outer atmosphere, men, animals and plant life were bombarded by radiation and other hostile forces. As a result, they would have died younger.
Men would have become less intelligent, too, by the way. Having lost a valuable oxygen supply, this could account for the fact that we only use 10% of our brains today. We may have been "dumbed down" - yet, in our arrogance we teach children the "Ascent of Man."
Hmmm… Is it possible that maybe the charts are backwards?
Just remember, smarter doesn't mean holier. Pre-flood men were so evil that God chose to save only one family - Noah's.