Bringing Truths from Different Books of the Bible into Focus, Perspective, and Understanding.
"So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died." Genesis 5:5
Death may be memorialized, but never avoided.
The Study of Sin
The Declining Life Span of the Patriarchs
Before and After the Great Flood
Gen. 5 and Gen. 11
1. Enoch’s life-span is not included because he never died. His life on earth was artificially cut short because he walked with God and God apparently took him to heaven for the sake of unbroken fellowship (Gen. 5:16-20). Back
2. Lamech probably did not die of natural causes, but rather lost his life in the Great Flood. Nevertheless, his life-span is included here. Back
3. Though Noah’s life spanned the Flood, he lived 63% of his life before the Flood (Gen. 5:28-32; 7:6-11), and whatever negative effects the earth’s Post-Deluge environment had upon Noah, it does not appear to have affected his longevity (Gen. 9:28-29). Back
4. Though Shem lived on both sides of the Flood, only 16% of his life was lived before the Flood, whereas 84% of it was lived afterwards. Consequently he is included as a Post-Flood Patriarch. Evidently his life span was dramatically shortened by altered environmental conditions after the Flood (Gen. 6:10; 7:13; 11:10-11). Back
5. Arpachshad was the first patriarch to live the entirety of his life after the Flood. The Post-Flood environment dramatically shortened his life also. For the first time in human history, the life span for three consecutive generations dropped down to only a Four Centuries + range of life expectancy. Back
6. Peleg was the first of three consecutive generations to maintain a mere Two Centuries + range of life expectancy. Back
7. The Average Life Span of the Post-Flood Patriarchs was only about a third that of the Pre-Flood Patriarchs. Clearly life after the Flood faced far greater risks on man's life expectancy. These risks are likely attributable to the more unhealthy Post-Flood environment. Incidentally, a solid case can be made that the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 contain no gaps. Back
The Declining Life Span of the Patriarchs Before and After the Great Flood
by James T. Bartsch, WordExplain.com
Email Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published August 2, 2007
WordExplain by James T. Bartsch
(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB 1995. Used by Permission.)
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Updated February 11, 2022