120 years in Genesis 6

David Miller milledm at mcmaster.ca
Fri Jan 4 10:33:35 EST 2002

For what it's worth, 4QcommGen A (4Q252) understands Gen 6.3 quite clearly
as a reference to the remaining years before the flood. After 120 years,
the scroll appends AD QC MY MBWL.

>  Quite apart from the context of 6:1-2 which bristles with difficulties,
>  verse 3 is not without problems. YaDoWN is from root DiYN [=DuWN] to rule;
>  compare the noun 'aDoWN, a lord. In 6:3 it is in the Qal; in the Niphal it
>  means to strive. But to be lord implies also to judge; here the judgment is to
>  reduce the lifespan to 120 years (or the time left for repentance reduced to
>  120 years).

Incidentally, MT's YaDoWN appears in 4Q252 as YDWR from DWR, "to dwell."

David Miller
Ph.D. student, Biblical Area
McMaster University

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