[b-hebrew] Assumptions about ANE ages that just don't work.

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Mon Oct 22 00:31:25 EDT 2007

OK, I'm done.

But you also cannot prove that the Torah is NOT correct - literally - 
in its recording the long lives of previous men.

If the longer lives, previously, were not correct, why would G-d have 
to tell us that He is shortening our life spans?


One of the basic premises of any science, including the study of history and
of linguistics, is that the laws of nature, and the rules that govern human
behavior, were always what as the are now. This allows scientists to use
carbon 14, for example, to date organic material - since the C14's rate of
decomposition has been the same for thousands of years. Since there is NO
physical evidence that would show that people's lifespans were ever
significantly different than they are now, taking the long lives in Genesis
(or in any other ancient text) literally is a matter of faith, not science.
Insisting that "everyone" lived longer back then is a leap of faith, not
even mentioned in the text. Insisting that "it would not be wise to
contradict Moses" is a statement of faith - science is built upon
contradicting and challenging old assumptions. This list is NOT a forum for
the discussion of faith. Unless anyone has anything really new to contribute
to the matter, I suggest that we end this thread.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message -----
From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 4:12 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Assumptions about ANE ages that just don't work.

> Not ALL OF US don't believe that the ages in Bereishit are correct.
> Also I don't think it is accurate that the Torah mentioned these ages
> of only a select few individuals who lived hundreds of years (I think
> someone on this list mentioned this).
> The first men, the Nefilim, were giants and had lifespans of nearly
> 1000 years, but they were physically too strong, at the expense of
> their spiritual selves.  The remedy was to reduce their lifespans and
> physical strength.
> So in Bereishit 6:3, G-d tells us of His plan to reduce the human
> lifespan to 120 years.
> And He did it gradually.  Noach's son, Shem, lived 350 years less
> than Noach, and his son, Arphaxad, lived less than he.  By the time
> of Avraham, the tenth generation after Noach, the lifespan had
> dropped to 175 years with Yaakov living 147 years.  After that it
> dropped to 70 years, with exceptions that approach 120 years.
> So Sarah at 90 years was old - even too old to bear children, and the
> reason for her beauty at that age, was that she became beautiful as a
> result of G-d's angels communicating to her, just as the Midrash
> tells us that Queen Esther, when she approached Achashverosh without
> his summoning her, at great danger to herself, had angels accompany
> her when she went in to see him, and cause her to be irresistably
> beautiful to him, otherwise, he could have been angry enough to have
> her killed.
> Shoshanna
> What are the presuppositions/assumptions being applied that would
> justify taking
> the ages = season? It appears that just because we do not believe that the
> ages
> in Genesis are correct because "no one could live that long" does not
> necessarily mean that that is so. The ages mentioned are in the text.
> There is
> NO justification or evidence to prove that they are incorrect.
> Furthermore,
> since Moses wrote it that way, and he was closer to the source(s) than any
> of
> us, then it would be wise not to contradict him especially in comparison
> to the
> Sumerian Kings List.
> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

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