[b-hebrew] lifespans in the Bible

joel at exc.com joel at exc.com
Tue Oct 23 08:36:52 EDT 2007

>And as Shoshanna has quite clearly shown, the author of bereshith held a
>month to be 30 days, held a year to be in the region of twelve months and
>held Noah to be over 600 * 12 * 30 days old in the account of the flood. So,
>unless we are going to start arguing that the author's idea of a day was
>different it would seem clear that the linguistic intention of the author
>was for us to understand that men had longer lifespans which gradually
>declined from the days of Adam until they had reached stability in the days
>of Moses.

I've been away for a while, so maybe someone has already pointed this
out (and it's a bit off-topic): there are three life-span eras in the

1.  Up to Abraham.  People live many hundreds of years.

2.  From Abraham to Moses.  People live a few hundred years.

3.  From Moses on.  People live "normal" lifespans.

Moses, at 120, seems right on the border between superlong lifespans
and normal lifespans.

I don't think this is an accident.


Joel M. Hoffman, PhD

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