Hello all you good people out there! I can’t believe it has not even been one week since I wrote last. It seems like at least a month has passed with everything I have been doing! Do you ever have days like that? Where so much has happened that it seems you have lived a whole week in one day?
I wonder what our ancestors felt of a full day when they were several hundred years old. Would it be tiresome for them or would they be used to it…maybe even know how to avoid days like that!
Last week we looked into environmental factors but that couldn’t explain everything to enable centuries long life span.
So, what Happened? This week we will look at the Genetic factor.
After The Flood the bible records human ages decreasing. But not immediately. Noah’s son Shem is recorded to have lived a long life of six hundred and two years. The ages of Japheth and Ham are not recorded so it is unknown how long they lived. But we see in their descendents, life spans decreasing. Arphaxhad (first generation) lived four hundred and thirty eight years, Peleg (fifth generation) two hundred and nine years, Nahor (eighth generation) lived a hundred forty eight years, and Terah father of Abram (ninth generation), two hundred and five years. By the time Abram (Abraham—tenth generation) passed, he was considered old at one hundred and seventy five years; “Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.” Genesis 25:8. This number of years in the Former World would have been very young.
The environment certainly had something to do with the reduction of longevity and could very well be reflected in the immediate descendents of Noah’s sons (in our example–Arphaxhad). The bible tells us they did not live six or nine hundred years like the Former World residents did. As a matter of fact their ages were reduced by several centuries. The average life span for immediate Post-Flood generations was four to six hundred years. Still much longer than today’s human life spans.
It seems that only after the generation of Peleg that the years drastically dropped off of human lives. The cause? A bottle neck of genetics…at the tower of Babel. Peleg is mentioned in the bible (in the days of Peleg the world was divided) and is in reference to the splitting of the original language. When God proclaimed His judgment on mankind (confusing the languages at the tower of Babel) people split into different (family) groups with others who spoke the same language. Genetics became very limited because of intermarriage which was not considered taboo at that time.
However by the time Moses (sixteenth Post-Flood generation) came along, the genetic limitations had grown so detrimental to the human race, God instructed people they could no longer marry immediate family members. Such genetic factors affect human longevity. “Exactly how God altered human life spans no one knows. However, recent discoveries in the biochemistry of aging continue to build the case for the reliability of Scripture [scientifically speaking]—even of Genesis 5 and 6.”1
So how did the people who lived during those time react to the long lived ancestors. And how did the longlived ancestors react to their descendents surviving for shorter and shorter life spans? Tune in next week and find out about a portion of world history with a new twist…the factual truth.
Until then, take care and God bless!
This week in the night skies…The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday August 14. The supernova in the spiral galaxy M74 was still magnitude 12.5 as of August 8th, and turning from white to pale yellow. It's in Pisces, well up in the east by 2 a.m. for the northern hemisphere the Perseid meteor shower is ramping up! Activity is already well under way, and the shower should peak late Sunday and Monday nights. Mars and Jupiter are more prominent in the morning twilight. Venus is readily visible in the evening twilight and close to the bright star Beta Virginis on 14th. The crescent Moon visits Venus on the 10th. Saturn is in the western evening sky and is visited by the Moon on the 13th. The Perseid meteor shower is visible from the southern hemisphere on the morning of the 13th. Despite this being a quite reasonable meteor shower in the northern hemisphere, for most of Australia (and the rest of the southern hemisphere) the radiant is below the horizon, and only the very occasional meteor will be seen shooting up from the northern horizon. The best views are for latitudes north of Brisbane.
Morris, H. M. 2006. The New Defender's Study Bible. Nashville, TN: World Publishing, Inc.
Answers in Genesis, The Tower of Babel, Bodie Hoge, 2011. DVD
1 http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/longlife.html http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/longlife.html