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Living in the hundreds of years...any proof ?


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#16    Ben Masada

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:05 PM

View Postmfrmboy, on 12 November 2012 - 03:35 PM, said:

In the bible it says people lived to be  many hundreds of years old ( Methuselah lived 969 years [Genesis 5:27] .  Is there any solid proof of people living this long?

I thought back then they had a shorter life expectancy than we do now.

IMHO, it was all a matter of rendering honor to age. It was the usual method at that time to honor the ancient ones with an excessive number of years. Considering that the average longevity, only 2000 years ago, was about 40, it's only obvious that four or six thousand years ago, one could not live that long of a life.

According to Numbers 14:34, the Israelites were doomed to wander in the desert for 40 years just to eliminate all that generation that had left Egypt. It means that at that time, a generation was within the averange of 40 years. The average generation prior to the Flood could have been of even less than that.

Let us take Abraham and Sarah for instance; it was said of Sarah that she was barren, hence she could not bear children. The text says that, at the time Abraham had a vision about the birth of Isaac, they were: Abraham 100 years old and Sarah 90. (Gen. 17:17)  A 90 years old woman could not be said that she was unable to bear children because she was barren but because she was too old. Leaving aside the tradition to honor age by adding years to one's age, Sarah could have been on her late 40's and Abraham on his late 50's. Besides, bareness is, in most cases, a temporary condition in a woman prior to menopause. To bear a child, a woman must ovulate, and women do not ovulate after menopause, which occurs between 45 and 55. That's what it means when Sarah laughed at the idea to bear a child.

Talking about a miracle, God would have gone against His own laws, which Baruch de Spinoza says, it would be tantamount to degrade God down to the level of a Greek god. He meant weakness in God.

I am reminded of my late Yemenite wife who was of such a traditional family that I could never find out how old her parents were. Whenever I asked, the answer would always be: "Ad 120 bezrat haShem" which means, till 120 with the help of God. She died at 106, so I was told, although she looked 76.
Well, the bottom line is that, to add years to the years of one's life was a traditional method to honor age. Therefore, the ancient ones from before the Flood might not have been that old after all.

Ben


#17    3.0

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:36 AM

View PostHavocWing, on 12 November 2012 - 05:13 PM, said:

I think they where calling the moons back then years, it's the only logical conclusion.  12-13 moons in one year of ours, times 70 (average life span roughly) you would get 840-910.  Somebody who lived to 100 (our time) would be 1200-1300 in moons.

Methuselah would have been 77, which is far more logical to understand.

I like this explanation.  But, this shortens the history of man a great deal.  If you interpret the Bible literally, as a creationist might, human history is shortened radically.  A good reconciliation  of the scientific evidence for humanities long develpopment and the fossil record appears to be needed.  In my opinion.


#18    Ben Masada

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 12 November 2012 - 05:13 PM, said:

I think they where calling the moons back then years, it's the only logical conclusion.  12-13 moons in one year of ours, times 70 (average life span roughly) you would get 840-910.  Somebody who lived to 100 (our time) would be 1200-1300 in moons.

Methuselah would have been 77, which is far more logical to understand.

That's pretty much a rational way to interpret the hyperbolism in the age of the ancient ones from before the Flood. As some Jews today from Yemen take it, it means to honor the old folks.

Ben


#19    scowl

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

The early books of the Bible liked to stretch numbers. There were supposedly gigantic armies with tens of thousands of soldiers who retreated after only a few dozen casualties.


#20    Ben Masada

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:45 PM

View Postscowl, on 19 November 2012 - 09:12 PM, said:

The early books of the Bible liked to stretch numbers. There were supposedly gigantic armies with tens of thousands of soldiers who retreated after only a few dozen casualties.

Do you know something, Scowl? I do not see contradiction is those exaggerations among the ancient ones; but a show-off to either extoll the power of a nation or to cause fear, as Gideon did with his 300 heroes.

Ben


#21    Sean93

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:08 PM

I once saw in Tarzan the animated series...bear with me here. I once saw in that series an episode that was about poeple living for hundreds of years. It was revealed that the people were not actually hundreds of years old but were only said to be because they counted the ages of their decendants together and added that sum amount to their age... :blush: It's one way of looking at it...Tarzan.

Edited by Sean93, 27 November 2012 - 07:16 PM.

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#22    Ben Masada

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:39 PM

View PostSean93, on 27 November 2012 - 07:08 PM, said:

I once saw in Tarzan the animated series...bear with me here. I once saw in that series an episode that was about poeple living for hundreds of years. It was revealed that the people were not actually hundreds of years old but were only said to be because they counted the ages of their decendants together and added that sum amount to their age... :blush: It's one way of looking at it...Tarzan.

Hey Sean, that's interesting! I see a lot of possibility that it was the same custom among the ancient ones to sum up the years of life of the ancerstors and add them to one's own life and count as his; especially if one was a famous figure in the society.

Ben







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