For a long time I was puzzled by the discrepency in Life Span between biblical Noah, Adam, etc., and the normal lifespan which is documented for all Ancient Egyptian kings, which bios were so well documented. Then it occured to me that Hebrews probably calculated time in Lunar Months prior to their affiliation with the Ancient Egyptians. This is probably more convenient for their lifestyle and available technology. So, the 950 years which Noah lived are some 950 lunar months, equiv. to about 76.7 years.
As Hebrews started to get influenced by the Egyptians ways and culture, they also adopted the Egyptian means of measuring time, the solar year was introduced.
After the Exodus, however, they returned back to their old folk stories, and somehow a mix up occurred, so they started using the same name which they had used for the Lunar Month, the old Time Unit, for the new Time Unit, the Solar year.
Implications on the Date of Creation According to The Bible
According to the Bible, The Book of Genesis starts with God creating the World then creates Adam. The Bible then goes on to list many of Adam's descendants, in many cases giving the ages at which they had children and died.
Some Biblical devised models to date the age of the Universe according to the Bible. There are several dates for Biblical Creation using such models, about 5500 BCE and about 4000 BCE. If our theory here is true, i.e., that Hebrews were originally using Lunar months to measure time prior to their living in Egypt, then the date of creation, according to the Bible will become around 1,750-1,850 BCE!! This in fact looks more like the first roots of the Hebrew people.
Current estimates of the Age of the Universe is about 14 Billion Years although steady-state theories suggest that the universe has always been there!
"One of the most intriguing facts (*) in the Bible is the immense life spans of the patriarchs before and just after the flood. Adam lived 930 years, Methuselah the longest lived of the patriarchs lived 969 years. Noah lived 950 years. Many scoffers state that these extended life spans are nothing more than myths and legends. They state that the figures given for the various ages of the patriarchs are fabricated.
There are many factors that could account for the lowering of the life spans after the flood. The Bible states that the flood would not only destroy the land dwelling air breathing animals but it would also destroy the earth. (Gen. 6:13; 9:11)
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© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.