Q: Could people really have lived for over 900 years?
A: It’s incredible that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. Nevertheless, the Bible teaches that the early patriarchs often lived to nearly 1,000 years and even had children when they were several hundred years old! Similar claims are found in the literature of several ancient cultures, including the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Indians, and Chinese.
But 1,000 years is nothing. God created us to liveforever!
The Bible tells that God created Adam and Eve without sin and with the ability to live forever. He gave them everything they needed for their eternal health and happiness in the Garden of Eden. But He warned them not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil or they would die, as would their descendants – Gen 2:16–17.
When Satan deceived Eve into disobeying God, and Adam wilfully followed, their minds and bodies changed profoundly – Gen 3. They became subject to death and their son, Cain, became Earth’s first murderer.
For 1,500 years after Creation, men lived such long lives that most were either contemporaries of the first man, Adam, or personally knew someone who was! The patriarchs, excluding Enoch, who preceded the Flood, lived an average of 912 years. Lamech died the youngest at the age of 777, and Methuselah lived to be the oldest at 969.
This is quite feasible since, soon after the Fall of Man, people were still close to physical and genetic perfection.
However, the wages of sin is death. Spiritually, death, separation from God, took place immediately. On the other hand, while physical death has become inevitable in all humans, degeneration of those long life spans happened gradually, but with increasing rapidity.
And what of living forever? This is only available to those who receive Jesus as Saviour. For others, it will be suffering God’s wrath forever!
Adapted from Answers in Genesis 14 June 08