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How long did Methuselah actually live?


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Genesis 5:25-27:

When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died

Please excuse the obvious joke: I'm not sure what's more impressive: living to 969 or having Lamech at 187 pre-Viagra. If you are uncertain, make your best guess.For those voting in favor of his longevity, why would this happen? Why would God allow people to live many times longer than the oldest live today?
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Bart: Oh boy! Free trading cards!

Milhouse: Wow! Joseph of Arimathea! Twenty six conversions in A.D. 46.

Nelson: Whoa, a Methuselah rookie card!

Flanders: Heh heh, well boys, who'd have thought learning about religion could be fun?

Bart: Religion?

Milhouse: Learning?

Nelson: Let's get out of here!

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IMO, the question is not why Methuselah lived so long as why his father Enoch lived such a short life at 365 years. Enoch was the interesting story of that time period. In the Bible it states "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him". That apparently accounts for his short life, that he went to sit with God. During this time though the Book of Enoch tells a story of "Angels" coming down to earth and impregnating earth girls leading to a race of "giants". As I recall, according to this story, this is why eventually God flooded the earth, to eradicate these offspring. Anyway, Enoch was the story of those times though I understand the point of your post was how do these Biblical people live so long. No clue about that but the Book of Enoch is some fascinating stuff.

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For those voting in favor of his longevity, why would this happen? Why would God allow people to live many times longer than the oldest live today?

I was told by a Christian that this was to populate the Earth. That's a better explanation than I've gotten for other silly things in the Bible.
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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

The majority don't take it entirely literally. There are quite a few that do, though.
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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

I like the ones that take the Bible literally. It's a fast and easy litmus test to determine their intelligence level. I'm not sure there are a bigger group of morons than those who think it's all real. And they give a bad name to the rational religious folk who have relatively open minds.
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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

I like the ones that take the Bible literally. It's a fast and easy litmus test to determine their intelligence level. I'm not sure there are a bigger group of morons than those who think it's all real. And they give a bad name to the rational religious folk who have relatively open minds.
There's a difference between saying that things in the Bible are false and saying that we can't and aren't supposed to understand some things. Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? As for his age, why would the Bible tell us that he lived that long if he didn't?
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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

I like the ones that take the Bible literally. It's a fast and easy litmus test to determine their intelligence level. I'm not sure there are a bigger group of morons than those who think it's all real. And they give a bad name to the rational religious folk who have relatively open minds.
There's a difference between saying that things in the Bible are false and saying that we can't and aren't supposed to understand some things. Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? As for his age, why would the Bible tell us that he lived that long if he didn't?
to boost sales!
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.... Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? ...

God apparently doesn't believe in eating disorders-

Ephesians 5:29

29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—

But, the burden of proof to find one thing false in the bible is to find one person (past, present, or future) that for even an instance hated their body and/or did not properly nourish it. Does one thing being demonstratively false toss out everything?

This mini-rant hints at other answers to your question, but is more a reply to the topic than your specific question

There are things where I must really push my intellectual honesty to the limits in order to believe that the bible is not just full of it, but asking me to accept any of the above nonsense in order to believe that the bible is perfect is just too much. I guess you can find those that explain away the unicorns and fiery serpents. And who needs DNA when you have tree bark. These are just easy things, like 4 legged insects, like the firmament layer. Even Jesus himself (if we trust the gospels are accurate) says that Deuteronomy 24:1-3 is erroneous, or at least compromised at Mark 10:1-12 yet we still insist that the bible is without flaws? And we will stretch into any pretzel shape necessary to explain away the ignorance of its authors? Sorry, no.

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.... Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? ...

God apparently doesn't believe in eating disorders-

Ephesians 5:29

29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—

But, the burden of proof to find one thing false in the bible is to find one person (past, present, or future) that for even an instance hated their body and/or did not properly nourish it. Does one thing being demonstratively false toss out everything?

This mini-rant hints at other answers to your question, but is more a reply to the topic than your specific question

There are things where I must really push my intellectual honesty to the limits in order to believe that the bible is not just full of it, but asking me to accept any of the above nonsense in order to believe that the bible is perfect is just too much. I guess you can find those that explain away the unicorns and fiery serpents. And who needs DNA when you have tree bark. These are just easy things, like 4 legged insects, like . Even Jesus himself (if we trust the gospels are accurate) says that Deuteronomy 24:1-3. Even Jesus himself (if we trust the gospels are accurate) says that Deuteronomy 24:1-3 is erroneous, or at least compromised at Mark 10:1-12 yet we still insist that the bible is without flaws? And we will stretch into any pretzel shape necessary to explain away the ignorance of its authors? Sorry, no.

:lol: Talk about not having a clue!

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Literal interpretations take Methuselah's 969 years to be exactly 969 solar years. This conflicts with evidence that a lifespan of centuries is not possible. Some literalists suggest possible naturalistic explanations: the patriarchs had a better diet, or a water vapor canopy protected the earth from radiation prior to the Flood. Others introduce theological causes: man was originally to have everlasting life, but sin was introduced into the world by Adam and Eve, its influence became greater with each generation, and God progressively shortened man's life.

:lol:
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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

I like the ones that take the Bible literally. It's a fast and easy litmus test to determine their intelligence level. I'm not sure there are a bigger group of morons than those who think it's all real. And they give a bad name to the rational religious folk who have relatively open minds.
There's a difference between saying that things in the Bible are false and saying that we can't and aren't supposed to understand some things. Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? As for his age, why would the Bible tell us that he lived that long if he didn't?
Gandalf lived hundreds of years as well. What logic is it that allows you to accept Methuselah's age as non-fiction but Gandalf's as fiction? Are there any other examples where you would accept this.. or do you only suspend your thought process/common sense to justify religion? Honest question.
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Literal interpretations take Methuselah's 969 years to be exactly 969 solar years. ...

:lmao:
My banjo strumming, bible reading 5th grade teacher explained this away as "lunar years". That is 969/12 is roughly 80 years. Of course this exercise makes the universe about 2700 years younger than its real 6000 years age to make everything fit (or not).
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So some of you guys believe the half life of a carbon 14 atom is 5700 years because a textbook says so. But you won't believe that Methuselah lived over 900 years even though God said so?

God, as in the guy so forgetful that he needs rainbows to remind himself to not destroy all of humanity again? That guy's word?
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So some of you guys believe the half life of a carbon 14 atom is 5700 years because a textbook says so. But you won't believe that Methuselah lived over 900 years even though God said so?

God didn't say so. Oral tradition said so until somebody decided (and was able) to write it down.If you take those numbers and consider that somewhere in the passing down and translations, they actually were talking about months (a much easier scale to measure way back when), the numbers make some sense.
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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

I like the ones that take the Bible literally. It's a fast and easy litmus test to determine their intelligence level. I'm not sure there are a bigger group of morons than those who think it's all real. And they give a bad name to the rational religious folk who have relatively open minds.
There's a difference between saying that things in the Bible are false and saying that we can't and aren't supposed to understand some things. Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? As for his age, why would the Bible tell us that he lived that long if he didn't?
:unsure:

Always nice to start the day with a good laugh. Thank you.

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Interesting note: If you do all the math in Genesis, it appears that Methesulah died in the year of the Flood. So, either he was one of the bad ones who wasn't worthy of being saved on the Ark or maybe he just died before the Flood came.

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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

I like the ones that take the Bible literally. It's a fast and easy litmus test to determine their intelligence level. I'm not sure there are a bigger group of morons than those who think it's all real. And they give a bad name to the rational religious folk who have relatively open minds.
There's a difference between saying that things in the Bible are false and saying that we can't and aren't supposed to understand some things. Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? As for his age, why would the Bible tell us that he lived that long if he didn't?
:confused:

Always nice to start the day with a good laugh. Thank you.

I liked the next question even better. Why would someone in the religion biz lie? It's not like there's any money or power in that business or anything.
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So some of you guys believe the half life of a carbon 14 atom is 5700 years because a textbook says so. But you won't believe that Methuselah lived over 900 years even though God said so?

God didn't say so. Oral tradition said so until somebody decided (and was able) to write it down.If you take those numbers and consider that somewhere in the passing down and translations, they actually were talking about months (a much easier scale to measure way back when), the numbers make some sense.
Not sure what calendar was in use when the Bible was written but pretty sure that at least some of the ancient calendars only had 10 months which would make even more sense:Lamech born when Methusaleh was 18.7 years oldMethusaleh dies at 96.9 years old (which is still amazing assuming the avg lifetime couldn't have been too high in ancient times)Certainly makes more sense than a human fathering a child at 187 years and living 969 years.
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The ages of the pre-Moses geneologies were passed along for centuries via oral tradition. And this was pre-flood, so it would have to be preserved through Noah and his family. And this info was supposedly written down in an ancient language about 3-4K years ago.

There is also a verse in Genesis where God states that he will no longer contend with man for more than 120 years.

No one knows if the dude was even real, was a symbol for a clan of people, or if it is literally like the Bible states. I personally take things in the Bible literally unless convinced otherwise, but it wouldn't be earth shattering to me if I was wrong on some of those things...like the age of Methuselah.

Quick bit of Bible trivia: Who is the second oldest man in the Bible? (hint: it is my real name)

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The ages of the pre-Moses geneologies were passed along for centuries via oral tradition. And this was pre-flood, so it would have to be preserved through Noah and his family. And this info was supposedly written down in an ancient language about 3-4K years ago.There is also a verse in Genesis where God states that he will no longer contend with man for more than 120 years.No one knows if the dude was even real, was a symbol for a clan of people, or if it is literally like the Bible states. I personally take things in the Bible literally unless convinced otherwise, but it wouldn't be earth shattering to me if I was wrong on some of those things...like the age of Methuselah.Quick bit of Bible trivia: Who is the second oldest man in the Bible? (hint: it is my real name)

Noah?
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The ages of the pre-Moses geneologies were passed along for centuries via oral tradition. And this was pre-flood, so it would have to be preserved through Noah and his family. And this info was supposedly written down in an ancient language about 3-4K years ago.There is also a verse in Genesis where God states that he will no longer contend with man for more than 120 years.No one knows if the dude was even real, was a symbol for a clan of people, or if it is literally like the Bible states. I personally take things in the Bible literally unless convinced otherwise, but it wouldn't be earth shattering to me if I was wrong on some of those things...like the age of Methuselah.Quick bit of Bible trivia: Who is the second oldest man in the Bible? (hint: it is my real name)

Noah?
No, not a well known character.
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The ages of the pre-Moses geneologies were passed along for centuries via oral tradition. And this was pre-flood, so it would have to be preserved through Noah and his family. And this info was supposedly written down in an ancient language about 3-4K years ago.There is also a verse in Genesis where God states that he will no longer contend with man for more than 120 years.No one knows if the dude was even real, was a symbol for a clan of people, or if it is literally like the Bible states. I personally take things in the Bible literally unless convinced otherwise, but it wouldn't be earth shattering to me if I was wrong on some of those things...like the age of Methuselah.Quick bit of Bible trivia: Who is the second oldest man in the Bible? (hint: it is my real name)

Noah?
No, not a well known character.
timschochet?
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The ages of the pre-Moses geneologies were passed along for centuries via oral tradition. And this was pre-flood, so it would have to be preserved through Noah and his family. And this info was supposedly written down in an ancient language about 3-4K years ago.

There is also a verse in Genesis where God states that he will no longer contend with man for more than 120 years.

No one knows if the dude was even real, was a symbol for a clan of people, or if it is literally like the Bible states. I personally take things in the Bible literally unless convinced otherwise, but it wouldn't be earth shattering to me if I was wrong on some of those things...like the age of Methuselah.

Quick bit of Bible trivia: Who is the second oldest man in the Bible? (hint: it is my real name)

So why did Jeanne Calment and Shigechiyo Izumi live to be older than 120 years?
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Not sure what calendar was in use when the Bible was written but pretty sure that at least some of the ancient calendars only had 10 months which would make even more sense:Lamech born when Methusaleh was 18.7 years oldMethusaleh dies at 96.9 years old (which is still amazing assuming the avg lifetime couldn't have been too high in ancient times)Certainly makes more sense than a human fathering a child at 187 years and living 969 years.

Say what now?
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.... Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? ...

God apparently doesn't believe in eating disorders-

Ephesians 5:29

29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—

But, the burden of proof to find one thing false in the bible is to find one person (past, present, or future) that for even an instance hated their body and/or did not properly nourish it. Does one thing being demonstratively false toss out everything?

This mini-rant hints at other answers to your question, but is more a reply to the topic than your specific question

There are things where I must really push my intellectual honesty to the limits in order to believe that the bible is not just full of it, but asking me to accept any of the above nonsense in order to believe that the bible is perfect is just too much. I guess you can find those that explain away the unicorns and fiery serpents. And who needs DNA when you have tree bark. These are just easy things, like 4 legged insects, like the firmament layer. Even Jesus himself (if we trust the gospels are accurate) says that Deuteronomy 24:1-3 is erroneous, or at least compromised at Mark 10:1-12 yet we still insist that the bible is without flaws? And we will stretch into any pretzel shape necessary to explain away the ignorance of its authors? Sorry, no.

Actually, noone does hate themselves. An eating disorder is someone loving themselves too much. The same with suicide. They see themselves as fat and will do anything to make themselves look "better".
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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

I like the ones that take the Bible literally. It's a fast and easy litmus test to determine their intelligence level. I'm not sure there are a bigger group of morons than those who think it's all real. And they give a bad name to the rational religious folk who have relatively open minds.
There's a difference between saying that things in the Bible are false and saying that we can't and aren't supposed to understand some things. Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? As for his age, why would the Bible tell us that he lived that long if he didn't?
:goodposting:

Always nice to start the day with a good laugh. Thank you.

I liked the next question even better. Why would someone in the religion biz lie? It's not like there's any money or power in that business or anything.
I'm sure the writers of the Bible were worried about how much money they were going to make off of their writings. A lot of them died for their writings.
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.... Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? ...

God apparently doesn't believe in eating disorders-

Ephesians 5:29

29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—

But, the burden of proof to find one thing false in the bible is to find one person (past, present, or future) that for even an instance hated their body and/or did not properly nourish it. Does one thing being demonstratively false toss out everything?

This mini-rant hints at other answers to your question, but is more a reply to the topic than your specific question

There are things where I must really push my intellectual honesty to the limits in order to believe that the bible is not just full of it, but asking me to accept any of the above nonsense in order to believe that the bible is perfect is just too much. I guess you can find those that explain away the unicorns and fiery serpents. And who needs DNA when you have tree bark. These are just easy things, like 4 legged insects, like the firmament layer. Even Jesus himself (if we trust the gospels are accurate) says that Deuteronomy 24:1-3 is erroneous, or at least compromised at Mark 10:1-12 yet we still insist that the bible is without flaws? And we will stretch into any pretzel shape necessary to explain away the ignorance of its authors? Sorry, no.

Actually, noone does hate themselves. An eating disorder is someone loving themselves too much. The same with suicide. They see themselves as fat and will do anything to make themselves look "better".
:goodposting:
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do the large majority of Christians take the Bible word for word? One girl I know who is a Christian say the bible is important because of the lessons it teaches or something and it's not really to be taken word for word.

I like the ones that take the Bible literally. It's a fast and easy litmus test to determine their intelligence level. I'm not sure there are a bigger group of morons than those who think it's all real. And they give a bad name to the rational religious folk who have relatively open minds.
There's a difference between saying that things in the Bible are false and saying that we can't and aren't supposed to understand some things. Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? As for his age, why would the Bible tell us that he lived that long if he didn't?
Gandalf lived hundreds of years as well. What logic is it that allows you to accept Methuselah's age as non-fiction but Gandalf's as fiction? Are there any other examples where you would accept this.. or do you only suspend your thought process/common sense to justify religion? Honest question.
Well, TLofTR triolgy is a fiction story as told by the author. The Bible is the word of God as told by the authors. I have many reasons for believing in them.
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.... Find something in the Bible that can be proven as false? ...

God apparently doesn't believe in eating disorders-

Ephesians 5:29

29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—

But, the burden of proof to find one thing false in the bible is to find one person (past, present, or future) that for even an instance hated their body and/or did not properly nourish it.
Actually, noone does hate themselves. An eating disorder is someone loving themselves too much. The same with suicide. They see themselves as fat and will do anything to make themselves look "better".
No one said anything about loving or hated themselves, but their body. Are you really telling me you were never in the presence of someone that stated that they hated their body, even if it was just for an instance? That you never heard of someone that refused to feed or care for their body because they hated it? Do we need to introduce you to females?
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There is also a verse in Genesis where God states that he will no longer contend with man for more than 120 years.

Spock was 155 years old in the last Star Trek.....I'm not a Trekkie so I'm not sure if he qualifies as man, but this clearly refutes this Genesis verse if he is
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So some of you guys believe the half life of a carbon 14 atom is 5700 years because a textbook says so. But you won't believe that Methuselah lived over 900 years even though God said so?

God didn't say so. Oral tradition said so until somebody decided (and was able) to write it down.If you take those numbers and consider that somewhere in the passing down and translations, they actually were talking about months (a much easier scale to measure way back when), the numbers make some sense.
Not sure what calendar was in use when the Bible was written but pretty sure that at least some of the ancient calendars only had 10 months which would make even more sense:Lamech born when Methusaleh was 18.7 years oldMethusaleh dies at 96.9 years old (which is still amazing assuming the avg lifetime couldn't have been too high in ancient times)Certainly makes more sense than a human fathering a child at 187 years and living 969 years.
Actually - I was thinking of a month in terms of lunar cycle - 29.5 days.969 lunar cycles = 78 yearsFathered a child at 15 (perfectly normal back then)Enoch = just under 30 years when he died Much more feasible accounting of an oral tradition about somebody who probably did exist at some point in some form.
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IMO, the question is not why Methuselah lived so long as why his father Enoch lived such a short life at 365 years. Enoch was the interesting story of that time period. In the Bible it states "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him". That apparently accounts for his short life, that he went to sit with God. During this time though the Book of Enoch tells a story of "Angels" coming down to earth and impregnating earth girls leading to a race of "giants". As I recall, according to this story, this is why eventually God flooded the earth, to eradicate these offspring. Anyway, Enoch was the story of those times though I understand the point of your post was how do these Biblical people live so long. No clue about that but the Book of Enoch is some fascinating stuff.

I always get this mixed up: was Enoch the good Slestak or the bad one?
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The ages of the pre-Moses geneologies were passed along for centuries via oral tradition. And this was pre-flood, so it would have to be preserved through Noah and his family. And this info was supposedly written down in an ancient language about 3-4K years ago.There is also a verse in Genesis where God states that he will no longer contend with man for more than 120 years.No one knows if the dude was even real, was a symbol for a clan of people, or if it is literally like the Bible states. I personally take things in the Bible literally unless convinced otherwise, but it wouldn't be earth shattering to me if I was wrong on some of those things...like the age of Methuselah.Quick bit of Bible trivia: Who is the second oldest man in the Bible? (hint: it is my real name)

Noah?
No, not a well known character.
Stuart Sutcliffe?
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So some of you guys believe the half life of a carbon 14 atom is 5700 years because a textbook says so. But you won't believe that Methuselah lived over 900 years even though God said so?

God didn't say so. Oral tradition said so until somebody decided (and was able) to write it down.If you take those numbers and consider that somewhere in the passing down and translations, they actually were talking about months (a much easier scale to measure way back when), the numbers make some sense.
Not sure what calendar was in use when the Bible was written but pretty sure that at least some of the ancient calendars only had 10 months which would make even more sense:Lamech born when Methusaleh was 18.7 years oldMethusaleh dies at 96.9 years old (which is still amazing assuming the avg lifetime couldn't have been too high in ancient times)Certainly makes more sense than a human fathering a child at 187 years and living 969 years.
Actually - I was thinking of a month in terms of lunar cycle - 29.5 days.969 lunar cycles = 78 yearsFathered a child at 15 (perfectly normal back then)Enoch = just under 30 years when he died Much more feasible accounting of an oral tradition about somebody who probably did exist at some point in some form.
This is the most logical explanation. A year at that time wasn't 365 days.
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