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Why did people live a long time in the Bible?

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

When God formed man, He breathed His breath into man. God is life and that is life eternal. His breath of life into man was eternal. Man was supposed to live eternally. Once man sinned, man was condemned to die. God told Adam the bad news:

By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19

Now, because of sin, the days of man’s life were numbered, though, at first, those days lasted a long time. We see from the genealogies that man lived a long time in the Bible.
  • Adam – 930 years
  • Seth his son – 912 years
  • Methuselah – 969 years (oldest in the Bible) 
Then in Genesis 6, as man becomes more sinful, God limits their age again, closer to a normal “old” age in today’s terms.

Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Genesis 6:3

So people did not love for hundreds of years throughout the whole Bible, only at the beginning of creation.  During that time, people lived a long time in the Bible because:
  •          God wanted to give them time to repopulate. If they had died off after only seventy years, they could not have formed as many families, tribes, cities and nations.
  •          The earth was pure and disease free.  The oxygen rich environment created a better place to live.
  •          The humans that were born were more closely related to the perfect original.  Copies of copies of copies tend to be less perfect.
  •          People lived in densely populated areas with family.  Everyone was related meaning less the likelihood of war.
While it’s hard for us to comprehend that a person could live hundreds of years, these facts make it very likely.  We live in a violent, disease filled world, but it wasn’t always that way.