Why did the people in Genesis live such long lives?

Question: "Why did the people in Genesis live such long lives?"

Why people in early chapters of Genesis lived long lives is somewhat of a mystery. There are many theories by Biblical scholars and scientists. The genealogy in Genesis 5 records the line of Godly descendants of Adam – the line that would eventually produce the Messiah. God possibly blessed this line with especially long life as a result of its Godliness and obedience. While this is a possible explanation, the Bible nowhere specifically limits the long lifespans to the individuals mentioned in Genesis chapter 5. Further, other than Enoch, Genesis 5 does not identify any of the individuals as being especially Godly. It is likely that everyone at that time period lived several hundred years. Several factors probably contributed to this.

Genesis 1:6-7 mentions “waters above,” a “canopy” of water that surrounded the earth. Such a “water canopy” would have created a “greenhouse effect” on the entire earth, and would have blocked much of the radiation that now hits the earth. This would have resulted in ideal living conditions on the earth. This seems especially so considering how quickly the lifespans began to shrink after the Flood. Genesis 7:11 likely indicates that, in the Flood, the “water canopy” was poured out on the earth, ending the ideal living conditions. Compare the ages before the Flood (Genesis 5:1-32) with the ages after the Flood (Genesis 11:10-32). Immediately after the Flood, the ages decreased dramatically.

Another factor to consider is that in the first few generations after Creation, the human genetic code had not developed many defects. Adam and Eve were created perfect. They were surely highly resistant to diseases and illnesses. Their descendants would have inherited these advantages, albeit to lesser degrees. Over time, though, as a result of sin, the human genetic code became increasingly corrupted, and human beings became more and more susceptible to death and disease. This would have resulted in a drastically reduced lifespan.

Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns.

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Why did the people in Genesis live such long lives?