Methuselah 969 years. Jared 962. Noah 950 years. Adam 930 years.
We can learn much about history by examining the various religious texts available to humankind. One of them is the Bible. If we were to search for the oldest people mentioned in the Bible, we’d come to understand that to find them; we only need to explore the Book of Genesis and study the patrilineal line that spans from Adam to Noah. In the Bible, we can find, for example, mentions of the Antediluvian Patriarchs, the people with the longest lifespans in history. Let’s take a closer look.
The Antediluvian Patriarchs and the longest lifespans in history
There are ten men mentioned in the Book of Genesis known as the Antediluvian Patriarchs, and they were the people that lived before the Great Flood swept across the land and enjoyed incredibly longevous lifespans, most of them living more than 900 years. The lifetimes given for the patriarchs in the Masoretic Text of the Book of Genesis are Adam, who lived for 930 years, Seth 912, Enos 905, Kenan 910; Mahalalel 895, Jared 962; Enoch 365 (Enoch did not die, but was taken away by God), Methuselah 969, Lamech 777, Noah 950. According to the Book of Genesis, Methuselah is the person who lived the longest of them all.
The lifespans given in the Bible have surprising chronological implications, as the following quotation written by Gerhard von Rad in his book Genesis – a Commentary shows:
“The long lives ascribed to the patriarchs cause remarkable synchronisms and duplications. Adam lived to see the birth of Lamech, the ninth member of the genealogy; Seth lived to see the translation of Enoch and died shortly before the birth of Noah. Noah outlived Abram’s grandfather, Nahor, and died in Abram’s sixtieth year. Shem, Noah’s son, even outlived Abram. He was still alive when Esau and Jacob were born!
Longest Lifespans in History According to the Bible
The exact meaning of the longevous lifespans of Antediluvian Patriarchs remains unclear in a historical context. Whether their lifespans were real or were the result of mistranslations remains a mystery. Some authors try explaining the longevous lifespans saying that the authors may have confused lunar and solar cycles, which leads to the possibility that the real age of the Antediluvian Patriarchs is around 13.5 times smaller.
Taking Methuselah as an example, who is said to have lived to a mind-boggling 969 years, and applying the above, Methuselah could have been 71.7 years at his death. (969/13.5=71,77). Curiously, and as stated in the Bible, after Noah, and the flood, the lifespan of ‘people’ drastically plunged to around 120 years, as we can see with Moses. According to reports, the oldest confirmed recorded age for any human is 122 years, reached by Jeanne Calment, who lived between 1875 and 1997.
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