Since Adam committed his first sin, death has become inevitable. Even those like Methuselah who lived for centuries eventually succumbed to illness or old age and passed on.
Prior to the Flood, people lived exceptionally long lives; therefore God reduced this average lifespan so that people could better grasp its futility and desire a redeemer.
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God warned of how powerful people who indulged in sinful behaviors would eventually cause death, destruction and evil (Genesis 6:5); so He limited human lifespans to 120 years – not an assurance against death but sufficient to warn of an eventual end for wicked souls.
Some Christians misinterpret Genesis 6:3 as restricting human lifespan to 120 years. But this interpretation is nonsensical and inappropriate given the context of the flood narrative, not to mention that many people have lived beyond 120. Therefore, Genesis 6:3 cannot be seen as setting a lifespan limit but as a warning against human frailty that must seek God and walk in His ways for their blessings in life to last beyond 120. That’s why Scripture offers specific standards for living.
Many have incorrectly interpreted Genesis 6:7 to mean that God shortened man’s lifespan following the flood (Genesis 6:7-10). Instead, this verse is clear evidence of shortening.
Making this verse mean something about human longevity would be to misinterpret its context of this story. This verse doesn’t refer to Noah or Christians today (many of whom live well beyond 80). God’s purpose for humanity remains constant; His feelings regarding sin have only grown over time; while He grieves at disobedience He will still fulfill His plans; therefore it is essential for us to stay true and loyal in our relationship with our loving & merciful Father!
Many interpret this passage to suggest that God limits human lifespan to 120 years, however this interpretation is incorrect based on an incorrect reading of the text.
Verse 2 and 4 describe fallen angels who had taken on human characteristics to disguise themselves as sons of God, marrying the daughters of men to produce children known as Nephilim that eventually grew into giant race of giants called the Nephilim – these violent hybrids of both man and angel were violent and oppressive in nature.
God observed mankind’s ungodliness and was appalled at their transgression of His laws. However, He still allowed them to live longer than normal until He intervened to stop this spiralling rampage: “My Spirit shall not always strive with man; since he too is flesh; yet his days shall reach an hundred and twenty.”
Genesis 6:1-4 has long been one of the greatest obstacles to biblical interpretation, deterring many interpreters and leading many astray.
Some have speculated that “sons of God” are fallen angels who intermarried with human women to become gods themselves, which was certainly the perspective of many second temple Jewish and early church writers (cf. 1 Peter 3:18-22; 2 Pet 2:14; Jude 6).
This view doesn’t see 120 years as a limit on human longevity, but rather as an estimate for when judgment will come via flood to wipe away those who do wrong – such as giants on Earth at that time! Furthermore, this explanation also helps explain why God allowed Noah to escape this judgement (but more on that in another post!).
As soon as man fell into sin and lost their rightful eternal life, God warned them that their days on Earth would be short. His spirit would no longer reside among people and that their lifespans were set at 120 years or less.
One interpretation suggests that God was alluding to an unnatural offspring from God and their daughters–the Nephilim giant race–which were physical superiority men with sinister intent who used their physical superiority for personal gain and evil acts.
After the flood, this interpretation suggests that God reduced human lifespan to approximately 70 or 80 years – an interpretation which is not supported by Scripture; many have lived longer. Death still came as part of life unless people accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and pledged their lives to Him.
Men in general were expected to live much longer lives. Nowadays, most can reach age 80+ while some even outlive 100 years!
Methuselah lived 969 years prior to the flood. That gives Him plenty of time to prepare people and warn of impending judgement from God.
One explanation suggests that mankind had plenty of time to develop civilizations and technological advancements before facing God’s judgment through a global flood. This would help them prepare more rapidly for it and also get back in favor with Him before it was too late – although Psalm 90:3-10 speaks to life being short and His anger; thus undermining this theory.
Not entirely sure what this promise has to do with life expectancies of 70 or 80 years; certainly they have never been human lifespan records.
This verse shows God’s plan to wipe out all land-dwelling animals and people except Noah and his family (Genesis 6:9-10), as He executed judgment for their wickedness.
Nephilim were an ancient race of half human creatures living on Earth known for being descended from marriages between God’s sons and human daughters, giving rise to socially superior individuals with unparalleled physical prowess – they established themselves as giants among humans with whom they shared society and established themselves as revered giants in society.
An ancient Jewish view, popularised through numerous Targums and other texts that refute it, asserted that the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 were fallen angels who assumed human forms to procreate with human women – this group came to be known as aristocracy, princes and nobles.
Some have taken this passage to be an indictment against humanity’s wickedness and an imminent flood. But this interpretation is unsupported by Scripture – in ancient times people lived long lives that allowed them to cultivate the earth and build civilizations.
As soon as God saw that man’s intentions were consistently being directed toward evil, He decided to limit their lifespans at 120 years – much like when He dispersed their languages at Babel Tower.
Some scholars interpret “sons of God” in verses 2 and 4 to be fallen angels who had taken human form, intermarrying with women from both Cain’s lineage (ungodly) and Seth’s (godly). As a result, their offspring became known as Nephilim, giant-like beings who eventually dominated humanity on Earth.
Commentators suggest this verse indicates God limited human lifespan to 120 years following the flood, noting how people began living shorter lives since then.
However, this interpretation isn’t supported by biblical text: Genesis 6:3 appears prior to Noah giving birth and six verses later (Genesis 6:9-10), an announcement is made of an impending flood.
No evidence exists to prove that lifespan was limited to 120. Instead, it seems God decreased it closer to what is typical for fallen humans; currently the oldest verified men and women have lived to around 122; although this still makes their lifespan relatively short by today’s standards, interpreting this passage as a statement on human longevity would be considered poor interpretation of scripture.
Many consider this verse a limit on human lifespan, yet this interpretation falls apart when looked at closely: there are plenty of people living past 80. Therefore, God certainly was not intending for such an upper limit to exist.
One theory suggests that the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6:2 were fallen angels who married women from human populations and produced half-human giants known as Nephilim – this belief being held by both Peter and Jude in their writings.
Another view suggests that Noah was meant to represent mankind when speaking in Genesis 6:3. This view first became popular during the Second Temple period and remains prevalent today among many scholars who believe this verse speaks of a period between God’s rebuking humans and Noah’s flood.