RE: [asa] Ages of the Patriarchs

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Sat Feb 17 2007 - 11:52:46 EST

Hi Randy:


Like all of Genesis 2-11, there are a number of things that correlate.
We try to make an accommodation to "common sense" in one area and we
fowl up something else.


There are a number of small things that add up when taken altogether. I
believe Adam was at Eridu which is near the junction of the famous four
rivers in Genesis and in Mesopotamia where all the named rivers flowed
into the Persian Gulf. Eridu was excavated and the bottom layer was
dated to 4800 BC. Abraham at 2000 BC puts 2800 years between Adam and
Abraham using strictly archaeological math. Twenty generations covering
2800 years puts a real strain on normal life spans.


Uruk (Erech) was originally "Enoch" that Cain built. The archaeological
date for the beginning of Uruk is 4200 BC. That puts 600 years between
the city where Adam lived and the city Cain built. That correlates with
their longevity.


The seventh pre-flood patriarch, Enoch, seems to relate to Enmenduranki
who was king of Sippar and is on the Sumerian king list at the same
place where Enoch fits in the succession of patriarchs. Sippar was home
to the sun god, the sun makes a circuit in 365 days, and Enoch departed
after 365 years. Enmenduranki was "taken by the gods and taught divine
mysteries," and Enoch walked with God. The en- prefix in their names
indicates they were kings, or he was a king.


This comes from Josephus:


"And Lamech, when he had lived seven hundred and seventy-seven years,
left Noah his son to be the head of the family, who was born to Lamech
when he was one hundred and eighty-two years old, and lived nine hundred
and fifty years. These years, added together, make up the sum before
set down (namely 2,256). But let no one calculate the deaths of these
men (for part of their lives was co-extensive with the lives of their
children and grandchildren), but let him regard their births only."


Remember, Berossus and Josephus had access to far more written
literature. When Babylon and Jerusalem were destroyed their great
libraries were destroyed too. I have my reasons for believing in the
longevity of the patriarchs, but Josephus had his. I'll let Josephus
make his argument.


"Now when Noah had lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood,
and happily all that time, he died at the age of nine hundred and fifty
years. Now let no one comparing the lives of these ancients with our
short lives, think that what we have said of them is false; or make the
shortness of our lives now an argument that neither did they attain to
so long a duration of life, for they were beloved of God, and made by
God himself; and because their food was then fitter for the prolonging
of life, might well live so great a number of years; and besides, God
afforded them a longer life on account of their virtue, and the good use
they made of their time in astronomical and geometrical discoveries,
which they could not have made unless they had lived six hundred years;
for the great year is completed in that interval. I am borne out in
what I have said by all those that have written antiquities, both among
the Greeks and Barbarians: for Manetho, who wrote the Egyptian history,
and Berosus, who compiled the Chaldean, and Mochus and Hestiaeus and
Hieronymus the Egyptian, who compiled the Phoenician history, agree to
what I here say. And Hesiod, Hecataeus, Hellanicus and Acusilaus, and
beside them, Euphorus, and Nicolaus, relate that the ancients lived a
thousand years. But as to these matters, let every one look upon them
as they think fit."


Dick Fischer

Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History



-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Randy Isaac
Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2007 8:42 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] Ages of the Patriarchs


I have several questions on this topic.


First, for Dick Fischer:


You wrote "Evidence for long life is scant at best, but personally, I
take the ages at face value" by which I take it you mean the stated
numbers in Gen. 1-11 are the physical years of life of the patriarchs.
I've long admired your work, and that of Carol Hill, Conrad Hyers, etc.
in the sense that a deep understanding of the mesopotamian culture is
vital to understanding Genesis. Given the indications that numbers had a
great symbolic value in that culture, why do you feel that these numbers
represent chronology instead of symbolism? Or at least would you have an
openness to the possibility that they might be?


To any paleontologists or similar expertise:


How is the longevity of a pre-historic species determined? esp. of

Is there any evidence for enhanced longevity in Homo Sapiens at any time
in the past? (assuming the longevity wasn't limited to a small number of
special cases)

If not, is it simply that there is no evidence of it? or is there
evidence that there was no enhanced longevity?


To biologists:


What is the latest research thinking on aging? How big a factor is
radiation considered to be?

What is the role of telomeres in aging? Can you help explain telomeres?

Is there any reason to believe that Homo Sapiens could have had, from a
biological point of view, enhanced longevity in the past?

Is there reason to believe it couldn't have had it?

Is the increase in life expectancy over the last couple of centuries
entirely due to the shift in distribution of life spans? or is there
also an element of increasing longevity?

(assuming I'm using the terms longevity and life expectancy correctly to
mean, respectively, the inherent 'early disease-free' life of an average
individual, vs the actuarial expectation)









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Received on Sat Feb 17 11:53:37 2007

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