Re: [asa] Ages of the Patriarchs

From: <>
Date: Sat Feb 17 2007 - 16:45:13 EST

you are right that Gen. 6:3 is often interpreted that way, but it need not be. There are at least two alternatives.
1. There is no word in the Hebrew indicating a break from the "he is mortal" to the next phrase "his days shall be 120 years." It is simply a "wa" connection indicating a continuance of the prior thought. So it could be read, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever because he is mortal, and (as such) his days are only about 120 years." Reading it that way, it agrees that man doesn't live as long as the extant numerals in the Patriarch list.
2. The interpretation taken by Matthew Henry and others says that this tells how long until the Flood will occur, so it is giving mankind a chance to repent:
"A reprieve granted, notwithstanding: Yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years; so long I will defer the judgment they deserve, and give them space to prevent it by their repentance and reformation. Justice said, Cut them down; but mercy interceded, Lord, let them alone this year also; and so far mercy prevailed, that a reprieve was obtained for six-score years. Note, The time of God's patience and forbearance towards provoking sinners is sometimes long, but always limited: reprieves are not pardons; though God bear a great while, he will not bear always."
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary)
best regards,
Phil Metzger
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 12:53 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] Ages of the Patriarchs

Is it not reasonable to suppose Genesis 6:3
3 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."
was a comment about the length of these long ages up to this verse?
I am keen to read your publication on the base-7 system. Where will it be published?
-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: 17 February 2007 16:15
Subject: Re: [asa] Ages of the Patriarchs

There are a couple of remarkable things to point out. First, unlike what happened in Mesopotamia, there is absolutely NO mythology in the Bible surrounding these long ages of the Patriarchs. The Bible treats them as completely unremarkable and has nothing to say about the length of these ages. This is evidence that the Bible was not formed as a silly mythology the way that the Sumerian stories developed.
I have purposely not told the evidence for the base-7 system because that is the main thing that I hope to publish soon.
best regards,
Phil Metzger
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Received on Sat Feb 17 16:46:10 2007

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