Make your own free website on Tripod.com
THE 'YEARS' IN GENESIS: HOW LONG WAS A YEAR?


Do you believe the Bible is true?

Do you believe Genesis is accurate as far as the numbers of years that it mentions?

Do you believe that Adam lived 930 years and that Methuselah lived 969 years?

Well, here's a verse in Genesis that most people should have little or no problem with:

"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." (Gen. 6:3)

If we can accept 120 years as a logical maximum lifespan in Genesis 6
...then do you think they would have used a completely DIFFERENT measurement for years in Genesis 5 (just ONE CHAPTER before), when it says, "Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died" (Gen. 5:27)?
(Not to mention the long years of everyone else mentioned in Genesis 5!)

Do you think that in Chapter 5, years did not really mean years, as we know them today, but in Chapter 6 they DID? How preposterous is that?!

Now, in Chapter 7, it gives VERY PRECISE measurements of time:

"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month--on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights." (Gen. 7:11-12)
If its precise enough to mention the EXACT day of the EXACT month, and the EXACT number of days and nights that the rain fell, then must it not also be precise when it says "the six hundredth year of Noah's life"?
If time measurement is precise and exact in the SECOND part of the verse, must it not ALSO be precise and exact in the FIRST part of the verse?

Some people say, "Well, to God, a thousand years is as a day, so therefore, the 6 DAYS of Creation must actually be MILLIONS of years."

If the years in Genesis 5 are really not as long as it says concerning men's ages (i.e., "Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died" in Gen. 5:27), then the days of Creation in Genesis 1 and 2 must actually be MINUTES or SECONDS!

Contrarily, if the days of Creation in Genesis 1 and 2 are actually thousands or millions of years, then the years of men's ages in Genesis 5 must actually be thousands or millions of years, times 365 days for each year!

Therefore, if the 6 days of Creation was actually 6 million years (as Long-Day Creationists---otherwise known as Theological Evolutionists---tend to believe), then Methuselah must have actually lived for...let's see...if 1 day = 1 million years...and there are 365 days in a year...and it says that Methuselah lived for 969 years...then 365 X 969 = 353,685...soooo....Methuselah must ACTUALLY, then, have died at the age of 353,685 million years old!

WOW!!! People who believe that God created the universe over a period of millions of years must have a LOT of faith!...more faith than I have, because I could never believe that people lived to be hundreds of thousands of millions of years old back then!

And for those who believe that Methuselah's 969 years is actually SHORTER...more like 69 years...then they must also believe that God created the entire universe in 6 MINUTES, OR EVEN 6 SECONDS, NOT 6 days!!

Now, did you know that the Bible is NOT the ONLY source that talks about people living for incredibly long periods of time back then??

Check THIS out:

"This view was well represented in a work called the Sumerian King List."

"The Sumerian King List contains lists of royal names, cities, and amazingly long reigns for each king before the Flood. After the flood, the reigns are shorter, but still hundreds of years in length."

"This composition, originally compiled just before 2100 BC, purported to list all the kings of all dynasties ruling all Sumer from the beginning. Its opening words read "When the kingship was lowered from Heaven, the kingship was in Eridu" and it then goes on to name two kings in Eridu who between them reigned 64,800 years."

"A similar list is found in Ashurbanipal's library that has 9 kings reigning 352,800 years."

But is the Sumerian King List the ONLY extra-biblical [outside the Bible] document that refers to people living for incredibly long periods of time back then?

Let's see how MANY extra-biblical documents refer to long-lived kings before the flood:

"There is the Sumerian King List (the oldest list). There are about a dozen copies of this in existence, with the oldest being dated around 2100 BC."

"The Lagash King List, from the city of Lagash in Sumer, not only gives long lifespans, but also adds that life was much 'slower'--people were children for much longer periods of time--100 years (cf. how the biblical pre-flood patriarchs had their firstborn children very late). It is interesting how this 100-year childhood is the same period used by Hesiod in describing his "golden race."

"A similar list is found in the beginning of a world-chronicle in the library of Assurbanipal (seventh century BC)."

"Another pre-flood king list shows up in from Uruk (also in Sumer, about 50 miles west of Lagish). In addition to the seven kings, there are seven 'sages' associated with them."

"Finally, there is the Hellenistic priest Berossus, who migrated from Babylon to Greece, and wrote a three volume work on the historical background of Babylon. In this work, he gave the king list and also gave the names of the sages associated with them."

"So, there are numerous extra-biblical references to allegedly long lifetimes before the Flood."

"It is also important to note in the continuation of the King List, that AFTER the Flood, the lifespans drop by an order of magnitude, with NO 'tapering off' at all! And then they drop off again, by another order of magnitude, to arrive at kingly lifetimes of more 'normal' measures." (which fits with the biblical record of God announcing, after the Flood, that man's lifespan will be shorter.)

Now, let's look for a moment at three facts about Enmeduranki of Sippar [one of the 'Kings' mentioned in the Kings List]:

One, among the Babylonians and Assyrians, he was regarded as the Father of Soothsaying. He had some prophetic capability.

Two, his sage Utuabzu (or he himself, if they are identical) was said to have "ascended to heaven" in several Sumerian incantation texts.

Three, this king is "seventh" from the top (in most of the mss.).

Now for some rampant speculation:

The ante-diluvian [before the Flood] Enoch of the Bible was said to :

1. ...have been a prophet (Jude 14: "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ")
2. ...have "ascended into heaven" (Heb 11.5: "By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. " and Gen 5.24: "Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.").
3. ...have been "seventh from Adam" (Jude 14:"Enoch, the seventh from Adam...")."

"Each of these three points are also amply demonstrated by the extra-biblical writings of pre-Christian Israel."

"The general consensus of scholarship is that the two accounts derive from a common 'ancestor.' But which version (biblical or other) would 'look like' the more likely to be closer to the source?

First, let's note that the Sumerian version is more elaborate, more 'spectacular', more miraculous, and more complex than the biblical version. The surprisingly long life spans in the bible (i.e. hundreds of years) are DWARFED by the tens of thousands of years in the Sumerian list! The Sumerian heroes of each period are twofold--a king AND a sage--instead of a single leadership figure as in the OT.

Then, let's note that the structure of the pattern matches. Before the Flood, there are very long lifetimes; immediately after the Flood, lifetimes are shorter but 'tapering off'; and soon, lifespans are at 'normal'. The exaggerated numbers of the Sumerian accounts follow this pattern, but make much more abrupt jumps than the smooth decline we see in the bible."

"Summary: The extra-biblical stories of the ante-diluvian kings/sages are well-attested by archeology and conform to the basic structure, pattern, and themes of the biblical version. The similarities between the 7th king and Enoch, "seventh from Adam" are striking and suggestive. A comparison of the relative complexity of biblical and extra-biblical accounts would initially lead one to believe that the biblical version was the MORE authentic of the two, given the standard methodological principles of comparative ANE [Ancient Near East] literature."


(quotes, other than Bible verses, are from http://www.christian-thinktank.com/sumerq.html)


Jeff Jenkins
kingzmessenger@embarqmail.com