The Pre-Flood Lifespans–Scientifically Plausible?

by Melissa Travis

weld_blundell“Methuselah was 187 years old when he fathered Lamech. Methuselah lived 782 years after the birth of Lamech, and he fathered sons and daughters. So Methuselah’s life lasted 969 years; then he died.”

Genesis 5:25-27

It seems well beyond belief, doesn’t it? Humans living for centuries rather than merely decades is a concept far removed from our sphere of experience. The long lifespans, recorded in Genesis 5, have often been the subject of skeptics’ ridicule, theologians’ discomfort, and average believers’ head-scratching. Did people really live that long? How is that even possible?

Before getting into the scientific discussion, I’d like to point out that the Genesis genealogies are not the only ancient record of long lifespans prior to a great deluge, followed by shorter post-flood lifespans. Archaeology has revealed non-biblical texts that echo Genesis 5. For instance, The Weld-Blundell Prism (circa 3000 B.C), is just one of several artifacts that bears striking parallels to the biblical account. It is a clay cuneiform prism inscribed with  records of eight ancient Sumerian kings leading up to a flood, and a succession of kings thereafter. Here is an excerpt that begins with the last pre-flood king:

“Then Sippar fell and the kingship was taken to Suruppak. In Suruppak, Ubara-Tutu became king; he ruled for 18,600 years. One king; he ruled for 18,600  years.

Five cities; eight kings ruled for 385,200 years. Then the Flood swept over.

After the Flood had swept over, and the kingship had descended from heaven, the kingship was in Kis. In Kis, Gisur became king; he ruled for 1200 years.”

Obviously, the lifespans recorded in this list are much longer than those in the Genesis records. I offer this example because it is quite striking that another ancient culture documented the same trend: long life spans–a great flood–shorter life spans…


The Pre-Flood Lifespans–Scientifically Plausible? « Hard-Core Christianity



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