555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

92. Were the Patriarchs Really As Old As the Bible Record States?

Some of the "higher critics" claim that the ancient calendar of the antediluvians made the year really a month, or lunar period. Others, with somewhat more reason, assert that a year was a season of growth equal to three of our months. Hensler and Hufeland, two German authorities, claim that the patriarchal year was three months till Abraham's time, eight months till Joseph's time, and thereafter twelve months. One eminent Bible scholar has pointed out that if we accept the monthly year theory, Mahalaleel's sixty-five years before the birth of his son Jared would make him a parent at five years and three months of our reckoning; Enoch would be the same age when his son Methuselah was born, and the ages of the other patriarchs at the birth of their children would be equally preposterous. Of course, such conclusions absolutely condemn the monthly year theory. Conditions among the antediluvians were totally different from those after the Flood. There had been no rain, and the sun and planets were not visible; in the moist atmosphere, growth was greatly stimulated and all natural conditions tended to animal and vegetable longevity, precisely as the Bible indicates. Besides, as that period produced animal types of giant proportions, created for strength and endurance, the analogy of nature would seem to demand that man should bear some harmonious proportion to his surroundings. Genesis 6 uj. (first clause) clearly implies this. Age and stature, not only human but otherwise, became gready diminished after the Flood.