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Question

The Bible says that Noah was 600 years old when God called him. Was this really months, making him 50 years old?

Answer

Thank you for your question about ages in the Bible. 

You correctly note that the Bible says that Noah was 600 years old when God called him to build the ark. Of course, considering that no one today gets even close to this age, it raises questions about how this is even possible. 

Genesis 1 and 2 give us the account of creation, telling us that God made all things. In Genesis 1:31, we read that God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good. The nature of creation being very good, and understanding that death had not yet entered the world, shows us that creation had not been tainted with ageing, decay and death. It is understood that if Adam and Eve hadn't sinned, they would have lived forever. 

The 'very good' nature of humanity continued even after the fall. When we see the genealogy of Adam in Genesis 5, we see the ages of different people. Overall, the average age of death was slowly decreasing. 

Adam lived 930 years, Seth lived 912 years, Enosh lived 905 years, Kenan lived for 910 years, Mahalalel lived 895 years, Jared lived 962 years, Enoch lived 365 years, Methuselah lived 969 years, Lamech lived 777 years, which leads us to Noah. 

However, rather than thinking of these years as months, as you suggest in your question, God answers giving clear indication that this was literal years: Then the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years" (Genesis 6:3). Clearly, this ends any thought that the early parts of the Bible might be talking about months rather than years! 

God specifically limited man's lifespan to 120 years because he saw how much evil a person could do in their life, and wanted to limit this. God's righteous wrath led him to bring judgement upon the people of the earth. However, Noah and his family were the only people who survived (see Genesis 6:9-9:17). All the nations of the earth have their roots in these eight righteous people. 

God could have destroyed everything that lived, but rather out of his love he provided a way for them to be saved (the ark). in the same way, God has not left us to our own devices, in order to earn our way into heaven. Rather, God has provided a way for us to be saved in His Son, Jesus Christ. Through his life he showed us how to live, through his death he paid the punishment for our sin and through his resurrection he proved he has power over death. 

If you want to be saved, to have fellowship with God, then you must accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. I urge you to do so today! 

In summary, the Bible tells us that God created everything and it was very good. This goodness continued in creation for a limited time until God took the decision to limit the life of a human. God provided a way for Noah to be saved, and he has provided a way for us to be saved through his Son Jesus Christ. 

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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