Object structure

click here to follow the link

Alternative title:

Human life length and his conditions according to the Bible



Subject and Keywords:

life lenghty   Old Testament   patriarchs   life   wisdom   evil


A person’s life depends, among other things, on breathing, that is, gentle breath, which the Old Testament describes with the term rûaḥ, and which does not depend on human will and is in danger of being stopped at any time. In fact, life is short, like smoke or shade. It is almost nothingness, shorter and shorter, since seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong. All creatures, humans and animals, even flowing water (but never plants), have “life.” Man has no power over life: he cannot add or subtract from the length provided by the Creator even a single day. The Bible shows in no uncertain terms that sin has an adverse effect on the length of life. In the beginning, the sin of the first parents, which has been passed on us all as original sin. Then each person’s individual sins, which arouse the wrath of God. Ancient sages knew how man could gain longevity. They were convinced that longevity was a reward for gaining wisdom. The longevity of patriarchs was the fruit of God’s blessing. Although, on the other hand, the age of human life was already limited to one hundred and twenty years in Genesis, while Sirach stated that human life was limited to one hundred years. As various parts of Gen 1–11 emphasize,successive generations were increasingly distancing themselves from God through sins. That is why – as the author of this part of Genesis gently but firmly pointed out – the number of years of successive generations was gradually decreasing. Shortly before the Deluge, the average age of humans was comparative to today’s life expectancy. It is therefore very clear that the age of successive generations mentioned not only in Gen 5:1–32, but also in the whole block of Gen 1–11, should be looked at from a literary, symbolic, and – above all – theological perspective.

Place of publishing:



E-Wydawnictwo. Prawnicza i Ekonomiczna Biblioteka Cyfrowa. Wydział Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Date issued:


Detailed Type:



ISBN: 978-83-66601-24-6 (druk)   ISBN: 978-83-66601-25-3 (online)




pol   eng


(E-Monografie ; No. 170)

Is part of:

click here to follow the link

Access rights:

The use of this material is allowed only with accordance of applicable rules of fair use or other exceptions provided by law, and any broader use requires the permission of the authorized entity


Making materials available on the basis of the agreement with the owner of the property copyrights

Rights holder:

Copyright by Wydział Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Autor opisu:

WR U/PAdal