Israel Drazin
Israel Drazin

Years in Genesis

Many Jews feel that biblical time frames and dating were never meant to be taken literally. The Bible is not a history book. It is designed to teach about the existence of God and proper behavior. The world may have been created over a very long period of time, humans may not have appeared on earth until millions of years had passed, and the average life span before the flood of Noah may not have been hundreds of years, as seem to be indicated by a literal reading of the Bible.

When the Torah states that Adam lived for 930 years, it may have been referring to years that lasted from one lunar cycle to the next, about 29 ½ days. If the 930 “years” are divided by twelve (months), the result is 77.5 currently-calculated years, which is about the length of lives today. Even if the world was created in a single day, Adam did not die in the year 930, but 77.

It is possible that after the flood, the calculation of years changed and people considered the difference from a warm to a cold season as a year, so that two biblical years during this period equal to one year today. While the Bible states that Abraham lived 175 years, Isaac 180, Joseph 110, and Moses 120, they would have died at ages 87, 90, 55 and 60, respectively.

About the Author
Dr. Israel Drazin served for 31 years in the US military and attained the rank of brigadier general. He is an attorney and a rabbi, with master’s degrees in both psychology and Hebrew literature and a PhD in Judaic studies. As a lawyer, he developed the legal strategy that saved the military chaplaincy when its constitutionality was attacked in court, and he received the Legion of Merit for his service. Dr. Drazin is the author of more than 50 books on the Bible, philosophy, and other subjects.
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