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In so many passages in the Bible, it is said that many figures such as Methuselah lived many many years. For example, Genesis 5:27 (NASB):

Thus all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years; and he died.

But were these years the same as the duration of today's 12-month duration calendar years? Did Methuselah literally live 969 365-day years?

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    Throughout the world, in all cultures, the time taken for the seasons to rotate once, is counted as a significant event and is how lifetimes are calculated. Why would there ever be a reason to do otherwise ?
    – Nigel J
    Sep 30 '19 at 17:35
  • Welcome to BHSE! Please make sure you take our Tour. (See below left). Re: Questions and answers, we'd like to see specific Biblical text (Book, chapter, and verse(s)) referred to. Thanks. Otherwise, at least at the time of the great flood, there are 3 ways to show their 12-month year was counted just as ours is. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/8366/2873 Oct 1 '19 at 19:08
  • @JohnMartin The OP does refer to the age of a specific individual. I think that there's an implicit textual reference there (or, at least, we could edit in the text that stated his age). Oct 14 '19 at 5:27
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    The debate goes on. Maybe do a search on 'long lives in Genesis 5'. And here is a an article: bible.org/article/ages-antediluvian-patriarchs-genesis-5. Personally, I see 'tiers' - the sons of God and the sons of man. Names heard 'above' get repeated in lineage below, but some names get added below that aren't above. Two completely separate arks with different Gods instructing. However, it's a study in progress using the Hebrew.
    – tblue
    Oct 19 '19 at 13:24
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Was Methuselah literally 969 years old when he died?

Genesis 5:27 (NASB)

Thus all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years; and he died. But were these years the same as the duration of today's 12-month duration calendar years? Did Methuselah literally live 969 365-day years?

God purposed for Adam ,a perfect human to live for ever, subject to him being obedient to God.(Genesis 2:15-17) However because of hid disobedience, Adam forfeited that opportunity for himself and his descendants,.Romans 5:12

Yes, Methuselah literally lived 969 years - of 12 months per year.

From the two verses below (Gen 7:11 and 8:3-4) we can establish that 150 days amounted to five months.

Genesis 7:11 (NASB)

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the [a]floodgates of the sky were opened.

Genesis 8:3-4 (NASB)

3 "And the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. 4 In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat."

From the verses below we read that the top of the mountains became visible on the first day of the tenth month, Noah waited for a further 40 days, then opened the window of the Ark. In verse 10 says, that Noah waited for seven days and yet a further seven days wait (verse 12) and sent out the dove and the dove did not return.

Genesis 8:5-6,10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

5 "The water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible. 6 Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made." 10 "So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark."

Genesis 8:12-14 (NASB)

12 "Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again. 13 Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry."

Conclusion:

From the two verses Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:3-4 we can establish that 150 days amounted to five month .The fact that Bible mentions the 10 month, and a subsequent period of 40 days and at least two-seven day periods for this year, indicate that the year was 12 months long.

A year of 12 months , 30 days each, falls short 5- 1/4 days of a solar year of 365 -1/4 day. The Bible to the best of my knowledge does not indicate ,if at the time of Methuselah , any adjustment was made when the seasons were falling behind. It is logical, however that from the observation of the vernal or autumnal equinox, to provided a guide that the seasons were falling behind and that adjustment of the calendar was required.

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  • The modern Hebrew calendar (in use for at least 2000 years) adds an extra leap-month 7 times in every 19 year cycle. Before it was mathematically calculated, this process was done by observation, so the insertions might not have been as regular, but generally the years and months in the calendar were kept in sync. Nov 21 '19 at 19:30
  • @Ray Butterworth Comments noted and appreciated. Nov 21 '19 at 19:38

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