We can see in the bible that a lot of generations from Adam live around 500 - 1000 years. Right now, with an average life expectancy of 70, we consider 50-60 years as old age.

In Genesis 17:17, Abraham was thinking that how could his wife be pregnant at the age of 90 (Abraham was 99 at that time). From that sentence, I understood that Sarah was old enough to not bear a child.

I was thinking about what was the period of childhood, youth, adult, and old age during the time of Abraham. And also at the time of Adam.

Any thoughts? And how that shift in age group would have happened from Adam to Abraham?

  • In Genesis 25:7,8 it say that Abraham was 175 years old when he died. – Constantthin Oct 23 '20 at 14:15

Soon after the Genesis 17 visitation, in the next chapter, we have

11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

So around 90 years old, one was definitely considered old or very old. The label was likely to start sooner since Abraham's nephew was also considered as old.

Genesis 19:30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth.

My guess is 75 but could be lower. In any case, it was a matter of perception of the individuals at the time. There was no exact formula for the label.

  • Yeah, this really helps. I was also thinking about the age group shift, because Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Then he also begot sons and daughters. Also, years lived also reduced from 999 for Adam to 175 for Abraham. – Neron Joseph Oct 23 '20 at 4:01

Genesis 24:1 English Standard Version

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

Abraham was old.--As Isaac was thirty-seven years of age when Sarah died (Genesis 23:1), and forty at his marriage (Genesis 25:20), Abraham, who was a centenarian at Isaac's birth, would now be nearly 140. As he lived to be 175 (Genesis 25:7), he survived Isaac's marriage thirty-five years, and lived to see Esau and Jacob nearly grown up.

At 140, Abraham was considered well advanced and old.

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