Long Life through Bible Nutrition

Early Patriarchs Lived Long Lives

The first man and woman were created in God's own image which is to have a body, spirit and soul (Gen. 1:27; 2:7; 1 Thes. 5:23). Since God is perfect therefore Adam and Eve were also created perfect (Ecc. 7:29; Psm 139:14). After the Fall they died spiritually, however Adam continued to live physically for a long time. In fact many of our early ancestors had long life.

Not counting Enoch who was taken by God the average life span of the early patriarchs from Adam to Noah (nine generations) is 912 years. When we look at the life spans of the patriarchs after Noah we can see a reduction in the years they lived.

The average life span of the patriarchs from Shem to Terah (nine generations) is 333 years. The dividing line between the two sets of generations is the Great Flood. Before the Great Flood there was no rain "but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground." (Gen. 2:5-6) This vapor canopy also acts like a screen that filters out the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun. This atmospheric condition provided an ideal climate that is neither hot nor cold and this prolongs life. This is one of the reasons the pre-flood patriarchs lived longer than the ones after the Great Flood.

Long Life and Biblical Nutrition

Longevity is related to good health. In order to live a long life one must be healthy, and we can see that good health is dependent on what the person eats and drinks. Nutrition is the natural or organic processing of food and drink for the nourishment of the human body in order to keep healthy or to grow.

There is a good reason for the longevity of the pre-flood patriarchs. Their staple diet was mostly vegetarian (Gen. 1:29-30). In the Garden of Eden God gave man and all His creatures the food that is "very good." "And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yield seeds which is on the face of the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food'; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day." (Gen. 1:29-31)

After the Great Flood God allowed man to eat meat but with restrictions.

"Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood." (Gen. 9:3-4)

After meat was introduced to the diet of man we can see the life span became shorter. Abraham, for example, lived 175 years (Gen. 25:7). A few generations later, Joseph lived only 110 years (Gen. 50:22). We are told in the Psalms that seventy years is considered to be a long life, and men reach eighty years only "by reason of strength" (Psm. 90:10). David died at the age of seventy in about 1000 BC, and is described as dying "in a good old age, full of days" (I Chr. 29:28).

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